Pentagon Issues New Order on Gay Dismissals
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued new guidelines regarding the military’s recently reinstated ban on openly gay service members. The procedural change requires all discharges to be decided by senior civilian officials. The secretary of the branch in question will have to meet with a senior Pentagon lawyer and an undersecretary of personnel before the final decision is made. Gates’s memo announced that the change will be in place “until further notice.”
Choi Says Obama Playing Politics on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
AOL reports that gay Iraq War veteran Dan Choi, who tried to reenlist in the military in October—prior to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision temporarily to stay a lower court’s lifting of the military’s ban on openly gay soldiers—is criticizing the Obama Administration for its handling of the issue. President Barack Obama has stated that he opposes Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but the Justice Department is defending it in court. Choi told C-SPAN, “President Obama is playing politics. There’s no reason you should force people to lie to serve their country.” Choi, a graduate of West Point, and an Arab linguist who served in Iraq, was discharged last year after publicly coming out.
Obama To Bullied Gay Kids: “You Are Not Alone”
President Barack Obama added his voice to the It Gets Better Campaign in October, letting gay kids and other victims of bullying know that they’re not alone, and that ultimately, things do get better. He said, “I don’t know what it is like to be picked on for being gay, but I do know what it is like to grow up feeling that sometimes, you don’t belong. It is tough.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recorded a similar video earlier in the month. The ItGetsBetterProject garnered more than 10 million visits on YouTube in the first four weeks after it was set up.
Lawyers Say Atlanta Police Erased Data in Gay Bar Raid
According to lawyers, Atlanta police allegedly erased and destroyed evidence after a controversial raid on the Atlanta Eagle last year. The suit brought by the bar accuses police of erasing text messages, e-mails, and pictures related to the incident. During the raid, officers searched about five-dozen bar patrons, some of whom were forced down on the sidewalk and handcuffed, while officers shouted antigay slurs at them. City officials responded to the lawsuit, saying they are taking the allegations seriously, and will initiate an investigation.
Court Condemns Moscow Gay Pride Bans
The Associated Press reports that the European Court of Human Rights condemned Russia for letting Moscow ban Gay Pride marches simply because officials don’t like gay and lesbian people. It ordered Russia to pay Gay Pride organizers more than $41,000 in damages and court costs. The court’s rulings are binding, so Russia now must ensure that Gay Pride parades can be held freely throughout the country. Russian activist Nikolay Alekseyev brought the cases over the past few years.
Ugandan Paper Publishes Photos of Gay Men
According to the Associated Press, the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone published a list of the country’s 100 “top” homosexuals that included the men’s photographs and names. A graphic across the top of the article said, “Hang Them!” Since its publication in early October, at least four gay men have been attacked, and, according to human rights advocates, many are in hiding. The article not only names the men, but also claims that a deadly disease is attacking gay men in Uganda, and that gay men are recruiting a million children by raiding the country’s schools.