Gay news sideshows
At the Equality Forum rally in front of Independence Hall last weekend gay civil rights pioneer Frank Kameney stood on the platform looking out over hundreds of people out in the rain to stand for GLBT rights. Kameney stood on the exact spot that he stood 45 years earlier one of about a dozen, looking like young Republicans in dull suits, marching for ‘homosexual rights.’
Great story right. But not quite worthy of any attention from mainstream media.
The ‘gay angle’ story continued to be the Miss America contest where Carrie Prejean, now deposed Miss California got to espouse her beliefs there should be no same-sex marriage, but assures she supports ‘opposite’ marriage because that’s how she was raised. The story had legs.
As much fun as it was to read that Miss Malabu was assuming the crown as Miss California and she has been ‘thoroughly vetted’ so no nude photos are about to tumble out, it just adds insult to injury.
It trumped stories about Maine was the 5th state to pass a same-sex marriage bill, the story didn’t get as much play because Prejean was exposed for posing for nude photos when she was 17, so she was stripped of her crown.
And then of course there was Joe, The Plummer having gay friends but not wanting them to be around his kids. The fake plummer’s opinions, of course, are so much more newsworthy than say gay parents who are trying to adopt or the millions of gay relatives who provide their love, support and resources to their immediate and extended families.
Also missing from the mainstream broadcasts was the firing of U.S. Army first lieutenant Dan Choi, Iraq war veteran, Arab linguist and the front man of Knights Out, a group of out West Point graduates, committed to fighting his dismissal from his reserve unit for coming out.
Choi’s mere announcement resulted in being fired for ‘dereliction’ by the Army for harming ‘the good order and discipline’ of the New York Army National Guard. The reality check is that nothing could be further from the truth.
“That’s a big insult to my unit.“ Lieutenant Choi told MSNBC gay anchor Rachel Maddox, “So many people came up to me and said…hey sir, we know and we don’t care. What we care about is that you can contribute to the team.“
The real disruption happens to be this destructive policy that actually props up institutionized discrimination and homophobia where it doesn’t exist.
Choi‘s could resign with an honorable discharge, but he plans to fight the dismissal “ tooth and nail.” His words- “Don’t lie, don’t hide, don’t discriminate and don’t weaken the military.”
President Obama has indicated that he will move carefully to repeal DADT, but cases like Choi’s point to ‘a fierce urgency of now.’ It is time for him as Commander in Chief to publicly come out and lead this fight, without equivocation or apology.
The most glaring disappointment is the nullification of the gross hypocrisies that exist in the military under DADT. Most people probably missed the penetrating Washington Post article last week calling on President Obama to start being the ‘fierce advocate’ for gay civil rights that he had promised.
Sunday, on ABC’s ‘This Week’ General James Jones spoke about dismantling DADT, telling George Stephanopoulos “it’s a complicated issue.” Stephanopoulos asked Jones if it will be overturned and the general said flatly “I don’t know.”
This exchange wasn’t worthy of the more pressing issue on all news outlets of the fate of Carrie Prejean. Tuesday, the teasers and lede story in all national markets was whether, nude photos or not, by the power of Donald Trump, will retain her title. She is allowed to stay in. Thank god she wasn’t fired like Lt. Choi, who would be so glad to fight for her freedom to reign, if he were allowed to serve as a clothed gay soldier.