“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” - the
military's ban on gays and lesbians serving openly - is getting a lot
of attention lately. On Monday a Palm Center report concluded that the policy should be dropped. The study was conducted by four
retired military officers. “Evidence shows that allowing gays and
lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to
morale, good order, discipline or cohesion,” the study stated.
The fifteen-year old law, enacted as a
compromise of sorts by the Clinton administration, will also be the
focus of CBS's newsmagazine 60 Minutes Sunday. The show is set to rebroadcast a story featuring openly gay Army Sergeant Darren Manzella. In the story Manzella reveals he had been openly out to
his superiors without incident. He says he was investigated for
being gay and even supplied the Army with photos of his boyfriend.
But when the investigation ended he was told to go back to work. Six
months after CBS aired the show, Manzella was fired. Sunday's
rebroadcast will include an update of what happened after the show
It's that time again – hot and humid
weather? - no, political season. As politicians gear-up for the fall
fight, conservatives are throwing-in their fodder of homophobia to
Florida, as two gay candidates look to replace outgoing, anti-gay Ft.
Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, the lame-duck mayor continues his divisive
rhetoric. When asked if a gay
candidate could win the mayor's office, Naugle said: “I think that
a homosexual does have a chance to be elected... if a responsible
homosexual would run for office and reject that kind of activity, if
a responsible homosexual were to run for office and do something
about the AIDS crisis -- recognizing that promiscuous activity has a
heavy cost on human life and dollars.” The mayor was referring to
gay men having sex in public parks – a theme he has returned to
often. Yet, police records indicate few problems with gay men in the
parks and, worse, a higher incidence of sexual activity between
heterosexual couples. Not revealed in this story, as it came to
light the next day, a judge on Friday agreed with a gay man that his
arrest in a park constituted police entrapment.
Massachusetts, state lawmakers are finally coming around to voting on a
1913 law that bans out-of-state gay couples from marrying in
Massachusetts – four years after gay marriage was made available in the
state. The law remained in place
due to support from former Governor - and former GOP presidential
candidate - Mitt Romney. The new Governor, Deval Patrick, supports
repeal of the law.
In Arkansas, the Family Council Action
Committee (FCAC) is behind a new proposal to ban unmarried couples
from adopting children. On
Monday, the group met a deadline to submit signatures to the Secretary
of State to place the Arkansas Adoption Action on the fall ballot. The State still needs to verify
signatures. But if passed the law would make it illegal for adoptive
and foster care children to be placed in homes with individuals who
cohabit with a sexual partner. The FCAC website makes the purpose of
the law all too clear: “Laws have been passed in eight states that
support the homosexual agenda when it comes to the adoption or foster
care of children. Arkansas has no law to prevent homosexual
adoption. Homosexuals are adopting children and this will continue
until a law is passed.”
The FCAC is willing to ban all
adoptions of unmarried couples – straight or gay – and deny
countless children a loving home in exchange for pure political gain.
And for Senator John McCain, at least one advisor is telling him he should consider an anti-gay platform in his race for the presidency. On Fox News Sunday, the Weekly
Standard executive editor and The Beltway Boys co-host
Fred Barnes, said he believed McCain needed to use the issues of gay
marriage and “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” to rally conservative
“Here's what he needs to do, he needs
to touch on some of the social issues which energize the right... In
particular, gays in the military for one. We know Barack Obama is
for allowing gays in the military, and Bill Clinton tried to do, but
backed off. This is not a popular issue. Gay marriage is another
one. These are both issues that I think McCain's going to have to
use. You can't ignore the right. If he does, he'll loose,” Barnes
Is it possible that Barnes has not kept
up with recent polls? The military's ban on gays serving openly is
basically a job discrimination issue. And a recent Values and
Beliefs poll by opinion group Gallup shows near universal support of
equal rights for gays in terms of job opportunities (89%). And while
the topic of gays and lesbians continues to be the most divisive
issue in American politics, a majority (57%) accept homosexuality as
an alternative lifestyle. So, please, John, take the advice.
Here's a recent picture of McCain surrounded by advisors.
And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news of another cowboy of sorts. Steven
Daigle is a 35 year-old champion bull rider in the gay rodeo circuit
ready to have us all gawk at him 24/7 on CBS's Big Brother 10.
The Gay Slant pops
in most Saturdays at On Top
Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top and
can be reached at email@example.com.