Tag Archives: Dadt Repeal

Celebration and Community

This year should be a year of celebration and hope for gay rights.  Though it was passed in the end of 2010, the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” goes into the planning and execution stages this year.  A policy that was created in 1993, 18 years ago, is finally on its way out.  It is widely accepted throughout the American people that the individuals that are fighting and dying for our freedom to be out and proud should have the same freedoms they are defending.  Now, finally, this is again reflected in our laws and policy.  It still almost seems like a dream that the policy is finally dead- or at least in the process of dying.


by Chan Lowe

Concealing one’s identity is something that all queer people understand.  It is horrible to ask someone to stay in the closet to defend their country, but the effect of this policy was much more than having to make a personal choice to lie and hide one’s identity.  This policy also greatly affected the loved ones, partners and families of our queer service members.  As a currently active [therefore anonymous] Marine wrote, “The sacrifices gay and lesbian families make just to get through each day are more than most people can even fathom, and we do it in silence. I live every day with the knowledge that I could be fired simply for being honest about who I am. I lie about my loved ones and myself in order to survive.”

Another accomplishment in the recent weeks was the expansion of visitation rights at hospitals. The new federal regulation requires that all hospitals receiving federal funding such as Medicaid or Medicare must allow visitation rights to the partners and friends of critical patients regardless of their sexual orientation.  This is a big change from the previous policy at most hospitals that allows only relations by marriage or blood to visit critical and dying patients. This allows people to decide who they want to visit them if and when they are in critical condition.

After putting this policy into effect, Obama’s first call was to Janet Langbehn.  Lisa Pond, her partner of 18 years with whom she had raised three children, died alone in a hospital in Miami, Florida in 2007.  Neither she nor any of their children were allowed to visit Lisa while she was dying of an aneurism that she suffered during a family cruise. She sued the hospital but the ferderal judge said there was no law that required the hospital to allow the visitation.  Today such a law exists. From now on, none of the members of our community will have to die alone while loved ones wait outside.

Also riding the DADT wave was a recently changed to the U.S. passport forms. The State Department also just changed the passport application from “Mother” and “Father” to “Mother or Parent 1” and “Father or Parent 2”. This allows people to identify as having same-sex parents.

This all may be wonderful progress in terms of civil and human rights but it shouldn’t stop here. There are some other rights for which we still need to fight.  As a queer community bound by the Jewish values and morals, we must act to continue expanding the rights of all queer Americans.  We must support other changes such as more gender-neutral language on federal forms, assurances that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide proper assistance to gay and lesbian people and their children during disaster relief efforts and a nondiscriminatory policy for the Transportation that addresses the treatment of transgender air passengers.

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in LGBT Alliance


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dadt is dead.

my mother asked me this morning if i was going to “send out a blogging post for don’t ask don’t tell.” she figured that i did not do it yesterday because of shabbat but expected one from me this morning. so, mom, here it is: dadt is done. consider it dead. consider it old news.

on december 10, 2010 rabbi denise eger’s blog stated this, “DADT is nothing but an antiquated vehicle for homo-hatred.” agreed and now the vehicle is dead.

but just in case you do crave information on how the organized jewish community rallied folks around the repeal of dadt i did come up short in finding any web-evidence of grassroots education projects or organizing.  but i did read in the jta that multiple jewish groups, including the jewish council for public affairs (jcpa), the anti-defamation league, the national council of jewish women, american jewish committee (ajc), american jewish congress, b’nai b’rith international, jewish labor committee, jewish reconstructionist federation, union for reform judaism and the united synagogue of conservative judaism had together made multiple public support statements and lobbied for its repeal. plus my favorite jewish military site had one posting featuring rabbi boteach on dadt too. maybe it was because dadt was so widely not accepted by folks in our community that jewish folks did not feel like they had a role in repealing it?!?!

but here is a real question, is the reign of homo-hatred in the military really dead or is it the 31 senators and 175 representatives that voted no as well as the 9 reps that did not even bother to vote that we should be worried about?

and now that i wrote on dadt – here is a link to what my mother really wants: lady gaga and pink on dadt.


Posted by on December 19, 2010 in Jewish Bay Area


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