Order and Discipline

Sgt Maj Michael Barrett, Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps, quoted in the Wall Street Journal addressing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with Marines in Korea:

“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”

“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.

“How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”

Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.

“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”

“All Are Welcome”

Believe it or not, this ad has started a kerfuffle not on the right, but on our side. The progressive Christian group Sojourners refused to run the ad on their website, not wanting to “take sides.” Sojourners hasn’t been shy about taking sides on the Republican budget plan, the war in Afghanistan and any number of important, controversial and sometimes unpopular issues, but these ostensible liberals are somehow squeamish about saying that “all are welcome”? Who exactly is such a message controversial for, Rick Santorum?

Geez guys. Have you read your own website?

Sarah Posner, as usual, has a great post on the issue.

It’s About Behavior, Right?

The folks that run CPAC are saying that GOProud won’t be invited back next year. I’ve checked their site, and aside from a mention that they happen to be gay, no advocacy for gay and lesbian issues can be found. The only issue oriented press release I can find is one that supports a bill extending the Hyde amendment, not exactly the mark of support for a radical leftist social agenda.

So, the groups and candidates that are shunning these guys aren’t doing it because of issues that they advocate, but only because of who they are. Do I have that right?


Barack Obama has said that his views on gay marriage are “evolving,” and unfortunately some on our side have ridiculed this stance. But, he’s only reflecting something that many of us are doing on the issue. Joe Biden, who has taken the same stance as the President, has acknowledged that gay marriage is only a question of when.

I get it, because I’ve evolved on the issue and, yes, even my politically active gay friends have too. I remember having a conversation with a political activist friend back in the mid 90’s. At that point, gay marriage was a pipe dream, and the conversation among activists was about marriage-style rights and civil unions. His take was “Straights have their institutions, why would we want one of their institutions instead of creating our own?” I haven’t discussed the marriage issue with him lately, but I doubt he’d say anything of the kind now. I imagine that his views, yes, have evolved over the last few years.

When I first ran for state house in 2006, I knocked on the door of a lesbian couple. One asked me about marriage rights. Before I could answer, she said, “Never mind, I don’t want marriage. You straights have f****d that enough up already. Just give me the rights.” It was an opinion that seemed pretty common. And, it was, frankly, an easy stance to take for liberal political types like me that didn’t want to scare people by using the word “marriage.” Even people who were edgy about the word marriage because of their personal morals or religion were loath to deny the right of someone to visit their dying loved one in the hospital.

I’m amazed how the discussion has moved in the years since then. It may be because there are jurisdictions in this country where gay marriage is legal and the larger social order hasn’t fallen to pieces. Heck, if it’s legal in Iowa, how bad can it be, right? The arguments against gay marriage can’t withstand people seeing what a gay marriage actually looks like.

A week or so before Christmas, I got an e-mail from my friend Carolina inviting me to her house on Christmas afternoon where she was going to give a “special gift” to her long time girlfriend Angie. I’ve gotten enough invites like these to know that it was going to be an engagement party. It was touching and a lot of fun, since Angie genuinely didn’t know why all of us decided to show up at the house. Carolina has been dealing with a crippling illness for some time now, and has depended on Angie for much that the rest of us take for granted. I see a great deal of love that between the two of them that’s held through a trial that a lot of otherwise committed couples I know would collapse over. I don’t know why we have a society that would say, “Sorry, ladies, your kind of love just ain’t good enough.”

Don’t Come to an Intellectual Fight With Barney Frank Unarmed

But wait, does this mean that Frank Antenori doesn’t get to shower with cheerleaders? What if Antenori is spooning with someone and…I shudder to think…

By the way, he didn’t get to the trope about this being “left wing social engineering” that has no place in the military. Right wing social engineering in the form of marginalizing gays and lesbians is perfectly acceptable, apparently.

DADT Repeal Passes House

This afternoon, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell passed the US House. Gabrielle Giffords didn’t issue a statement, but had a tweet about it yesterday:

This is 1 issue I agree w/Dick Cheney on. Time to move on. RT @LeaderHoyer: Today @PatrickMurphyPA introduced a bill for #DADT repeal.

After the jump is a longer statement from Raúl Grijalva released after the vote.

By the way, anyone else mildly creeped out by Frank Antenori’s statement in the Star on Sunday? I guess we should keep the man away from cheerleaders.

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And It Just Gets Better

Well, it just keeps getting better. Chuck Coughlin has used his firm’s blog to post a twenty year old transcript from the AZScam affair to stoke rumors about Terry Goddard.

He has no problems if Terry is gay, but he’s not saying Terry is gay…he just wants folks to know that someone could say that Terry is gay…and do something like, I dunno, post decades old allegations from an ethically compromised witness or something.

Not that Coughlin would ever do that. The name of his firm is High Ground, after all.

NB – Kudos to Jaime and the New Times for this one.

Always Classy, Chuck Coughlin Goes There

Chuck Coughlin is taking time out from his busy schedule advocating for the private prison industry to spread unfounded innuendos about Terry Goddard’s personal life. This from the Arizona Guardian (subscription only, the bastards!):

One of Gov. Jan Brewer’s top political advisors said Monday if the media is going to ask for the governor’s health records it should also question whether her Democratic opponent, Terry Goddard, is gay.

Wow, really? These rumors were rampant back when Goddard ran in 1990, but I thought for sure we were over this sort of puerile nonsense by now. Back then he was a bachelor in his forties, so, like with many other unmarried politicians, rumors like this had “legs.” It was silly and irrelevant then, and even sillier and more irrelevant now that Goddard is married.

Next we’ll hear Coughlin demand Terry’s birth certificate and prove he’s not an Islamic anti-colonialist.

Another demand from Coughlin:

What’s next, is he going to release his SAT scores?

How about Jan’s first?

All of this has nothing to do with Goddard closing in several recent polls, I’m sure.