E. Winter Tashlin

Unit Cohesion Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | December 19, 2012 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: blame the gays, Daniel Inouye, John McCain, LGBT Kosovo, Maryland, Montana, Reason Magazine, Singapore section 377a, Todd Akin

Fresh off helping ensure President Barak Obama won his bid for re-election, GOP representative Todd Akin, of "legitimate rape" fame, is pushing for an amendment to the defense budget that would protect military service members who engaged in harassing or bullying behavior towards their LGB colleagues under the guise of protecting religious freedom.
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Regardless of the legitimate threat that Akin's amendment posses to "unit cohesion," it has significant support from other conservative legislators.

Personally, I don't think people like John McCain want this amendment at all. Rather, I'm guessing that they see this as a way to paint the President and his administration's policies as anti-Christian and anti-freedom. The actual well being of our nation and its military is a distant second place priority to these people, far below damaging the President and the Democrats at all costs.

Perhaps, despite the evidence to the contrary, people like Senator McCain honestly believed that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell would be a disaster for the military. I'm willing to grant Mr. McCain at least that much credit. However, in the year since DADT ceased to be a part of the military world (at least for LGB people), none of the dire predictions that we heard from repeal opponents have come to pass. While this is a good thing from a military readiness and societal progress standpoint, it robs conservatives of a potent club with which to attack their political opposites.

The only thing that makes sense in my mind, is that these legislators are trying to manufacture the sorts of controversies that they anticipated but never came to pass with the end of DADT. Surely there are some thoroughly planned out GOP play-books for how to use "discrimination" against Christians and gay rights opponents in the military to the GOP's advantage. Lacking a forward thinking strategy for Republican gains in 2014, perhaps they are looking for one last chance to put these concepts into action.

I have to believe that, because the only alternative is that Republicans in the federal government are so blinded by ideology and devotion to the radical right that they are willing to disregard all the evidence that shows the repeal of DADT has not had a notable negative impact on military efficiency, enrollment, or retention.

Although really, neither theory paints Akin and his supporters in such a good light from where I sit.

And now, here's what you need to know today:

  • Maryland will soon become the first state that allows same-sex marriage, but doesn't permit same-sex couples to file their state tax returns jointly.
  • As I covered earlier today, under pressure from a Christian hate-group, the East Aurora Illinois School Board has chosen to disband their ad hoc committee and abandon providing anti-discrimination protections for trans* students.
  • Towleroad has a roundup of their fifty top coming outs of 2012.
  • Daniel Inouye, celebrated war hero, second longest serving senator, and great friend to the LGBT community, passed away yesterday. We've lost a ally, and one hell of a bad-ass.
  • In Kosovo, the beating of a woman and a gas attack against an LGBT center, are only the most recent of three anti-LGBT attacks over the weekend.
  • James Dobson is the latest in a string of other right wing figures who have blamed the brutal murder of twenty children and six adults in a Connecticut school last week on gay people.
  • Libertarian magazine Reason makes a well thought out argument for marriage equality building on the non-event that has been the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
  • A federal appeals court upheld a lower court finding that the University of Toledo was within its rights in firing a high-level human resources officer after she wrote an op-ed for the local paper asserting her belief that homosexuality was a choice, and that the civil rights her job required her to protect in matters of personnel shouldn't extend to LGBT people.
  • The co-founder of TAG, prominent HIV activist Spencer Cox has passed away.
  • The Manhattan DA's office has reopened the investigation into the death of Marsha P. Johnson, a trans* activist and veteran of the Stonewall uprising.
  • The Singapore High Court will hear a challenge to that nation's law banning homosexual sex.
  • Citing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that same-sex couples are not entitled to the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples.
  • On a brighter note, the city commissioners of Helena Montana unanimously voted to implement a non-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT people.
  • A man in Cameroon has been sentenced to three years in prison for the crime of homosexuality after he confessed his love for another man via text message.
  • Canada's first openly gay senator has died at the age of 83.
  • Finally, enjoy this odd and at times weirdly homoerotic video on what it'd be like if humans behaved like cats:

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