Steve Ralls

Hillary Got It Right

Filed By Steve Ralls | November 21, 2007 8:28 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Hillary Rodham Clinton, military, New York Times, repeal, sodomy, Steve Ralls

Hillary.jpgThere have been some curious headlines in the LGBT press following remarks Senator Hillary Clinton made during a campaign stop in Tama, Iowa on Monday.

Answering a question from Air Force Major Gary Mathis of Cedar Rapids about privacy and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Senator Clinton reiterated her long-held position that the ban on gay troops must be repealed. "I feel strongly that if someone wants to serve their country, if they’re a patriot, if they comply with the code of military justice and they have the appropriate behavior, they shouldn’t be disqualified from serving simply because they’re gay," Senator Clinton said.

She took exactly the right position: Opportunity for gay Americans to serve in our armed forces, and a level playing field for every service member, regardless of their sexual orientation.

So why did the LGBT blogosphere, Major Mathis - and even The New York Times - miss the point?

The next morning, posted a link to the story on its website, with the headline, Hillary: Gay Soldiers, Behave Yourselves. And the LGBT blog Queerty said that Clinton had warned "gay soldiers to watch themselves." Even Major Mathis said he wasn't sure about Senator Clinton's answer, telling the Times that, "I don’t think her answer fully recognized the day-to-day realities of military life."

Actually, Hillary got it right. Exactly right.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice can deal with the issues our opponents love to raise when fighting against open service, and it can do so without regard to sexual orientation. Offenses like fraternization, rape and sexual harassment are already addressed in military regulations, and those regulations should be applied across the board. A gay service member, for example, should be held to the same standards of sexual harassment as a straight one. It's simply a matter of asking everyone to play by the same rules.

In truth, Clinton is just saying the gay troops should "behave themselves" in the same way that straight troops are expected to.

Senator Clinton addressed the Major's question about privacy head-on, too. Again, the UCMJ sets the standard for service members' privacy, and privacy should extend to everyone in uniform, regardless of their sexual orientation. And while the Times reports that Major Mathis didn't think the Senator addressed "what she would do to ensure the privacy of male soldiers who shower, sleep and work out in the gym alongside other male soldiers," the fact is that the Major, to a large extent, misses the point himself.

There are already lesbian and gay troops showering, eating, working out and living side-by-side with straight troops. Heterosexual American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are serving alongside openly gay allied troops (from counties like Great Britain) in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. And they're doing so without incident, because our men and women in uniform are professionals. They understand their duty is to get the job done, and when it comes to stopping a bullet, treating a wound or translating terrorist messages, they don't care if the person doing it is gay or straight . . . they just want (and need) the job done.

Senator Clinton, in her answer in Iowa, recognized that inherent professionalism. She understood that a good service member is judged by his or her conduct, not sexual orientation. (And by conduct, I mean adhering to the UCMJ as it is written, and by advocating for repeal of the military's ban on heterosexual and same-sex consensual sodomy, which Senator Clinton has also said she supports.)

So let's be clear, and get the facts - ahem - "straight." Senator Clinton was not proposing a harsher set of behavioral standards for gay troops. She was not imploring them to "behave" anymore than the commander-in-chief implores all of our men and women in uniform to do the same. And she was not shy about addressing the privacy issue raised in the original question.

Instead, she has - for quite a long time - been advocating for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and a level playing field for lesbian and gay troops . . . a position she has consistently held since her days as First Lady.

This time around, the headlines and pundits got it wrong. And Hillary was right all along.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

If only Senator Clinton could make this statement about LGBT citizens that are not part of the military industrial complex:

"I feel strongly that if same sex couples want to get married, if at least one of them is a citizen, if they comply with the rules upheld by different sex couples and they have the appropriate behavior as exhibited by different sex couples, they shouldn’t be disqualified from marriage simply because they’re gay,"

She has no beef with extending the right of gay citizens to be cannon fodder for her oil war but it sure is ok for states to discriminate as much as they want.

Why hasn't she sponsored the Uniting American Families Act? LGBT citizens are just as worthy of equal marriage as they are worthy of serving, getting killed and/or maimed in service.

It's kinda painting with a broad brush putting Queerty, P1Q, and Major Mathis in the same category here. Major Mathis was a homophobe who's voting for Huck or McCain who wasn't going to agree with Clinton's position mo matter what she said (unless she supported going back to a full ban on gays in the military), P1Q was most likely just looking for a cute headline (and she did say that gay soldiers should behave themselves) and didn't really criticize Hillary at all, and Queerty's post was so brief it's hard to take it in any direction besides Belonsky's normal ironic stance on everything. And the NY Times link doesn't give an opinion, it just reports what was said.

Hardly enough to make statements about the "LGBT blogosphere".

I'm totally waiting for primary season to be over. It dividers instead of uniters over some of the silliest issues, and I'm the priMary Scrooge. Bah humbug, it's the least wonderful time of the four years!

Hillary, like her husband, is a panderer and a compromiser. She says she wants ENDA, but refuses to say if she supports it for everyone or only the crippled version for the straight-acting and appearing, and will only define her support of the bill as "no one should be fired because of who they love".

Personally, I don't think what our community needs is another President who gives us laws that pander to right-wing bigotry and hatred and left-wing political cowardice like DADT and DOMA.

And you know something? For all the problems I have with Obama over Donnie McClurkin, at least he addresses our issues directly, and doesn't avoid them. At least he has the courage to let us know where he stands on all of our issues, even if his position isn't popular. We in the trans community are still waiting for Hillary to do something every other Democratic Presidential candidate has already done repeatedly: Simply publicly acknowledge our existence and state their positions on the issues of importance to us. The "T-word" still has yet to publicly come out of her mouth, much less anything of actual political relevance to transgender and allied voters on the issues that matter in our lives.

So far, this HRC is acting just like that other HRC as far as dealing with the American transgender community, and I can't see how putting that kind of politics into the White House is going to help any of us in the long run.

While I agree on the over-all privacy I think the issue most people were concerned with is Article 125 of the UCMJ which will require our lesbian and gay troops to be celibate.

I think that's where most people went with that statement in criticizing that.

The problem with Shrillery is that she has vacillated on just about every position of importance, except one thing: we're going to pay more in taxes under her administration.
I do not trust the Senator. Where was she when the battle for ENDA and the Matt Sheppard bill battles were being fought?..
Umm..wait ..she was busy doing something else..
like campagning..


Obama and gay immigration rights FROM =

September 06, 2007
Obama and gay immigration rights

Score another blow for readers of this blog. First
there was Christopher Hubble, who reacted to a
complimentary post I'd written about Bill Richardson
by dredging up his "maricón moment" on the Don Imus
show a year earlier. That resulted in a story on Gay
News Watch that was a first important hint that the
New Mexico governor's record on gay rights was more
impressive than his command of gay issues.

Now Danielle Clark, a Barack Obama supporter, has done
some sleuthing that sheds important light on her
candidate's qualified support for gay couple
immigration rights. She came across a couple of posts
I wrote back in June about how both Obama and Clinton
were hedging their support for the Uniting American
Families Act, which would extend to gay Americans the
same rights straight folks have to sponsor their
spouses for citizenship.

The Human Rights Campaign candidate "scorecard" showed
both Obama and Clinton supporting immigration rights
for binational couples even though neither had signed
on to cosponsor UAFA. It turns out that both of them,
in their more detailed responses to the HRC
questionnaire, had raised concerns about the risk of
fraud under UAFA as written. When I wrote a
less-than-complimentary second post tracking Obama's
evolution on the issue, in which he showed sympathy
but not full-fledged support, Danielle had had enough.

She fired off an email to the Obama campaign asking
for clarification and got this, rather detailed reply:


Barack believes that LGBT Americans with partners from
other countries should not be faced with a choice
between staying with their partner and staying in
their country. That's why he supports changing
immigration policy through the Uniting American
Families Act. He does, however, have some reservations
about the fraud provisions of the present bill.

Precisely because same-sex couples are not allowed to
enter into civil unions, domestic partnerships, or
other legally-recognized unions throughout the
country, he believes we need to make sure that we have
adequate safeguards against fraud.

He wants to make sure that immigration is possible for
a partner in committed relationships, but he also
wants to make sure there is a good mechanism for
determining who qualifies for that status. He would
like to see the Act get more specific with regards to
defining 'financial interdependence' and the
documentation required as proof in order to establish
relationships -- which could very well happen once the
bill reaches the Senate floor.

Hope this helps clarify.


Actually, Alex and Danielle, this does help clarify
quite a bit. The Obama camp is right that merely
extending immigration rights to gay Americans doesn't
level the playing field because heterosexuals are
required to marry (or at least be engaged) to the
non-American to sponsor him/her for citizenship. As
Alex rightly suggests, gay Americans can't enter into
that level of commitment because few states have
marriage or civil unions for gay couples, and the
Defense of Marriage Act (signed by Mr. Hillary
Clinton) blocks federal recognition of gay marriages

So that makes the fraud provisions of UAFA that much
more important. Even though it's unfair we can't
marry, it is fair to require some additional level
proof than just our say-so that we are in a committed,
permanent relationship with the non-American we want
to sponsor.

As Alex/Obama also suggests, the UAFA strategy has
been to add on fraud-prevention provisions in the
horsetrading that would happen when the bill comes up
for consideration. Adding them now, it's reasoned by
Immigration Equality and other pro-UAFA groups, only
means vulnerability to some other, more painful
compromise when push time comes.

It's a judgment call to be sure, but I see Obama's
point here. Why shouldn't UAFA be written in a form
ready for passage, rather than holding off on
provisions that ought to be there but aren't. Other
countries that have dealt with this issue of how to
test the legitimacy of unmarried couples, including
Canada and the U.K., have required one year of
cohabitation in addition to proof of financial
codependence, etc. It's a draconian provision, as my
own vagabond life has proven, but I can't say it's

So kudos to Danielle and, I have to say, I'm once
again impressed that Obama and the Obama camp don't
pander and have substantive responses on the issues.
Now it's Hillary's turn.

BARACKOBAMA.COM .............................
Date: 9/12/2007 2:14:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Reply To:

Here's the link.....

Chris Crain

On Sep 12, 2007, at 1:22 PM,

In a message dated 9/12/2007 1:19:11 P.M. Eastern
Daylight Time, writes:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Hope you
saw the post I did about the reply you received. It's
not the ideal answer, but I respect it anyway.

Thanks for pushing them for the info.

Chris Crain
Actually i am so busy doing events these days i
barely ever get back to my blogs. I will try to look
but please feel free to email it to me.


Barack understands that religions DO have a right to
their beliefs. However, Barack also understands that
SOME religions accept gay marriage. Barack also says
in his youtube debate that as a president he is not
using his religous beliefs to deterimine law.

THE following are HRC statements the top three gave a
few months ago:

Clinton says

""I would like to see federal benefits extended to
same sex couples that meet certain standards.""

""I support repealing the provision of DOMA that may
prohibit the federal government from providing
benefits to people in states that recognize same sex
marriage. ""

""I strongly support ensuring people in stable,
long-term same sex relationships have full equality of
benefits, rights, and responsibilities.""

Clintons above three statements have me concerned
she is side stepping in what she says as not
to commit to anything officially.

she would amend the provisions of DOMA in certain
standards. Her husband and her were the ones who got
us DOMA which Barack has wanted to erase ever since
the clintons had it installed as law. Barack obama
and John edwards want to repeal DOMA which is good for

"Obama is the only candidate who supports long-term,
same-sex relationships regardless of length of time
those couples have been together.

""I believe that couples in committed, longterm
relationships should have the same rights,
benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are
straight couples or sameSex couples.""

Edwards above statement, is the only one in the area
civil unions i am concerned about. Because straight
people don't have to be in long term committed
relationships to get married / civil unions.
However, edwards does want to repeal the DOMA bill
that the clintons levied on us in the 90's, which is a
good thing for edwards.



In a June 1996 interview in the gay and lesbian
magazine The Advocate, Clinton said: " I remain
opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an
institution for the union of a man and a woman. This
has been my long-standing position, and it is not
being reviewed or reconsidered." [4]

""I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It
should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on
the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to
amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians
from marrying." - Barack Obama""

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage: Barack
Obama voted against the Federal Marriage
Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as
between a man and a woman and prevented judicial
extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other
unmarried couples. “We are better than this. And we
certainly owe the American people more than this. I
know that this amendment will fail, and when it does,
"""I hope we can start discussing issues and offering
proposals that will actually improve the lives of most
Americans.”""" (Barack Obama on the Senate floor
regarding the Federal Marriage Amendment, June 5,

Obama in 2004 on anti-gay supporters

His message is the same as his campaign's recent
*Obama Seeks U.S. Senate seat*
* *2004-02-04*

WCT: One of the things that supporters of the state
gay-rights bill have
been saying is that some of the supporters of
certain Senate candidates,
yourself included, were not coming out full force
for the Senate bill this
time. Do you feel there's a litmus test for people
whose supporters aren't
fully 100%?

Obama: You raise an important point. Although your
initial question was
whether there's been a backlash against me, I see
none of that within the
Democratic Party. I think there are still
geographical differences in terms
of attitude toward gay and lesbian issues. I think
downstate, there is a
difference. On the Southwest Side, the Northwest
Side of Chicago, where the
Catholic Church is still a significant institution,
there is a difference.
And, to a certain extent, within the
African-American community, because of
the strong affiliation with the church, there is
still some resistance.

My attitude is that candidates for office, persons
in elected office, are
ultimately responsible for what they say and what
they do. I think the
question is, are they forceful, clear, strong
advocates on behalf of these
issues. Are they doing everything that they can to
lobby on behalf of these
issues. They're not always going to be successful,
even within the
Democratic Party. And there are going to be people
in this U.S. Senate race
who support me who may not feel the same way I do on
gay and lesbian issues.
That's going to be true of the other candidates as
well. The important thing
is, what do people see me saying publicly, how am I
acting publicly, how am
I voting publicly. Because what I do think is
unacceptable is saying one
thing in one forum, and saying something else in
another. What you do have
to expect is consistency, and not playing to a
particular audience.

NOTE: There is lots more at that article

When Florida Firefighter Jennifer Lasko told Barack Obama's campaign she wanted to have dinner with the candidate, she mentioned that she used to be an Army soldier and an active Republican who had become an anti-war Democrat.

The campaign, which loves to highlight support from former Republicans, picked her as one of four small donors it is flying to Washington on July 10 to meet Obama at a restaurant.

But Lasko, 42, didn't mention another big change: Until 2005, she was John William Lasko.

Now, after the Palm Beach Post unearthed her past life, Lasko thinks she should skip the dinner.

"I'm just a citizen who wants to discuss issues. I was foolish to think I could keep it under wraps," she told the paper. "There are a lot of close-minded people who'll make an issue of this."

Lasko, who underwent the sex change while working at Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department, says it's not a secret, but she doesn't want to cause trouble for Obama.

A campaign spokeswoman said if they had known she used to be a he, it wouldn't have mattered.

"Sen. Obama would love to have her attend the dinner. If she chooses not to attend, Sen. Obama looks forward to meeting her and hearing more about her thoughts on how we can change this country," said spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Hilary Clinton will stab you in the back just like her husband did the very moment he was elected with DONT ASK DONT TELL. Vote third party. She flat out said gay people are second class citizens when she said she does not support equality through same sex marriage. She is a hypocrite. I want people to stop pushing the agenda of sexist democrats because they see them as the lesser of two evils. I am sick of that mentality that has been going on for decades. It has gotten us nowhere and third party elected officials would be much larger if we would stop living in a state of fear settling for words that mean NOTHING and crumbs from the table of ignorant feasting gluttons. Screw Hilary Clinton. She is your enemy.

Barack gets it !

Obama: Jesus would allow gay hospital visitation (text and video)

http://pageoneq. com/news/ 2007/Obama_ Hospital_ visitation_ for_gay_spouses_ is_not_a_ special_r_ 1121.html

Obama: Hospital visitation for gay spouses is not a 'special right'
by PageOneQ

During an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), seeking the presidency in 2008, responds to a question on "special rights" for LGBT citizens.

Obama disagrees with the notion that things like hospital visitations for same-sex spouses are "special rights."

"How would Jesus feel about somebody not being able to visit somebody they love when they're sick?" the Senator asks. "Certainly, as a public official," he continues, "it's important for me to make sure that those basic rights--that basic equality--is available."

Video of the exchange can be viewed below, as broadcast on The 700 Club on November 9, 2007.

Danielle, while you thanked me for authorizing your account for you, please cease posting articles about Barack Obama to just about every thread possible. You're stretching our "on topic" term of service about as far as it can possibly go. This thread is about Hillary - NOT Barack. You left this same comment on 3 other posts. Enough. Stop it.

You know what bill browning. A blog is not the same as having a guest in your home. Stop trying to control everything and show some gratitude to the people who come and visit you. If you expect me to thank you for censoring people "the world according to Bill Browning" you are mistaken. Next, you may be handing out yellow stars and pink triangles to be stitched on our lapels. grip reality. I don't give respect to someone like yourself even if your dangerous message is hidden under some sort of phony concern for staying on topic and acting appropiately. Grow up. You annoy me. You act like a guard at checkpoint charlie. Stop squelching the free expression of people who visit your blog. We all have opinions. If you don't like mine, then ban me El Capitan.

I think i was staying on topic. My thanksgiving post was about my thanks for certain people and issues that i am thankful too!

How is my gorgeous hunk of man bill browning? Truce. I hope i did not hurt your feelings.