Davina Kotulski

Is it too soon to celebrate the end of DADT?

Filed By Davina Kotulski | December 21, 2010 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: benefits, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gay rights, lesbian, LGBT, military, partnership, transgender

DADT is soon to be dead (at least regarding sexual orientation), but with DOMA still arounddadt.jpg LGB soldiers in same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships, and reciprocal beneficiary relationships will still not be able to give their partner's veteran or service member spousal benefits. They are over 93 provisions related to spousal veteran's benefits including pensions, indemnity compensation for service-related deaths, spousal medical care, spousal nursing home care (this means that your spouse can go into a nursing home, but you can't if you are a same-sex partner), right to be buried in the same cemetery, and educational and housing benefits.

Again, if you are a heterosexual spouse you can school loans, housing benefits, the right to have health insurance, be with your spouse in the nursing home and in the cemetery. But if you're the same-sex spouse of a veteran you are SOL. (You can find this list on page 42 of Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why It Will Prevail).

There are 275 marriage provisions related to federal civilian and military service benefits. Which means that LGBT servicemembers are not getting the chance to exercise their full employment benefits. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad DADT is going down, but forgive me for not celebrating too hard when our community is serving our country but not having equal to access to the benefits their heterosexual co-workers have.

We must repeal DOMA. We can't be content with passing the hate crimes bill and lifting the ban. We must continue to pressure Washington and Obama until that horrible DOMA is gone. Even Bill Clinton who signed in 1996 is sharing his remorse openly. Tear down DOMA.

DOMA denies us 1,138 federal rights. DOMA tears hearts in half. It makes LGBT Americans have to choose between leaving their country to be with the man or women they love and going into exile in another country or choosing to leave the person they love since under DOMA the United States will not let an American citizen sponsor their same-sex partner for citizenship.

Say it with me LGBT brothers and sisters "No 'mo DOMA!"

Now back to DADT for a minute.

What the hell happened to our transgender brothers and sisters? Clearly, our Democratic elected officials need to understand that our transgender brothers and sisters that meet all other requirements to serve have a right to serve openly too. What are their justifications for throwing them under the bus and not letting them serve openly as soldiers and officers?

In fact, so many of our transgender brothers and sisters have already served our country. There aren't cross-dressing Klingers hoping to get tossed out. These are brave men and women who deserve the same opportunities and same access to civilian and military government service.

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OK I have had enough. Honestly Davina I am tired of hearing all these demands while tens of millions of people can't find jobs and we are running huge deficits primarily because there is less and less income to tax. It is time to demand instead that our government subsidize new factories and job creating activities in this country.

You want rights? You want respect? Well let's show the rest of America that we can pull with it to recreate a vibrant American economy. Then, just maybe then, a few more million Americans will get on the band wagon and say "they deserve what the rest of us have".

I doubt my opinion on this will be popular. I can live with that. What I don't want to see is the continued economic decline which is really tearing this country apart.

Janet O'Brien | December 22, 2010 8:01 PM

Yes we want rights, including the right to find work. But many can not because they are LGBT. Don't think that we are trying to divert funds away from any program that creates jobs and to say that we have or are trying to is insulting.

And the reason the perilous economy has gone to hell is because many talented people have not been where they should have been because of their orientation or identity. And that is not saying that the LGBT community is the only thing holding up the economy. It is because people are not allowed to work because of some misguided belief that it is wrong to be LGBT.

Repeal DOMA and pass ENDA, so that more people can go to work.

Janet you and I obviously have radically different views on what broke the economy and where the focus should be politically for Americans in the next few years.

Have a wonderful day.

What broke the economy wasnt even the banking scandals, it was the exhaustion of credit due to decreased income for the government due to the Bush tax breaks and the concurrent running of two very expensive wars, all on credit.

One morning, in Singapore, China dumped some US bonds, the dollar began to fall hours before the US could react. The event had been feared for some time and was termed "Singapore Monday"

Of course, fi the US produced anything it would be easier to recover, but US firms have been exportign jobs at a dizying rate

Teddy Partridge | December 21, 2010 5:21 PM

The unseemly celebrations also overlook the potentially long Pentagon certification process for DADT, and the continuing discharges. Unless Obama announces tomorrow during his signing ceremony that he's ending investigations under DADT, lives will still be ruined while the Pentagon makes pretty plans.

And yes, Gay Inc misfired badly by deciding to go with DADT repeal over DOMA repeal, iENDA, and UAFA -- any one of which affects many more Americans than those who want to serve in our military.

Great news, sure, but at great sacrifice of other goals as well. We won't see a Congress this willing to acknowledge LGBT rights again anytime soon.

Ummm...actually, IMO repealing DADT should kill DOMA and bring a version of ENDA and some other provisions along quicker simply because ANYONE in the military who is married automatically receives a list of benefits. Yes, DOMA may block that but the military being the military they will move to ensure a member of the military who is married (even if its SSM) will receive those benefits and if a federal law is in the way, they may seek to invalidate the law themselves OR seek a way to allow the military members to have access to those benefits. But, if they do that DOMA would be going to the Supreme Court with a bunch of losses and the Federal Goverment side stepping the law which would result in DOMA failing.
As for the economy, we didn't jack it up by ourselves and neither did our rights or lack of them impact the world economic outlook.

The ink isn't even dry on DADT repeal at the expense of ENDA, and you're already starting up the, "More rights for gays and lesbians!" chorus all over again? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

No. Fuck no. This needs to end now. There is absolutely NO possible justification for prioritizing same-sex marriage over basic rights for trans people. No one ever died because they couldn't get married, and it is LONG past time that the LGBT lobby started actually acknowledging that life and death issues come before everything else.

I wouldn't put it so strongly, but I'd say I'm in Desiree's camp on this one.

Focusing on same-sex marriage - which again excludes trans folk is not the smartest move. For Christ's sake can we do something that offers the most people possible something to celebrate?

All but 4 states already had a hate crimes law. There's only a small percentage of gay folk in the military. Going for same-sex marriage - which only benefits gay people who have a partner - would again only help a small minority of our small minority. Let's prioritize the community over the personal wants.

Love the 'whoops, excuse me' plug for those Trans in the military. That's right, don't forget the quick condenscending thought of the Trans anyway one can, to project this quasi-inclusive thought of equality.

It's time that the 'agenda' has some 'hands-on Trans' up there making decisions on the path and the Repeal of DOMA (where this blog posting is going) put lower in priority. Inclusive employment protections, inclusive non-discrimination policies, inclusive safe school acts and immigration equality should be formost and are most benefitting to the path to Equality.

Mark my words, before the ink is dry this morning, the shouting will be about the Repeal of DOMA. The call will be for donations to support this one-track agenda, but there won't be a dime from me.