President Obama may talk about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in his State of the Union speech tomorrow. Or maybe he won’t. At least Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, isn’t touching it with a 10-foot poll until next month – instead of holding hearings on Monday, as promised, Levin held a press conference to pass the buck to Obama, whom he “hoped” would broach the topic.
According to The Advocate, a “senior Defense Department Official” asked Levin to hold off on the hearings, which are now promised for February 11. Levin also said he would like the Secretary of Defense to poll the armed services to “find out if a generational shift has taken place” in favor of repealing the 1993 law. And so, the esteemed Senator charges ahead shouting his battle cry: “There go the people! I must follow, for I am their leader!”
New York, Massachusetts – Local versions of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are on offer in both states this legislative session. The Massachusetts bill has been around for almost two years, without significantly moving forward, but activists say the crummy economy (and stagnation on employment rights at the federal level) makes the bill all the more urgent. (EDGE Online, Pam’s House Blend)
D.C. – Speaking of ENDA, new federal guidelines banning employment discrimination by federal agencies on the basis of gender identity or gender performance gets its first test as a trans Air Marshal alleges her bosses repeatedly shamed her in front of co-workers as she began her transition at work. (Pam’s House Blend)
California – Plaintiff’s attorneys Olson and Boies rested their case yesterday in the Prop 8 trial, but don’t think the fun’s over, yet. In cross-examination of the defense’s first witness, who was trying to show that gays and lesbians were politically powerful, Boies got Prof. Kenneth Miller of Claremont McKenna College to admit that DADT and DOMA were “legislated discrimination.” Obviously, these two laws are part of a gay smokescreen to hide that political power. FireDogLake has a preview of today’s action. (Pam’s House Blend, FireDogLake, Prop8TrialTracker.com)
Uganda – Martin Ssempa, the Ugandan evangelical pastor who’s pushing for the “Kill Gays” bill, makes people cry with gay porn. And poo. And seems to gets off on it. Who’s indecent now? (Pam’s House Blend)
Florida – Not that anyone here will be watching, since the Vikings lost (again), but the college football star appearing in a Focus on the Family Superbowl ad is getting all defensive. (The Advocate)