HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
APRIL 29, 2005 11
viewpoint mickey weems
Why we should refuse to serve
LOOKS LIKE WE GAY FOLKS MIGHT
be allowed the privilege of fighting for
Actually, the government has no
choice. The Pentagon is running out of
options. Recruitment is catastrophically
down. A fifth of our soldiers aren't even
American citizens. We've been reduced to
Suddenly, sex panic in the barracks
showers doesn't seem like that big of a
deal when faced with the prospect of an
American military that's increasingly
But don't expect the announcement of
our recruitment to be contrite, apologetic,
or in any way equalizing. I would not be
surprised if it were put in terms of our
Be ready for the politics of blame: Why
should homosexuals be allowed to shirk their
patriotic duty just because they are perverts?
As usual, it will be our fault.
This will not, of course, lead to a big
jump in lesbian enlistment. As with team
sports, Americans expect that most
women in the military are lesbians.
"Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) was aimed
at men; women have been affected by it, but
not to the same degree. It has not been
enforced with the same rigor as with men.
THERE ARE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE
LGBT community of veterans who
oppose DADT with dogged persistence.
American Veterans for Equal Rights
(AVER) and its local subsidiaries have
done an admirable job representing soldiers who cannot speak for themselves.
I applaud these groups.
I am a Marine brat (Parris Island '83;
once a Marine, always a Marine). I have
good friends currently serving in the military. I support BRAVER (the BR is for
"Buckeye Region"), our local gay vet
organization in Ohio, where I live.
But I disagree with my BRAVER brothers and sisters on one fundamental issue. 1
do not want gay folks to be in the military
First of all, our soldiers, straight or
otherwise, have been treated like chattel
since the Invasion of Iraq. Ask them
when you see them, especially those who
are not officers.
They are second-class citizens, unable to
speak openly about some very serious problems concerning their safety their families,
their pay, and the government's refusal to
honor their contracts when they expire.
We already know what it is like to be
second-class citizens. Why would we want
to have our social inferiority compounded by joining the military?
Second, it is counterintuitive to serve
a country that refuses to acknowledge
our intrinsic worth as human beings,
that consistently undervalues us because
of our sexuality.
As long as there is talk of a constitutional amendment banning the recognition of our conjugal love, then the only
time I see it fitting for us to "defend the
Constitution" would be if our country
were actually under attack.
The war in Iraq, like the Vietnam War
before it, does not even come close to being
a national wartime emergency Like disaster relief, national emergencies should be
real, not imagined or hypothetical.
I WOULD REQUIRE THAT ONE
condition be fulfilled before accepting any
mandate allowing us to serve openly: a full
apology from the president and the secretary of defense for kicking us out. I would
insist that, when the draft is reinstituted,
gay boys and girls be automatically exempt
based upon sexual orientation.
While we're at it, I want every boy and
girl, regardless of sexuality, the option of
exemption based on temperament. The
tender-hearted and sensitive (which
accounts for a plethora of nelly gay boys
and finely-tuned grrrls) have no business
on the battlefield. Leave the fighting for
the butch of either sex.
Any study of the dynamics of war
leads us to the conclusion that it is
shaped by heterosexual macho posturing.
This is the reason we were kept out to
Warfare, riots, and terrorism are
straight masculine pastimes, not ours, so
let straight men die while playing those
games. Keep us out.
A little-known fact about the so-called
"Stonewall Rebellion": nobody died. And
those involved in beating people up were
straight, not gay
Mickey Weems is a doctoral candidate at
Ohio State University and can be reached
Rep. Al Edwards should
know bigotry is wrong
To the Editor:
As reported in Tuesday's Fort Worth
Star Telegram, Rep. Al Edwards called
homosexuality a "social ill" on the floor
of the House. He stated, "I take offense
when people associate me and my race
and my culture with a social ill. I don't
see how the two relate."
Representative Edwards ought to be
ashamed of himself. His comments are
bigoted, hateful and just plain wrong.
No one is comparing race with sexual
orientation — they are not the same
thing, but discrimination is discrimination. As an African American, Edwards
should know what it feels like to hear
such hurtful words. The only way to
stop prejudice is to practice what you
preach. Bigotry says a lot more about a
bigot's own insecurities than it says
about those they target.
TEXAS REP. GARNET COLEMAN
Lesbian adoption case may
not be completely over yet
To the Editor
After 14 months and going through
every court in Texas, including the
Supreme Court of Texas, the adoption of
my daughter's six-year-old has been upheld.
Five days of a jury trial in Galveston
last week awarded her full joint custody. Kathleen Van Stavern is my
daughter, and Julie Hobbs was her partner for nine years. Together they
owned their home and decided to have
a child together, but in February 2004
Hobbs decided it was over.
Kathleen began $400 monthly child
support, but in June had to file for visitation - not custody - and that was when
Hobbs started the legal case to overturn the adoption.
Needless to say. Kathleen and our
family were overjoyed with the upholding of the adoption and getting joint
custody as were many gay and adoption
However, Hobbs has said, and the
Houston Voice has printed, that she is
considering going back to court to overturn the adoption again.
She has a doctorate and a professional position, and Kathleen is a police
officer. Current legal fees are still due
and if it starts again. Kathleen won't be
able to do it. I want the Gay community
to know this and why.
Theirs' was an open relationship, and
everyone knew the child was the daughter of both parents and we were grandparents. How can Kathleen suddenly
turn off her paternal feelings? How does
one suddenly NOT be a grandparent any
more? The mind cannot grasp that. How
does the child comprehend that?
What will the effect be on other adoptions if Kathleen can't fight this any
more? Your comments and prayers will be
most appreciated and comforting to me
and relayed to my daughter bearing this
burden. Thank you for listening to me.
persons in the
JOSEPHINE TnTSWORTH, 54
Retired from IBM/Student at
University of Houston Clear Lake
Passing the Right to Dignity Bill
currently being considered. We
need to have schools, businesses
and people on the same page for
human rights. We need to end
the tear transgendered people
have of being themselves.
BIU HUDSON, 47
Administrative clerk, Texas
Department of Public Safety
The most pressing issue for
transgendered people in 2005,1
feel, is trying to get people to
understand exactly what "transgender" is and to show people
exactly who we are.
JENNIFER POOL 56
Consultant - business and
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