Breaking: GetEQUAL Hits Up White House Meeting For LGBT Orgs Tonight

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Politico and AmericaBlog are reporting that six (my reports say seven,) of the thirteen GetEQUAL activists who were arrested yesterday after chaining themselves to the White House fence to force repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are picketing and protesting a meeting now (called “Common Purpose”) of LGBT and progressive organizations, including the heads of HRC, the NGLTF, and the Center for America Progress.

AmericaBlog‘s Joe Sudbay writes,

“Among those attending the meeting tonight are CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg and HRC’s V.P. David Smith. Rea Carey from the Task Force is there, too.

“Tonight, the Common Purpose attendees were met by representatives from GetEQUAL, including seven of the DADT protesters who were arrested yesterday for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. They decided to directly address the progressive leaders, because as the sign notes, “There’s no common purpose without equality.”

Politico reports,

“GetEQUAL managing director Heather Cronk said the demonstrators will also be asking Common Cause members not to attend tonight’s meeting in protest of the lack of administration action on Don’t Ask repeal.

“The White House’s Common Purpose meeting is the primary way that progressive ideas and values supported by a majority of Americans are being upended and compromised,” said Cronk in an email to POLITICO. “We are calling on the progressive groups attending these meetings to shake free the yoke of White House staff who are refusing to push forward the progressive ideals that President Obama campaigned on.”

More as it develops.

Related posts:

  1. DEVELOPING: 13 GetEQUAL Activists Chain Themselves To White House Fence To Demand DADT Repeal
  2. Breaking: House Passes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Compromise
  3. Exclusive Photos: Dan Choi, GetEQUAL LGBT Vets Hold DADT Repeal Vigil At Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s Grave




The New Civil Rights Movement

DEVELOPING: 13 GetEQUAL Activists Chain Themselves To White House Fence To Demand DADT Repeal

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Post image for DEVELOPING: 13 GetEQUAL Activists Chain Themselves To White House Fence To Demand DADT Repeal

Editorial note:

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day. See updates below.

At 2:00 PM, right on schedule, thirteen GetEQUAL activists chained themselves to the White House’s fence to protest “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to demand the Senate vote to repeal the unconstitutional law.

Via GetEQUAL’s press release:

The 13 veterans and repeal advocates arrested today include:

* Five veterans (Lt. Dan Choi, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, and Cadet Mara Boyd) who were arrested back in March during the GetEQUAL organized “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” act of civil disobedience at the White House fence demanding President Obama show leadership on repeal.
* Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL, and Dan Fotou, action strategist for GetEQUAL.
* Former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Miriam Ben-Shalom, who was discharged in 1976 for declaring and admitting she was a lesbian. She became the first-ever LGBT servicemember reinstated to her position in the U.S. Military, by a U.S. Federal District Court. On July 30th, 1993, Miriam and 26 other protesters were arrested at the White House fence for protesting then-President Bill Clinton’s broken promise to repeal the gay ban – instead signing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill into law.
* Former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Justin Elzie who, in 1993, became the first Marine ever investigated and discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Elzie was also the first soldier to be discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to fight his discharge and win – resulting in his service as a Marine for four years as an openly gay man.
* Former U.S. Army Arabic Linguist Ian Finkenbinder, who was discharged from the Army in December 2004 after announcing to his superiors that he was gay. Finkenbinder is an Iraq war veteran and was about to return for a second tour of duty when he was discharged.
* U.S. Army Veteran and Repeal Advocate Rob Smith, who was deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait before being honorably discharged after deciding not to re-enlist in the U.S. Army due to the added pressure of living under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
* Father Geoff Farrow, a Catholic priest who spoke out against the church’s official stance in support of California’s Proposition 8, removing the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Because of his courageous stance against Prop 8, Father Geoff Farrow was removed as pastor of St. Paul’s by his bishop and suspended as a priest.
* Scott Wooledge, a New York-based LGBT civil rights advocate and blogger who has written extensively on the movement to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at Daily Kos and Pam’s House Blend.
* Michael Bedwell, long-time LGBT civil rights advocate, close friend of Leonard Matlovich, and administrator of the site www.leonardmatlovich.com.

UPDATED:

2:27: PM: Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog has photos.

2:39 PM: GetEQUAL reports via Facebook, “Police gave first warning - we will not be moved!! Shouting, “WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!”

2:43 PM: GetEQUAL tweets, “Those on the fence are chanting “President Obama, do the right thing!” while Secret Service give multiple warnings #getequal #speechadvice

3:01: PM GetEQUAL tweets, “Those on the fence are chanting the names of Robin’s kids, the reason she’s doing this work #getequal #speechadvice

3:05 PM: Robin McGehee, others, reportedly taken off fence and into custody.

3:14 PM: Reports coming that all protestors have now been removed from the fence. Stay tuned for more details.

3:20: Following photos courtesy of Brad Luna

3:25: Video of Lt.Dan Choi, other activists:

3:44: Lez Get Real, and Edge, D.C. report all 13 have been arrested.

Image at top: Chris Geidner.

Also, visit Talk About Equality for more photos.

Related posts:

  1. Exclusive Photos: Dan Choi, GetEQUAL LGBT Vets Hold DADT Repeal Vigil At Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s Grave
  2. BREAKING: Six Gay Vets Chain Themselves To White House In DADT Protest
  3. BREAKING: Senator Harry Reid Aide: “White House Has Not Been Engaged” On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal




The New Civil Rights Movement

Exclusive Photos: Dan Choi, GetEQUAL LGBT Vets Hold DADT Repeal Vigil At Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s Grave

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Post image for Exclusive Photos: Dan Choi, GetEQUAL LGBT Vets Hold DADT Repeal Vigil At Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s Grave

Lt. Dan Choi, whose attempt to re-enter the Army was ended last month when they shredded his paperwork, joined other LGBT Vererans this morning at a vigil organized by GetEQUAL at the grave of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich. The vigil is designed to honor the service of Matlovich and to put pressure on the Senate, which begins its so-called “lame duck” session today, to pass the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Sgt. Leonard Matlovich's Grave

Sgt. Leonard Matlovich's Grave

Autumn Sandeen lays wreath at Sgt. Leonard Matlovich's grave

Autumn Sandeen lays wreath at Sgt. Leonard Matlovich's grave

Autumn Sandeen, Dan Choi, Evelyn Thomas, other LGBT Vets

Autumn Sandeen, Dan Choi, Evelyn Thomas, other LGBT Vets

LGBT Vets holding GetEQUAL Signs

LGBT Vets holding GetEQUAL Signs

LGBT Veterans graveside

LGBT Veterans graveside

Via GetEQUAL:

“The vigil, held to coincide with the starting day of the lame-duck session of Congress, will send a clear and frank message to the United States Senate – repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” now.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, President Barack Obama, and other Democratic leaders have continually reassured the LGBT community that the legislation would be repealed during the current session of Congress.

“The vigil is set to center around the gravesite of gay Vietnam Veteran Leonard Matlovich.  Matlovich, a recipient of both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, made headlines in the 1970s after he came out as openly gay and fought to stay in the U.S. Air Force – landing him on the cover of Time Magazine.  Matlovich’s tombstone at the Congressional National Cemetery is meant to be a memorial to all gay veterans and is inscribed with the well-known phrase: “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

Photos by Justin Elzie.

Related posts:

  1. A-List: New York’s Reichen Lehmkuhl Joins LGBT Vets In NYC’s Times Square At DADT Repeal Rally
  2. Howard Dean And Dan Choi Speak At “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Rally In D.C. - Exclusive Photos!
  3. BREAKING: Six Gay Vets Chain Themselves To White House In DADT Protest




The New Civil Rights Movement

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