During Obama's State of the Union address, Joint Chiefs of Staff sat scowling as the President promised to overturn the military's archaic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy: "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do." (Lest you imagine grim faces are required while listening to SOTU, Joe.MY.God. provides a screen shot of those same generals standing and applauding when their Commander-in-chief warns Iran to mend its nuclear ways.) It's important that Obama is offering us a timeline for repeal: This year, he says. John Aravosis notes that the sentence "It's the right thing to do." was inserted at the last moment. After the President's speech, John McCain hurried to the nearest television camera and proclaimed that ending the discriminatory policy was a mistake: "I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy." So, he's only proud of gay and lesbian soldiers as long as they continue to lie about their sexual orientation? It's estimated that 66,000 gay and lesbian troops are currently serving in the US Military. According to the Williams Institute, the United States has spent between 300 million and half a billion dollars implementing DADT. (I'm still not convinced that Obama is serious about ending DADT since he could have already put that ball in motion - but I do believe he's serious about appearing to be serious.)
In case you haven't been keeping up with the Prop 8 federal trial, attorney David Boise expertly eviscerated defense witness David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values. (Why do the names of these anti-gay orgs all sound alike? For once I'd like one of them to grow some balls and call itself The Institute for Hate and Homophobia.) Blankenhorn, the defendants' star witness, made a total fool of himself in the courtroom yesterday. Even Judge Vaughn Walker was disgusted with his condescending attitude. You can review Rick Jacobs' excellent coverage over at Prop8 Trial Tracker. (Highly recommended.) Keen News Service has a satisfactory rundown, for those who are interested in a summary of the day's proceedings. Bilerico supplies context and criticism. And now the testimony has concluded. And now we wait. At the end of the session, Walker thanked the lawyers for a "fascinating" trial.
James Withers at 365Gay has a good smackdown of HuffPo blogger David Kaufman who ludicrously asserted that LGBT activists - and in particular, Pam Spaulding - are responsible for Martha Coakley's loss in Massachusetts. Earlier this week Kaufman wrote: "(S)ame-sex marriage advocates must finally understand they cannot equate their struggle with the African-American battle for Civil Rights or South African movement to end Apartheid. Not because Marriage Equality is not a noble goal, but because they are simply not the same thing. And - yes, I'll dare say it - because they simply have not earned it!" (Equality must be earned?)
Bray Cary of WOWK TV13 conducts a "serious" debate about gay marriage with the ACLU's Seth DiStefano and Jeremiah Dys of Virginia Policy Council. The hostile reporter actually starts the segment by equating same-sex relationships to those which might exist between "a pig and a cow" or "a man and his brother." Good As You has video.
And finally, a Miami judge has approved the adoption of a foster child by a lesbian couple, bringing to three the number of adoptions by gay parents since 2008. A recap of Florida's adoption ban challenges, from the Miami Herald: A judge in Key West, Monroe Circuit Judge David J. Audlin, struck the first blow to the statute on Aug. 29, 2008, when he signed a 67-page order declaring the law unconstitutional. Audlin's order cleared the way for a Key West lawyer, Wayne LaRue Smith, to adopt a boy he had been raising in foster care. A month later, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman approved the adoption of two half brothers by a North Miami foster parent, Frank Martin Gill, who declared on his adoption application that he, too, is gay. DCF did appeal Lederman's ruling to the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami-Dade. That appeal is still under review. (Will this third ruling be the one that ends adoption discrimination?)