May 4, 1992
There are 20 states in the nation with hate-crime statutes that include violence against gays. Pennsylvania is not among them. It's time to change that. The purpose of a "hate-crime" statute is to make the point that certain kinds of criminal behavior - assault, trespass and the like - become particularly heinous when victims are singled out because of their membership in particular groups. Pennsylvania's 10-year-old Ethnic Intimidation Act carries penalties for crimes based on a person's race, religion or ethnicity.
December 10, 1992 |
The first organized public opposition to letting openly gay men and women serve in the military was sounded on Capitol Hill yesterday, as congressional Republicans and leaders of interest groups warned that the proposal could have catastrophic results. One said it would be "the end of America. " In a small, crowded hearing room, the newly created Republican Study Committee on Homosexuals in the Armed Forces heard witnesses assert that President-elect Bill Clinton's promise to let gays serve would have widespread and unintended consequences.
November 15, 1992
As a candidate for president, Bill Clinton promised an "immediate repeal" of the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military. Now that he's in a position to follow through on that bold pledge, he's throttling back. He said last week that before acting he wants to "consult with a lot of people," including the senior military officers who oppose such a move. There's no question he's waffling. But given the sensitive and politically divisive nature of the issue, proceeding with caution makes sense.
March 23, 1999
If President Clinton had kept his original promise on gays and lesbians in the military, this would be the seventh year of nondiscrimination toward homosexuals. Most officers and enlistees would surely have settled down by now and accepted the reality that, as conservative Barry Goldwater put it, "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight. " Instead, that campaign promise melted down in controversy, and so this is the seventh year of a Clintonesque compromise known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue.
February 2, 1993 |
Why did Bill Clinton decide to keep his promise to admit gays into the military but not his promises of a middle-class tax cut, of cutting the deficit by half and of changing policy on Haitian refugees? For the same reason that he decided to keep his promise to "bean-counting" women's groups regarding cabinet appointments. (Remember Zoe Baird?) The middle class, debt- reduction and Haitians have no lobby. Gays and women have lobbies. Bill Clinton responds to pressure. It is unfortunate for a President to begin his term with a display of compliance to pressure-group agendas.
June 16, 2009
Dick Polman ("Obama needs just a bit of Truman's courage," Sunday) is right. President Obama needs to combine courage, justice, and pragmatism in eliminating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," so that gay and lesbian military personnel aren't eliminated from providing their voluntary and valuable service to our nation. Perhaps Obama needs an A. Philip Randolph, the onetime newspaper editor and longtime labor leader who successfully nudged President Roosevelt in 1941 to guarantee war industry job opportunities for African Americans, but failed temporarily in his goal to see the military become racially integrated.
January 20, 1993 |
Bill Clinton is being squeezed on the issue of gays in the military. Gays demand that he keep his promise and lift the ban. But the generals and admirals say, please, spare us this massive migraine. It's Clinton's own fault because he chose politics as a career. To be elected, politicians make promises, promises and more promises. Sort of like seduction. But with the dawn come mouthwash and reality. Clinton sought gay votes and money. He also wanted support of the Hollywood stars who made AIDS and gay rights their favorite social issues.
January 21, 1993 |
A letter writer points out something about the flap over homosexuals in the armed services that is so obvious everyone has overlooked it. It's the old saw about when you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer. The question we've all been asking is: Should we allow gays in the military? But the real question is: Should we kick gays out of the military just for being gay? The current policy is estimated to cost us $42 million a year ($28,000 to train a replacement for an enlisted man; $121,000 for an officer)
December 21, 1993 |
Christmas came early for Colorado queers this year. A District Court judge ruled last week that Colorado's anti-gay referendum is unconstitutional. The ruling was the best gift American queers could have gotten because of its far- reaching ramifications. The Colorado law, Amendment 2, was voted into law by a narrow 3 percent of the vote in the November election. But an immediate injunction was filed against the provision with the state Supreme Court, which agreed that the law might very well be unconstitutional.
February 21, 1993 |
Just as state Republicans thought it was safe to tout their new judicial slate, they were sandbagged by the issue of gays in the military. The matter came up unexpectedly yesterday in the last minutes of the GOP weekend meeting here, at which judicial nominees were endorsed for the 1993 races, including former Philadelphia District Attorney Ronald D. Castille for Supreme Court. State GOP Chairwoman Anne B. Anstine tried vainly to quash the resolution supporting the military's ban on gays, but the 177 Republican committee members who hadn't yet left the hotel meeting room forced the issue, voting by a ratio of nearly 2-1 to support the ban - and leaving their hapless party leaders furious that the issue had diverted attention from the judicial endorsements.