Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Judge Forwards DADT Injunction

Judge Virginia Phillips will let stand her federal injunction to immediately stop the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Despite the Obama administration’s request to continue enforcing the discriminatory policy, Phillips remains unmoved.

Good news for DADT activists (though not all gay rights advocates), a fine mess for the President (see how Rachel Maddow attempts to clarify the situation). Obama has slowly been losing traction with his LGBT base; little has been done to repeal DOMA or DADT on the White House front, though an executive order from the President would have rolled back one or both policies.

How did the Obama administration find itself defending a policy that it doesn’t support? According to Politico:

“It’s crazy that all this is happening 2½ weeks before a national election,” said Richard Socarides, an adviser to Clinton on gay issues during the ’93 fiasco. “The timing could not be worse for them, but it was fairly predictable that their strategy of postponing and delaying getting into this stuff was, at some point, going to come back to haunt them.”

Obama’s current predicament is a result of a collision between a go-slow White House strategy that deferred to Pentagon and military leaders on the pace of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the progress of a stuttering federal lawsuit that a small group of gay Republicans filed more than six years ago.

Among the Department of Justice’s evidence explaining the necessity for more time, DOJ presented an article from Rolling Stone, saying an injunction against DADT would hurt military readiness.

The judge balked.


Filed under: gay rights, government, homophobia, military, obama, politics, , , , , , , ,

A Smart Thing to Do: Swarm the HRC, not Obama

They’re calling it a blog swarm, and I’m on board.

Tired of the “yes men” (note the intentional gendering of that term) attitude of the Human Rights Campaign, notable bloggers (including Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend, at right) are calling on HRC to make truly represent the needs and demands of lesbian and gay citizens in the U.S. Rather than passively accomodate the agenda of the White House and the democrats, the so-called, self-identified blog swarm is calling out the Joe Solomonese and the Human Rights Campaign for its inaction.

Yes, call your Senators and Representatives. Yes, make your voice heard in the White House. But also call on your foremost gay rights advocacy group–intentionally called the “Human Rights Campaign”–to stand up for human rights, namely:

  • the 2010 repeal of DADT (which may not happen in Obama’s first term without HRC agenda-setting),
  • the passage of ENDA, to forbid employee discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,
  • and, of course, an end to legalized federal discrimination in DOMA.

The blog swarm says call on Human Rights Campaign to stop accepting the donations and accomodating agenda of an elite donor list–and to step up to the plate on issues of real importance for the glbt community.

Filed under: gay rights, , , , , , , ,

Maine Votes Against Marriage Equality

Gay Marriage Maine

We knew it was going to be close. Polls leading up to yesterday’s referendum in Maine were split nearly evenly among those who supported marriage equality and those opposing it. In the end, the “No on 1” folks–those who support marriage only between a man and a woman–won with 53% of the vote.

Jesse Connolly, the manager of the “Yes on 1” campaign in Maine, released a statement that was less conciliatory than itching to continue the fight:

We’re in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year– until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.

For gay marriage advocates, the big picture encompasses several New England states that have sanctioned same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Iowa is also a state that has legalized gay marriage. The grim news is that 31 states have voted against it.

Is the state-by-state approach to gay marriage our most effective strategy? Piece-meal, local political battles have seen many defeats, including prominent states like California and now Maine. It’s apparent that the need for a federal repeal of DOMA–for our national government to provide leadership in this human rights issue–is now more critical than before.

Filed under: gay rights, government, , , , , , ,

Civil Disobedience: Good for the Gays?

1245186285-us-whitehouse-logoThe “National March on Washington” is planned for this coming October. Intended to be a grand show of gay and lesbian protest for equality–the nation’s largest–it will serve as a bookend to the famous gay rights march in the 80’s during the AIDS crisis. The National March on Washington is planned for Columbus Day weekend; activists such as Cleve Jones, a friend of Harvey Milk, are in support of the event. Others believe it will not be effective because congress is not in session, and that there is not sufficient planning time.

Dan Savage proposes an interesting alternative: civil disobedience. One gay or lesbian couple on the doorstep of the White House, refusing to move and then arrested. It would drum up a bunch of media attention, and be, as Savage puts it, “The couples would keep coming. Every day an arrest. Drip, drip, drip.”

What do you think? Want to help organize, volunteer to be arrested, or spread the word?

Filed under: gay rights, , , , ,



» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
March 2018
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More