Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo Declare Hunger Fast in Pursuit of Equality for LGBTQ Soldiers, GLAAD Members and Capital Pride Attendees Gather to Drink Vodka

"I hope that people will remember in future generations that somebody did stand up uncompromisingly in 2010."
-Lt. Dan Choi to Newsweek,  on May 27, 2010: Dignity Fast, Day 1

     While President Obama and the House Leadership were patting themselves on the back for having passed the Murphy Amendment, which sets in motion the possible repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell at some future date when the military deems equality acceptable, homosexual military members were being warned not to come out because the discriminatory DADT was still in effect.

     That's right.  Our "fierce advocate" President Obama is such a champion of justice that he's happy to compromise the rights of LGBT folks currently in the military to appease the estimated 22% of Americans that don't want DADT repealed immediately (including John the Baptist McCain).

     What I don't understand is why Commander in Chief Obama doesn't follow the lead of President Harry Truman and integrate the military via executive order.  Where are Obama's balls?  The least he could do is order a halt to the discharging of LGBT members immediately. Why let the discrimination continue? It's ludicrous.

     In response to the government's lackluster stand for LGBT military equality, activists Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo have declared a hunger strike. The news media is barely covering this story, so it's up to the blogs to continue to spread Dan and Jim's story.

     Choi and Pietrangelo's hunger strike can be followed at Dignity Fast on Youtube.  Dignity Fast's  mission:
  A fast in pursuit of Equality and Dignity for LGBTQ soldiers and the complete Repeal of DADT.
  The Dignity Fast starts May 27, 2010.
  DEMAND #1: End the Comprehensive Working Group "Study," which insults the dignity of all Americans.
  DEMAND #2: End "Don't Ask Don't Tell" discharges forever.
  DEMAND #3: Replace all discriminatory regulations in the military with a comprehensive non-discrimination policy.
  Comprehensive Repeal of DADT now.  LGBTQ service members deserve no less for their sacrifice and service.
     Again, Choi and Pietrangelo are leading the way in the equality movement. It's hypocritical and atrocious that they aren't getting support from the mainline LGBTQ advocacy organizations, who are too busy romancing big money with open bar, all-you-can eat fundraisers.

     I wonder if the activists from GLAAD's Absolute Vodka networking party in Washington, D.C., scheduled for this Friday will stop by between rounds to wish Dan and Jim well.

     As the Capitol Pride festivities kick off this week, I hope that those celebrating will not forget to recognize Dan and Jim, and perhaps drop their corn-dogs and martinis in order rally around them.

     Imagine if one day of Pride activities were cancelled and all Pride attendees were asked to gather in vigil outside the home where Dan and Jim are slowly starving themselves to death for our community's equality.

Dignity Fast, Day 2

Dignity Fast, Day 4

Image Credits: I took these photos during protests in May 2009.