That’s the whole conundrum of invoking God as the singular rationale for or against public policy—God says lots of different things to lots of different people, and all of them think that they’re right. Melissa McEwan, “MREWYB“, Shakesville.
Yup. Melissa McEwan is there talking specifically about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, but her point is broadly applicable.
The US army is being infiltrated by Christian evangelists, eager to blur the distinction between church and state. Now, when the army is fighting major wars in Islamic states, is a particularly bad time for this sort of “crusading” evangelism.
I think it’s fair to say that my feelings about the US military are somewhat ambivilent. I am unconvinced that they are, taken as a whole, a force for good in the world. The end of DADT, though, has been a good thing. (Next step: rights for the rest of the QUILTBAG spectrum.)
Apparently, the US Navy has a tradition: the homecoming first kiss. One person is chosen, by ballot, to be the first to leave the boat when it docks to kiss zir partner. In December, Citlalic Snell, herself a sailor, but in civillian clothes that day, waited to kiss her partner, Marissa Gaeta.
A few weeks ago I was at the March for Marriage in Dublin. The Irish government has recently brought in inadequate civil partnerships legislation, which gives at least some recognition of gay couples (though it needs vast improvement), but it still doesn’t recognise trans rights at all. The speakers at the March for Marriage talked quite a bit about trans rights. One of the themes was, We all stand together, and perhaps that’s most obvious on the issue of marriage. And the proposed recognition of trans people is, frankly, insulting.
The proposed legislation says that a married person cannot transition (because that would be same-sex marriage, shock, horror!). A married person who wants to transition must divorce first. And since Irish law allows for divorce only in the case of irreconcilable differences, a happily married person cannot transition at all.
I’m glad to say that everyone at the March for Marriage cheered these speeches. We hadn’t come to a specifically trans protest. I’m willing to bet there were many more gay than trans people there, along with not a few straights supporters. But everyone cheered. Too often in gay spaces on the Internet I’ve seen people spouting all kinds of bullshit about trans people. “Why do they hitch their wagon to ours?” Because it’s their wagon too, and they’ve been with us from the beginning.
Wells Fargo, major bank, has reached a settlement for having inaccessable branches and ATMs, and a an inaccessable telephone system and website. Wells Fargo will pay up to $16 million to compensate individuals who experienced discrimination, pay a $55,000 civil penalty to the United States Treasury, and make $1 million in charitable donations to non-profit organizations that will assist army veterans with disabilities. I don’t know why the charitable donations are going to charities for army veterans only, instead of to everyone with disabilities. There’s no indication in the press release that army veterans were specifically discriminated against.
So, they sponsored a Christian event called “Rock the Fort”, which was explicitly intended to convert people to (a particular version of) Evangelical Christianity. They spent $54,490 government funds on this.
They promised they’d do the same for anyone else (the words were, “provide similar support to comparable events”), so a group of atheist and other non-religious soldiers put together plans for a concert called “Rock Beyond Belief”. Unlike “Rock the Fort”, “Rock Beyond Belief” was not seeking converts.
And it had to be cancelled at the last minute, because the US military is run by a bunch of no-good lying bigots who went back on their word. Either that, or they somehow think that $0 is “similar” to $54,490.