‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ discrimination

By |2011-07-28T09:00:00-04:00July 28th, 2011|Opinions|

S/he Said

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality. As of September 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.”
-President Barack Obama, certifying that the military is ready to allow gays to serve openly in the armed forces, clearing the way for an end to the 17-year old “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law in September, http://www.whitehouse.gov, July 22.

“My old website got hacked. Someone issued a ‘coming out’ statement on my behalf. I’m still straight and in love with my girlfriend. But not too straight; I still love musicals, brunch and Doogie Howser.”
-Zach Braff, the “Scrubs” actor, after his website had been hacked with a fake coming-out letter posted in his name, http://www.salon.com, July 20.

“Prior studies in homeless street youth have found that sexual minorities occur in much higher numbers than we’d expect based on their numbers in the community in general. This study looked at the magnitude of the difference for the first time. Teens with a sexual minority orientation are more likely than heterosexual teens to be unaccompanied and homeless rather than part of a homeless family. This suggests that they may be more likely to be mistreated or rejected by their families and more likely to leave home. The high risk of homelessness among sexual minority teens is a serious problem requiring immediate attention. These teens face enormous risks and all types of obstacles to succeeding in school and are in need of a great deal of assistance.”
-Heather Corliss, Ph.D., MPH, of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, lead author of new study titled “High Burden of Homelessness Among Sexual-Minority Adolescents” that found 1 in 4 gay/lesbian high school students are homeless in Massachusetts, http://www.childrenshospital.org, July 21. Of the 6,317 students who gave full information on their sexual orientation and homelessness status, less than 5 percent of students overall identified themselves as GLB, yet they accounted for 19 percent of those who identified themselves as homeless.

“Appearance and mannerisms often serve as a proxy for anti-gay or anti-trans discrimination because they are a visible marker of what makes the bigot uncomfortable. That’s why it’s crucial for non-discrimination legislation to address not only members of a group but those perceived as belonging to it. You shouldn’t have to claim an identity to be protected – bottom line, it’s wrong to discriminate against someone because of how they look or act. That’s equality 101.”
-Avory, in her blog titled “Looking Gay, the Blood Ban, and Anti-LGBT Discrimination,” about the straight man in Indiana who is suing a blood bank because it turned him away on account of “looking gay,” http://www.radicallyqueer.wordpress.com, July 22.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.