Thursday, May 27, 2010


Maj. Peter Kees Hamstra of the Royal Dutch Army; Leif Ohlson, Principle Adm. Officer in the Swedish Armed Forces; and Lt. Com. Craig Jones, retired from the Royal Navy of Britain wrote an op ed piece, part of which contains the following:

...U.S. military power depends, in most cases, on an international coalition of partners. Members of Congress don't always seem to appreciate that America's allies are put off in serious ways by the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

For example, units of our own or other armed forces have refused to deploy in some joint operations with U.S. forces because gay service members would not work with the Americans — for fear of hostile reactions.

In addition to protecting our men and women from enemy combatants, we must also protect them from anti-gay and anti-lesbian discrimination.

Increasingly, this is not a situation we and our personnel will tolerate. So we are less able to help accomplish our collective missions.

[For the full article, see here.] [Also see here.]

When we talk of LGBT rights it's almost always within the context of it being a Civil Rights issue and, of course, that context is correct.

However, we must also see the denial of dignity and equal civil rights to LGBT people as being a Human Rights issue!

We all intuitively know what "Human Rights" means: It means enjoying the dignity, and the full equality under the law, of all people due to the simple fact that all of us are fellow human beings deserving of the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by the dominant group in society.

There can be no second-class citizenship in any society that presumes to call itself "civilized!"

Malcolm XPictured] is quoted as having said:

I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being. (See here.)

As was and is true of African Americans (or any other minority group) in regard to Human Rights, the same is true in regard to the Human Rights of LGBT people!

When we have other civilized countries that are reluctant, or even refuse, to have their military personnel work with our own that are under the onus of DADT, a demeaning and odious law on its face, it must force us to see that any rights denied to LGBT people that are enjoyed by heterosexuals is a direct violation of LGBT people's Human Rights in the military and, by extension, within civil society as well!

In other words, the U.S. is committing Human Right violations (DADT, ENDA, DOMA) toward its LGBT citizens!

When we deal with the lack of equal rights for LGBT people we are hitting a very raw nerve! So raw, in fact, that it is my belief that Malcolm X was assassinated because he was going to take the U.S. in front of the United Nations for Human Rights violations regarding African Americans.

The struggle, the fight, for equality for LGBT people is just as valid, and validly seen as a Human Rights violation, as was the fight for equality for the United States' African American people who were denied dignity and Human Rights for so many centuries in the United States!

And, it must be understood, that that denial for both groups was and is based on the same type of "religious" and secular thinking, be it the mind-set of White Supremacy or Heterosexual Supremacy, that was and/or has been allowed to become institutionalized in both the military and in civil society!

Malcolm X was right at that time, and it is right at this time to see the results of the evil of homophobia, the institutionalization of homophobia in the military and in civil society, to be seen as violations of Human Rights of the United States' LGBT citizens!

Should the Human Rights violations visited against LGBT people in the United States not be fully eradicated under law within our own judicial system within the foreseeable future, there may well come a time, most likely in a subsequent generation, when serious thought should, and may well, be given to bringing the United States before the World Court to address these violations in a way that the U.S. will have shown itself to have been unable to do of its own accord.
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