Atlantis Alumni

Sunday, April 29, 2007

82 Year Old Frank Kameny Speaks Out!

As reported in Ohio's Gay People's Chronicle newspaper, Long time gay rights activist Frank Kameny gave a fiery speech at the the American Veterans For Equal Rights Convention.

"The pinnacle of the convention, however, was the keynote address given by Dr. Frank Kameny, a World War II combat veteran. Kameny, 82, was fired from a Civil Service position for being gay in 1957, ending his career as an astronomer in the Army Map Service. He went on to become one of the earliest LGBT equal rights pioneers. “I have taken the strong position,” said Kameny, “that by denying military service by people with a lot to offer, [government officials] are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of our country. Giving aid and comfort to the enemy is the constitutional definition of ‘treason’,” he added. “Anyone who supports ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ starting with traitor [former U.S. Senator] Sam Nunn, should be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and hanged,” Kameny said to applause. “And I will gladly pay for the hangman’s noose out of my own pocket.”

Now, I admire Frank Kameny and agree with his sentiments, er, well, I don't believe in capital punishment, so I wouldn't hang anyone, but I think he has the wrong villain. Let's be perfectly clear about this: Bill Clinton is responsible for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Clinton promised to issue an executive order and then didn't' do it. Yes, Congress would have reversed it with legislation, but issuing the order would have put the executive branch of government on the record in favor of gays serving openly. Eliot Spitzer essentially is using the same strategy with his introduction of the gay marriage bill in New York state. He knows it will fail initially, but it sets a precedent. Clinton waffled, and he ended up setting the wrong precedent. Frank, it's Bill Clinton that you really need to hold accountable.


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