No, not today.  17 Years ago yesterday, as commemorated by LGBT POV.  Police wearing gloves — to prevent them from catching AIDS — arrested 27 protesters, including David Mixner, an anti-war and gav-rights activist and founder of ANGLE, and Miriam Ben Shalom, the first openly gay or lesbian service member to be discharged and then reinstated (in 1988, before DADT).

DADTAccording to David Mixner, a friend of then-President Clinton, who had campaigned on a pledge to eliminate the military's ban on gays:

When Clinton came to ANGLE as a dark horse in the primary race, we, who had fought so hard and become so cynical about the “good intentions” and promises of those we supported to fight for full LGBT equality, looked into his vision and drank the kool-aid.  We believed him when he told us he would sign an executive order lifting the ban on gays in the military.  We threw our support behind him both financially and in getting out the vote for his election.

Turning the ban into DADT was the final betrayal, not just of his promises, but of our dream and belief that we finally had a President who truly understood the pain of discrimination.  Protesting and being arrested was a statement of our outrage and our disappointment.”

Funny how in 17 years, almost nothing has changed.  Promises made to the LGBT community by this nation's leaders have not yet been kept.  Protests, arrests and the same White House fence remain.  Only the faces have changed.

John Duran, another activist arrested that day, looking back at those events and into the future, said:

All I can say to Lt. Dan Choi and the folks at Get Equal — is that 17 years ago when you were in grade school — we were also criticized for standing up to the Clinton Administration over the signing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  It was very controversial then, as it is today.  But when you take a stand in the “political drift” over something that is right — you interrupt the tides of injustice. And it is a noble thing to do.

Interrupt the tides of injustice.

I like that.

In another 17 years, will we be looking back at the outdated 2d non-interactive pictures of people chained to the White House fence and wonder how on Earth anyone could have thought that such discrimination make sense?  Or will the Lt. Choi's and Robin McGehee's of tomorrow still find themselves compelled to acts of civil disobedience to demand the rights due to them by self-evident truths too often honored in breach?

jpmassar

jpmassar

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