Archive for DADT

Progressives’ Angst Podcast

We kick around the problem of progressives and lefties in this year’s elections. Many are unhappy with inertia and temerity from the POTUS and Dem Congressional leaders.

Ryan and Mike talk about the options, support, protest and more. We hit the likelihood of wins and losses in Congress, as well as what Pres. Obama might or might not do in a second term. We don’t forget Elizabeth Warren, DOMA, jobs, or marriage equality

icon for podpress  Progressives' Angt [29:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Robyn Ochs on Sexuality Podcast

The spectrum or range or continuity of human sexuality was today’s show topic with Robyn Ochs. She is a workshop leader, sometimes professor and prolific author on gender identity and sexuality. Her website is here, replete with a link to her most noted book, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World.

We ran a little overtime. So anyone listening who missed the last eight minutes can hear them here.

We got into the messy, politically related aspects as well as the intended topic. Those are inevitably linked.

She started by describing a workshop exercise she says she has led over 1,000 times. Do listen in to how she gets the participants to define how they have identified their sexuality over time, and then gets everyone to place themselves in relation to the others in the room. There are many I-never-thought-about-that moments and often the surprises of people who define themselves as straight, bi, pansexual, homosexual, asexual and on and on, overlap in how they fit along a continuum of identity. She said the labels thus become less different from each other as they move along the range of descriptions.

To the tricky questions related to the binary concept of straight/gay, she said that both people of all ages are changing perceptions, broadening them, and that those who fear or are confused about the concepts are in for more change. She noted that older people are changing perceptions too. She had little patience for those who use code phrase like lifestyle to imply that a bisexual or homosexual chooses gender identity arbitrarily. She finds it odd that they seem to think that heterosexual-identified people have lives and other people have lifestyles. Instead, everyone has a life, including sexual identity, which may change over time.

Ochs was also plain in saying that the concept of choice here is absurd. She said, “I’ve never met a single person who has decided whom to fall in love with.”

She’s seen terrific improvement in support for the range of sexuality, as well as such overt effect as same-sex marriage legalization. Even in her own family and friends, she’s found a marked shift toward acceptance. Part of this is awareness of people identified as gay, bi and more. This trend is linked to three factors:

  • People are going public with their sexual identify at an earlier age
  • The marriage-equality movement is making more people aware of overt discrimination
  • The media coverage and such shows as Glee and The Ellen DeGeneres Show are showing more types of people as likable

Click below to hear her describe the workshop and her insights on that spectrum of sexuality.

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Bob Massie Goes for U.S. Senate Podcast

Bob Massie just announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from MA coming up next year. He wants to go up against Sen. Scott Brown who has been filling the term of the late Ted Kennedy. He joined us to speak about himself and how he expects to win the seat.

His campaign website is up and getting populated. His more personal blog, with everything from his economic views to his social activism to philosophy is here. Also, he is a regular contributor to BlueMassGroup.

As a social activist from way back, he has a deep and wide record of accomplishments…supported with Princeton, Yale and Harvard degrees and more. He starts off our show with a quick recitation of everything from his professional experience and education to physical challenges he overcame. He also discusses his 1994 race for MA Lt. Gov. and what the legacy is for his current candidacy.

Listen in as we talk about wide ranges of topics from federal funding to what’s right and wrong with Congress as it is to what he offers. He has a few, but only a few areas of agreement with Brown. He tells us what his aims would be in the seat. Massie speaks to how he expects to court voters, raise funds and win next year.

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After DADT Podcast

This week’s repeal of the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell (DADT) provision for the military may not be the parting of the waters we might hope. Most certainly, it was not the doom anti-gay sorts have been claiming for the 17 years they have fought the repeal.

Kara Suffredini, MassEquality‘s executive director, joined us to think about the short-, mid- and long-term affects of the repeal. Click below to hear her views.

She does not see a flood or even solid stream of LGBT-positive results. Instead, she is simultaneously looking over the next five to 10 years, with some victories in Congress, others at state levels and still others in courts, and fending off challenges from those who would overturn same-sex marriage and other rights.

Suffredini noted that MassEquality was a bit freer for other efforts, including some beyond the state like helping Rhode Island finish passing SSM there. While DADT was fought on Capitol Hill, the local effort was hard fought as well. She cited the many thousands of post cards, phone calls and visits to legislators, particularly U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

She discussed the loose interplay between DADT, SSM and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). She noted that marriage rights and who can serve in the military have been closely linked even before gays and lesbians entered into the equation. Yet, she does not see the DADT victory as showing a major shift in Congress on DOMA. Instead, this week’s repeal indicates an important change in public opinion, which in turn eventually affects lawmakers.

Suffredini acknowledged that this repeal was a shot in the arm to her efforts. However, she also sees losses like the anti-SSM vote in Maine last year as having similar negative effects. In her terms, once lawmakers make a tough decision, they don’t want to revisit it.

Listen in as she describes the work ahead and where she sees possibilities.

icon for podpress  After DADT [41:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download