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Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall at a gay-rights event this weekend in Denver said he supports marriage equality for all Americans. Udall joins a growing list of lawmakers who have gone on record in support of ending the era where the federal Defense of Marriage Act and where constitutional bans like Colorado's Amendment 43 blocked LGBT couples from the legal protections and advantages provided by the state through marriage. Udall is the 18th sitting U.S. Senator to state publicly that he supports efforts to make gay marriage legal.
Conservative celebrity Sarah Palin and right-wing blogger Erick Erickson are just two of the high profile far-right leaders disparaging Speaker of the House John Boehner for the budget deal he hammered out with President Obama and Democratic Senate leaders last week. Colorado "liberty movement" talk radio hosts are unhappy. Colorado Tea Party freshmen Congressmen Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner as well as Colorado Springs conservative Doug Lamborn broke with the Speaker and voted against the budget. But Boehner can't go back on the deal and he won't likely win over the Tiptons and Palins and Ericksons with a lecture on the delayed gratification of budget cutting and the difference between outlays and spending. On the contrary, it would just make him seem more establishment. So instead, Boehner followed the lead of GOP presidential hopefuls and took a provocative and distracting stand against gay rights.
“‘Gay’ is a left-wing socio-political construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires,” said Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California. “Gay identity does not exist.”
Legally married gay couples this month will be filing joint tax returns to the IRS, pressing the federal government to again acknowledge that, by failing to recognize gay marriage, it routinely asks U.S. citizens to lie on their tax forms. “More people are refusing to lie on those forms even though the government is telling them to,” said Nadine Smith, director of gay rights group Equality Florida. Smith is gay and married and she says that she and her partner will not lie on their tax form this year. “It would be both dishonest and deeply humiliating to now disavow each other or our marriage and declare ourselves single,” she said.
Republican California Rep. Duncan Hunter with Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn as cosponsor has introduced the "Restore Military Readiness Act," which would require the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to independently sign off on repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy prohibiting gay Americans from serving openly in the military. Lamborn told the Colorado Independent he's concerned that implementing the repeal, which was passed in December, could divert resources from winning the war in Afghanistan. Yet Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, who spearheaded the repeal effort, told the Independent that he asked the same military branch chiefs to address these same concerns at the widely publicized hearing on the matter held at the capitol before lawmakers voted in favor of repeal.
The Defense Department, after discharging gay soldiers under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, apparently sends them bills requiring them to pay back "unearned portions" of their contracts. High-profile discharged soldier Dan Choi received his bill this week from Defense Department Finance and Debt Services in the amount of $2,500. He sent a strongly worded letter to White House Public Engagement Director Brian Bond explaining why he wasn't going to pay.
With the "Obamacare-repeal" legislation passed yesterday in the U.S. House, California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter has introduced the next Republican Congress repeal effort. Hunter's "Restore Military Readiness Act" is reopening debate on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the 17-year-old policy lifted by lawmakers in December that banned gay soldiers from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hunter's bill, which Colorado's Doug Lamborn signed onto as a co-sponsor, is already being criticized not as a true policy initiative but as a way to revisit the issue of gay rights and military readiness that generated sparks during the last days of the previous Democratic-controlled session of Congress.
Members of the government in Washington, reviled by the majority of the American public as a pack of petty partisan do-nothings, took action this weekend. Democrats and Republicans joined together in an inspired last-ditch effort that succeeded in repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy banning gay soldiers from serving openly. The 17-year-old policy reflected a confused transitional moment in U.S. history. It was written by military brass referencing no serious empirical data. It asked soldiers to lie to each other and to their commanding officers. It resulted in tens of thousands of discharges and hundreds of millions of wasted dollars on education, combat training and legal fees. Even though the policy's end came too late to prevent the career disasters that befell gay service members such as CU Boulder Air Force ROTC Cadet Mara Boyd, maybe it came in time to see many of those careers resurrected.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today blasted Republicans for blocking an attempt to begin debate on the...
Without any sure vote count and with waning prospects for success, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would likely call for a vote...