The Navy officer behind a series of videos featuring simulated sex and antigay slurs will be temporarily relieved of duty as early as Tuesday, Navy sources told NBC News on Monday.
Capt. Owen Honors (pictured) currently commands the USS Enterprise. He reportedly produced the videos, which were shown to the crew of the aircraft carrier in 2006 and 2007, while he was second in command.
Honors will reportedly be relieved of duty while the Navy investigates.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Va., first published excerpts from the videos and descriptions of their content on Saturday. In one of the videos, the paper reported, two female sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. In other skits, “sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey.”
The Navy has launched an investigation into the production of a series of videos containing simulated sex and antigay slurs shown to service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
CNN reports the videos were reportedly shown to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in 2006 and 2007. Navy spokesman Cmdr. Chris Sims called the videos “clearly inappropriate.”
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Va., first published excerpts from the videos and descriptions of their content on Saturday.
According to Time magazine, the man behind the videos is Capt. Owen Honors, who at the time was the executive officer, or second-in-command, of the Enterprise. Honors recently took command of the carrier, which is weeks away from deploying.
In one of the videos, two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. In other skits, “sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey.”
According to Time, Honors is likely to lose command of his carrier before it heads out from Norfolk.
Watch the video posted to the Virginian-Pilot’s website and an interview with Pilot editor Meredith Kruse below.
Go to this link to watch the video:
I am an active-duty U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. I have deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan and have commanded infantry Marines in combat.
On Tuesday, Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, said he believes repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allowing gay and lesbian Marines to serve openly could “cost Marines’ lives” because of the “mistakes and inattention or distractions” that might ensue. I am not homosexual. And in this instance, I must respectfully disagree with my commandant.
The commandant cites the importance of cohesion within small combat units and warns against its disruption by allowing homosexuals to stop concealing their identities. In my experience, the things that separate Marines in civilian life fade into obscurity on the battlefield. There, only one thing matters: Can you do your job? People care much more about whom you voted for or what city you’re from while on the huge airbase with five Burger Kings, or back in the States, than they do when they’re walking down a dusty road full of improvised explosive devices in Haditha or Sangin.
In the end, Marines in combat will treat sexual orientation the same way they treat race, religion and one’s stance on the likelihood of the Patriots winning another Super Bowl. I do not believe the intense desire we all feel as Marines to accomplish the mission and protect each other will be affected in the slightest by knowing the sexual orientation of the man or woman next to us.
In the recent Defense Department survey, 58 percent of combat arms Marines said they felt allowing homosexuals to serve openly would negatively affect their unit, but 84 percent of combat arms Marines who had served with a homosexual said that there would be no effect or that the effect would be positive. It seems obvious that if allowing homosexuals to serve openly degraded performance, rather than improved it, a majority of Marines who had served with homosexuals would oppose repeal. Yet this is not the case, and homosexuals serve openly in the militaries of Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel and others with no ill effect. This suggests that much of the opposition toward repeal within the Marine Corps is based on the politics of individual Marines and not any measurable military effect.
Repeal would undoubtedly produce some disruption, but if other nations’ experiences are any guide, it will be so minimal as to be essentially nonexistent. Consider what is likely to happen if and when “don’t ask” is repealed: Lance Cpl. Smith will be having a typical Marine conversation with Lance Cpl. Jones, and the topic will turn to women. Smith will remark on how much he enjoys their company. Jones will reply: “Actually, man, I like dudes.”
Jones: “Yeah, man, really.”
Smith: “Wow. I didn’t know that.”
Both will then go back to cleaning their rifles.
Is it really likely that lance corporals who know each other better than brothers, and may have saved each other’s lives in split-second reactions during deployments, are suddenly going to refuse to serve in the same unit or quit the Corps because they have to share a shower?
Repeal will of course have many effects. Gay and lesbian Marines who are now barred from discussing their identities honestly with their superiors, peers and subordinates would be able to do their jobs free from the nagging knowledge that they are being less than honest with their brothers and sisters in arms. It is difficult to see how this could do anything but improve their job performance. Gay and lesbian Marines have long fought and died for a country that refuses to acknowledge their existence. Some are certainly among the Marines who have passed through Bethesda Naval Hospital and rest in Arlington.
I believe the reluctance many Marines feel about repeal is based on the false stereotype, borne out of ignorance, that homosexuals don’t do things like pull other Marines from burning vehicles. The truth is, they do it all the time. We simply don’t know it because they can’t tell us.
It is time for “don’t ask, don’t tell” to join our other mistakes in the dog-eared chapters of history textbooks. We all bleed red, we all love our country, we are all Marines. In the end, that’s all that matters.
The writer is an infantry captain in the Marine Corps.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Three Discharged Vets Challenge DADT, Sue For Reinstatement
Posted by Joe Sudbay (DC) at 12/13/2010 12:41:00 PM
Secretary Gates keeps saying he wants DADT ended by Congress, but we’re still waiting — and time is running out. Discharged servicemembers aren’t waiting. Today, three of them, Mike Almy, Anthony Loverde and Jason Knight, filed a lawsuit against DADT, seeking reinstatement. The suit was filed in California, meaning the Witt Standard is applicable.
SLDN’s press release:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Morrison & Foerster LLP filed a complaint today against the United States government asking for the reinstatement of three service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the discriminatory law barring gay, lesbian and bisexual service members from serving honestly and with integrity. The filing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, also argues the current law and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, are unconstitutional. To read the filing visit: http://bit.ly/eZg5EL
Statement by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director and Army Veteran Aubrey Sarvis:
“This filing is a shot across the bow as we prepare to pursue and sustain an aggressive far reaching litigation strategy if the Senate fails to act this month to repeal the law. This dispute can be resolved by Congress or by the courts. With this filing we put Congress on notice that a cadre of service members and our national legal team stand ready to litigate strategically around the country. The plaintiffs’ are three service members who want to serve their country again. They represent some of our best and brightest who were fired because of who they are, despite their decorated records. More than 14,000 have already lost their jobs and the investigations and discharges still continue. We are also preparing litigation on behalf of young people who would enter the armed forces to serve our country but for this terrible law. Another suit we’re working on involves clients discharged under ‘Don’t Ask’ who want to enter the reserves or a guard unit, and we plan to file such cases early next year if Congress fails to act. Clearly there is an urgent need for the Senate to act on legislation this week.”
Statement by Morrison & Foerster’s M. Andrew Woodmansee:
“Today we are asking the Court to allow these three brave Americans to fulfill the commitment they made years ago when they joined the military. They simply want to serve their country, and it is fundamentally un-American to refuse their service merely because they are gay — especially when our all-volunteer military is stretched thin as we fight wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout our nation’s history, citizens have turned to the courts to remedy injustices when Congress would not act. If the Senate will not meet its obligations by ending this unconstitutional law, we will ask the Court to step in to protect the rights of my clients as well as all men and women who wish to serve this country in the military.”
ABOUT THE PLANTIFFS:
Plaintiff Michael D. Almy served for thirteen years in the United States Air Force, including four deployments to the Middle East. He is a highly trained communications officer. During his thirteen-year Air Force career, former Major Almy received numerous military awards and decorations. In 2006, he was discharged from the Air Force under DADT.
Plaintiff Anthony J. Loverde served for seven years in the Air Force. He is a trained C-130 Loadmaster and Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Technician. During his seven-year Air Force career, former Staff Sergeant Loverde received numerous military awards and decorations. In 2008, he was discharged from the Air Force under DADT. He is currently a contractor serving in Iraq, doing effectively the same job with many of his old coworkers, as an openly gay man.
Plaintiff Jason D. Knight served for a total of five years in the United States Navy. He is a trained Cryptological Technician Interpretive, Linguist. During his five-year Navy career, former Petty Officer Second Class Knight received numerous military awards and decorations. Mr. Knight has the unique distinction of being discharged twice under DADT. In 2005, he was discharged from the Navy under DADT. Mr. Knight was recalled to active duty in 2006 but was discharged again in 2007 under DADT.
The mother of Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on United Flight 93 believed to have prevented the plane from hitting government buildings in Washington, D.C., said no one on the plane questioned whether her son was gay when it came time to overtake the aircraft from hijackers. Therefore, Alice Hoagland said, the same reasoning should be the rule when it comes to the military and its ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers.
Her son was eulogized by Sen. John McCain, who Bingham supported in the 2000 Republican primary for president of the United States. Now, as the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain is leading the charge to keep the 17-year-old law.
“I hope he comes around on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,'” she said on MSNBC. “I know he’s entrenched in the mistaken notion that gay people somehow are weaker, that gay men are predators, that gay men are seeking a sexual outlet with straight men, and I think it is that kind of misconception that is driving that needless clinging to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.'”
Watch the full interview here:
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Monday, November 15, 2010
Taken from New Gay Earth
The Apprentice 2010
Donald Trump disappointed me in a big way. His attempt to ‘Out’ one of the contestants on his show “The Apprentice” created another negative image of Gay men in general and he should be ashamed of himself for doing so.
During the ‘boardroom’ meeting portion of the episode which aired November 4, 2010 Mr. Trump listened as
Anand Vasudev (a 31 year old unemployed entreprenuer and former real estate broker)
suggested David Johnson (a 34 year old unemployed accounts manager and father of 5)
had shown signs of a ‘Man Crush’ for a model their team had used for a photo shoot during the competition. He repeatedly suggested David himself was ‘Gay’ which solicited snickering and laughter from everyone on camera.
Mr. Trump pointedly turned to David and asked him if he was Gay and if he wanted to ‘Come Out’ then and there on the show. David, of course, denied the accusations and reminded everyone he was the father of 5 children to which Mr. Trump and others said ‘that means nothing these days’. Donald Jr. even said ‘That’s so Gay’ during the meeting.
I was appalled by this. This is the atmosphere that Gay men must compete in for jobs in America. The prejudice and hostility that was shown during this episode of The Apprentice was shocking. If Cyndi Lauper had been at the meeting I’m certain she would have challenged everyone for mocking Gay people and for snickering at the idea that David might be Gay. Cyndi Lauper was one of the celebrities involved in last seasons ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and was claimed as a ‘close’ friend by Mr. Trump. I wonder if she saw this episode and how she reacted?
I really thought highly of Donald Trump prior to this public statement of his homophobic attitude. I have been a fan of his for decades. His appearnces on TV have always drawn my attention. I have never seen him ridicule and belittle someone about their sexuality before. I may have missed the signs of his prejudice before but I’m well aware of them now.
I would like to call for him to apologize for this behavior. I would like for him to state publicly his support for the Gay Community and for the end of DADT. I want him to help us achieve equality under the law and freedom from discrimintation.
If you agree with me please join me in posting a protest of this ‘branding’ of a suspected homosexual at: http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/in-the-boardroom/2010/11/week-8/
I posted a protest at that address under the name JL2
Same-Sex Behavior Found in Nearly All Animals
posted: 16 June 2009 12:02 pm ET
Examples of same-sex behavior can be found in almost all species in the animal kingdom — from worms to frogs to birds — making the practice nearly universal among animals, according to a new review of research on the topic.
“It’s clear that same-sex sexual behavior extends far beyond the well-known examples that dominate both the scientific and popular literature: for example, bonobos, dolphins, penguins and fruit flies,” said Nathan Bailey, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside.
Same-sex behaviors in different species are not all equivalent, the review finds. For instance, male fruit flies sometimes court other male flies, but this behavior is due to a missing gene that gives the flies the ability to distinguish between sexes, said Bailey, a co-author of the review. “That is very different from male bottlenose dolphins, who engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding, or female Laysan Albatross that can remain pair-bonded for life,” he added.
The review also found a gap in the literature: While many studies have tried to understand why same-sex coupling exists and why it might make sense in terms of evolution, few have looked at what the evolutionary consequences of this behavior might be.
“Like any other behavior that doesn’t lead directly to reproduction — such as aggression or altruism — same-sex behavior can have evolutionary consequences that are just now beginning to be considered,” Bailey said. “For example, male-male copulations in locusts can be costly for the mounted male” and this cost may put evolutionary pressure on the locusts, he said. As a result, a larger number of males may secrete a particular chemical that discourages the mounting behavior, he added.
In their future research, Bailey and Marlene Zuk, a biology professor at UCR, plan to try and address questions about the evolutionary outcomes of same-sex couplings, focusing on the Laysan Albatrosses.
The review article was published in the June 16 issue of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and the study was funded by the UCR Academia Senate.