Scroll To Top
World

SLDN angry over
Pentagon surveillance

SLDN angry over
Pentagon surveillance

Gay military group angered by Pentagon's spying on gay groups

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network on Tuesday condemned Pentagon officials for spying on civilian groups--especially student groups that are opposed to "don't ask, don't tell." The group said it plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request to try and learn if other LGBT groups have been targeted. "The Pentagon is supposed to defend the Constitution, not turn it upside down," said SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osburn. "Students have a First Amendment right to protest, and Americans have a right to expect that their government will respect our constitutional right to privacy. To suggest that a gay kiss-in is a 'credible threat' is absurd, homophobic, and irrational. To suggest the Constitution does not apply to groups with views differing with Pentagon policy is chilling." NBC News broke the story last week and noted that Pentagon investigators had records pertaining to April protests at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school's LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw, which was classified as "possibly violent" by the Pentagon. A University of California, Santa Cruz, "don't ask, don't tell" protest that included a gay kiss-in was labeled as a "credible threat" of terrorism. In January, the Department of Defense confirmed a report that Air Force officials proposed developing a chemical weapon in 1994 that would turn enemies gay. The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop "chemicals that effect [sic] human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected [sic]. One distasteful but completely nonlethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior." SLDN also condemned that report, and the Pentagon later said it never intended to develop the program. "The Pentagon seems to constantly find new and more offensive ways to demean lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people," said Osburn. "First, we were deemed unfit to serve our country, despite winning wars, medals, and the praise of fellow service members. Then, our sexual orientation was suggested as a means to destabilize the enemy. Now, our public displays of affection are equated with al Qaeda terrorist activity. It is time for new Pentagon policy consistent with the views of 21st-century America." (Advocate.com)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories