Author Archives: James Apedaile

Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in Military

Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in Military

On 30-October-2017, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia found the administration’s justification for the ban on Transgender service, which was set to take effect in March 2018, to be suspect and likely unconstitutional. She ruled that the military’s current policy should remain in place pending review by higher courts.

The balance of power between Executive, Legislative, and Judicial continues to stand the test of time.  American Veterans for Equal Rights applauds Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for her actions and upholding the constitution of the United States.

We are moving forward. AVER will follow and support this case as it progresses.  Sadly, the policy to bar essential health services to transgender service members still remains.

The administration’s attempt to ban Transgender service is clearly a political ploy for his base at the expense of Transgender service member’s rights.  18 of our allies including England, Canada and Israel have found that Transgender service has no effect on “Mission Readiness”.

As with the campaign to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) American Veterans for Equal Rights along with it’s allies will continue the campaign for Transgender equal rights until all service members can server proudly and openly.

We must not stand by and watch another’s civil rights violated and do nothing, lest we make it more likely our rights will be violated.

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AVER is America’s first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender veterans and active duty service organization.  http://aver.us/

Contact information:
AVER President: Steve Loomis, LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)
505-301-1737, sloomis@swcp.com

AVER Public Affairs: Denny Meyer, 718 849-5665, publicaffairs@aver.us

Website www.aver.us

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AVER/

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Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge

Steve Loomis

LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)

National President

American Veterans for Equal Rights

505-301-1737

Website www.aver.us

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AVER/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Determination

This is an Oral History Like No Other!  “The Long Determination” documentary film tells the story and history of gays in the American military as they fought for their rights to serve openly and to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

View the film Trailer Here!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6RMyjCY3G4hRVdVWUJSQTdndVE

 

 

 

 

This story of the service of Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members is told in their own words.  While many of our heroes interviews are included, the many are LGBT patriots who simply wanted to serve their country.  You can be a part of finishing this important program by donating and sending this important message to your friends and associates.

DONATE

The Long Determination begins with an early history of men and women who served since the American Revolution and continues honorable, sometimes painful and always proud telling of their personal experiences by members from every military service and their spouses and supporters.

Stories include supporters and events involving the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with selections of over 40 interviews.

This documentary is produced to Public Broadcasting System standards for national distribution, including Congress and the general public and has already been invited to select film festivals.

Help finish this film project.

Donate now and be recognized for your support!

You can follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TheLongDetermination/

Twitter: @TheLongDetermination

To Follow: #TheLongDetermination

Email: mailto:TheLongDetermination@gmail.com

Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge

Steve Loomis                                                                                                                                              LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)                                                                                                              National President                                                                                                                            American Veterans for Equal Rights                                                                                                       505-301-1737

Website www.aver.us                                                                                                                                 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AVER/

 

 

 

Video: Members Respond to Transgender Service

“The President’s unilateral action concerning transgender service members is insulting to some of our most capable service members and disrespectful to the leadership of our military. Without full consultation, a President who never served our country has taken an action that discriminates without factual foundation. Transgender members are already and have always been part of some of our most combat ready units without difficulty for decades and will continue to be in the future. As long as any soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coast guards man has the physical and mental ability, they must be allowed to serve in the defense of our country.”

AVER has created a video expressing their anger and concerns. Click below:

Transgender Fight Back

 

Trump Tweets Ban Transgender Service

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 26, 2017

RE: Trump Tweets Ban Transgender Service

Contact:

AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer 718.849.5665 publicaffairs@aver.us

AVER President, Steve Loomis, LTC, USA, (Ret) 505.301.1737

Atlanta, GA (JUL 26, 2017) – American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is astonished by President Trump’s statements this morning prohibiting transgender Americans from serving our country in the US military. On the very anniversary, July 26, 1948, that President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to end racial segregation in our US military, President Donald J. Trump issues tweets to bar transgender service members from serving in our same US armed forces. Such an incredible twist of fate in history! One opens doors to liberty. One slams them shut.

“The President’s unilateral action concerning transgender service members is insulting to some of our most capable service members and disrespectful to the leadership of our military. Without full consultation, a President who never served our country has taken an action that discriminates without factual foundation. Transgender members are already and have always been part of some of our most combat ready units without difficulty for decades and will continue to be in the future. As long as any soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coast guards man has the physical and mental ability, they must be allowed to serve in the defense of our country.”

Current policies require that transgender recruits must complete gender transition before they can enter the military. Mr. Trump is simply denying entry into the military to capable male and female volunteers no different from any other man or woman. The citizens of the United States require a military governed by carefully considered policies and not by early morning tweet storms from a President who neither understands the current policy nor cares about the human cost of defending our nation’s liberty. We defend transgender service members right to serve!

USAF Master Sargent Leah Messer (left with US flag), a 15-year transgender veteran of the United States Air Force, would lose her job if Donald Trump’s tweets become policy.

 

Pride Month Memories

Pride Month Memories

by Denny Meyer

At the nexus of Memorial Day and the start of Pride month, I began again to think about and remember my own personal gay military heroes who inspired me and must never be forgotten as we celebrate our pride in our service and of who we are.

World War II

PFC Frank Kameny, USA 1925 – 2011

   
Franklin Kameny, PhD, served in combat in Europe as a teenager in WWII.  He earned a doctorate degree in astronomy at Harvard.  In 1957 he was fired from a government job when he was found to be homosexual.  He spent the next 50 years fighting for gay rights.

Korean Era LTJG Harvey Milk, USN 1930 – 1978

 
Harvey Milk served in the US Navy aboard a submarine and in San Diego during the Korean War Era. Later, in NYC he worked on Wall St.  He was assassinated after having been the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco and CA, courageously leading the fight for our rights.

Vietnam TechSgt Leonard Matlovich, USAF 1943 – 1988

Leonard Matlovich served 12 sterling years in the Air Force, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his courage and valor in Vietnam.  He sacrificed his career for our freedom when he came out publicly in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force in 1974.  He was discharged, sued and eventually won.  He died of AIDS in 1988.  His gravestone at the Congressional Cemetery is inscribed, “A Gay Vietnam Veteran.  When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one.”

Afghanistan CPL Andrew Wilfahrt, USA 1980- 2011

 
Andrew Wilfahrt sacrificed his freedom, and ultimately his life, in order to give meaning and purpose to his life as a gay American.  He never hid who he was, not from his family, not from his fellow troops.  Killed while on foot patrol outside Kandahar, he is the first ‘known’ gay casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom.

There are so many others, known and unknown, for us to remember in this Pride Month as we celebrate the freedom we have gained and dedicate ourselves to demanding full equality.

My first military hero wasn’t gay.  He was my personal hero long before I’d ever heard of those mentioned above.  His famous words inspired me to volunteer to serve for a decade, despite being gay: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Those words still inspire me today.

USN LT John F Kenndy, WWII As Commander of PT 109 in the South Pacific, fought the pain of a back injury and exhaustion to assure the rescue of his marooned crew. 35th President of the United States of America.

-Denny Meyer, fmr SFC USAR