Gay Primary Source

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DOD DADT Repeal Report - Do It!

“Based on all we saw and heard, our assessment is that, when coupled with the prompt implementation of the recommendations we offer below, the risk of repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to overall military effectiveness is low. We conclude that, while a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will likely, in the short term, bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting, and can be adequately addressed by the recommendations we offer below. Longer term, with a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism, and respect for all, we are convinced that the U.S. military can adjust and accommodate this change, just as it has others in history...

We recommend that, in a post-repeal environment, gay and lesbian Service members be treated under the same general principles of military equal opportunity policy that apply to all Service members. Under the Military Equal Opportunity program, it is DoD policy to
“[p]romote an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent Service members from rising to the highest level or responsibility possible. Service members shall be evaluated only on individual merit, fitness, and capability.” This policy goes hand-in-hand with Service-level policies and basic military values that call for treating every military member with dignity and respect.”

Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - Department of Defense General Counsel, the Honorable Jeh Charles Johnson; and Commanding General US Army Europe & The Seventh Army, General Carter F. Ham - excerpts from chapter 1 - Executive Summary, November 30, 2010.

HHS Secretary Marks World AIDS Day

“On December 1, World AIDS Day, we will pause to reflect on the HIV epidemic in our country and around the world. In the U.S., an estimated 1.1 million Americns are living with HIV - and one out of five does not know it. Worldwide, there are an estimated 33 million individuals with HIV. The U.S. has made enormous strides in its response to the HIV epidemic this year. In March, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, improving access to care and inceasing opportunities for health and well-being for people with HIV. And in July, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy released its landmark “National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” a roadmap for addressing the epidemic on multiple levels. It was developed with broad community input and set new national goals for reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV, for improving prevention and access to care and increasing opportunities for health and well-being for people living with HIV, and for reducing HIV-related health disparities. In September, HHS announced that CDC allocated $30 million of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to expand HIV prevention efforts under that strategy.
I am proud to work with agencies, communities, and individuals around the country who are implementing this bold strategic vision, which challenges the United States to “become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”” Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, November 30, 2010.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

JCS Chief Wants DADT Gone

AMANPOUR: "Don't ask/don't tell," something that's hugely important right now. A draft report has come to you; some 70 percent of the military say that it will either have a beneficial or nonexistent effect. Do you think it needs to be voted on in this lame-duck session?
MULLEN: Well, I won't speak to what the draft report says. We'll have this report done here...
AMANPOUR: Do you think...
MULLEN: ... and to Secretary Gates in the next couple of weeks, by December 1st, and I won't make any comments on where I think we need to go until that report is done.
AMANPOUR: You support it, though, repealing "don't ask/don't tell"?
MULLEN: From my personal perspective, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: Because?
MULLEN: Because I think it -- it belies us as an institution. We value integrity as an institution.
AMANPOUR: You mean forcing them to lie about what they are?
MULLEN: And then -- and then asking individuals to come in and lie about who they are every day goes counter to who we are as an institution.
AMANPOUR: Apart from the integrity issue, many of your allies -- whether it be England or Canada or France or Australia, the Israeli army -- they have openly gay servicemembers in their military with no adverse effects.
MULLEN: Certainly. I've seen that, and that is very much a part of this review, and we'll incorporate that into the review and recommendations which go up the chain.
AMANPOUR: So were you angry with the new Marine commandant when he cast his own doubts over this and criticized it?
MULLEN: He had made his position very clear in testimony. What concerned me about his most recent comments, it came at a time where we actually had the draft report in hand, and we had all agreed that we would speak to this privately until we completed the report and made our recommendations up the chain.
AMANPOUR: And if it does not get voted on in the lame-duck session, is there any chance that it will come up in any reasonable time period afterwards?
MULLEN: Well, I mean, it's very hard to predict what's going to happen. Obviously, from a legislative...
AMANPOUR: But would you think it will put it down the road?
MULLEN: ... from a legislative perspective. The other piece that is out there that's very real is the courts are very active on this. And my concern is that at some point in time the courts could change this law and in that not give us the right amount of time to implement it. I think it's much better done -- if it's going to get done, it's much better done through legislature than it is out of the courts.
AMANPOUR: Admiral Mullen, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
MULLEN: Thank you.

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, on ABC This Week, Washington, D.C. Sunday, November 21, 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Equal Hospital Visitation Rights is a Go

"Basic human rights - such as your ability to choose your own support system in a time of need - must not be checked at the door of America’s hospitals... Today’s rules help give ‘full and equal’ rights to all of us to choose whom we want by our bedside when we are sick, and override any objection by a hospital or staffer who may disagree with us for any non-clinical reason." Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, November 17, 2010.

"§ 482.13 Condition of participation: Patient’s rights.
(h) Standard: Patient visitation rights.
A hospital must have written policies and procedures regarding the visitation rights of patients, including those setting forth any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation that the hospital may need to place on such rights and the reasons for the clinical restriction or limitation. A hospital must meet the following requirements: (1) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of his or her visitation rights, including any clinical restriction or limitation on such rights, when he or she is informed of his or her other rights under this section. (2) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of the right, subject to his or her consent, to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a samesex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and his or her right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. (3) Not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. (4) Ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences."

Donald M. Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; approved November 15, 2010, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health & Human Services. Department of HHS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - 42 CFR Parts 482 and 485: Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Changes to the Hospital and Critical Access Hospital Conditions of Participation To Ensure Visitation Rights for All Patients. Agency: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Action: Final rule.