The Official Website Of Urvashi Vaid


Out the Military-Industrial corporations’ silence on Don’t Ask!

Lady Gaga in Portland Maine 9.20.10

Lady Gaga in Portland Maine 9.20.10

It’s been a long campaign to end anti-LGBT military discrimination. And I really hope we will get there this year. Hooray for Lady Ga Ga for injecting new life into it and all praise to the tireless efforts of so many LGBT organizations and activists (current leaders include SLDN, Palm Center, Servicemembers United, Service Women’s Action Network, ACLU, NGLTF, HRC, LLDEF, LCR among many others).

As we wait for the US Senate to vote to end the anti-gay military policy known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, one thing irritates me. The silence of the defense industry in this battle.

Many (but not all) of the top defense contractors in the US have passed non-discrimination policies. Take a look at the HRC Equality Index and you will see the names of Boening, Northrop Grumman, Raytheo, Honeywell. Even the dreaded KBR has nondiscrimination policies.

All of them have strong and powerful lobbying presence in DC. Check the Center for Responsive Politics web site and see the millions they have given in the past quarter alone to the major Senators and Congress people from both parties – McCain included.

Yet to my knowledge few (if any) of these corporate giants have used their political power to weigh in on behalf of their LGBT employees. I know Aaron Belkin at Palm Center (and likely others) have tried, but what is the inside story — why no public voice on this from the mainstream of the industry?

Where are the trade associations? Where is the leadership? Cut off the funds to McCain if he filibusters! Threaten the steady flow to all those Republicans if they won’t do the right thing. Run ads paid for with defense industry money saying we need to do in the government what the private sector already does — not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression!

Corporate based queers need to put the pressure on internally and we need to target these large companies that are on the government dole to stop collaborating with the persecution of LGBT people in the service.


  1. oldephartte2 says:

    Your puzzlement with lack of response is understandable. There are many things about public policy which ‘do not make sense’ to a reasonable observer. It happened your weblog popped up when I was researching an article on hatemongering as a tool of hegemony…specifically religious caterwauling from the misnamed ‘Right’. If you choose to see what came of it, may I suggest a look at the Topical Index under Perception Alteration and also Foreign Policy.
    I found blogging rather lonesome – though I’ve done it for years – and thought I’d encourage you to check out your stats and toys available from WordPress…and perhaps have a look at the introductory materials I’ve assembled over time. And do explore WordPress forums, etc.
    I posted the article collection/story at Care2 – which I have found quite a remarkable community. Forums off from the main news gaggle can be a worthwhile diversion as well.

  2. Urvashi Vaid says:

    Thank you for the response and the suggestions, I will check them out. I’m new to blogging and have a lot to learn.

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