Could AG Mukasey Be The First Fair-Minded Bush Appointee? genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek

Ice Skating Terrorists?

OK, maybe I'm giving him too much credit...but the actions on the part of Attorney General Michael Mukasey to insure fair treatment for the LGBT employees at the Department of Justice is certainly a welcome sign.

Going back to the early days of the infamous John Ashcroft tenure, and continuing through the Gonzales era, LGBT employees at the Department have been relegated to second class status. Under the prior two AG's, a gay advocacy group has been prohibited from using the email system, bulletin boards, and meeting rooms to exchange information, publicize events, and gather with its members. Fortunately, Mukasey has decided to reverse that practice.

Mukasey informed leaders of DOJ Pride last week that the department would give it the same rights as all other DOJ employee organizations, said the group's president, Chris Hook. In a statement, Mukasey said the department will "foster an environment in which diversity is valued, understood and sought" and maintain "an environment that's free of discrimination."

DOJ Pride and its 110 members had been barred from holding an annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebration since 2003, when then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft told the group that the Bush administration observed an unwritten policy of not sponsoring events without a presidential proclamation, Hook said. The group also was told it could not post notices of general meetings and events on department bulletin boards, he said.

"I do not know of any other employee-recognized groups that were denied access under these same conditions," Hook said. As a result of "what some would term a hostile environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, the membership rolls have suffered."

"As you can imagine," he added, "it is difficult to let employees know of the group's existence when they are not informed of it in official department literature, or only through word of mouth." Hook said the group had more than 200 members when the ban was handed down in 2003.

Recently, when the group organized "DOJ Pride on Ice," a skating event, it was barred from placing a notice on the bulletin board in the department's headquarters building, Hook said. Other events such as meetings, forums and brown-bag discussions also could not be posted, he said.

Heaven knows that LGBT attendance at a skating event could undermine the Departments credibility...what with militant homosexuals wearing those "sharp" edged shoes and prancing around an ice rink. Maybe the groups organizers should have been waterboarded in order to give up their favorite potluck recipes?!

I have no idea if one can conclude that Mukasey will be an honorable Attorney General in light of his recent parsing on the issue of torture. He apparently has, at the very least, the decency to realize that a handful of homosexuals aren't a threat to the Department and national security.

Maybe the powers that be can now focus their attention on pursuing the real threats to America. Too bad Osama bin Laden isn't gay; perhaps he might have already been apprehended?

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AG Michael Mukasey has reversed a DOJ practice that singled out gays. Unlike his two predecessors, the new Attorney General apparently believes a handful of ice skating gay employees do not present a threat to national security. Plans to waterboard gay... [Read More]

Tracked on February 5, 2008 12:40 PM

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