Unfriendly Fire
How the gay ban undermines the military and weakens America

Will We Wait for Another Sailor to be Murdered?

July 9th, 2009

Last week a 29-year-old gay sailor was found shot to death at a guard shack at Camp Pendleton. The question that immediately rose to the minds of gay advocates who remember the anti-gay murder of Private First Class Barry Winchell exactly a decade ago, was whether Seaman August Provost was killed because he’s gay.

While human rights activists have worked to ensure a full investigation, the Navy has Read the rest of this entry »

Nathaniel on NPR’s “Fresh Air” today

June 16th, 2009

Today I was interviewed for the bulk of the hour on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross. I’ve been a longstanding fan of the show, which is produced out of my hometown, Philadelphia, so it was a special pleasure to appear as a guest. Click here to listen. The show aired today in conjunction with tonight’s PBS television premiere of ASK NOT, a terrific documentary made by my colleague, Johnny Symons, which features my friend, Alex Nicholson, a gay soldier who also spoke with Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.”

The Supreme Court and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

June 11th, 2009

For my thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” click here to read my post published today at the American Constitution Society.

Nathaniel on NPR

May 28th, 2009

Last week I participated in a debate on NPR’s “To The Point” with Lt. Dan Choi, recently separated Iraq War combat veteran and Arabic translator, as well as Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which is dedicated to getting women and gays out of combat. We spoke for the full hour, and my segment is between minute 30 and 40. List here.

My Address at West Point

May 7th, 2009

Yesterday, I addressed 150 Army cadets at West Point Military Academy in New York’s Hudson Valley. The Palm Center delivered the first-ever outside lecture about “don’t ask, don’t tell” at West Point six years go when our director, Aaron Belkin, was invited to speak there, and I was continuing in this tradition, Read the rest of this entry »

One Hundred Days of Silence

April 29th, 2009

Cross-posted on Huffington Post

Just as Republicans are beginning to realize that gay marriage may not remain a winning wedge issue forever, conservative lawmakers are reportedly setting out to use gays in the military to divide President Obama and the military. The strategy is to ask the Defense Secretary or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about gay troops in upcoming hearings on the Defense budget, before the president has reached out to ensure that his team members are all on the same page.

If military leaders don’t Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the True Nature of Resistance to Openly Gay Service?

April 21st, 2009

The interchange between me and uniformed personnel who oppose openly gay service has been, I think, instructive for all. Some are clearly not interested in having a productive debate, but others just as clearly are. So this post contains another reply to someone I hope will allow me to call him my new friend, “USMC,” whose previous comment to me can be see here. In wishing him “courage” in his orientation toward openly gay troops, he felt I was calling him a coward. My reply: Read the rest of this entry »

Is Openly Gay Service an Unacceptable Risk?

April 18th, 2009

Here are some of my thoughts in response to the spirited comments prompted by my last blog post, which was itself a response to some of the venom that poured fourth after my recent cnn.com op-ed. Some in this debate were clearly not interested in a productive dialogue, but many–even those I disagree with–seem open to genuine debate, which I appreciate. This is a response to them, especially “USMC” and “J Haplin.” (In a previous comment thread, we debated the role of civilian academics in contributing to the debate on whether to lift the gay ban. The upshot for me was Read the rest of this entry »

Hate Mail Streams In

April 16th, 2009

Within hours of posting a commentary today on cnn.com, I got the following email:

I’d rather serve with an ex-felon than some limp-wristed faggot looking at my ass in the shower. Read the rest of this entry »

Did Amazon Remove “Unfriendly Fire” Because of its Gay Theme?

April 14th, 2009

Yesterday, a mystery about my book began to resolve itself. Sort of. About a week ago, I noticed that my sales rank on Amazon was no longer appearing on the order page for “Unfriendly Fire.” I assumed it was a glitch and would be restored. A few other strange changes had also occurred, including that the book is now $2 more expensive (huge demand driving the price up?) and that Read the rest of this entry »


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