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José M. Zuniga’s Reaction to March on White House

Jose M. Zuniga addresses supporters at March on the White House, June 27.I was proud to join hundreds of LGBT Americans on June 27 in exercising our right to demand that our elected leaders take action to right a wrong perpetrated against service members whose service to our country is no less honorable or patriotic than our straight brothers and sisters at arms. The March on the White House was for me a unifying event, not just because those of us who marched are adamant in our desire for DADT to be repealed, but because as we joined by bystanders, who cheered or gave us a thumbs up - they, too, know DADT must end. Hopefully our demands were heard by President Obama, under whose watch and since Inauguration Day, 265 Americans have been discharged. Repealing DADT cannot be delayed for political expedience. Throughout his presidential campaign, Candidate Obama inspired us to hope that the politics of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination would no longer prevail. We demand a politics of tolerance, respect for our fellow man and woman (irrespective of sexual orientation), and nondiscrimination under which DADT is morally unacceptable. March to the White House

By José M. Zuniga, SLDN Board |


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Michael @ on June 29, 2009 at 06.35 pm

For those unfamiliar with him, Jose Zuniga is one of the greatest heroes of the decades old battle to end the ban on gays in the military because he is one of the few who volunteered for that fight by purposely outing themselves as USAF Tech. Sgt. Leonard Matlovich had first done in 1975.

Seventeen years before Army National Guard Lt. Dan Choi and USAF Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach went public to pressure President Obama to end DADT, Moffett Field sailor Keith Meinhold came out on the “ABC Evening News” even before Bill Clinton was officially nominated. That same evening on “Nightline,” Navy Top Gun Lt. Tracy Thorne did, too.

Four days before his inauguration, Naval Reserve Lt. Zoe Dunning outed herself at a Moffett rally. And that April, Presidio Soldier of the Year, Desert Storm veteran, Army Sgt. Jose Zuniga strode on stage in his dress blues at a huge celebration the night before the 1993 March on Washington and, to thundering, tear-stained applause, said,

“I urge you, Mr. President, lead the way, show us the courage and conviction to guide our country, and specifically the military, into a new era of understanding.”

No one there that night yet grasped how deep the fangs of rabid homophobes in and outside of government, in and out of uniform, already were into Clinton’s best intentions. And, barely three months later, they gutted them.

In 2007, candidate Barack Obama recalled, “rather than embracing leadership and principle [the Party] bowed to fear and prejudice.”  Meinhold and Dunning won their battles to stay in. After vindictively demoting him, Zuniga’s drumming out remained permanent as did that of Tracy Thorne.

Two of over 100,000 since WWII, 13,000 since DADT, 272 since President Obama was sworn in . . . and counting because now he, too, has bowed to fear and prejudice, and Leonard’s “...and a discharge for loving one” and Jose’s “I urge you, Mr. President….” remain as fresh today as they were the first time they were spoken.

Chicago Tribune in Iraq on June 29, 2009 at 04.58 pm

Facing some complaints, Obama reassures gay rights activists he will fight for them
By Associated Press
4:10 PM CDT, June 29, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is reiterating his support for gay rights causes, telling activists that he’s a friend who will fight for them and with them while in the White House.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama are holding an East Room reception Monday afternoon to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

Some activists have complained that Obama has not championed their causes loudly enough as president.

But the president says his administration already has made progress on several fronts and that activists will — in his words — “have pretty good feelings” about the Obama administration when he leaves office.

Marc on June 29, 2009 at 11.42 am

As you know, most O-6 level brigade, regiment, wing commanding officers want to be promoted to General Officer.
The US Senate gets to approve, reject, or “hold” these promotions.
If the Dems in the Senate had the names of these O-6 level commanders that have been discharging people, any individual Senator could put a permanent Hold on that officer’s promotion. The fear of not getting promoted would make them think twice before engaging in these witch-hunts!