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Allegations of spying were first reported in the media last week. The reports said that Pentagon investigators labeled a gay kiss-in at the University of California - Santa Cruz as a "credible threat" of terrorism. The demonstration, to protest the ban on gays in the military, was staged in front of Army, Navy and Marine Corps recruiters who were trying to interest students in careers in the military. (story) Media outlets also reported that Pentagon had spied on New York University law school’s LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw, which the military classified as “possibly violent”. The administration is also alleged to have spied on gay groups at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. "To suggest that a gay kiss-in is a ‘credible threat’ is absurd, homophobic and irrational," said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director C. Dixon Osburn. “Students have a first amendment right to protest and Americans have a right to expect that their government will respect our constitutional right to privacy. Osburn said that the SLDN will file the Freedom of Information Act request to see how much information the Pentagon is amassing on gays. "The Pentagon is supposed to defend the Constitution, not turn it upside down,” Osburn said.In January, the Pentagon confirmed reports that the Air Force proposed developing a chemical weapon in 1994 which would turn enemies gay. The proposal was part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base and called to develop "chemicals that effect (sic) human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic). One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior." The Pentagon later said that it had never intended on developing the weapon. Anti-gay spying by the Government is nothing new. Gay groups have been spied on by the Government since 1961:
David K. Johnson, a historian at University of South Florida and author of The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, the banner of “national security” has long been used as a pretext to crack down on gay rights and even to spark moral crusades against homosexuality under the guise of national defense. His book explains that “security risk” was used throughout the Cold War to invoke “the specter of homosexuality,” which was cast as a threat to national security, and as something that “needed to be systematically removed” from the government and minimized in the culture at large. Johnson said the Pentagon’s spying is the latest in a long history of targeting gays and lesbians as subversives, despite lacking any evidence for such a charge. “It's no surprise,” he said. “The federal government began spying on those who challenged its discriminatory policies from the very earliest days of such activism.” He said the FBI investigated the first organizational meeting in 1961 of what became the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay rights groups. Government agents took photographs in 1965 at the first gay and lesbian public demonstration in front of the White House against the military’s exclusionary policies.===== This is absolutely sickening, but you know they have been doing it ever since gays first started to organize for our rights. The United States is a great place and our Government is a wonderful one. Our Founding Fathers, I think, would be proud to know that their vision of a nation guided by their Consitution and built upon the concepts of 'for the People, by the People' is still in existence. Heck... we have even managed to spread democracy across the globe. Sometimes, though, the Government goes to far. People aren't perfect though and neither is the Government. The monitoring of peaceful, law-abiding citizens must stop, however. The Government is overstepping its bounds by spying on citizens without reason. A protest against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is not a threat to national security; monitoring such protests is nothing more than another governmentally endorsed prejudice and bias against LGBT Americans. Technorati Tags: lgbt, gay rights, don't ask, don't tell, spying, military, united states