Tag Archives: Hunger Strike

NYC Gay Rights Activist Alan Bounville Goes On Hunger Strike Demanding Gays Be Added to the Civil Rights Act

New York City gay activist Alan Bounville who has been trying to  persuade Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to file a bill adding gays and lesbians to the 1964 Civil Rights Act has gone on a hunger strike.

Bounville has been trying to to persuade  Gillibrand, a staunch supporter of marriage equality and a proactive advocate of DADT repeal, to file the bill for weeks by holding daily vigils in front of her campaign office to no avail.  So on election day Bounville began his hunger strike.

On Oct. 11, the vigil was expanded to a 24-hour protest and ended early Tuesday morning when Bounville started his hunger strike at an undisclosed location.

On Tuesday night, 18 hours into the fast, Bounville spoke to DNAinfo over the phone.

“I have a bit of a headache,” he said. “What’s keeping me going is these visualizations of Tyler Clementi jumping off that bridge. I keep replaying that in my mind.”

“The issue is full civil rights right now,” he explained, in contrast to the more narrow, targeted battles favored by many mainstream LGBT advocacy groups such as marriage equality, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and anti-bullying bills.

“None of this piecemeal, convoluted stuff,” he said.

But even within the LGBT community, many believe that a campaign like Bounville’s should wait for a time when there is broader congressional support.

“You can count on one hand the number of members of the Senate that supports this idea,” Richard Socarides, a Chelsea-based gay and lesbian civil rights attorney and former White House advisor to President Clinton, said at the start of the vigil.

“Senator Gillibrand has been probably our strongest advocate for gay and lesbian civil rights in the entire federal government,” he added

As for Socarides that whole “wait till more are on board” is a such a disastrous plan because we will be waiting forever.  The whole point is to write up the bill and THEN get people to support it.  make deals, exert pressure. We march, picket, rally.  Did none of these people ever take a Political Science Class?

And for all of you out there going but Kristen is our friend.  Yea maybe she is.  But whats the harm in writing up the Bill?  There is none. 

I admire his passion and there’s certainly room for radicalism (which also makes the left of center look more centrist). And while he’s certainly correct that our representatives are our employees, just like other employees they are people and they respond to relationships.  But there is a point when you have to scream at every friend to do something or make a REAL STAND for you.

Capt. James Pietrangelo’s and Lt. Dan Choi’s DADT Hunger Strike Now In Fifth Day (Video)

Five days ago on at 10:30pm Thursday night,  in Northwest Washington D.C., Lt. Daniel Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo began a hunger strike in response to the  ultra lame “compromise” plan to repeal DADT. 

So while our Gay Orgs issue press releases “prasing” this totally ridiculous “non-repeal” and the White House spins it into a monumental feat that they are doing for the LGBT Community Pietrangelo and Choi are standing up and  making a statement.

Dan Choi: “I hope that people will remember in future generations that somebody did stand up uncompromisingly in 2010.”

Best of luck Jim and Dan.

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo To Start DADT Hunger Strike – Choi in Newsweek: DADT Compromise is Unacceptable

Immediately following congressional mark-ups on the National Defense Authorization Act 2011, Captain James Pietrangelo and Lt. Dan Choi will commence a fast in pursuit of Equality and Dignity.

Captain James Pietrangelo and Lt. Dan Choi have three demands of President Barack Obama.

DEMAND #1: End the Comprehensive Working Group “Study,” which insults the dignity of all Americans.

DEMAND #2: End “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” discharges forever.

DEMAND #3: Replace all discriminatory regulations in the military with a comprehensive non-discrimination policy.

Dan Choi told Newsweek earlier this week:

“This compromise isn’t what I, or any of my fellow advocates, wanted or expected. The compromise does not end the firings. Nor does it restore our integrity. It is the result of a White House that has been AWOL on “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal for the last year and a half, and now is desperately trying to find a solution—any solution, regardless of how unworkable—to a problem and a promise it would rather just go away. Our ‘fierce advocate,’ as the president promised the gay community he would be, has presented us with a last-minute Hobson’s choice, and it is no cause for celebration.”