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Proposal to turn USS Iowa into museum honoring gay servicemembers

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:39 pm - September 9, 2005.
Filed under: American History,Gays In Military,Liberals

Patrick of the Gryphmon blog alerted us to another us to the latest wrinkle in the saga of San Francisco and the USS Iowa. Now, some want to “turn part of the vessel into a museum honoring the contributions of gays, lesbians, ethnic minorities and women to the military” in order to “help sway the Board of Supervisors’ decision.” As we reported in July, the Board voted against the permanent berthing of the USS Iowa in their city.

While it’s important that we recognize the courage and sacrifice the countless gay and lesbian service members over the years, this is not the place to do it. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors should reverse their July decision and agree to berth this battleship in their fair city to honor all those who served to defend our freedom–and the particular history of this ship. Most of the men and women who served aboard the ship were straight.

We must honor them as well when we tell the story great ship. It brought President Roosevelt home from the Tehran Conference and “suffered one of the nation’s most deadly military accidents in 1989 when 47 sailors were killed in an explosion during a training exercise.

As we remember that history, let’s find another means to honor gay and lesbian veterans. And let us do so in a way that shows their sexuality was incidental to their service to our great nation.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest):



  1. I agree, Dan. This ship didn’t house only gays, minorities, and women. It’d be insulting to everybody else who served on the Iowa to specifically exclude them from the history of their own ship. You’re right for exactly the same reason it’d be improper to make the ship a monument to straight white men.

    Oh, and I heard that explosion in 1989 was Bush’s fault.

    Comment by njz — September 9, 2005 @ 4:07 pm - September 9, 2005

  2. That’s “Gryphmon”. Heh.

    Actually any exhibit aboard the Iowa about the accident is in of itself partly a GLBT exhibit. The ammunition accident that claimed the lives of 47 men was blamed by the Navy in it’s official report on what they called a “gay lovers quarrel” and claimed it was intentional sabotage.

    This was during the initial political uproar about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Besides covering up for it’s own incompetence, the Navy wanted to discredit the idea of allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military.

    The Navy completely fabricated the entire story. The sailors involved were neither lovers nor gay. Nor did they or anyone else deliberately cause the accident. It was caused directly by the malfeasance of the Captain, who was firing the guns continuously in order to impress a visiting Admiral. This, coupled with lax procedures and poor training are what most likely led to the explosion. The Navy’s story was created to cover up the incident and protect the reputations of the officers involved.

    After massive outrage raised by the families of the sailors that died, the Navy was eventually forced to admit, during Congressional hearings before the Senate Armed Services committee, that it had covered-up the true causes of the accident.

    You can read about the incident and it’s cover up in the book by Richard L. Schwoebel, called “Explosion Aboard the Iowa” from the Naval Institute Press. The author was head of a technical team of independent investigators hired by the Senate Armed Services Committee, that looked into the matter in the aftermath of the cover-up.

    So in this case, as I’ve said on my blog, the Iowa IS a part of both Naval history and gay and lesbian history. It’s literally a part of the history of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s one of the things that makes the no-vote by the Supervisors so stupid and ignorant.

    As a side note, there has even been some talk in Congress, (that most likely will go nowhere), of actually re-commisioning the Iowa and another vessel, as the Navy is actually a little short of large battleships with the range of the Iowa’s guns right now.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — September 9, 2005 @ 4:27 pm - September 9, 2005

  3. I agree with Gryph on this one, GPW. As I’ve already blogged several times, this is a great opportunity, and the ship’s own history punctuates the point nicely.

    I understand your point that we must honor all the people who served on this ship. However, devoting a part of the Iowa to a frank discussion of the ship’s history, which would include the attempt to wrongly blame gays for the turret accident, is just the key we need to make people start asking questions.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 9, 2005 @ 4:58 pm - September 9, 2005

  4. I did not know about the attempt to blame the explosion on a gay lovers’ quarrel. I would hope that what Patrick wrote above would be part of the exhibition.

    And I’ll make sure to change the spelling of his blog. 🙂

    Comment by Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest) — September 9, 2005 @ 5:36 pm - September 9, 2005

  5. What? No segment about the blacks who served? What about the Irish, Italians, Jews etc.? You HAVE to have a seperate part for them. Don’t forget the transgendered.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 9, 2005 @ 7:38 pm - September 9, 2005

  6. Well, seems to me that a docked or recommsssioned Iowa would just need a plaque commenerating the service of those who served and died on her, and a nice appology on that plaque would be nice.

    And Dan, even a straight guy like me heard the ‘gay lover story’ and subsequent debunking. 😉

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 9, 2005 @ 8:54 pm - September 9, 2005

  7. Actually, one of the really hopeful and pleasant surprises about this is that the o
    Actually, Mr. “Gay Conservative”, no one is proposing a separate exhibit for gays and lesbians in any way. This is just a part of the history of the ship. Don’t have the the same kind of knee-jerk type of reaction the Board of Supervisors had regarding the Iowa in reverse.

    If you read the linked article, what I thought was really interesting and terrific is that it wasn’t a “GLBT” organization that proposing this idea. It was the same non-profit organization that has been trying to get the Iowa setup as a museum for years.

    “I think the Iowa could be a very powerful teaching tool regarding recruitment and U.S. defense policy,” said Merylin Wong, president of the Historic Ship Memorial at Pacific Square, the San Francisco organization lobbying for the ship.”

    Besides, “Mr. Gay Conservative” the matter of gays and lesibans serving with honor and distinction in both peacetime and war is a given fact. As is “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”. As is the fact that for over a hundred years we had a military segregated by race and at times even social class. This is our collective history and heritage as a nation. Deeds both great and heinous. You can know both the triumphs and failures of our country’s history and still love America. It’ doesn’t make the dream and promise of America any less bright. You can still be a Patriot. Isn’t that a fundamental American value? You get to choose who and what you want to be. Or to at least make the attempt. God Bless America.

    Heh, -I’ve been playing too much City of Heroes lately, I’m starting to sound like wannabe superhero… 😉 Captain Moonbat.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — September 9, 2005 @ 9:19 pm - September 9, 2005

  8. F’ing rediculous. I’d rather see the Iowa sunk in the Pacific than see it’s honorable legacy disgraced by turning it into a showpiece for ANY single group, gay, straight, or otherwise, except the thousands of military men and women who manned it during peactime as well as during war…period. To even suggest that it be co-opted in the way being suggested is absolutely, positively disgusting and anyone who supports this asinine proposal is a full-blown idiot. This idea is so ludicrous that I can’t even believe that this is being posted and I’m actually ashamed that I was motivated to comment.

    Here’s hoping that this is killed as fast as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors killed the idea of docking the ship in the Bay because they believed it is a symbol of American miliatary aggression. Just wait until the American public gets wind of this. It’ll be yet another reason for average Americans to view the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/sexually confused/deviant population as nothing more than selfish, brain-addled children who’ve still not earned the privilage of sitting at the adult table. And I’ll be right there with them.

    Comment by glisteny — September 10, 2005 @ 2:08 am - September 10, 2005

  9. This is pathetic, I know, but I’ve had a nap now and I am back at my PC after an overnight 4-hour writing effort (which I’m quite pleased with actually). And guys, I’m sorry for having dragged you all into this especially on a serious topic like the Iowa, but I am really pissed off. Why? Because my name is being used by one of the jerks who I have put into their place before — and because I am sure that it’s either that bastard Reader who calls me names or maybe that asshole Joe who thinks I’m a silly queen like him or maybe even that nincompoop Chandler — that one of these sick, disgusting asinine idiots have used my name. No, maybe it wasn’t Chandler — he’s not that creative. Sadly, these life-less brain-added fruits can’t even spell my name. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to make people here think I was drunk the other night and hitting on Frank and some black guy. That was NOT me, even though I thought some of it was actually mildly funny and worthy of something Chandler “might” come up with — if he could actually write a comment without using all those worthless equal signs. Well, as I’ve warned these shits, they do this at their own peril because, as Miss Crawford told the boys at Coca-Cola, “don’t fuck with me, fellows!”

    Comment by glisteny — September 10, 2005 @ 8:10 am - September 10, 2005

  10. Wow! I missed that. I don’t know what would be more interesting to read. That, or dedicating a section of the Iowa to the left-handed transgendered hermaphrodites.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 10, 2005 @ 10:40 am - September 10, 2005

  11. This is all getting very weird.
    Dan, Bruce, is there any way you can get this in control?

    Comment by njz — September 10, 2005 @ 10:50 am - September 10, 2005

  12. Glisteny, regarding the Iowa, I think you are overreacting. This isn’t about putting a “gay museum” on the Iowa. The title of the news article is misleading. Read the full article. The museum is about the ship itself. But like it or not, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is a part of the history of that ship. To dock the Iowa without mentioning the 47 men that died in that accident would be just as insulting as if you never showed the names of any of the men that served and died on her at all.

    If you were the parents of the men who were falsely accused of having caused the explosion deliberately, wouldn’t you want the truth of the matter to be told in any exhibit about the incident?

    Yes, I know you don’t like “gay” anything. But nevertheless, we still do exist. We are also a part of the fabric of this country, and have been so since it’s beginning. We have the same right as any other citizen to be acknowledged. That’s just the simple truth of the matter.

    For crying out loud Glisteny, even convicted criminals have on occasion been acknowledged for their contributions to this country.

    If you can’t deal with that, then you need to take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself if your objections are based on sound reasoning or simple prejudice? And here is a hint; if you think it’s sound reasoning you should go soak your head.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — September 10, 2005 @ 2:18 pm - September 10, 2005

  13. #9

    You have just failed the queer test…..

    Mommy Dearest was Pepsi Co……not Coke.

    However…you do get wire hangers as a consolation prize. 🙂




    Comment by monty — September 10, 2005 @ 11:00 pm - September 10, 2005

  14. Yes, I know you don’t like “gay” anything.

    Couldn’t come up with a more asinine comment, eh Patty?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 10, 2005 @ 11:05 pm - September 10, 2005

  15. I’m sure Patty could….but then…you wouldn’t have understood it as easily.

    BTW…I like all the responses you’re getting on your blog. Keep up the good work. 🙂


    Comment by monty — September 10, 2005 @ 11:36 pm - September 10, 2005

  16. I am really pissed off. Why? Because my name is being used by one of the jerks who I have put into their place before — maybe even that nincompoop Chandler No, maybe it wasn’t Chandler — he’s not that creative. That was NOT me, even though I thought some of it was actually mildly funny and worthy of something Chandler “might” come up with — if he could actually write a comment without using all those worthless equal signs.
    Comment by glisteny
    You mother fucking cunt. You should not be pissed off but pissed on. If I were going to clone someone in this group I would pick someone with a brain. But for you, you miserable, talentless clot of cum whipped santorum, to have the inkling that I would waste my time painting a WORSE picture of you than YOU do in your silly, juvenile anal expulsive eructions have another thing coming. And that thing should be a dry fisting, you diseased and prolapsed asshole.

    Did I mention to fuck off?

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — September 11, 2005 @ 2:24 am - September 11, 2005

  17. #15
    And where’s yours? Was taken already?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 11, 2005 @ 2:32 am - September 11, 2005

  18. Their sexual orientation may be incidental, but having an exhibit showing that there were gays and lesbians serving in the military would be much different than the current stance of “eliminate the evidence of gays serving in the military.”

    The reasons special musems like these come about is normally after years of not being mentioned.

    Comment by Joey — September 11, 2005 @ 5:14 am - September 11, 2005

  19. Bruce, Dan –

    Unless you’d like this place to become like Daily Kos…..For raw malice, ugliness and hate, there is at least one person in the above comments who should be banned – possibly two.

    May I also respectfully suggest that you consider registration-based comments? (Registration-based makes it easier for the occasional ban to have a real effect, and hence, people are a little more accountable.)

    Comment by joe — September 11, 2005 @ 10:18 am - September 11, 2005

  20. (also, any questions of “impersonation” are excluded)

    Comment by joe — September 11, 2005 @ 10:19 am - September 11, 2005

  21. This isn’t about putting a “gay museum” on the Iowa. The title of the news article is misleading.

    Proposal for USS Iowa museum honoring gays in military in works

    Supporters say a proposal to turn part of the vessel into a museum honoring the contributions of gays, lesbians, ethnic minorities and women to the military should help sway the Board of Supervisors’ decision.

    What’s misleading about that?

    But like it or not, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is a part of the history of that ship.

    But she was decommissioned three years before DADT.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 11, 2005 @ 11:35 am - September 11, 2005

  22. Bruce, Dan –

    Unless you’d like this place to become like Daily Kos
    Like ten thousand hits a day.
    No better yet keep it the little knitting club it is. Lemon, anyone?

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — September 11, 2005 @ 5:09 pm - September 11, 2005

  23. SO LONG, “glisteny”! – A note to all GP posters:

    I think you all should know that READER has spent the past week or so posting a variety of whacked-out messages on a number of different GP threads – including # 9 above – under my screen name “glisteny”. I think most of the regular posters here may have suspected as much. (BTW, comment #10 was actually from me, as I think you can also tell.)

    Judging from the weight of his previous posts, it should be fairly clear to all by now that READER is a highly disturbed individual with issues that go far beyond his frustration with me, other gay conservatives, President Bush, or the current state of American society. I am fairly confident that he is afflicted with more than a few pathologies of an undetermined nature and possibly suffers from other, more personal problems that motivate him to lash out in the way he does. Some of you will also know that prior to his current on-screen persona, he posted here under the name “DEMSNE LORD” until he was banned by Bruce for his over-the-top comments.

    To that extent and in order to maintain control over my own statements, I’m permanently retiring “glisteny” in favor of another, yet-to-be-determined moniker so anything you see posted by “glisteny” from here on – whether with the incorrect Capital “G” or not – will not have come from me but instead from READER. I may also choose to post under a few different names but I’m sure you’ll be able to recognize me from the tone and sentiment expressed in the message. And, of course, by the always-correct spelling, impeccable grammar, and razor-sharp wit – none of which READER possesses.

    Keep in mind, this doesn’t bother me. I am neither annonyed nor deterred by this, and I don’t really excpect Bruce to get involved because he shouldn’t have to play baby-sitter here. But the rest of you should be aware that READER – whom you’ll notice has not posted anything on this particular thread under his own name in favor of doing so under mine, or at least my former name – is fully capable of posting under your own names, too. And you should be prepared to call him out on it if you feel he has done so.

    Anyhow, say goodbye to ‘glisteny’, guys, and hello to someone else. Much like Puff Daddy/P-Diddy/Diddy, etc., etc., the name may change but the message will be the same. See you all soon! 🙂

    P.S.: Although I wouldn’t expect one, READER owes both Joe and Frank apologies for the offensive comments directed toward them in #9.

    P.P.S.: I thought it was hilarious that Chandler in Hollywood (aka WeHoBoi) got duped into posting such a revealingly vulgar response to a post that actually came from his ideaological soul-mate, READER, and not from me. I can now see why this alleged “writer-actor-producer” hasn’t actually written, acted in, or produced anything of note. He is – as I am highly fond of saying – an idiot.

    Comment by glisteny — September 11, 2005 @ 5:29 pm - September 11, 2005

  24. Correction to the preceding message #23:

    Message #8 was actually from me, not #10. Unless, of course, READER has taken to posting under ThatGayConservative’s name, too. One can never tell.

    By the way, it’s clear from his comments on various other threads that READER also posts as “Monty” and “mependalous” and perhaps under other names, as well. Just thought you all should be aware so you can keep accurate track of her multiple personalities.

    So, having cleared that up, that’s *really* all from the real ‘glisteny’! 🙂

    Comment by glisteny — September 11, 2005 @ 6:45 pm - September 11, 2005

  25. How about posting as yourself? What a novel idea. Join the real people here like, Dan, and Bruce and the others. And if my didtribe was provoked by someone other than you, I appologise.

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — September 11, 2005 @ 8:10 pm - September 11, 2005

  26. Glisteny,

    Lets talk about the “Three Faces Of Eve”…or…”Sybll (sic).

    What a piece of work you are. You create such a hateful forum in which to work and then complain when shit comes back to bite you.

    What an ugly, slimey, worm you’ve become. Enjoy yourself!! No body else will.


    Comment by monty/reader/chandler/big black man.... — September 11, 2005 @ 11:03 pm - September 11, 2005

  27. #22
    I can’t speak for Bruce or Dan, but I’d much rather live without the 10,000 hits a day on a putrid, kook cesspool of Neo-socialism.


    Unless, of course, READER has taken to posting under ThatGayConservative’s name, too. One can never tell.

    Not that I know of, but that sort of crap coming from trash like that wouldn’t surprise me.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 11, 2005 @ 11:43 pm - September 11, 2005

  28. TGC,

    You sure got a turdy mouth.


    Comment by monty — September 12, 2005 @ 11:28 am - September 12, 2005

  29. #28

    Oh good. Something you’re familiar with.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 12, 2005 @ 12:13 pm - September 12, 2005

  30. Say Monty,
    what are you going to jack off to since there’s no pics of stacks of dead bodies?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 12, 2005 @ 12:55 pm - September 12, 2005

  31. But she was decommissioned three years before DADT.

    The “no gays in the military” policy has been around a lot longer. That is what I was referring to. I suppose you could accuse me of being misleading. But then again, since I have no doubt that you clearly knew what I was referring to anyway, then in your criticism you are being misleading as well.

    I still don’t see what your problem is with including gay and lesbian military history in the museum on the ship. Isn’t that why we have museums? To learn about history? And that history does exist you know. Its actually pretty well documented. Going back to the Revolutionary War when George Washington had someone hung for the crime of sodomy. It should be in a military history museum somewhere. Why not this one? It IS going to be docked at SF after all. It would probably bring in more tourism dollars if it did.

    It does not dishonor those that served on the ship. Some of which, no doubt, were also gay or lesbian. Unless you think being gay or lesbian is inherently dishonorable.

    Crew quarters on Naval ships used to be racially segregated. Is that also history you want to omit from discussion because it doesn’t reflect favorably on the US Military?

    Isn’t what you want simply another form of “Political Correctness”? Its one thing to disagree with the idea that gays and lesbians have served, (and continue to serve), honorably in the military, but you are trying to silence the conversation before its even started. Haven’t we had enough of that nonsense from the Left? Why should we tolerate it from the Right?

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — September 12, 2005 @ 2:11 pm - September 12, 2005

  32. Your right, Patty.

    I think there should be a section dedicated to the left-handed. You know, they made a lot of sacrifices for this country. Then we could have a sections for the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Jews, etc. Oooh! and sections for Floridians, Texans, Mississippians, N. Carolinans, Virginians. How about Aggies, Bulldogs, Gamecocks, Buckeyes, Seminoles, Tarheels, Orangemen, Sooners, Cornhuskers etc. Wouldn’t want to leave them out, would we? That wouldn’t be “inclusive”.

    How about dedicating the Iowa for Americans and saving the gay display for a gay WWII monument or museum? That would still “stick it to the man” which would make you happy, right?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 12, 2005 @ 8:40 pm - September 12, 2005

  33. “…in a way that shows their sexuality was incidental to their service to our great nation.” I love this line. Having served with the non-flamboyant, and knowing more than a couple of non-flamboyant vets, the idea that their sexuality was “incidental to their service,” is one that resonates with me, and I’d bet with them.


    Comment by Kalroy — September 12, 2005 @ 11:25 pm - September 12, 2005

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