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A chat with Reichen Lemkuhl about Proposition 8, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and his disappointment in Obama

It was nice, as always, to run into Reichen Lehmkuhl at last week’s marriage equality rally in West Hollywood.

Ge was still trying to process the days’ events which started with the California Supreme Court announcing that it had upheld Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage in the state.

“I think I knew what the (CA Supreme Court) decision was going to be but when I actually heard it at 10:05 this morning on the news, it really hit me,” said Reichen, a former Amazing Race winner-turned model-actor and author. “I fear that the decision will hold back some of the national progress that we’ve made in the recent months. But at the same time, I know that overall we have a forward momentum.”

Reichen, who served in the U.S. Air Force, was especially gratified to see Lt. Dan Choi – recently discharged under the anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy – speak at the rally in such a dynamic fashion.

“Dan Choi, he really gave us his opinion and he brings up things that are really angering me. Like where is my president that I voted for? He’s the commander in chief, he does not need congress to stop the gay discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He could order the military to stop the discharges. My friend,  (Lt. Col.) Victor Fehrenbach, was just discharged after 18 years of Air Force service, a decorated F-15 pilot. His life is ruined.”

“There’s nothing in the works to end this system and the have no plans to overturn any decision made by the military to discharge Victor Fehrenbach? Where is President Obama, that’s my question. It’s a big surprise because my vote for him – and I had other choices – was based on his rhetoric which now is clearly empty.”


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