September 21, 2010

Lady Gaga: 'Equality is the prime rib of America'

By Shannon Bryan
Staff Writer

5:32 p.m. - Lady Gaga continues: "If the Senate and the President are not going to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' perhaps they should be more clear with us about who the military is fighting for, who our tax dollars are supporting and ultimately, how much does the prime rib cost? Because I thought this was an all you can eat buffet..."

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Lady Gaga speaks to the crowd during today's rally to eliminate the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy at Deering Oaks Park in Portland.

Tim Greeway/Staff Photographer

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An image capture from Lady Gaga's Youtube video advocating repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

"I have to pay extra, because I'm gay. I'm allowed to stand in line...get shot at...shoot a gun. But when it's time to order my meal, to benefit from the freedoms of the Constitution, I have to pay extra. I shouldn't have to pay extra."

"My name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. I am an American citizen"

"Equaity is the prime rib of America. Equality is the prime rib of what we stand for as a nation. And I don't get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat that my country has to offer."

Screams into microphone: "Are you listening?"

"Repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' or go home."

She chants "GO home" and the crowd responds by chanting as well.

"Thank you" and she exits the stage.

Crowd immediately begins dispersing.

5:17 p.m. - Lady Gaga notes Matthew Sheppard case, and how the two men who killed him are in prison.

"Doesn't 'don't ask, don't tell' seem to be backwards? Doesn't it seem to you we should send home the prejudice? The straight soldier who hates the gay soldier, whose performance is affected because he is homophobic?

"He holds and harbors hate and he gets to stay and fight for our country. We gay soldiers, who harbor no hate, no phobia, are sent home ... I'd like to propose a new law. a law that sends home the soldier that has the problem. Our new law is called "If you don't like it, go home."

"A law that discharges soldiers with the issue." (Huge applause from the crowd.) '"A law that doesn't persecute the gay soldier that fights for equality with no problem.

"...Send home straight soldiers who fight for some equalities, but not for the equality of the gay.... If you are not committed to perform in excellence because you don't believe in equality - GO home!

"I thought equality was non-negotiable."

5:10 p.m. - The crowd's cheering is coming to a swell as Lady Gaga makes her way to the stage. Her blonde locks let down for today's event, along with relatively casual attire, especially considering her typically flamboyant clothing. Every arm in the crowd is extended overhead with a cameraphone to capture a photo.

"I spent 48 hours trying to find the perfect thing to say. My address to you today is called the prime rib of America."

"I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will defend the Constitution of the U.S... bear true faith and allegiance...I will obey the order of president of the United States and officers appointed over me... So help me God...Unless there is a gay solider in my unit, sir."

"That is the oath taken every day."

"Equality is the prime rib of America, but because I'm gay I don't get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat my country has to offer."

5:09 p.m. - Master Sargent David Hall says the crowd isn't chanting loud enough for Lady Gaga.

Crowd begins chanting "This law sucks" loudly.

A USM student (name unclear) takes the stage - still no sight of Lady Gaga.

"You are standing up and being heard," she says. "Thank you so much for being here."

She jokes about stalling for time, as Lady Gaga is apparently still disembarking the tour bus.

(Continued on page 2)

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