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Courage Campaign Says U.S. Military Blocked Website

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A gay rights group in California says the U.S. military in Iraq is blocking access to its main website.

The Courage Campaign says one of its members stationed in Iraq emailed them saying he was unable to access the webpage. The prospective voter was trying to download the group’s ‘voter’s guide’ for this week’s midterm elections.

But Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs told OutQ News that the deployed member was able to access websites for groups that are, in his words, “not on our side.” Such groups include the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, and others that he says constantly attack President Obama.

Jacobs says he sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates last Monday to find out why the site was blocked, but has yet to hear back. Now Jacobs says his group is in direct contact with officials at the U.S. embassy in Iraq to try and get some answers.

Congressional journal ‘The Hill’ says one possible explanation could be that an automatic filter may have picked up on a few of the site’s keywords, like sex…as in same-sex marriage…and gay…as in gay rights. The site also has a section dedicated to fighting for the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which is still in place.

Jacobs says the group’s main goal now is to find out who makes the decision about what troops see and the criteria by which those decisions are made.

Jacobs: Let’s have a very clear understanding of the policy…it’s vital because these are hundreds of thousands of Americans…by the way, they vote…they have the right to vote and we want them to vote and we want them to have the information to make an informed choice.

Jacobs says his group shouldn’t have to spend time trying to figure out how to get information to its members through alternate means. But, for the mean time, the Courage Campaign will continue to do so–Jacob says the site is still blocked.

-Xorje Olivares 

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Written by OutQ News staff

November 3, 2010 at 4:40 AM

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