December 19, 2010

Yo, Annie Duke—Don't Ask, Don't Tweet

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill repealing the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy.*    The vote was the final obstacle in a two-decade effort to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country with integrity and honor.  For those of you who may not believe that the repeal of DADT was a major civil rights victory, I would encourage you to read these personal stories by current and former members of the military who happen to be gay or lesbian.  Although gay and lesbian Americans have served our country bravely for decades, allowing them to do so openly and honestly can only make the military stronger.

I was rather disappointed, unfortunately, in a Tweet posted by Annie Duke after the Senate vote:

They should have attached #reidbill to DADT. Then gays could play poker online in the military and tell people about it.

Seriously, Annie?  You want to juxtapose the passage of an historic civil rights bill with the defeat of a bill to legalize online gambling—errr, poker?  The DADT repeal took years of intense lobbying, while the poker bill was a last second attempt to pay off Senator Reid's corporate masters in the Nevada gaming industry.  The DADT repeal will allow gay and lesbian Americans to fight and die for their country, while the poker bill would've enabled more twenty-somethings to legally avoid real jobs in favor of multi-tabling sit 'n gos and chasing rakeback bonuses.  Ahh yes, Annie, I can certainly see how trivializing the DADT repeal is "good for poker".

Now, to be fair, Annie Duke's heart is in the right place on DADT repeal (immunizing her from inclusion on the infamous "D-Bag O' the Day" list):

Big victory in the Senate to repeal DADT. Big day for civil liberties and tolerance!

Duke, like most poker players, was likely disappointed in the Senate's failure to make any progress on legalization of online poker, an understandable reaction.  Duke also likely didn't intend for her breezy comparison of DADT repeal and the Reid poker bill to come off as insensitive to the DADT repeal victory.  Certainly in the grand scheme of things Duke's comment was more of a traffic violation than a serious misdemeanor, and substantially less offensive than the recent Twitter "jokes" of Duke's archnemesis.  But Duke's comment does trivialize the momentous importance of the DADT repeal.  Hopefully Duke will be a little more careful in how she advocates for poker going forward.


* Special thanks are owed to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), an Iraq War veteran, as well as Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Susan Collins (R-ME), for their leadership in shepherding this bill through Congress.


  1. Not sure if it was tongue in cheek or if she really felt that way. Hard to tell from a tweet. It does speak to professional poker players, though. Especially celebrity poker players. The world simply revolves around them, so anything that is good for them must be good for everyone.

    Yet one more reason I won't be quitting my day job.

    -DrC (21 year Army combat vet who proudly served with many gay and lesbian soldiers)

  2. In defense of Annie UIGEA didn't have a lot to do with Port Security either.

    Served less than 1% of active duty time of Doc, all on a destroyer, am positive I never served with any lesbian sailors but wife's cousin did leave Navy over DADT and she was a good officer.

  3. @ Bayne:

    "In defense of Annie UIGEA didn't have a lot to do with Port Security either."

    Well played, sir. :-)