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Don't ask, don't tell: Is Obama right to call for repeal?

President Obama plans to ask for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in his State of the Union speech, White House officials said Wednesday. The policy forbids openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military, and requires their discharge should they tell fellow service members about their sexuality. Should the policy be repealed?

By Hal Straus  |  January 27, 2010; 7:35 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Hell no.

Barry the chickenhawk who never served favors his Rainbow coalition buddies.

Posted by: screwjob2 | January 27, 2010 8:46 PM

The "CEO" of my "company", the United States Army, has never served in our ranks. I have strong feelings on this issue and only ask 2 questions:

1. Do you trust "Geoffrey" to protect your country while being -faboulous-

2. Do you expect his battle buddies to "have his back" when he really only joined the service.. because he can now?

Sometimes things aren't equal. Thats why women aren't in the infantry. Thats why fat lazy men/women are kicked out of the military. There are certain requirments for the necessities to keep YOUR military superior. This new change will have drastic and damaging effects to ALL branches of service.

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 9:07 PM

Frankly, I wouldn't mind kicking the homophobes out of the military.

Posted by: kenner116 | January 27, 2010 9:12 PM

I live in Australia where Gay and Lesbian persons are welcome to serve in all three armed services, as indeed are members of Police Departments in all Australian States. This freedom Gay and Lesbian persons have to serve their Country in the service of their choice has been in existence in Australia for many years, where Gay and Lesbian people serve alongside their heterosexual colleagues with equal distinction and without any prejudice suggested or applied. America, I have visited your wonderful country many times, I love and respect your high principles, missguided on this issue. Withe great respect, you do need to get rid of this bad and dangerous Law, that at present holds back so many American Citizens from serving The United States in areas where they are needed urgently.

Posted by: rlukeb | January 27, 2010 9:15 PM

The US ARMY does not *NEED* openly gay soldiers. I am not a homophobe. I have homosexual friends. I have homosexual friends IN the military. If they want to truly serve their country, then why do they have to proclaim their sexuality?

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 9:20 PM

Repealing don't ask don't tell wouldn't require anyone to proclaim their sexuality. It would simply prevent the military from expelling someone based on their sexuality regardless of whether you declared it.

Posted by: dkocan | January 27, 2010 9:36 PM

To AmericanSoldier1

"Openly gay" doesn't mean they are making a pass at you or shouting from the rooftops that they are gay, it just means that they don't have to be afraid of someone finding out that their S.O. is of the same sex.

How would you feel if you were not allowed to talk about your girlfriend/wife, keep her picture in your locker, or in any way indicate that you had a close relationship with another human being? It's simply not natural and being forced to be unnecessarily secretive is damaging to all concerned.

Gays are just as capable at serving their country as straights are, and many have already served honorably. Our country has lost countless fluent Arabic translators because of the idiotic DADT policy. Do you really think the full measure of a person is who they're attracted to? How sad for you to have such a narrow view of people.

Posted by: emm2 | January 27, 2010 9:37 PM

Funny, they used to say the same things about Negroes in the military. Mighty tough talk for people who don't have the guts to use their real names.

Posted by: raschumacher | January 27, 2010 9:39 PM

I say hell no, why do gays have to be in everyones face, is it because they are ashamed of the deviant lifestyle, you tell me, they do seem too protest alot.....

Posted by: goziner | January 27, 2010 9:40 PM

Excuse me MR Big Ball5 RASCHUMACHER...

Posted by: goziner | January 27, 2010 9:41 PM

americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 9:07 PM "I have strong feelings on this issue and only ask 2 questions..."

Dear americansoldier1,

Isn't the real question whether someone who is willing to risk his life for his country should be denied that honor simply because he wrote a letter to his partner and told him he loved him, or that his partner should be treated as a legal stranger to him should he be killed in battle?

Do you really harbor such ill will towards your fellow soldiers that you want to kick them out of the Military because of your fears or prejudices?

Let's face it: That gay soldier whom you just lampooned is serving his country even as we speak, and potentially risking his life to save yours.

Personally, I think the right response to him is to thank him, profusely, rather than make fun of him and certainly rather than demand that he lie.

Respectfully,
Linguist

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 9:55 PM

Finally. Now all those teabagging morons who scream about Obama being liberal will actually be right. About this one thing.

Don't worry about pi$$ing those people off, Obama. They're worthless jerkoffs. Now that you've shown you have the brass to repeal that idiotic DADT policy, how about pushing for higher taxes on the highest earners and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan? It's not like you're going to pi$$ off anyone new. It'll be the same mouth-breathing nitwits that are polluting this board with their bigoted nonsense now. Come on, make their heads explode. There's nothing funnier than a conservative moron with steam coming out of his ears.

How about it, Obama? We want a liberal president. Step up to the plate, man.

Posted by: financepirate | January 27, 2010 9:56 PM

It doesn't have any comparison to being "negro," Raschumacher. You can have an orientation without choosing to act on it, unlike color. If you are gay and you choose to join the military, you understand the rules. Under Don't Ask Don't Tell, soldiers are not separated from the service strictly for being gay, but either a) engaging in conduct, or b) announcing that they are gay.

The fact that is never reported on the so called surge in gays being kicked out of the military, is not that the military has nothing better to do than go on a witch hunt. Instead many have chosen to "out" themselves, recognizing it is as the quickest way out of the service, which may come in handy if you don't want to go to a war zone. Plus it gives you the handy PC "get out of jail free" card, which you can show to all of your liberal friends, instead of saying you were a coward who was trying to dodge serving in a war, which is after all, what the military exists for (not a college savings or jobs program).

Finally, too bad if gays are not getting to feel self actualized by serving in the military. I can't be a military pilot due to eye sight, which is a physical factor completely outside of my control. Others may not be able to join due to height and weight issues, and others may have suffered birth defects, lost limbs in traffic accidents, etc. - all unfortunate basis for disqualification.

The final question for any changes to military policy should always be - will this improve combat efficiency? In other words, will more American soldiers live because of this change, or will we win the war more quickly? I can't see how changing this policy ads anything in our ability to close with and destroy the enemy, to destroy his means to resist, and to dominate him psychologically, which is the dirty fact about what the US military does.

Posted by: publius88 | January 27, 2010 10:03 PM

publius88: "The final question for any changes to military policy should always be - will this improve combat efficiency? In other words, will more American soldiers live because of this change, or will we win the war more quickly?"

With respect, I think the answer is obvious that more more American soldiers will live because of this change.

We'll never know just how many soldiers were killed or injured because good, capable soldiers were kicked out just because they were gay.

But ask yourself if having fewer highly trained Arabic linguists helped or hurt the mission.

Again, if you are looking for an honest answer, you have only to talk to those soldiers who no longer had recourse to Arabic linguists kicked out because they were gay.

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 10:12 PM

Obama is doing his level best to 'break' this country. Our Military will not be strong and united once gays are 'out' within the Armed Forces. He's spending us poor, and wanting us divided in order to make it easier to 'overrun us' from within.
Count on it.

Posted by: vickisbear | January 27, 2010 10:23 PM

Goziner and Americansoldier1:

Do yourselves a favor: open your minds and go see an excellent, beautifully acted and photographed movie, "Single Man". Maybe you'll start to understand that it's love, not sex, that brings, and keeps, two people together. The movie also makes some wonderful points made about fear and what it does to people's minds.

There are plenty of perverts, more straight than gay, but they are the exception, not the rule. I am offended by men who sexually exploit women and children, strip clubs and graphic porn as much as I am by in-your-face gays. Sex is not what defines a person. Most people just want to love and be loved. How could any reasonable person have a problem with two consenting adults having such feelings?

Posted by: emm2 | January 27, 2010 10:25 PM

Homophobia is intolerance which brings no benefit. The intolerant 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' must be repealed this year and there must be a military policy which will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. President Obama has done a good thing in his State of the Union address by supporting the necessary repeal of the intolerant 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. LGBT soldiers, on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, must be treated with equality and no less.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | January 27, 2010 10:34 PM

Gay people are citizens. All citizens should have the same rights and responsibilities.

Posted by: Citizen0 | January 27, 2010 10:38 PM

It should be repealed not because I condone homosexuality, but because anyone who wants to fight for the safety and freedoms of this Country should be allowed to do so. However, they must prepare themselves for the obvious backlash that is bound to ensue. My belief is that homosexuality is wrong and totally against God and nature. Yet, the right to live and make a living or to serve this nation should not be denied because someone chooses perversion as a way of life. God is the righteous judge and it will all be made clear in the end. JMHO

Posted by: cntnulprze | January 27, 2010 10:42 PM

To those who say that allowing openly gay soldiers to serve will 'break' the military: the Israeli military is considered one of the strongest in the world, with a reputation as tough and disciplined. They have allowed open gays and lesbians to serve for a number of years. Would you say that the Israeli military has been 'broken' by this?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 10:46 PM

Even under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the U.S. Military does not actively hunt down and discharge homosexuals, they do discharge people for homosexual activity. If homosexuals want to serve, they can, they simply need to keep their sexuality to themselves, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do. There is no need to flaunt ones sexual orientation and doing so regardless of that orientation, does have an effect on "Good Order and Discipline" which is an essential part of any military unit.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 10:48 PM

It seems that there are a lot of people posting here, and in the U.S. that aren't posting- that think that being gay is some sort of handicap. That, gay men especially, are less capable than straight men, of protecting one's country or one's fellow man. I don't know where this comes from- but its very sad- I know some gay men that can out-lift and out-perform me in the gym.

Don't Ask Don't Tell needs to end, and it needs to end now. Ending it doesn't mean that the military is going to be flooded with gay men and women that are going to harass the others in the ranks and it doesn't mean that they'll wear rainbow patches, sing show tunes, and pick flowers. If anything- they'll still probably keep quiet realizing that some people are just too ignorant/stupid/closed-minded/prejudiced- but they'll know that when that ignorant/stupid/closed-minded/prejudiced person finds out- there isn't a single thing they can do about it but get over it.

Posted by: novahokie2004 | January 27, 2010 10:50 PM

Below is a list of countries that allow openly gay/lesbian soldiers to serve. How many of you who are arguing in favor of DADT really believe that these countries' armies are weak/broken/ ineffective/full of 'pansies?' Really? Israel? Germany? the UK? South Africa? Weak? The proof is out there - repealing it is a smart decision.

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bermuda
Brazil
Canada
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Lithuania
Luxembourg
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Peru
Philippines
Romania
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Uruguay

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 10:52 PM

@jonweiss1:

That's not true. There are gays/lesbians who are pushed out solely for innocent things like having a picture up, or mentioning a significant other. Straights don't have to keep their boyfriend/girlfriend a secret - they can acknowledge that they exist. But gays can't even do that. They're not asking to be allowed to make out in front of everyone - just to acknowledge the existence of a part of their life that straights can speak of openly.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 10:55 PM

"Even under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the U.S. Military does not actively hunt down and discharge homosexuals, they do discharge people for homosexual activity. If homosexuals want to serve, they can, they simply need to keep their sexuality to themselves, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do..."Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 10:48 PM

With respect, I don't think you understand the policy or its repercussions.

Let me ask you this:

Would a straight soldier be kicked out of the Military for sending an e-mail message to his wife or girlfriend telling her that he loved her?

A gay soldier would be.

Would a straight soldier be kicked out of the Military if he told a fellow soldier that his wife or girlfriend was ill and that he was really worried about her?

A gay soldier would be.

Would a straight soldier be kicked out of the Military if he made arrangements that his benefits and even his remains were left to his spouse?

A gay soldier would be.

With respect, not only don't the "vast majority" of heterosexuals "keep their sexuality to themselves," they would be extremely offended by anyone who suggested they should.

I think you mistake "sexuality" for talking about sex.

It's not. It's part of who we are. And not one heterosexual soldier has to promise to remain single to remain in the Military.

No gay soldier should have to either.

Peace,
Linguist

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 11:00 PM

"they simply need to keep their sexuality to themselves, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do."

When I see quotes like this, I always wonder what they mean. Do you really think that straight men in the army don't talk about women all the time, talk about their girlfriends/wives, show pictures of their families, look at dirty magazines, etc? Isn't that "flaunting" their heterosexuality? All gays/lesbians want to be able to do is even acknowledge their sexuality without being drummed out - I highly doubt any gay man in the army is going to suddenly start posting gay porn on the wall or talking about what he does with his boyfriend....the way straight guys do. Straights keep it to themselves? Please.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:01 PM

ricklinguist, "We'll never know just how many soldiers were killed or injured because good, capable soldiers were kicked out just because they were gay."

The same could be said for overweight soldiers, during my 22 years in uniform, I served with many soldiers who were excellent at their jobs but were eliminated from service merely because they did not meet an arbitrary weight posted on a chart. They were in good physical condition, and many passed their APFT with better than maximum scores but simply because they were overweight, they were eliminated from service due to AR600-9 restrictions. So, ask yourself if having fewer highly trained Scouts, Tank Crewmen and Mortar Crewmen would help or hurt the mission. I can tell you that the absence of a "fat" 11C when you need mortar fire to keep the enemy at bay, can be deadly.

Now where do we draw the line on disallowing service?

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:03 PM

You pro-gay people are very ignorant. maybe the linguist has a closer understanding... Serve in the US Military before you comment on changing the rules that I live by. You have no comprehension on what it will effect. All that you understand is that yeah, some homophobes are gonna be scared and upset, and the legit homosexuals have a chance to serve their country. Great! If it were that easy, then i'd say 'Go ahead!!'.

The logistic side of it is incomprehensible. Right now, there are 2 sexes. Male and Female. Right now, I am deployed overseas. I live in a 14'x14' room with another man. Policy here states that if i want a female in my room, i have to have my door propped open. If i have a male friend come over, it has to be locked shut (locked shut at all times with or without). BUT - what if my nice, not flaming queer, roommate wants to have his boyfriend come over for the night? Do i have to find another room to stay in? Do i have to watch them be intimate? Does he get his own room because he's gay? Im 28 years old and have a wife and 2 children back in the states.. I should have my own room. Same thing for females.
I do not believe that a homosexual man will try to rape the other guys while at basic training. I do not believe that a gay roommate will try to rape me at night. But, the military will have so many more issues arise by changing 1 thing. Will they have to respect gay marriages? If the US Military respects it, then there should be a Constitutional amendment. Correct? Then it will be forced upon ALL 50 states to recognize gay marriage. Domino effect... it's not that easy

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:06 PM

@Jonweiss - I guarantee you that in your 22 years in uniform, you also served with gay soldiers.

You didn't respond to my earlier post - the Israeli army is widely considered one of the best in the world. They allow gays/lesbians to openly serve. Have they been weakened as a result? Have lives been lost as a result of their decision?

It sounds like you're actually arguing in favor of eliminating other arbitrary restrictions, as well. I agree. If a soldier can perform physically and mentally, there should not be arbitrary rules about weight or sexual orientation that remove them from service.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:07 PM

@americansoldier1:

Obviously, other countries' militaries have managed to deal with those logistical issues. Why would it be any more difficult for the US?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:10 PM

"Now where do we draw the line on disallowing service?..Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:03 PM"

I think it should be drawn at what is necessary and rational.

I can't speak to whether the weight limit is rational. If it's not, it should be changed.

I do not see the rational basis for allowing gay people to serve with distinction --as long as they lie about who they are.

A better analogy, to my mind, is whether the Military would be better served if left handers were allowed to serve --but only if they pretended to be right handed.

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 11:14 PM

If you're such a pussy you can't handle serving with homosexuals, maybe you should found a new line of work. You clearly know nothing about them except what you've heard from other like-minded goons. Most homophobes aren't too steady about their own sexuality anyway, so the military might be better off without you. You might be too worried about your manhood to pay attention to your job.

Posted by: st50taw | January 27, 2010 11:15 PM

Who is the dominating militant country? UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

We are undefeated. We serve in ALL countries. We do not discriminate on who we protect unless you are a direct enemy. We come in strong and stay strong until the job is done. The next war outside of the middle east will be either Africa or Korea (100% my opinion) and we have troops in both places. Once we can pull out of Afganistan then we'll be moving wherever else we are needed.

The US Military is not the biggest militant force, but we are the STRONGEST. Maybe if we were not a 100% voluntary force, then the homosexual issue would never be a problem. Guess what... we've been UNDEFEATED since 1776. Lets keep it that way

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:18 PM

Of course. Many other militaries have integrated openly serving homosexuals with little difficulty. Soldiers so bigoted as to be unable to serve along side patriotic and brave homosexuals don't deserve to wear their nation's uniform or represent it.

Posted by: Scientician | January 27, 2010 11:21 PM

"...what if my nice, not flaming queer, roommate wants to have his boyfriend come over for the night? Do i have to find another room to stay in? Do i have to watch them be intimate? Does he get his own room because he's gay? Im 28 years old and have a wife and 2 children back in the states.. I should have my own room. Same thing for females." Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:06 PM

With respect, the simple answer is, "No." It would be entirely inappropriate (and I assume against the rules) for ANY couple, either same-sex or opposite-sex, to be intimate in your room.

Maybe I don't understand your scenario. Are you allowed to have your wife come to visit and are you allowed to be intimate with her in front of your roommate?


Let me be clear: The ONLY thing that changes when DADT is repealed is that gay people will be allowed to live under the SAME rules that you live under.

Currently, you get to have a wife and don't have to hide her photo in order to remain in the Military.

Why should ANYONE have to do that?

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 11:22 PM

americansoldier1, did you sleep through the history classes dealing with Vietnam?

Posted by: Scientician | January 27, 2010 11:23 PM

Um.....Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan? You have a strange definition of 'victory.'

And btw, newsflash - there have been gays in the military all this time, they've just had to hide it. Do you think homosexuality is a new invention, and no gay men have served in all of those years? Gays have served with distinction for decades - allowing them to acknowledge who they are will not change that.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:23 PM

The main issue with me and the Government is this... Is Homosexuality a 3rd and 4th sex? Male, Female, MH, FH?

(pretend i'm not married) - If I wanted to have my girlfriend come watch a movie with me, I would have to leave my door open. But, if my gay roommate wants to bring his partner over for a movie, the rules require the door be shut and locked. This is due to the opposite sex in the same government housing (barracks).

SO, will this create a 3rd and 4th "sex"?

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:27 PM

americansoldier1: Let's see if I follow your logic. American has been undefeated since 1776 (not true, but let's pretend it is). There are already gays in the military - we know this is true. So, allowing them to put a picture of their boy/girlfriend on the wall will lead to the US military no longer being the strongest in the world and to our ultimate defeat? How exactly? Will the straights suddenly turn gay? Will the gays all prance around wearing tiaras (which they've secretly wanted to do all this time)? Will they refuse to shoot the 'cute' enemies? Please elaborate - and, again, reference the list of countries that already allow openly gay soldiers to serve - have these things happened there?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:29 PM

@diane2628 - I did indeed serve with gay soldiers. Some good troops, some disruptive to good order and discipline (I was the target of a failed sexual assault by one). I am indeed in favor of removing some restrictions. I am so inclined because I live near an Army base and I interact with soldiers daily. I have also witnessed the fact that the military leaders are very hypocritical in their enforecement of standards. When the Army is at peace and the economy is bad, and recruiting is good, the Army tightens restrictions in order to eliminate "poor soldiers", but when recruiting gets tight and they need soldiers, the restrictions are ignored. During my time in service (1976 to 1998) we were mostly at peace and soldiers were kicked out regularly for being overweight, but today I go to the nearby Army base and see soldiers getting promoted and awarded medals, soldiers who are obviously grossly overweight.

As for the Israeli Military, I firmly believe that there is a "Godly" aspect to that nation and would be victorious any time they ask for Gods blessing. They also have females in their Armor and Infantry formations, but then again as I said there is more than gender at work there. The Israeli military has been successful in nearly every battle they have fought in modern times but during their recent move in Lebanon they suffered more than usual. According to some Israeli soldiers I have spoken with (there are Israeli Army foreign exchange students at the nearby base here) the beleive that God was not with them. Many soldiers went into battle wishing each other "Good Luck", rather then asking for the blessing as they had in the past.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:30 PM

Americansoldier1,

That's really weak stuff. Like I said above, somehow the militaries of numerous NATO allies (including Britain) are able to somehow scrape by with their multitudinous genders and complex rules for movie watching, while still fighting effectively in Afghanistan and other hostile places.

Posted by: Scientician | January 27, 2010 11:31 PM

I have yet to see a uniformed Australian/Korean/Arabic/German/Chinese etc. soldier help keep the streets of L.A. safe. Tell me an instance where we have had another country's Brigade post here on U.S. soil for an extended amount of time, and I will rebuke my exclamation of victory. We lost some battles, yes. We have never been defeated.

Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:32 PM

jonweiss1,

Canada has females (and gays) in Armoured and Infrantry units. Haven't needed any special biblical endorsements to fight successfully in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Scientician | January 27, 2010 11:33 PM

@jonweiss - so, the Israeli army (which you acknowledge is one of the best in the world) allows gays to serve openly, but you believe this same act would be the downfall of the US army? How so? And you believe that God smiles on the Israeli army - which allows gays to serve openly - but why would God not smile on the US army for taking the same step?

Whether or not you were the target of a failed sexual assault by a gay man - only you know whether that's true or not. But I know that women in the military are assaulted by straight men on a regular basis - and that that should be unacceptable regardless of sexual orientation. So it doesn't seem like a valid argument here.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:36 PM

@ricklinguist,
I think it should be drawn at what is necessary and rational.


Agreed, however, "rational" is a VERY subjective term, as evidenced by most of the debated issues in Congress this past year. I do not consider it "rational" for Congress and the White House to demand that I buy health insurance or face jail and fines. I do not find it rational for the Sec of DHS, to classify me as a potential threat or extremist because I am a veteran. And i do not think it is rational to exclude someone from military service for being gay if they are willing to keep it to themselves, it is rational however to remove a gay person from service if they try to become an activist for their sexual orientation while serving.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:37 PM

americansoldier1: "I have yet to see a uniformed Australian/Korean/Arabic/German/Chinese etc. soldier help keep the streets of L.A. safe. Tell me an instance where we have had another country's Brigade post here on U.S. soil for an extended amount of time, and I will rebuke my exclamation of victory. We lost some battles, yes. We have never been defeated."

What does that have to do with anything? They keep their own countries safe, why does it matter if they're here on our soil?

Are you really, honestly, arguing with a straight fact that the 'greatest military in the world' can't figure out how to deal with policies related to open vs closed doors in barracks? Really? Best army in the world, "undefeated," and they can't handle changing policies on door closings, the way they had to when women started joining the army? That's your best argument?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:39 PM

Americansoldier1:

Thank you for demonstrating the level of sophistry needed to oppose allowing gay people to serve openly. Vietnam was a "victory" because Vietnam didn't invade the US. Hysterical. I'm sure the troops leaving on that last helicopter from the embassy in Saigon were high fiving over America's triumph.

Foreign troops have never occupied Canada or Australia either. Guess they're military superpowers too.

Posted by: Scientician | January 27, 2010 11:40 PM

I think so. I served in the military for 9 years. With out the policy the military member will know the difference between the person that is gay and the one that it is not. Now they do not know who is who.

Posted by: rubencal1 | January 27, 2010 11:41 PM

jonweiss1:

So, would you consider putting up a picture of one's boyfriend/girlfriend to be "becoming an activist for their sexual orientation?" Acknowledging that they have a significant other? Talking to them on the phone openly? Those are all things that gay soldiers can't do, and they hardly qualify as "being activist." Those are harmless acts that straight people don't have to think twice about. Nobody that I'm aware of is asking to have a gay pride parade through the barracks - they just want to be able to put a picture up or say a name without being kicked out. Why is that so much to ask?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:42 PM

"SO, will this create a 3rd and 4th "sex"?..." Posted by: americansoldier1 | January 27, 2010 11:27 PM

No. It wouldn't "create" anything. It would be no different from the current situation. What makes you think it would be any different?

Let me ask you this: What are the rules in terms of what you're allowed to DO with your girlfriend (or even your wife) when she comes to visit? Forget the door--there's another person in your room observing it all.

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 11:45 PM

@jonweiss:

You make an argument that as long as someone can do their duty and is physically/mentally capable of serving their country, they should not be excluded because of weight. You also argue that gays should be able to serve as long as they are physically/mentally capable of performing their duty....as long as they keep it to themselves. Do they suddenly become unable to do their duty once they acknowledge that they're gay? Do they become suddenly less fit? It seems that you're arguing that fit, capable soldiers shouldn't be able to serve....because of the discomfort of others, not because of their own abilities.

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:47 PM

@diane2628 - Apparently, you have not made the effort that is needed to seperate the sin from the sinner, nor come to the realization that the Jewish people are Gods chosen (and before you ask, no I am not Jewish), from what I have been told by the Israeli Officers I have spoken with, gays do serve openly in their military, but gays in the Israeli Army have a higher devotion to their nation and their Army than to their sexual orientation, so they do not hide their orientation, but they do not advertise/advocate their sexuality.

Americans typically are less restrained in such matters and would go so far as to use their homosexuality as a crutch, just as some females, and minorities have done (yes it does happen). I agree that sexual assault is an intolerable action and the military does have a poor record on the issue. My case was not reported, nor acted on, other than by my immediate action of dropping my assailant out of a 2nd story window resulting in his hospitalization.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:48 PM

"...it is rational however to remove a gay person from service if they try to become an activist for their sexual orientation while serving...."Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 27, 2010 11:37 PM

Not sure what this means. "Becoming an activist for their sexual orientation"? Sexual orientation isn't a political belief. It's a trait, like being lefthanded or stuttering.

Should a stutterer be kicked out of the Military for "becoming an activist" for stuttering?

I'd give the same answer to any kind of activism.

This isn't about "activism."

It's about kicking out some soldiers but not others for precisely the same reasons: writing to a spouse, designating that person as one's beneficiary and family member in case of death, and so on.

Should a heterosexual soldier be kicked out for being an "activist" for gay people? Say he has a gay family member and really thinks gay people are being mistreated--and says so to anyone willing to listen. Should HE be allowed to remain in the Military while your supposed "gay activist" is kicked out for precisely the same "activism"?

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 27, 2010 11:52 PM

@jonweiss: what you described about how gays in the Israeli army act....is exactly what gays in the US are asking for. They want to "not hide their orientation." How exactly do you think they want to "advertise/advocate" it? Where is that line? To me, 'not hiding' includes being able to do things like a) acknowledge the existence of a partner, b) put a picture up, c) talk about them just like any other partner would. According to you, gay soldiers in Israel can do this. Why should US gay soldiers not be able to? What is it that you think they want that's different from this?

Posted by: diane2628 | January 27, 2010 11:53 PM

Right now, 1 out of 8 recruits to the Army and the Marine Corps needs a waiver of some sort.

It is unfortunate, and to me pretty stupid, that Publius, self-proclaimed "AmericanSoldier1" and others think that it is better to have the lives of fellow soldiers depend on the discipline and competence of barely literate substance abusers with histories of violent crime (up and including rape, arson, and manslaughter) but who happen to be sexually straight than to have the lives of fellow soldiers depend on reliable competent people who didn't need special permission to get enlisted, but who happen to be gay.

Rather than flaunt his sexual orientation, I trust that AmericanSoldier1 never discusses his wife or girlfriend, or even has pictures of them to show his friends.

If George Washington had not entrusted the training of the Continental Army to Baron von Steuben, whom nobody had to ask about, during the American Revolution, we could all be speaking English today and "God Save the Queen" would be our national anthem. Sheesh.

Posted by: edallan | January 27, 2010 11:54 PM

I'm in the Army. The same arguments against homosexuals in the military were made re: women in the military. Remove all women from the military today and watch what happens. The military would cease to function because it relies to a great extent on its female servicemembers, who serve admirably in all types of roles.

Our Army, our military, will adapt and make room for homosexuals. We adapted to females and now couldn't function without them. We can and will do the same re: homosexuals, it's just a matter of time before this change occurs, so we need to accept it and move on.

Posted by: adhughes | January 27, 2010 11:58 PM

@diane2628

No, i do not think tat putting up a picture of one's boyfriend/girlfriend as being an activist, but then in the units in which I served, no one paid any attention to what pictures a soldier hung up, or asked about the ones that were hung in a soldiers room or workplace. No one would care unless a person made an issue of saying "this is my girl/boyfriend" and pointing it out repeatedly indicating a gay relationship was in effect.

As for talking to them on the phone openly? If the soldier is talking on the phone and it is in the workplace, the gay soldier would be wrong for using the military phone for personal use, and the same applies for all soldiers. If the phonecall is off duty on a civilian phone, no one cares.

If a gay soldier makes an issue of their sexuality and does so in a manner that begins to affect good order and discipline as described in the UCMJ they should be removed from service, just as any soldier should for example there is no rule on having political views, but soldiers are prohibited, under the UCMJ, from taking any action that would act in political debates that could pull their military status into public in favor of or against a political issue.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:04 AM

americansoldier1 wrote: The US ARMY does not *NEED* openly gay soldiers. I am not a homophobe. I have homosexual friends. I have homosexual friends IN the military. If they want to truly serve their country, then why do they have to proclaim their sexuality?
==========================================
"Proclaim their sexuality???"

Is that what you're doing every time you say "My wife and I... or "My girlfriend and I...?"

Have you never mentioned either one to a comrade in arms? Never ever said "I have a date with a woman I met" or anything like that?

Have you ever asked another soldier "Who'd you go with?" or "Are you married?" Then you were trying to get them to "proclaim their sexuality" by your definition.

How did you find out your "homosexual friends" were gay? Did they say "I have an announcement to make about my sexual orientation?" Or did you see them walking with their partners, or did they say "No, I'm not married, but I'm seeing someone," and you pressed? How?

I'm guessing when you met they didn't say "Hi, I'm Jim, and I like to [fill in the blank] with other men."

Gays and lesbians in the military just want to have normal conversations without lying. In a combat zone, imagine if you weren't allowed to say "Gee, I miss my wife" without being hauled up for conduct unbecoming an officer.

Posted by: carlaclaws | January 28, 2010 12:06 AM

@ricklinguist
"Not sure what this means. "Becoming an activist for their sexual orientation"?"

To clarify, if a soldier is going to gay rights parades wearing their uniform, or hanging gay pride posters in their workplace, acts of this kind would equate to being an activist. Soldiers are prohibited by the UCMJ from taking part in any political or commercial activities that would display the military in an adverse way or give the appearance of the military as being in support of the position or issue.

@diane2628,
None of the actions you are citing are acts that have been used to eliminate soldiers of any sexual orientation from the military. But In my experience, it has come about that when a person commits an act that is a violation of the rules they reach for an excuse such as gender, sexual orientaion or race to try to exuse their actions. Such as a soldier who worked for me and was habiutually late for work, when I submitted him for Article 15 punishment, he tried to use the excuse that I was a racist and that my submission for punishment was based on the fact that he was Black, not because he was habitually late for work. I have also dealth with females who tried to refuse to be put on guard duty because they were females.

As for your revisiting the issue of gays in Israel, the basic answer is, whether you choose to accept it or not, is that the culture of the U.S. and the culture of Israel are hugely different. That is why what works for one does not work for all.

@edallan
based on your comment, can we assume that you are like the hierarchy of the military in their hypocrisy that allows many who would be "unqualified" in better times simply because we need more troops right now?

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:21 AM

@adhughes,
Since you are pointing out that females are now accepted in the military and that gays must logically follow, may I ask what is your MOS and what type of unit you serve?

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:26 AM

@EDALLEN,

It is unfortunate, and to me pretty stupid, that Publius, self-proclaimed "AmericanSoldier1" and others think that it is better to have the lives of fellow soldiers depend on the discipline and competence of barely literate substance abusers with histories of violent crime (up and including rape, arson, and manslaughter)...

As a Combat Arms NCO, I counted having "fighters" on my fireteam as a plus. Many College Grads I served with were too preoccupied with their OCS applications and thought of doing their jobs as a secondary consideration. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier, but to disregard a person because of a past legal transgression is no less bigotted than disregarding them for sexual orientation.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:32 AM

@diane2628
"That's not true. There are gays/lesbians who are pushed out..."

As I stated...NOT IN MY UNITS.

@Linguist
With respect, I do understand the policy and it's repercussions. In the units which I served phone calls, mail, e-mails were not censored, even on operational deployments. Unless you are in an MI or ASA unit yours are probably not either, unless you have given your CoC reason to beleive you are a security risk.

When I made my comment I refered to the fact that no heterosexuals in my experience walked around the unit proclaiming "I'm not gay."

@diane2628,

Again, IN MY UNITs Porn gay or straight was not allowed to be posted on the barracks walls until the SSI was instituted, after that no one inspected billits. In the units which I served there were porn magazines around both Playboy and Playgirl among others and no one asked who bought them, in fact no one cared, unless someone actively made a point of saying that they bought one and then the CoC never acted on any statments in that regard.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:46 AM

And the Republicans unanimously said, "NO!!!".

Posted by: ATLGuy | January 28, 2010 1:25 AM

@JonWeiss.

I'm glad that in your units, normal behavior was acceptable. However, in one very well-known CURRENT case, an Air Force pilot with 18 years of much decorated service is being separated because someone, for whatever reason, decided to denounce him. In another well-known case, another soldier of many years distinguished service was separated because firefighters responding to a fire at his off-base home reported him. A few months ago, a Woman Marine (as I recall) was told that she would be separated -- after her deployment to Afghanistan. These are just cases that have made the mass media.

Just since President Obama has been inaugurated, enough servicepeople have been separated by DADT to form at least the entire crews (officers and enlisted) of two USS John S. McCain class destroyers. They can't ALL, or most, have been busy "flaunting their sexuality" or seeking ways to get out. On the verge of getting their pension???? I don't think so.

I'm certainly not saying that it is a disadvantage in a combat unit to have people who have previous experience with actual fighting. And I'm also certainly not saying that it is not possible for people to mature and to clean up their act. BUT, you gotta admit that there is something bizarre and stupid about a policy that allows gangbangers in and ejects people with Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, and more than a few Purple Hearts.

Posted by: edallan | January 28, 2010 3:10 AM

Why is there even a discussion of this issue? The Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is unconstitutional. That is self-evident. There are not two sides to the issue. There is only one. You either believe in the constitution or you do not. And, again, the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is SELF EVIDENTLY unconstitional.

As for the comments of homophobes like AmericanSoldier1 are ignorant and should be ignored.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | January 28, 2010 4:24 AM

I served in the USAF for 26 years (enlisted 1966, commissioned 1978, retired 1992). When I came in, there were people who were lying in order to keep out of the military, or claiming they "regretted" using a laundry list of deferments. Or "Forgetting" physicals to avoid being deployed to combat zones. At the same time, and up until today, there are people who are lying in order to serve their country. The latter group I can respect. For the former, I have nothing but scorn.

I have seen peers, subordinates, and superiors being forced out of service for something that has nothing to do with duty performance.

Moral grounds? Dreck. The Republic Party just ran a guy for President who bragged (in one of "his autobiographies) about using military aircraft to fly to meetings with his mistress. And the little matter of busting multiple articles of the Fighting Man's Code? Hey. no problem.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a craven sell-out to the Conservative Christians (and there's an oxymoron if there ever was one). President Clinton thought he could keep them happy, but they gutted him anyway.

In 26 years of service, I never heard of a homosexual active duty member using it as a way to get out of the military. I know one guy who was planning on claiming to be gay to get out of the draft, but that's as close as it gets.

Most of the DADT discharges are based on anonymous letters, or on having been seen together with a person of the same sex, or (in a few successfully defeated cases) being accused by a rival for a position or an assignment. Flaunting, making passes at straight troops and similar fantasies say more about the bigots who cite them.

A couple of years ago, a fairly reliable estimate of the percentage of gays in the military was compared with the percentage of gays in the NFL, NHL, and MLB. The military percentage came in at half that of the sports teams. So are any of the anti-gay types going to boycott the Super Bowl? Makes as much sense as DADT.

We need all the qualified, educated people we can get. Forcing people out just to keep the bigots, the stupid, and the intentionally ignorant happy is just a luxury we can no longer afford. Dump DADT, and do it quickly.

Posted by: Oregonpsaltseller | January 28, 2010 4:31 AM

I don't think we have to know if someone is gay or straight. This is people's private business and should remain so. People should be promoted or whatever according to their ability. Man or woman - if anyone acts inappropriately to another person - it is unacceptable. I do not want to hear about we need men's bathrooms, women's bathrooms, men who feel like they're really women bathrooms, or women who want to urinate standing up bathrooms. I don't want to see any more press or tax dollars wasted on this junk. There have always been gays in the military because they didn't just appear last Tuesday. This is ridiculous. I also don't agree that the MINORITY shall dictate to the majority what is socially acceptable, and shove anything in my face. I don't want anybody's anything shoved in my face, and I believe there are more Americans who don't want to read about who is gay in Ft. Hood. There are more pressing matters at hand. Then we will be looking at bathrooms for Muslims to perform morning ablutions. And gay Muslims in the military and how they are being executed, so they want their own bathrooms.

Instead of repealing the law - let us repeal Obama. After that abysmal attempt to distract us during the State of the Union presentation last night, he wants further to get us off of the issues that matter in this country. Gay or straight - everyone needs to make a living. Everyone needs to feel safe. And Obama is a public enemy at this point.

Posted by: sllawent | January 28, 2010 4:45 AM

Grow Up!

Posted by: bobbarnes | January 28, 2010 4:59 AM

There's always been a "don't care" missing from the policy. Being straight and in any of the US military and you are not excused from behaving like an adult towards people of the same or opposite sex to start with.

Posted by: Nymous | January 28, 2010 5:33 AM

"To clarify, if a soldier is going to gay rights parades wearing their uniform, or hanging gay pride posters in their workplace, acts of this kind would equate to being an activist. Soldiers are prohibited by the UCMJ from taking part in any political or commercial activities that would display the military in an adverse way or give the appearance of the military as being in support of the position or issue." Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 28, 2010 12:21 AM

Then we are in agreement: The SAME RULES should apply to everyone. No one who opposes equal rights for gay people should be allowed to appear on a TV show in uniform. For that matter, it is completely immaterial whether the advocate for or against gay rights is gay or straight.

What you are describing won't change once DADT is removed. The issue of DADT is that one cannot be known to be gay--not whether or not one can violate policies on political speech while in uniform. It should be irrelevant whether or not the soldier participating in any given activity is gay or not.

Currently, the gay soldier stands to be kicked out simply if it became known that he is gay--through any activity whatsoever---while his non-gay peer faces no such pressure for exactly the same activity to hide that he is NOT gay.

Again, apply the same principles to the gay soldier that you do to the non-gay soldiers and you'll hear no objection from me.

Posted by: ricklinguist | January 28, 2010 6:52 AM

As a former combat veteran in VN and now retired VA clinican with a PTSD unit, I never had a problem with Gays in the military nor do most vets who have served in the OIF/OEF theaters. The military nowadays is much more professional than when I served and generally both male and female personnel just do their jobs. However, the real problem in the military across the board continues to be sexual harrassment generally of women by men in what is termed Military Sexual Trauma. There continue to be men who feel they have the right to rape or sexually harass another military person - and they don't.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | January 28, 2010 6:53 AM

Everyone should be allowed to serve as long as they DO NOT put the straight soldiers in jeopardy.......

Posted by: Sparky15 | January 28, 2010 7:15 AM

All Americans should be able to service their country, should they choose to do so. We are in the dark ages in terms of our policies.

Posted by: MNUSA | January 28, 2010 7:33 AM

And "screwjob2," where did you serve your country? A chickenhawk? What did you think of Cheney and his cohorts? While I was serving my country in Vietnam, Cheney had "better things to do."

Posted by: alamo2 | January 28, 2010 8:15 AM

Rights and responsibilities can not and should not be denied to any citizen or parsed out unequally in any way. Obviously, issues like a felony impact that, but for other natural citizens, of age to enjoy certain options, shouold have equal access to them.

Posted by: lindsaycurren | January 28, 2010 8:39 AM

As long as they cant co-habitate with one another on base why not? The military especially the marines has a very strong stance against dating eachother while in uniform. Now will it be fair that women can't co-dorm with men but gay men will be allowed to co-dorm with their sexual preference????

Posted by: kiboo | January 28, 2010 9:19 AM

The ignorance some of your responses display absolutely amazes me! Being gay does not distinguish who you are...just because you're straight does it mean you are weak, or strong, or emotional, or intelligent? NO...and being gay doesn't define a person any more or less than being straight does! For anyone to say a persons sexual orientation decides whether or not they can serve our country baffles me...that has NOTHING to do with their physical or mental abilities! And for all of you to ASSUME because gays want to serve in the military they are trying to rub their sexuality in your face...shame on you! They want to serve this amazing country of ours - why can't you just have faith in people and give a f&*^ less about their sexuality?!?!?!?

Posted by: krista101 | January 28, 2010 9:26 AM

Why, for THIS poll, is the "No" option listed before the "Yes" option? In the other recent polls, "Yes" is listed first. I don't like those who get stuck on negative conspiracy theories, but I'd be more confident in the poll, and those folks providing the poll, if they stuck with the typical format.

Posted by: gratefulENTJ | January 28, 2010 9:28 AM

I recently spent 4 years in the active-duty Marines, and don't see any substantial problems coming from repealing DADT. The benefits -- recruiting and keeping qualified service members -- far outweigh any costs.

There will be some bumps along the road, just as there were when women started serving on ships. Most service members live in dorm-like rooms that are gender-segregated. But I have had female roommates in the civilian world, and it's no problem. We don't ban homosexuals from college dorms, do we?

The costs of DADT far outweigh the possible benefits of keeping it.

Posted by: brian_away | January 28, 2010 9:36 AM

americansoldier1:

"If they want to truly serve their country, then why do they have to proclaim their sexuality?"

Interesting question. Why did you find it necessary to proclaim yours?

Posted by: Schaum | January 28, 2010 9:52 AM

Homosexuality is as biologically normal as pedophilia or necrophilia.....


Cure it, don't pretend it's ok.......it's a mental illness pure and simple


Posted by: georgedixon | January 28, 2010 10:48 AM

The question is flawed. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as you describe it has not existed for more than 16 years.

Posted by: LieToMe | January 28, 2010 10:57 AM

GeorgeDixon:

Homosexuality hasn't been considered a mental illness since the '70s. There's a huge difference between pedophilia and homosexuality - one is molesting children (which can be, and more often is, done by straight folks), and the other is an issue which concerns the two consenting adults involved.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | January 28, 2010 1:00 PM

Thanks to americansoldier1 for carrying the tougher end of the lopsided debate.

The reasoned viewpoint of an active duty soldier is beneficial. His views aren't perfectly sanitized for political correctness, but he also isn't an ivy league jounalism, politics, or sociology student either.

He is in fact right regarding a few points. First, the USA did win Vietnam. It then failed to re-invade after the North Vietnamese broke the treaty shortly thereafter, but that was the fault of congress. They refused to fund it.

Another point where americansoldier1 is correct is on how the policy will impact him personally. Each person has a right to fair and equal treatment. Where americansoldier1 lives, there are strict rules on conduct of male heterosexual soldiers when females are in their sleeping areas (door propped open). Eliminating rules that fail to prohibit and prevent homosexual activity while maintaining rules that prohibit and prevent heterosexual activity is wrong. Everyone knows that.

The counter-argument is that a bunch of other countries (even Britain) allow gays to serve openly. European standards for social equality aren't sufficient for Americans. If they were, we would all be royal subjects, not free Americans. I urge every white male to spend some time in Europe and experience everyday equality before concluding that America is somehow behind the curve.

The most frequently mentioned argument for lifting "don't-ask-don't-tell" is that it's unfair for some soldiers to be able to talk about loved ones with friends while others cannot. The problem isn't people sharing about their lives with friends. It's people sharing about their lives inappropriately and with those who most certainly are not friends. A better solution might be a "don't ask, don't yell" policy.

The poll above doesn't permit a respondent to select "don't know." There are many people who aren't hostile to homosexuals but who also defer to those who are immediately impacted by policy changes.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 28, 2010 1:02 PM

"The final question for any changes to military policy should always be - will this improve combat efficiency? In other words, will more American soldiers live because of this change, or will we win the war more quickly? I can't see how changing this policy ads anything in our ability to close with and destroy the enemy, to destroy his means to resist, and to dominate him psychologically, which is the dirty fact about what the US military does."

Actually, DADT does pose a risk to national security. As long as gay servicemembers are required to hide their lifestyle, that information can be used against them by foreign nationals.

"Give us the plans for the nuclear power plant, or we will out you to your commanding officer, and you will be dishonorably discharged from the US military."

Posted by: atergoboy | January 28, 2010 1:20 PM

"Even under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the U.S. Military does not actively hunt down and discharge homosexuals, they do discharge people for homosexual activity. If homosexuals want to serve, they can, they simply need to keep their sexuality to themselves, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do. There is no need to flaunt ones sexual orientation and doing so regardless of that orientation, does have an effect on "Good Order and Discipline" which is an essential part of any military unit."

HAHAHAHAHA

The 'vast majority' of heterosexuals keep their orientation to themselves? Are you kidding me?

I spent six years in the Navy, and I couldn't sit down and eat a meal without hearing people around me talk about their wives, girlfriends, the girl they hooked up with last night, or whatever. The 'vast majority' of heterosexuals do NOT keep it to themselves. Why should homosexuals?

Posted by: atergoboy | January 28, 2010 1:25 PM

The "don't tell" portion of the policy assures national security. Prohibiting homosexual orientation completely creates a risk. Gays and lesbians are permitted to serve if they keep their lifestyles private. How would a foreign intelligence service exploit a private lifestyle that is not prohibited?

Posted by: blasmaic | January 28, 2010 1:34 PM

It's not technically prohibited, but it might as well be.

If a person was put in the situation I described above, they would at the very least be tempted to give up classified information so as not to risk losing their career.

Posted by: atergoboy | January 28, 2010 2:04 PM

"The "don't tell" portion of the policy assures national security. Prohibiting homosexual orientation completely creates a risk. Gays and lesbians are permitted to serve if they keep their lifestyles private. How would a foreign intelligence service exploit a private lifestyle that is not prohibited?"

I think you meant that the "Don't Tell" portion ERODES national security. Being as people who are forced to lie to save their careers are by nature more vulnerable to coercion through blackmail and the like.

Posted by: JohanBaumeister | January 28, 2010 2:07 PM

Hey Ater, good to see a fellow servicemember posting here in support of repeal.

I was honorably discharged in 2004 under the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." At the time my orientation became widely known among the soldiers in my unit, I counted many among my friends and nearly all of us had a deep professional respect for one another. Yet the commander decided that the penalty for my honesty would be steep.

They attempted to have me thrown out under other than honorable terms (good luck getting a civilian job after that!), threatened to try to recoup GI Bill and other scholarship funds before they realized I hadn't used any yet, reassigned me from radio technician to pushing a mop (essentially punishment for daring to say I was gay) and took their merry time in kicking me out. That's the price I paid for attempting to serve my community and country with integrity.

DADT is a blot on the honor of our armed forces and our nation. It and the section of the UCMJ that intrudes unnecessarily into the bedrooms of *all* soldiers (not just the gay ones) both need to be repealed.

Posted by: JohanBaumeister | January 28, 2010 2:26 PM

No, the "don't tell" portion of the policy promotes national security.

Homosexual/Lesbian orientation is not prohibited. It's just to be kept private. Evil Soviets who threaten to disclose private, homosexual conduct to commanding officers are rendered powerless -- because the conduct is private, not prohibited, and not to be punished.

This argument isn't often made because it leads in a problematic way for proponents of gay rights. First, it implies that gays are untrustworthy generally (and that commanding officers are ignorant generally). Also, it implies that discrimination is the problem, not the ban on homosexual conduct. If discrimination is the issue, then allowing gays to serve even openly still creates a security risk. A homosexual might still act to prevent his lifestyle from becoming known if discrimination is widespread and the homosexual is a weak person.

See how it is problematic?

Posted by: blasmaic | January 28, 2010 2:35 PM

You're reaching here. The only thing that's problematic about repeal is your argument against it.

You're also starkly ignorant of the UCMJ and DADT. If had kept my orientation private and my commanding officer still found out about it, I would still get kicked out.

And these "Evil Soviets" (strangely still around... despite the fact that the USSR is no more) you mention, are not rendered powerless by DADT, they are EMpowered by it. All they have to do is pick up a phone to end a soldier's career.

And you've also made the leap that repeal wouldn't be accompanied by an order to end anti-gay discrimination and harassment. Make no mistake: that order will be issued when DADT is repealed and the UCMJ amended. To assume otherwise is to place yourself among the ranks of fools.

Posted by: JohanBaumeister | January 28, 2010 4:48 PM

JohanBaumeister, since I am so "starkly" ignorant, how does a discharge for homosexual conduct occur without evidence?

You say that discharges occur because of anonymous phone calls? Please contact the Washington Post with the story immediately.

I don't "reach" or "leap." You do have to make your points in a civil tone to persuade me.

I believe that homosexuals and lesbians who serve in the armed forces are patriotic Americans. They should not have their characters dinged due to their sexual orientation, just as heterosexual should not either.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 28, 2010 5:27 PM

BLASMAIC - "how does a discharge for homosexual conduct occur without evidence?"

You're reaching again. That's not even close to what I said or argued.

Posted by: JohanBaumeister | January 28, 2010 6:45 PM

JohanBaumeister, I'm not reaching. Here's what you wrote:

"All they [the Soviets] have to do is pick up a phone to end a soldier's career."

It takes more than phone calls to end the career of a homosexual or lesbian soldier. I assume that the Soviets don't identify themselves as such when calling.

There are very few Americans serving in the armed forces who can be manipulated into harming their country for any reason. It's therefore irresponsible to assert that "don't ask, don't tell" creates a security risk.

I personally feel it's wrong to impugn the character of people based upon factors that are inconsequential to their patriotism. That doesn't mean I support an end to "don't ask, don't tell." I honestly -- don't know.

One factor that returns to me on the subject is my own observation that homosexual conduct is frequently seen with emotional immaturity. A person who acts inconsiderately of others is ill-suited for service in many types of organizations regardless of his or her sexual orientation.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 29, 2010 2:23 AM

Repealing "Don't ask, Don't tell" is a big mistake. I am not against homosexuality in the least. I served in the Air Force for over 4 yrs and I knew gays that served as well. The biggest problem that the military will have if this is passed it basic training. If you have a flight of men or women going through basic training and you know someone in your flight is gay, flights will break out. You already have no privacy in basic. You shower together and you sleep together in the same bays. I wouldn't be surprised that in some branches if someone gets killed during basic because they were open about being gay. Military bases/posts would have to create seperate dormitories just for the openly gay troops, but then you have another problem. If you have a dorm that is specifically gay troops then you might as well make all the dorms co-ed. Like I said, you shower together and sleep together and you're isolated for months.

Posted by: CMP1225 | February 2, 2010 5:21 PM

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