DADT: Is now the time? And is this the proper way?

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100127-03-Chiefs-300x168 "Now is not the time in to engage in a social experiment that can disrupt and potentially have serious impact on the conduct of Forces engaged in combat." I had actually hoped to avoid doing a post on DADT. For some reason every time this issue comes up everyone takes a vacation from their senses and goes right off the deep end. On both sides. But The American Legion put out a really good press release on it, and I wanted to piggy-back my thoughts on to the end of it. So, here was part of the release, citing to Resolution 34 of the NEC:
1. The American Legion has no position on the compatibility of homosexuals serving in the military. 2. The American Legion recognizes that the U.S. Military is in the highest state of up-tempo short of that experienced in World War II and as a result there is enormous stress upon the troops in the Armed Forces. 3. Now is not the time in to engage in a social experiment that can disrupt and potentially have serious impact on the conduct of Forces engaged in combat. 4. The American Legion will keep an open mind to the findings and information which results from military studies and findings. 5. Now is the time to support the existing policy.
I know asking commenters not to weigh in on the policy itself would be roughly as successful as lighting a fire on the moon, but I want to confine my post to two questions: 1) Why now? Is being in the middle of a Global War on Terror really the right time to do this? 2) Why is the President dictating what will be done, and empowering a DoD group to look into implementation when according to the Constitution, Congress is charged with "mak[ing] Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces"? The answer to number one is that the President made a campaign promise, and he apparently seems very intent on following through with it. It became pretty apparent during the State of the Union speech the other day that the Joint Chiefs were, shall we say, less than overly enthusiastic about the new direction. See the picture above...does that look like a group of folks struggling to keep their enthusiasm in check? Specifically President Obama stated that:
"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do."
As John Aaravosis of the AmericaBlog Gay website stated:
It seems the Joint Chiefs are permitted to weigh in publicly during the State of the Union when they like what their Commander in Chief says. And they clearly didn't like what he had to say about making the Armed Forces less discriminatory.
OK, so I guess that answers question 1, because the President believes it should be done now, regardless of the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But note what the President stated, "I will work with Congress and our military to repeal the law." Because DADT is (IN FACT) a law. I hate to cite to wiki, but what the heck, everyone else is doing it:
Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) is the common term for the policy stopping openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from serving in the United States military, as mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Unless one of the exceptions from 10 U.S.C. § 654(b) applies, the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."
So this is the real rub of it....Why is the President telling us how the policy is going to change, when laws are made by Congress, not by the President? Shouldn't any changes to the DADT policy be initiated by the Congress which had the authority to do so? Does anyone here truly believe that Congress will take up DADT, repeal it legislatively, and then tell the DoD what to do? Of course not. Just about every time an issue dealing with homosexuality makes it on the ballot, it gets clobbered. Even in California. Looking from a partisan angle, the majority of Republicans oppose open homosexuals serving, and close to a majority of Democrats do too. If Congress were to take it on themselves to revisit this issue through hearings and votes, I can just imagine the mid-term election blood bath that would ensue. And if I know that, there are a lot smarter folks on the Hill who do too. So, there it is. An issue that shouldn't be abrogated to the Executive Branch probably will be because those who support a change don't support it enough to bet their job on it. Whether you support gays serving openly or not, can't we at all at least agree that Congress should have the intestinal fortitude to do their job, and not pawn it off one someone else who doesn't need to run again for 3 years?
Posted in Uncategorized, the burner | 16 comments
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I agree with the statement that we should not change this policy
at this time.

There is no "right" to be in the armed forces which necessarily
maintains different rules than those existing for American civilians.
The UCMJ has been upheld repeatedly as an appropriate military
code for enforcing discipline.

I can recall our drill instructors in boot camp assessing in no uncertain
terms their views on our capabilities to become Marines and what a
miserable bunch of &%#* idiots they had been given to perform this

I would want to consider the opinions of military leaders such as General
Petraeus and the Commandant of the Marine Corps on this issue. I would
also want the opinions of the commandants of Annapolis and West Point.

It should not become a political issue for the likes of Nancy Pelosi and
President Obama to pontificate over; it is more important than that.

I am sure there were gays in the Navy in the early 50,s, when I was in the military.
However I do not remember them thinking that they had to tell me, as I don't care.
What makes gay people think that they have to tell everyone that they are gay?

Not now, or ever. ( I was an enlisted man before I became an officer, and was exposed to that kind of guy, and it revolts me!

Gays in the military are absolutely NOT in the best interest of all involved! A moral flaw such as these disrupt cohesion and loyalty, etc.

Why is the President so bent on keeping this promise when he has not kept a single pomise that he made made while campaining for the job. I can imagine some "friendly Fire deaths" I am a military minded vet. My older brother went down on a ship in 1942, another brother served in Eruope, I served in the North Atlantic, my three sons served in Nam none of us would want to be in the Military service with Gays. I have friends who are Gay but I would not want them in the Military because of moral purposes.

Knew some guys were gay when I was in (99-04) and it didn't bother me.. They did the same job I did and did it just as well. I also know a guy who was straight and then became gay because of some serious PTSD. I don't believe that now is a good time to change policy, however, I don't feel that changing the policy in the future will have an advers affect on any of our 5 branches. Gays can serve now under DADT, and gays will continue to serve, and do a fine job at doing so, in the future regardless of the policy. Unfortunately I expect to take alot of flak regarding my standpoint from the older generations on here(I'm 28 years old). Under current policy and leadership the future of our county is uncertain. Any man or woman, gay or straight, who volunteers to serve in our military has my respect and friendship. Mr. Wade, you state that you wouldn't want to serve with gays, but chances are you did, and never knew it. -Pete

Please explain your term spammy

It is better to have a "gay" soldier that I can count on to do the job then the "drugie" or drunk that I can not count on. "Spaced out" soldiers make to many mistakes and get others killed!! As a "straight", a "gay" is not going to change me! Hanky-Panky already occurs between the "straights" and check out the history to see this as a fact.

I am not so concerned with a soldier being gay or strait. What concerns me most (call it homophobia if you like) is that strait soldiers will be forced to expose themselves to gay soldiers, whether it be in open bay barracks, or open showers. Nothing like being forced to take a shower when you know another male soldier is "checking you out." If we are going to allow Gay soldiers to serve openly, then accommodations should be made to protect the privacy of each and everyone strait, gay, male, female; even during training and/or war environments. Males and females don't shower/sleep together as a form of protecting them from sexuality issues. The same courtesy/privacy should be afforded the strait soldier.

I think that DADT should be repealed. It is now outdated. I'm a retired veteran and I could care less about gays in the military. It has worked in other militaries (such as Dutch), why can't it work in the US military. Times have changed; gays are more accepted today rather than 20 years ago. It seems that most comments are from personnel who are 'old fashioned' and resist change.

I think we are all missing a major part of the picture here regarding the joint chiefs. How many of us were allowed to work on political campaigns while in the military? Answer: None. Military members are not allowed to have political opinions, so during the State of the Union, they operate much like the Supreme Court Justices do, they do not applaud and they do not stand up. The only exception for the chiefs is for matters in the speech concerning veterans and the military that are not controversial (for instance, we are bringing the troops in Iraq home and handing control over to their own policy force). Obviously, repealing DADT is the most controversial topic in DOD, and one of the most controversial throughout the country, so the chiefs are going to sit stone cold so as to not give an impression either way.

DADT does not work and its time to repeal it. Our military is resilient. If it can fight two wars while maintaining its other obligations around the world, it certainly can handle this. As to why right now: there have been many instances where Arabic speakers and intelligence officers with high clearances who are badly needed in the wars and wanted to stay in the military were outed by someone in there unit and forced out of the military. Try telling a lie about yourself for several years and see how it turns out for you.

Finally, there was a time not all that long ago that I would not have been allowed to serve my country simply because I am a woman and black men could not have served with white men simply because of the color of their skin. The Army still did not allow black men to serve “openly” with white men as late as 1950 and until the 1980s, women were still being forced out of the military if they became pregnant. The military adjusted to desegregating the forces and women in support of combat operations and is better because of it. Women could not change their sex and African-American men could not change the color of their skin to serve their country. Yet both groups expected to serve equally with white men. Gays and Lesbians are expecting no less – to serve equally with straight people. Shame on anyone who says that any American should not have the honor and privilege to serve his or her country on an equal ground with other citizens simply because of who he or she is.

Nine Lives,

You write well, but have chosen a poor argument by relating segregation and women alongside thyat of homosexuals.

The repeal of segregation and the inclusion of women into more varied units corrects a wrong that should never have existed. It was a wrong perpetrated based upon things beyond the individuals control. People are born black, or female, or asian, etc. That should have no bearing on their access to the full advantages of our society.

However, no one is born a homosexual. Despite all sorts of papers and monographs and lectures and Lord knows how many raised voices, there exists no proof that people are born gay. Zero. Zip. Nada. In each and every case it is a lifestyle choice, not a human attribute, not a circumstance of birth, genetics, whatever. It is a CHOICE! That choice is backed up by extensive studies (published and peer-reviewed) by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In their major study, the College used a base of 10,000 self-identified homosexuals. In every case it was demonstrably proved that their homosexuality was a lifestyle, and not a genetic trait.


It would be a total irreversable shame to openly allow homosexuals into the military. It's an abomination to Almighty God and should be to us
as well. We'll have to pray much for our president and those who are pushing this agenda.

AW1 Tim: Every study done relating to the topic of being born gay posted inconclusive results. Science has yet to determine if men and women are born gay or not. To say that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice holds the same weight in an argument as saying that people are born gay. Where was it ever "demonstrativly" proved that it was a lifestyle choice. Thats the conclusion that you and others have come to based on current genetic research, but its still not proven so..

As a straight guy who loves women, I never thought I'd find myself defending gays like this. But as Nine Lives pointed out, they are as much a proud part of American history as black men were prior to the civil rights movement and women were prior to complete combat zone integration. I will continue to defend the rights of people who wish to proudly serve this country, and fear entry of none of them based upon race, gender, or sexual orientation. What I truly fear is that a time will come when our numbers of volunteers will dwindle..

Hank- "abomination to Almighty God" does nothing for this argument except prove how terribly small minded you are. I don't mean that as an insult, just maybe some constructive criticism.

P. Donahue,

Except that your conclusions are wrong. Blacks, whites, women, men, we are all born that way. Gays are not born gay. Scientists and geneticists have been dealing with the issue and have come up empty-handed. All things considered, the ONE scientific study done of homosexuals, that done by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, PROVED that every single one of the 10,000 gays interviewed had an acquired gay lifestyle. Every. Single. One.

The military must NEVER be used for social-engineering experiments. NEVER.

One of the problems with Gays in the Military is how do we house them? Do we house men and women in the same rooms? The reason we don't is because of their different sexual orientations. Straight guys don't want to take showers with gay men, nor do straight women want to shower and or live in the same space as Lesbians.

We seperate men and women in boot camp and on ships, they have seperate tents out in the field; so now it would only make sense to have seperate housing for gay and lesbians if we are going to formally accept them in the military. That will be quite a mess in itself if you think about it. I have known many gay and lesbians over the years and was good friends with some of them but personally I feel it creates a lot more problems if we roll out the welcome mat for one and all.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.