July 6, 2009

A "measured" response on Don't Ask Don't Tell.

It looks like Obama is being advised to keep DADT, but apply it in a more "humane" way.
I've had conservations with him about that,” [Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike] Mullen said on CNN's State of the Union. “What I've discussed in terms of the future is I think we need to move in a measured way.”...

“I haven't done any kind of extensive review. And what I feel most obligated about is to make sure I tell the president, you know, my – give the president my best advice, should this law change, on the impact on our people and their families at these very challenging times,” he said.

Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon is looking into ways to apply the law in a “more humane way.” Gates appeared to suggest he disagreed with discharges in cases where service members were maliciously outed.

“If someone is outed by a third party … does that force us to take action?” he asked.
Is that enough hope and change for you — in these very challenging times?

166 comments:

Salamandyr said...

All this seems to do is muddy the waters. Bureaucracies, including the military, function better with clear rules.

Get rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Quit fiddling with it.

DADvocate said...

It seems an appropriate code of conduct, properly enforced, and equally applied despite sexual orientation would be adequate and DADT could be dropped.

Jason (the commenter) said...

These people sound just like the segregationists with their "go slow" approach to me.

Makes me think about Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddamm":

...Don't tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about do
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying, "Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble
"Too slow!"...

Sy said...

Hope is just an empty wish to yourself and change is a given over time. So basically, Obama offered zilch and delivered disaster.

Eli Blake said...

I still think that as long as we have 'don't ask/don't tell' they should just eliminate selective service registration as a complete waste of money.

Right now everyone is in the military because they want to be (volunteered) and aren't trying to get out, but if there was a draft then you'd have a hole big enough to drive a Mack Truck through. You'd have a whole army full of 'corporal Klingers' making out with each other just to get kicked out for free. The army would be a laughingstock.

The Drill SGT said...

DADvocate said...
It seems an appropriate code of conduct, properly enforced, and equally applied despite sexual orientation would be adequate and DADT could be dropped.


It's a law. It must be repealed, it's not just a policy tat can be altered or ignored. Obama campaigned on ending DADT, but changing it would require leadership on his part to convince the Democratic Congress to repeal the law and change the UCMJ.

no balls

what will you get when they ultimately repeal it?

a bunch of new challenges by gay activists, a whole series of command classes about how our gay brothers in arms are first class troops and there will be zero tolerance for gay bashing in this command, lower morale, and some hate crimes or claims of hate crimes.

overall, for some period, a less effective military, not a more effective one.

a social engineering experiment writ large, and I'm against that when it impacts effectiveness, and that is always

Jason said...

Related thoughts on Countercolumn here: http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/2009/07/gay-sailors-family-blames-military.html

gaywrites said...

God forbid the Administration use all its humanity capital on getting rid of the discriminatory policy once and for all. Instead, let's just be "more humane" than we used to be by keeping the gays that were discovered because of a "jilted lover" but not the gays discharged because of information found by some other means.

Maybe the 265 discharged since Obama took office should have pissed off their ex-girlfriends/boyfriends enough for the jilted lover to spill the beans.

"I haven't done any extensive review..." ...but I don't want to take anyone's word for it that has done the extensive review and has determined that the policy makes us less safe.

The last time a president tried to allow gays to serve in the military we got Don't Ask Don't Tell, I can't wait to see what we get this time...

Don't Ask/Don't Tell*

*Unless your ex-lover told

scinfinity said...

Ann - "Is that enough hope and change for you — in these very challenging times?"

Your intern-in-chief campaigned on ending DADT. His Democratic Congress also ran, largely, with a promise to end DADT.

So why can't they do it?

paul a'barge said...

gay-somebody writes: God forbid the Administration use all its humanity capital on getting rid of the discriminatory policy once and for all

Dood. Here's a clue. It's a law. It was passed by the House and Senate and signed by Pres Clinton.

If you want it gone, you have to get it repealed by (gasp, wait for it) the House and Senate.

What is it about a LAW that you do not understand?

gaywrites said...

paul-somebody a'barge,

I know it's a law; but the President is also the Commander in Chief and can halt discharges under his stop loss powers.

Additionally, President Obama, if he were really committed could tell Congress to send him a bill repealing the law by such and such a date, effectively lighting a fire under their ass.

Joseph said...

That is not going to happen. It would be just as absurd as DADT was in the first place. This is definitely one of those issues where age matters. The old men running the military can't seem to get beyond their sexual demons and then they project their insecurities on the good men and women serving under them. Other than the leadership, the military demographic is very young and young people just don't think being gay is that big a deal. Its really an insult to claim that we need a "measured" policy to carefully tiptoe around their alleged bigotry.

Ann Althouse said...

The need to get Congress to act is no longer an excuse.

Dark Eden said...

This is what killed the Democrats for me actually. DADT. Its such a gutless, triangulation style decision. If you can't even count on crazy lefty politicians for stuff like this, what use are they?

scinfinity said...

Additionally, President Obama, if he were really committed could tell Congress to send him a bill repealing the law by such and such a date, effectively lighting a fire under their ass.

How sad is it that the party that the gay community has utterly sold itself to must have a "fire lit under them" to actually possibly end a law that is hardly a major issue?

Maybe the LGBT needs to reconsider their stance...or just accept that they will never have what they want done.

Eli Blake said...

Dood. Here's a clue. It's a law. It was passed by the House and Senate and signed by Pres Clinton.

So? Segregation was the law once. So was a bounty on Indians. So was slavery.

Laws can be changed, and this one should be changed. And although I voted for President Obama I am the first one to say that he should just step up and get rid of this policy.

I know that in 1993 it backfired on Clinton (and give the man credit, at least he tried to change it) but this is 16 years later.

On gay rights, as in other civil rights issues, there are those who stand up for what is right and those who a few decades later just, well, never want to talk about what they were for (for example, we know who the segregationists were-- it's in the record-- but none of them ever want to talk about it anymore, maybe if you force them to they will lower their eyes and allow a hushed, "I was wrong," and quickly change the subject.)

If nothing else, see my post at 3:27. I couched it somewhat humorously but in fact still DADT is very dangerous to our national security. We have selective service for a reason and if we made it as easy to dodge the draft as writing a letter to the draft board proclaiming yourself gay then we could be screwed royally if there is ever a war against a really dangerous opponent (China?) that required a draft. And changing the policy on that day would be a lot more problematic than changing it now and working out the problems (as we have with women servicemembers.)

Eli Blake said...

Dark Eden:

As a Democrat, I've let my elected leaders know I'm unhappy with them about this.

However, it's not like John McCain (or any other Republican) would change the policy. Democrats seem to advance gay rights with fits and starts. Fits and starts isn't good enough, I agree but let's be honest-- when Republicans are in control then even the fits and starts don't happen, everything is frozen.

Jim said...

I can't even tell you how hard I laughed when I read that they were going to try to be "more humane" about enforcing DADT.

More humane? What send candies and flowers along with his discharge papers?

C'mon now. It's either fair or it's not fair. It's either dicrimination or it's not discrimination. Obama, by his own words says it is both.

And by his own actions, he is a liar.

Personally I don't see the nation being served by kicking out qualified Arabic translators when it's one of the skills most in need to defend this country. Bottom line: the job of the president and the Congress is to provide for the national defense and not engage in some social experiment. If a person is qualified to do the job, then the country needs them. Period. Full stop. As the President and Congress, it's your jobs to make it happen.

Whether it's Clinton or Bush or Obama, protecting and defending the American people against threats foreign and domestic is Job #1. If a gay man, or a purple-polka-dotted, three-horned alien from Betelgeuse is the person best equipped to the job, then that is all that matters. It's ultimately the commander-in-chief's job to make sure he has the people he needs in the right places to do that. If that means signing executive stop-loss orders or using the power of bully pulpit to make it happen, then that's more important than getting some back-asswards cap-and-tax bill passed.

I'm sorry, but I cannot be convinced that a president who got up in front of the nation and stated that he felt the nation was best served by recruiting and training the best person for the job rather than playing social politics with the military wouldn't enjoy majority support for that position. Clinton was wrong. Bush was wrong. And now Obama is doubly wrong for admitting that he knows it's the wrong thing to, but trying to lie to people about doing it anyway.

Joseph said...

How sad is it that the party that the gay community has utterly sold itself to must have a "fire lit under them" to actually possibly end a law that is hardly a major issue?

Its pretty sad. But not nearly as sad as the fact that for a generation the other party has demonized gays and lesbians to their electoral advantage and codified hostility towards gays and lesbians in party platforms, legislation and ballot initiatives.

Leslie said...

Obama's use of "more humane" is as Orwellian as the law itself is counter to free speech. It's obviously politics. Blue States aren't as progressive as the winners of elections claim. This reminds me of when I was a young dyke working for passage of the ERA in Louisiana; we'd do all the grunt work for the straight, girlie types only to be told over and over again that we simply could not be a visible part of the movement. It was crap then; it's crap now. I simply do not listen to gay and feminist Democrats anymore. They have totally sold out for a "feeling" of belonging that doesn't actually exist.

Jim said...

Eli -

"when Republicans are in control then even the fits and starts don't happen, everything is frozen."

This discussion has taken place before on this blog. The basic conclusion was this: If you're going to call Republicans bigoted no matter what they do and if you're going to give your vote blindly to Democrats no matter what they do, then there's no advantage to a Republican to stick his neck out for gay rights.

I've been vilified by more than one commenter on this board as being a bigot even when I fully endorsed equal rights for gays and proposed policy solutions that would ensure them. Why? Because I'm not a knee-jerk Leftist and therefore I couldn't possibly actually be for gay rights and am therefore both a bigot and a homophobe.

I have strong principles, so I'm going to believe what I'm going to believe no matter how much ignorance and bile is thrown at me. But consider a politician or the average moderate voter who doesn't have a personal stake in gay rights. Even if they would nominally be for it, they're going to be pilloried by both the gay community as a whole and by those who actually do oppose gay rights on moral or other grounds. So why should they stick their necks out?

The answer is: they shouldn't. It would be foolish to risk something in exchange for nothing. When the gay community stops being a lap dog of the Democratic Party, then they complain about what Republicans do. [And no, I'm not singling out gays, this includes all of the special interest groups who subordinate their causes to Democratic Party politics.]

Until then, maybe they can take solace in being able to call Republicans bigots while Democrats give them the big middle finger and laugh in their faces.

Kirby Olson said...

The change was all about him. It didn't have to do with anybody else. He got a change in status. Now that that's accomplished, he intends for there to be no more changes. It's just as he likes it, now.

Chase said...

If someone is outed by a third party … does that force us to take action?” he asked.

Oh, please.

Here's a question I do not know the answer to, perhaps someone here will.

Does the Israeli Army - probably the finest standing Army in the world after (actually possibly surpassing) the United States - allow homosexuals to serve openly?

rocketeer67 said...

Gates appeared to suggest he disagreed with discharges in cases where service members were maliciously outed.

So, if you want the discharge to stick, you have to be pleasant about outing your gay comrade-in-arms.

What a joke.

SteveR said...

Clearly the impediment is finding goodies to add to any particular legislation to sweeten the deal. Not that they need the goodies, its just standard procedure, why waste an opportunity to pork out.

Theoretically this should be simple. I thought it would have been history by Feb. 2009.

Joseph said...

Leslie: Obama did not use the word "humane" or endorse any of the views Althouse quotes. Mike Mullen, a Bush appointee to the Joint Chiefs, is the one alleging servicemembers are so bigoted that their hostility to gay people might be stronger than their patriotism if we don't take a "measured" approach. I wish more people would see this for the defamation that it is. Those young people serving who are most impacted by the defamation and any forthcoming change to DADT can't really publicly object given the nature of their position.

Larry J said...

So? Segregation was the law once. So was a bounty on Indians. So was slavery.

Laws can be changed, and this one should be changed. And although I voted for President Obama I am the first one to say that he should just step up and get rid of this policy.


No one said the law couldn't be changed. But, as a law and not just a policy, the Department of Defense has no choice but to comply with it. Even Obama as Commander-in-Chief is supposed to comply with the law. A law and a policy are two very different things. He can't simply "get rid of this policy" as you say because he is bound to uphold the law as it exists until it is repealed. No one, especially the President, should be considered above the law.

Democrats wrote and enacted this law back in 1993. They're in control of Congress and the White House now. If they were serious about changing the law, there isn't a better opportunity than now. If they don't, then that should tell gays something about how the Democrats that run the government view them.

Jim said...

Joseph -

" the other party has demonized gays and lesbians to their electoral advantage and codified hostility towards gays and lesbians in party platforms, legislation and ballot initiatives."

We've been around this block before. Republicans and the Democratic Party aren't that far apart in their positions. The difference is you believe the Democratic Party lies without at least respecting that those who oppose gay rights are willing to say so out loud.

And let's not forget that it wasn't a Republican president who designed DADT as a dodge to fulfilling previous promises made to the gay community, and it wasn't a Republican president who signed DOMA.

You're not being honest about the actual policies and actions of the Democratic Party. You're basing your position on empty promises not reality. You can demonize Republicans all you want, but they're no better nor worse than those who claim to be fighting for gay rights while doing the exact opposite.

rhhardin said...

Getting rid of gay linguists is counterproductive.

For the rest, as well as that, getting the military to work best ought to be the goal.

Social engineer somewhere else.

Chase said...

I've been vilified by more than one commenter on this board as being a bigot even when I fully endorsed equal rights for gays and proposed policy solutions that would ensure them.

Jim, you can actually be thankful that the bullying tactics turn-off more people than you can imagine. The left likes to think that same-sex marriage in California is going to be a slam dunk, but the turn-off of the whining, name-calling and outright lying done by the pro-same sex marriage side is a bigger turn-off than they get at this moment. Case in point: National support for same-sex marriage has fallen in the last 4 months while 4 more states have allowed it.
I commented here about 2 weeks back on how the same sex marriage side can actually speed their case forward. It was well received by several people here who also delight in calling me homophobic. I will not repeat it here - you can tell people only so much who take comfort and identity as "victims".

avwh said...

Isn't this just more of what Obama is best at (and the only track record he had, prior to POTUS): voting "present"?

Skyler said...

. . . the Israeli Army - probably the finest standing Army in the world after (actually possibly surpassing) the United States . . .

Oh, give me a fricking break. I don't want to go into long discussions of this, but this is not even remotely true by any measurement.

Eli Blake said...

Jim,

There are some Republicans who are not bigots, in fact there are some who are gay themselves (we had a former representative here in Arizona named Jim Kolbe who was a gay Republican.)

However, while your cost/benefit analysis makes some sense, I guess my answer would be that the best way for Gay Americans to solve the problem is to push the agenda, so that the Overton frame shifts-- as it has, in fact. Gay marriage, to cite one example, has gone from being considered a 'lunatic fringe' idea that if you put it on the ballot anyplace in the nation you could expect an 80% 'no' vote without breaking a sweat-- to a serious topic of discussion and a legal right in six states (including at least two, Vermont and New Hampshire, where it was written into the law by the legislative process, not any kind of a court order.)

There is a story about an organization that was lobbying FDR on some law kept talking to him, and he kept agreeing with their points and agreeing with them but never said he would do what they were asking him. So they finally asked directly whether he did agree with them.

"Yes," he said, "I agree with everything you've said. Now go out there and make me do it."

What he was saying was that they now had to make their case to the public so he had the public backing to make the change.

Now, I agree that Obama could make the change on gays in the military today (unlike Clinton, who tried and was forced to back down from it) but it would still be politically expensive. Now, morally 'politically expensive' isn't a good enough reason to not do something, but practically and realistically it is the reason why a lot of good things don't get done.

So the answer is for gay advocates and their straight supporters (which I am one of) to go out and 'make him do it.'

John Stodder said...

So why can't they do it?

Apparently, it's all the Republicans' fault. In fact, anything bad that Democratic presidents do, from launching the Vietnam war to writing a law codifying marriage inequality, the Republicans forced their hand and are the real perpetrators.

Today seems like a good day to just stop paying attention to either party. They're both hopeless corrupt and feckless leaders. We need new ones.

Aaron said...

This just in, Barrack Obama has issued a statement to the gay community. The entire message is "suckers!"

Seriously, like none of you could see this coming.

Jim said...

Chase -

"Jim, you can actually be thankful that the bullying tactics turn-off more people than you can imagine. "

I was looking at the latest Gallup poll numbers and saw that the public support for gay marriage has actually fallen since 2004 - the high point of Republican electoral dominance. It wasn't an issue at all in the 2008 election as both parties fielded candidates with identical positions on the issue.

The other poll numbers show a slight drop in the number who describe themselves as "born again" and a significant drop in those who think that government should promote traditional family values.

But gay marriage is moving in the opposite direction even as the political ground seems to be moving in its favor. The gay community would do well to ask itself why that's so and start looking in the mirror when they ask who is most responsible.

I'm not thankful that the bullying tactics turn people off: I'm saddened that the people who engage in the bullying tactics aren't grown up to figure that out yet.

Joseph said...

Jim--I know we have talked about this before. We have different views of politics. I think politicians should propose and make laws they think are good policy and then voters who support those policies vote for those politicians. You seem to think voters first form an identity group, then find a politician they promise to endorse or vote for regardless of the politicians policies or promises and then, if they help elect him, the politician will make laws that benefit the people who voted for him. I'm sure there is some of both but I don't see how you can expect gay people to support Republicans before they offer anything better than the Democrats on gay rights issues.

Also, DADT is not just a gay issue that gay people lobby to repeal. Its also a national security issue. And, sadly, Republican politicians have consistently shown that their interest in keeping gays out of the military trumps their interest in preserving our national security.

And, yes, Clinton negotiated DADT after Republicans and conservative Democrats objected to his bungled proposal to allow gays to serve openly. I don't see how that makes the case that gays should vote Republican.

Ralph L said...

the military demographic is very young and young people just don't think being gay is that big a deal
Not as young as it used to be, and they'll change their tune if they think a superior comes on to them. You can say people will be discreet, but isn't better if discretion is enforced officially rather than unofficially?

Officers don't want more personnel headaches, especially ones that could damage or end their careers. See Cdr Salamander on the diversity bullies.

Joseph said...

Jim & Chase:

I don't know what polls you're cherrypicking but support for gay marriage has not decreased in the past four months or four years.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/gay-marriage-by-numbers.html

Joseph said...

Officers don't want more personnel headaches

Whereas discharging thousands of gay servicemembers is not a "personnel headache" at all.

Jim said...

Eli -

"So the answer is for gay advocates and their straight supporters (which I am one of) to go out and 'make him do it.'"

Actually, the answer is not to put all your eggs in the Democratic basket. Like it or not, Democrats are not the majority party and far more people consider themselves conservative than liberal. The people you need to be talking to are Republicans, conservatives and moderates. But the gay community steadfastly refuses to do so.

Instead, it's all stick and no carrot. "Vote for my cause or I'll call you a bigot." As someone else once put it, that's not a choice, that's extortion; and it's human nature to do the exact opposite - if nothing else, to teach the extortionist that those methods aren't going to work.

I've suggested before that the gay community disentangle itself from its national Democratic Party allegiance, and instead endorse candidates on an individual basis regardless of their party. That is the best way to ensure a representative majority.

But so long as the gay community is unwilling to do so, they will always be a voiceless minority member of a minority group. All I'm suggesting is to "put your money where your mouth is" so to speak.

The Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse George Bush in 2004 because they didn't feel he served gay interests sufficiently - and they are an explicitly party group and don't pretend to speak for the gay community at large.

On the other hand, how many supposedly non-partisan gay rights groups endorsed Obama even though he expressly told them he didn't support gay marriage?

Unfortunately, the gay community is only reaping what it has sown. I'm here on the outside offering suggestions, but the only people who can effect real change are barring their windows and locking the doors to make sure that nobody inside can hear what's being said.

If gay rights is a goal that is truly important to you, then it's time to take away their keys.

Cedarford said...

JIm - Personally I don't see the nation being served by kicking out qualified Arabic translators when it's one of the skills most in need to defend this country.

That's a dumb meme that was pushed remorselessly by the NY Times...the indispensibility of queers with understanding of Arabic aiding the War On Terror..and simultaneously..the magic lack of straight people with those talents.

If we really needed it, we'd simply hire the queers as civilian translators. Just as the even more homophobic Brits of WWII banned gays from all but critical needs...but didn't hesitate to place gays when the war effort demanded it.

Ask yourself if you go with Arabic speaking homosexuals, why not have the military dispense with physical standards and hire in the relevant physically obese and wheelchair bound as "Arabic speakers"?

A case can be made for them as well. In the modern military, we already accept the fact that females unfit to march 20 miles, carry an 80-lb backpack in full body armor are doing a range of jobs and unlikely to "share tents and foxholes"...
So we could likely take in some tubby Arabic speakers or tubby gay Arabic speakers..

And if we open up recruiting, why not take in the truly stupid, slow-learners and HS dropouts??

Other militaries have.

Even uneducated child soldiers of 7-8 in certain barbaric African nations have shown they can do a range of essential, low-skill jobs that Americans in the bottom 10% of intelligence are now rejected from doing.
----------------
Eli Blake said...
I still think that as long as we have 'don't ask/don't tell' they should just eliminate selective service registration as a complete waste of money.

Right now everyone is in the military because they want to be (volunteered) and aren't trying to get out, but if there was a draft then you'd have a hole big enough to drive a Mack Truck through.


Your theory is incorrect. We had 33 years of a Draft where people could be thrown out or rejected for being queer. It was not a serious issue.

And in the volunteer military, plenty of people who sign up find military life is not what the recruiter promised it would be, and seek to get out. Again, the "claim you are queer!" strategy to get out of your commission or the enlisted's obligated term is not a serious issue. Uncommon...hardship claims, pregnancy, obesity, admitting a drug problem, deliberately becoming a "disciplinary" case needing discharge, medical malingering...more typical.

Jim said...

Joseph -

This is what I'm talking about. You claim I'm cherrypicking because I'm not saying what you want to hear.

I'm citing the latest Gallup poll - which is exactly what I said I was citing. The link is here.

The CBS/NY Times poll that Chase was probably citing is here.

Neither of those organizations is exactly known for a "pro-Republican" bias. Don't shoot the messenger, try listening to the message instead.

onparkstreet said...

"I've had conversations with him about that..." our dear President (and, yes, I mean dear, I am not a hater).

What about "I've had conversations with him about that," is so very Obama-y? Or, Obama-ish?

mccullough said...

Is Colin Powell still in favor of DADT?

onparkstreet said...

"I've had conservations with him about that,” [Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike] Mullen said on CNN's State of the Union. “What I've discussed in terms of the future is I think we need to move in a measured way.”..."

People, people, people. He has had a CONVERSATION!

Ralph L said...

It used to be in the hundreds per year. How many are people outing themselves to get out of enlistments?

Democrats objected to his bungled proposal
I don't think Clinton got as far as an actual proposal before the press started hammering the issue. Nunn wanted him to know who was the boss of DoD, and Aspin was an OK chairman but a hopeless executive.

One possible compromise would be to allow open gayness in mixed sex units, thus adding REBF's to the REMF's and REMILF's.

f1b0nacc1 said...

The real issue should be whether or not this impacts military effectiveness, and nothing else. There is very, very little evidence (none at all, really) to suggest that incorporating gays in the military has any more impact on unit cohesiveness than incorporating women. This being the case, there is simply no argument against incorporating gays into the military as a matter of simple practicality...

traditionalguy said...

On behalf of Titus, I demand to know the Army's favorite position on riding calvary horses.

jayne_cobb said...

"Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon is looking into ways to apply the law in a “more humane way.”"


I get the feeling that that is going to go over as well with gay groups as claiming to support "more humane" abortions would go over with pro-life groups.

AllenS said...

Just say no to fag soldiers. It's just that simple. Let fags like Titus eat his shit. Or hang drapes, or some other kinds of fag occupations. You do not want limp wristed people in the Infantry or Armor. Is it that hard to figure out? Apparently so, with those who have not served.

Jim said...

AllenS -

"Just say no to fag soldiers. It's just that simple."

Even if you take the position that gays shouldn't "be in the foxhole" due to unit morale, is that an argument that they can't, or shouldn't, be able to serve in non-front line positions?

For example, should a doctor at Walter Reed be kicked out of the military because he is a homosexual even if he's the best surgeon they have? Unit cohesion wouldn't be an issue in this case, or in many other non combat positions. Would you accept gays in positions where it was similarly not an issue, or are you completely opposed to all gays serving in any capacity in the military?

I'm just asking for clarification on your position on the subject.

Synova said...

Is DADT a law? I thought it was an executive order that worked around the existing law by directing the military to remove questions of orientation from enlistment paperwork and interviews.

That paperwork is essentially security clearance paperwork and asks questions about a person's background. (Depending on your job you may have to fill out far more extensive security paperwork.) If you lie on it that's what they get you for... lying. And then they boot your butt.

Now, I could be wrong about this, but I thought that the actual law involved was the UCMJ statute criminalizing sodomy rather than an actual law that said homosexuals were barred from military service. No one ever actually cites the law involved so I really don't know. So is it just that violating the UCMJ gets one discharged, or is it something else?

In any case, I absolutely agree that discharging someone for being gay should stop. Over time, however, I'm increasingly of the opinion that those who want to see the end of DADT aren't going to like what they get.

Firstly, and I don't know if it's necessary to say more than this... Congress will get involved. They're the worst meddlers in the world and there is no way that they won't keep their fingers out of it. Secondly, identifying homosexuals in the military (as opposed to pretending they don't exist) means that commanders can't, amazingly enough, pretend they don't exist.

There are a few people here with time in the service and go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong, but in my experience the military tends to function with a sort of dual system (and I'm under the impression that the Air Force is actually less this way than the other services). There is everything official, and everything unofficial. There are rules and regulations and it's the *military* so you don't have a choice... and that's generally a good thing... but identifying the wiggle room where the powers that be can pretend not to know where you scrounged extra canteens or what unauthorized product you used to get scuff marks off the floor is essential. Troops that don't manage to get that right simply don't do well. Either they can't function efficiently, or they don't know where the invisible lines are and get in serious trouble.

DADT is actually a bit similar to those unoffical spaces, or *could* be... the commander is supposed to pretend not to know. Maybe call it DKDC... Don't Know Don't Care. Just so long as the commander isn't forced to take notice... it's all good. Like DADvocate suggested... an appropriate code of conduct properly and equally enforced. As I tend to suggest, a renewed strictness applied to conduct, equally enforced. (And for all I know, they all ready have fixed the softening of conduct rules I saw while enlisted.)

I doubt that would be acceptable to a lot of people, though, and certainly wouldn't satisfy those trying to keep ROTC out of Harvard. (As if *that* is about DADT except as an excuse!)

But what would happen is this... homosexuals would have to be accommodated and their job or MOS or career field would be limited and their assignments would be limited to military installations where their needs could be met... just exactly like women are now.

Synova said...

There would be a spot on enlistment paperwork that asked if one was homosexual... right there next to the box for male or female. And from then on you get treated according to that. It's not just physical strength that limits the jobs available to women in the military, it's privacy. It doesn't do any good to train a woman for a job if she can't be deployed. The single largest loss of female soldiers in Iraq was due to regulations about privacy simply because those regulations would not *bend*. It makes me angry to think about it.

In any case my point is that the most probable outcome of officially accepting gays in the military is that the fact that because official notice has to be taken the designation of "gay" will become a severely limiting factor to any gay person who wants to enlist. Not because anyone is trying to be unfair but because of the essential nature of the beast.

You've got regulations and official notice and then you've got all the spaces in between... there are some very good things to be said about the spaces in between.

AllenS said...

Fag doctors could be ok, if they promised not to bugger the wounded.

mccullough said...

Would it be enough for people for the ban to apply only to certain areas of the military or is it all or nothing?

Synova said...

"The last time a president tried to allow gays to serve in the military we got Don't Ask Don't Tell, I can't wait to see what we get this time..."

Just so.

Jim said...

"If you lie on it that's what they get you for... lying. "

Just an additional clarifying (amplifying?) note on this by Synova.

The reason the military cares about whether you're lying about your sexuality (or anything else) is because of the potential for blackmail by enemy agents. A closeted homosexual represents a potential risk to national security if he is willing to go any lengths to stay in the closet.

This is the harm of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy - above and beyond any equality issues. If you force a military man to lie to you about his sexuality, you have automatically made him a potential target for any enemy agent who knows he is a homosexual.

Most of the questions in a security clearance are about whether you're willing to be truthful. They don't care if your uncle was an alcholic: what they care about is if you're going to lie to them about it. If you're not willing to admit it to them on a questionnaire or in a lie detector test, then you are a potential national security risk.

As I said before, my first concern is whatever is best for national defense. DADT isn't good for national security.

AllenS said...

Here's a problem with fag doctors. Let's talk about resident Titus. This is a fag that likes to play with his shit. He's is always talking about his shit. Shit is full of bacteria. Would you want him operating on you after he played with his shit, or the shit of another man, that he just met? Right before you were anesthetized, would you like to hear a fag like Titus, joke about a man who was fucked by a horse?

Ralph L said...

on riding calvary horses.
Jesus walked.
The Judean People's Front didn't allow horses in Jerusalem.

Jim said...

AllenS -

"Fag doctors could be ok, if they promised not to bugger the wounded."

I'll assume your tongue was planted firmly in your cheek on that one :)

CDR Salamander said...

@Ralph L.,

Simply because my name was used - on this subject I want to make sure that my opinion on DADT is clear.

Please click here if interested on the PERSONAL views of an active duty Commander in the USN.

Nuance.

Ralph L said...

Sorry, that was the People's Front of Judea.

Jim said...

This is what I was talking about in another thread: ordinary Americans reaching solutions over a couple of beers.

In the course of less than 3 hours since the first comment, we've already been able to reach a better solution on gays in the military than the Obama administration, the Democratic Party, and the Republican party.

At a minimum, based on the comments thus far, I think we can all agree that homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly in at least some positions within the military. It might not be as far as some would go on behalf of homosexuals, and it's farther than some others might go in restricting their ability to serve.

3 hours of non-confrontational conversation...that's all it took...

It's a far preferable result to continuing the current policy of DADT, and yet those who claim to be advancing the cause of gay rights haven't found even this much of a compromise. If we can get this group to come up with some form of consensus, I find it impossible to believe that such a solution announced publicly by the president wouldn't find immediate resonance with the vast majority of Americans.

3 hours...after 16 years of DADT, it only took 3 hours - without even really trying - to come up with a better answer. And I'm supposed to believe that the Democratic Party has the best interests of the gay community at heart, or that the groups who purport to speak for them do either?

3 hours...

AllenS said...

Jim--

On Dec. 30, 1967, I was operated on for a gunshot wound to my lower left leg. The next day, all I had was a thin scar and about 6, 8 stitches holding everything together. I'm not sure about the next dateline, but something was terribly wrong after, I don't know how many days, but I had to convince the doctor that something was not going according to plan. When my bandages were removed my leg was red and as swollen as could be. I had a staphyloccus infection. I almost lost my leg. When I tell you about doctors that might be playing with their shit, believe me, it could be a big problem.

Synova said...

"This is the harm of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy - above and beyond any equality issues. If you force a military man to lie to you about his sexuality, you have automatically made him a potential target for any enemy agent who knows he is a homosexual."

Since a person can still be discharged on account of being outed, yes, but I think it's probably less than before since at least the military isn't supposed to ask you. And it's not as though they lock you up if you get caught.

Now... I can't say if this is a TRUE story, but our inprocessing to Clark AB included warnings that because airmen could get in so much trouble for being gay there was a regular local racket where men would dress up like bar girls to get Americans into compromising positions and then blackmail them. Supposedly one entire family was in on the scam and a GI found him self married to the boy.

The lesson, of course, was go to your First Sergeant and tell him first thing... which according to the story this young man did do, and everything worked out fine.

In any case I think it would be easy enough to direct the military that the "Don't Tell" part applies to anyone that isn't having public sex in uniform at a pride parade.

I have to go. There are parts of the UCMJ that need to be changed and should be, but I can't see anything different happening if Congress gets involved beyond simply removing those bits or if the President gets any more specific than directing commanders to look the other way in cases where someone being discrete is outed by someone else (or if they're trying to get out) other than ghettoizing homosexuals in military service to state-side or support roles at very large over seas installations.

AllenS said...

Let me clarify something. I'm ok with Lesbians serving in our Armed Forces. They are interested in the same thing as myself, pussy. Assholes are dirty. They always have been.

The Drill SGT said...

Synova,

You didnt listen to Papa. DADT is Law, Title 10, subpart 654.

The UCMJ is a kicker. Specificially articles 125 (sodomy) and likely 120 (sexual assault), 133 (conduct unbecoming (for officers)), and 134 (adultry, fraternization, indecent acts, pandering, and conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline... etc)


traditionalguy said...
On behalf of Titus, I demand to know the Army's favorite position on riding calvary horses.


Calvary was where the crosses were

Cavalry is the element of lightly armored, highly mobile forces, unrestricted by roads which is used to screen, scout and disrupt

dick said...

Synova,

Read the link above from Jason Van Steenwyk (http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/2009/07/gay-sailors-family-blames-military.html). He hs been a serving Army officer in Iraq and he is discussing the DADT issue in this posting.

Cedarford said...

Jim - The reason the military cares about whether you're lying about your sexuality (or anything else) is because of the potential for blackmail by enemy agents. A closeted homosexual represents a potential risk to national security if he is willing to go any lengths to stay in the closet.

No it is not.

Military commanders, polled before and since Clinton's policy stated Unit cohesion and impact on recruiting were the primary reasons.

As for enemy agent blackmail..or criminal blackmail, no the US military and civilian agencies with top secret clearances have gotten pretty good about reducing their vulnerability. The main thing is assuring subordinates that they are far more interested in stopping espionage or criminal blackmailers than in punishing anyone for anything they are being blackmailed about. It often is in practice, a shot at immunity.

Back in the 90s, a couple of soldiers were blackmailed over being foolish about getting some coke. They thought the dealer's friend who later threatened them was an enemy agent. Wanted helicopter parts pilfered. They turned it over to the military thinking they would of course be hanged for the dope...but as things turned out..as the FBI came in the guy was discovered as just a foreign criminal, part of a Nigerian crime ring. That wanted to sell the hot parts to the market repairing or updating the civilian analogue to the military chopper. (Apparantly the Nigerians were DNA'd, finger-pronted, plead guilty to a range of Fed crimes and had 20 or so years of jail sentence suspended if they agreed to be deported and pray they never showed up again and got caught.)

The two soldiers faced no disciplinary charges. Drugs? What drugs? Their comrades in unit didn't even hear about it. If fact, as the story goes, the commander and legal were riding the FBI to ensure the soldiers skated.

The Drill SGT said...

I for one don't give a rats ass about gay rights (in the context of military service) any more that I care about allowing the 1/100th of 1% of military women who can hump (and that is not a sexual term) their load in a rifle platoon. What matters is overall military effectiveness and cohesion. Things that build effectiveness and cohesion are good, things that harm it are bad.

there may be a time when the number of gays wanting to join the military is large enough, and the climate changed enough, that inclusion of openly gay soldiers is a plus. I'm not certain that the time has come, so I'm a conservative on the topic.

Defending the country is not a social science experiment.

MadisonMan said...

Calvary/Cavalry is something I always have to think about when using the word. (I use cavalry a lot more than calvary because g-g-grandfather rode a horse in the Civil War).

Methadras said...

Can we please get away from the notion of 'Gay Rights'? It's an absurd canard that needs to die. Homosexuals have the same individual rights that I do. To give them rights specifically tailored towards their homosexuality will set them above the individual rights of heterosexuals and that would be clearly unamerican. Just get rid of DADT and let's see how that experiment works out. Give it 3 years. If the dist settles and there aren't any issues, then keep it running that way, but all military personnel have to adhere to the UCMJ anyway, so at the very least you won't see any drag shows on base.

MadisonMan said...

...and No, Titus, I don't mean it that way.

scinfinity said...

Its pretty sad. But not nearly as sad as the fact that for a generation the other party has demonized gays and lesbians to their electoral advantage and codified hostility towards gays and lesbians in party platforms, legislation and ballot initiatives.

You mean like with the DOMA?

Or the DADT policy?

And all of those Dem candidates for President who express their support for gay marriage?

Impressive. Really.

And, yes, Clinton negotiated DADT after Republicans and conservative Democrats objected to his bungled proposal to allow gays to serve openly. I don't see how that makes the case that gays should vote Republican.

That it is active still is not really a solid reason for voting Dem, either.

Maxine Weiss said...

Mister, take note: --look what happens to brunettes when they get old....

http://www.dailybreeze.com/portlet/article/html/imageDisplay.jsp?contentItemRelationshipId=2518288

DADvocate said...

The Drill Sgt may be right about the morale and effectiveness. But, I wonder how many soldiers know a buddy is gay, or strongly suspect so. And, how does this affect them?

I can see both sides of this issue but, personally have no problems with gays or heterosexuals as long as they do their job professionally and leave me out of their sex lives.

As far as the Dems are concerned, they have control of the Senate and House as well as the presidency. They can pretty much do what they want. If they "go slow", they're hypocrites. But, then again, they all ready are in so many ways, why change now?

Skyler said...

Drill Sgt is the only sane and rational person on this comment thread.

In the military we need young men to join. A lot of them. We allow women to also join, but the truth is, and ever has been, that the military can only accomplish its mission with a large number of young men.

Young men are induced to join for many reasons, but primary among those reasons are a desire to prove themselves by a social standard that measures them to be tough, virile and manly.

Allowing homosexuals to join openly will create a "village people" atmosphere that will discourage young men from enlisting. This is one of the strongest reasons for not allowing homosexuals in, though there are others.

I don't know how many of you hang out with large numbers of young men on a regular basis without women being present, but being labeled a homosexual is not taken very favorably.

Unless we're determined to ignore millenia of biological and sociological facts and experience, we should indeed repeal DADT and revert back to the days of denying them entry at all.

The Drill SGT said...

I don't know how many of you hang out with large numbers of young men on a regular basis without women being present, but being labeled a homosexual is not taken very favorably.

LOL

things may be vastly different today than they were in my BCT patoons of 30+ years ago, but being labeled a homosexual by somebody was going to be painful for either the labeler, or the labelee.

chuck b. said...

This may have already been mentioned in the 79 comments preceding mine, but I wonder how many discharges under DADT are for actual gays and lesbians, and how many are for straight people who "tell" just to get out of their service.

The Drill SGT said...

platoon

wireless keyboard drops letters

MadisonMan said...

Allowing homosexuals to join openly will create a "village people" atmosphere that will discourage young men from enlisting. This is one of the strongest reasons for not allowing homosexuals in, though there are others.

What, pray tell, is a "village people" atmosphere?

Dutch Canuck said...

Chase: Funny you should ask. My wife has friends who are involved with a gay Israeli group, and they told her that the Israel Defense Force officially dropped any attempts to "filter out teh ghey" in 1993. However, sexual activity that is considered disruptive of unit operation, cohesion and morale (however that is defined) is subject to disciplinary action, same as it would be if it were between heterosexuals (like most Western armies, the IDF has both men and women serving). Gays in the IDF report harassment, mostly verbal. But hey, they're soldiers, not five-year-olds. They can take it.

Seems to me, the question is not so much when DADT is dropped, but how? I'd prefer a policy of NOADB (None Of Anyone's Damned Business). Just stop caring one way or another, and drop the disciplinary actions and leave it EXACTLY AT THAT. But can that happen in this hyped-up environment of CYA and grievance-mongering? Are commanders going to be left alone to run their units on the principles of military necessity without some Professional Sexual Orientation Facilitator second-guessing everything?

I think that for many gay activists, 'dropping it' doesn't mean getting the military to agree to ignore sexual orientation, it really means institutionalizing some kind of social engineering PC crap that has nothing to do with running an effective military.

Anyway, ending DADT might also mean the death of the Cpl Klinger strategy (I'm queer! Send me home!)

And sorry, the USMC could probably clean the IDF's clock ;)

Elliott A said...

If it is OK for gays to serve openly, it is OK for women and men to share quarters. All teh Science Fiction military writers have men and women fighting side by side, bunking side by side, and respecting each other as individuals first and members of the opposite sex second. This is the likely future. Why don't we start it all now and get it over with.

chickenlittle said...

What, pray tell, is a "village people" atmosphere?
link

Beth said...

It's Clinton all over again. The Commander in Chief knuckles under to the worst of leadership at the Pentagon.

The Drill SGT said...

Chicken,

I had forgotten how "gay" they were :)

chickenlittle said...

All teh Science Fiction military writers have men and women fighting side by side, bunking side by side, and respecting each other as individuals first and members of the opposite sex second.

The operative word there being "fiction." And again, the suggestion is that national defense should become a science experiment.

John said...

"The Drill SGT said...
...
what will you get when they ultimately repeal it?

a bunch of new challenges by gay activists, a whole series of command classes about how our gay brothers in arms are first class troops and there will be zero tolerance for gay bashing in this command, lower morale, and some hate crimes or claims of hate crimes.

overall, for some period, a less effective military, not a more effective one.

a social engineering experiment writ large, and I'm against that when it impacts effectiveness, and that is always
7/6/09 3:38 PM"

Yes, unlike when Truman ordered desegregation this is a far,far more litigious era. When he did that people resisted but the beneficiaries didn't go to court every two days. Change DADT and there will be a million suits,complaints, claims, etc., further tying up the already overlawyered military.

chickenlittle said...

Even for a moment accepting the dubious equivalence of military desegregation and repeal of DADT, it's worth pointing out that Truman's action occurred in 1948, between wars.
So to answer Elliott A 's question Why don't we start it all now and get it over with, I would repectfully point out that we are in a fighting war at the present time.
I also think the President realizes that there are more pressing issues.

chickenlittle said...

It's Clinton all over again. The Commander in Chief knuckles under to the worst of leadership at the Pentagon.

That's kinda what the Dems get for electing such military antagonists to office. I mean it's harder to imagine and Ike or a McCain or even a Reagan or a Bush being perceived so.

MadisonMan said...

chicken, if commanding officers are unable to tell those beneath them to STFU, Stop dancing, and do the job they are paid for, then the Armed Forces are in a world of trouble completely unrelated to homosexuality.

Beth said...

chickenlittle, I don't even have to imagine a Bush getting the run around on DADT, but neither Bush even tried to get rid of that policy. W could have made the case; he didn't want to. There's no reason for me to elect Republicans, either.

Elliott A said...

@chickenlittle - We will always be fighting a war. We should allow women in combat if they wish. Any able bodied American who is properly trained should be be able to fight if they wish. We can ill afford to force able and willing people to the "back of the bus". And this is from someone, (me), who is to the right of Attilla the Hun. Any arbitrary restrictions reduce our overall capability

Beth said...

so at the very least you won't see any drag shows on base.

So you're not a fan of Irving Berlin and This is the Army? Man, you'd have been a real wet blanket during WWII!

traditionalguy said...

Titus and I still want to know whether the new DADT will apply to Zoo, and if so what are the horses' rights here? PETA will have a thing or two to say about any compromise decision.PETA is firmly mounted on the side of Horse-Power.

Jim said...

Beth -

"W could have made the case; he didn't want to. There's no reason for me to elect Republicans, either."

Hypothetically speaking, if Bush had repealed DADT but kept everything else about his presidency the same, would you have then voted for him?

If not, then why should he stick out his neck to do something for you when you wouldn't reward his political risk-taking even if he did?

JAM said...

Scinfinity" "Your intern-in-chief campaigned on ending DADT. His Democratic Congress also ran, largely, with a promise to end DADT.

"So why can't they do it?"

There are three answers to this: 1) If they repeal DADT, they lose the issue. 2) Now that they have the jobs they were running for, they go back to taking gays for granted as they usually do with blacks as well. 3) They are now facing the reality of changing something that turns out not to be quite as simple as they pretended it was when the GOP was in charge.

Mix and match to your heart's content.

Beth said...

Jim, how about because it's the right thing to do? That's a good reason for doing anything.

Crimso said...

"I use cavalry a lot more than calvary because g-g-grandfather rode a horse in the Civil War"

If he did so in Wilder's Lightning Brigade, he was neither. He was mounted infantry. And part of one of the most ass-kicking brigades in the war, North or South.

MadisonMan said...

First Wisconsin Cavalry. He had three horses killed from underneath him as he rode.

Penny said...

Which is exactly why he rode tall in his saddle.

comatus said...

He had three horses killed from underneath him as he rode.

Dismas, Gestas and INRI?

Lem said...

What if we could develop a test that could predict with a high degree of confidence or find (if one does exist) a gay gene in the womb.

I wander if it would be possible for gays/the gay agenda to take up pro-life with as much vigor as marriage or military service, or perhaps even more.

Assuming that a great many potential mothers would want to test leads me to believe that gays would want to protect them somehow, someway.

Of course, I'm assuming that gays would want to continue to survive and thrive; a little presumptuous of me maybe ;)

Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?".

Ken Mitchell said...

Tell me again; exactly how may Arabic/Pashtun linguists have been involuntarily discharged because of DADT?

I believe that the answer is "zero".

Lem said...

Come to think of it, why wouldn't gays be pro-life?

Out of the hundreds of daily abortions there has got to be two or three... maybe four?

NKVD said...

Obama hates gay people. He used them, then disregarded them.

Crimso said...

"First Wisconsin Cavalry"

Those Western boys (on both sides)
were particularly tough fighters. I see he spent some time in my town during Nov of '63. He undoubtedly at least saw my house, and may well have been cautioned not to bother the occupants (the father of Confederate Major General A.P. Stewart, known and highly respected by many of the Union generals from their days at USMA). He also experienced the joys of Chickamauga. If you've never been to Chickamauga, and find yourself in or passing through Chattanooga, Chickamauga is well worth the stop (it's about 10 min from Chattanooga), and there's probably enough information out there to allow you to literally follow in his hoofprints (there may even be a monument or marker somewhere on the field for the 1st Wis Cav; like Gettysburg, Chickamauga is packed with markers and monuments).

I'm quite surprised that no one has yet cracked wise on my entirely serious reference to "mounted infantry" on a thread dealing with DADT.

chickenlittle said...

chicken, if commanding officers are unable to tell those beneath them to STFU, Stop dancing, and do the job they are paid for, then the Armed Forces are in a world of trouble completely unrelated to homosexuality.

MM: I have no idea what you're going off about here. If a CO is unable to control his/her command, I agree we're in trouble. So when did this happen outside of isolated cases?

To be honest, I have trouble with the notion flagrant flaunting of any flavor of sexuality on the job, don't you?

MadisonMan said...

G-G-Grandfather was severely wounded in April of 1863, and was in Madison from December of that year -- after being paroled -- through November 1864, at which point he rejoined the 1st Wisconsin, eventually taking part in Wilson's Raid through Mississippi and Georgia.

So he wasn't in your town in late 1863, he was in mine :)

yak said...

I can remember having this discussion back in the mid-90s when I was a department head on an aircraft carrier. The major issue for us was implementation, particularly berthing arrangements. Privacy issues was and is a major part of separate berthing areas, but so was the need to limit easy access to sexual activity.

For example, IIRC, a Spruance class destroyer or Ticonderoga class cruiser have four 90-man berthing compartments for sailors. Putting females on those ships meant the numbers had to be in multiples of 90. Would we do the same thing for gays? That would leave us with four berthing choices, vice two. Officer staterooms were less of a problem, but not without issues of their own.

Note that in some respects, berthing is less of an issue on larger vessels. OTH, don't expect subs to go coed anytime soon.

Just mentioning some of the issues...

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickenlittle said...

Beth said:
Jim, how about because it's the right thing to do? That's a good reason for doing anything.

You guys are in power now, why don't you all set a good example by controlling spending?

The last politician I saw do something because it was the right thing to do was Sarah Palin.

MadisonMan said...

chicken, I think the problem is that Skyler never answered my question. I am kinda curious what he thinks a "village people" atmosphere is with respect to the Armed Forces. Does he honestly think the people in the Armed Forces will start to be Village People-esque? Ridiculous.

A little talk -- call it "encouragement" -- from the commanding officer will quickly set anyone, um, straight, about what they should and should not be doing.

So the answer to your final question: A resounding YES. In any job situation. Well, except hooker.

Penny said...

I just received a postcard from Mark Sanford who is back in Argentina.

He said chickenlittle was right, and closed with "Wish you were here".

Jim said...

Beth -

"Jim, how about because it's the right thing to do? That's a good reason for doing anything."

I could be flippant and ask the same question about Obama, but I'm going to answer your question more seriously than that.

The reality is that politicians very rarely "do the right thing" simply because it's the right thing to do. They do things because it is in their self interest to do so. You may not like it, but that's reality. We have to deal with the world the way it is, not the way we'd like it to be in our own fantasy worlds.

Democrats don't do anything for gays because there's very little downside to not doing anything. As your non-responsive response shows, you weren't going to vote for George Bush anyway. So what price does a Democrat pay for not doing what you want?

On the flip side, Republicans don't do anything for gays because there's absolutely ZERO upside to doing anything. You're proof of that. You're not going to vote for the average Republican regardless of his position on gay rights because you disagree with the rest of his politics.

That's all fine and dandy, except the part that you're ignoring is that even you don't put gay rights first. You put your other politics before your desire for gay rights. You can deny it all you like, but that's the reality of the situation. Your response to my question about Bush was telling: even if he gave you what you wanted on DADT, there were other things that were more important to you than DADT.

So tell me: if the majority of the gay community puts their other political priorities over achieving gay rights, then why should anyone else be inclined to do for you what you won't do for yourselves?

Lem said...

I think it would be fair to say (w/o even looking up the figures) that more gays have been aborted than have died of aids. (US figures only)

That this is not compelling speaks of a political reality mired in absolute blind cult obedience to the status quo and bereft of leadership.

chickenlittle said...

@Madison Man

Ok we're in agreement on something. But just don't think for second that the "Village People" were a bunch of straight guys projecting gay notions.

holdfast said...

Blogger Chase said...

"Does the Israeli Army - probably the finest standing Army in the world after (actually possibly surpassing) the United States - allow homosexuals to serve openly?"

Puh-leeze - I am a huge supporter of the IDF and Israel, but buy a clue. The IDF is mostly a reserve force (not standing) and in terms of training and equipment, the US military is light years ahead. The IDF used to have the advantage in combat experience, but not any more. What they have going for them is extreme motivation (backs and family against the sea) and the fact that they usually face incompetent enemies with little personal stake in the fight (obviously this did not include Hezb'Allah who fought quite well on their own turf).

I don't know the Israeli policy on gays, but would argue that a draftee force may be different in this regard than an all-volunteer force. Oh yes, and contrary to popular belief, they do not have women in frontline units.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Our Gays are too valuable to risk in Military Service. Keep our Gays safe!

chickenlittle said...

Penny wrote:

I just received a postcard from Mark Sanford who is back in Argentina.
He...closed with 'Wish you were here'
.

I had no idea you were so hot Penny!

Chris said...

I tend to defer to politicians re: political things but if Obama can't integrate gays in the military during his term in office he deserves derision from everyone. So far, he seems to believe in nothing. If he doesn't step up and take some heat he is going to lose in a landslide to whoever stands against him.

traditionalguy said...

Madison Man...In the South we have developed our own DADT policy as to Yankees and descendants of certain armed bands of Northern Aggressors, especially those lead by Tecumpseh Sherman of Ohio. We don't ask, but you all keep telling anyway. There are so many Wisconsin monuments in Georgia battlefields that I doubt many men made it back to Wisconsin alive.

holdfast said...

Oh, and I served in the Canadian Army, which officially allows gays and women to serve, with no restrictions. For the record, in my time in I did not meet a single female in the regular Infantry, since unlike some of the other branches the Pongos maintained their physical fitness standards (not just PT, but realistic endurance and strength tests).

As to gays, I ran into quite a few openly lesbians, especially in the MPs. Most were pretty good troops, frankly far better on average than straight females. I did not meet a single openly gay male - though there were no formal restrictions, the policy appeared to be "don't ask, don't get sh*t-kicked". There were a couple of guys I suspected might be gay - and being the kind soul that I am I made sure to never mention it to anyone. And remember, these are Canadians who are supposed to be preternaturally nice and who legalized gay marriage a couple of years later.

I suppose my point is that you can change the law, but it is much harder to change attitudes. Perhaps the powers that be should start trying to change attitudes now, in anticipation of changing the law in a few years.

Oh, and a thought experiment for the ladies - would you be comfortable showering with a random large male? So why do you think a small straight male wants to shower with a stronger gay male?

Ralph L said...

In 1863, my g-g-grandfather quit the Confederate Senate in disgust. Despite having been an active Unionist until NC seceded, most of his 7 sons were in the CS Army or Navy. Most of them didn't marry either, so maybe they were gay. I believe they all survived the war.

My g-grandfather (a 7th son of a 7th son) was 16 when the war ended, but later headed his town's veterans' group, so I guess he served briefly or lied (he was a lawyer & politician).

Skyler said...

Obama can't integrate gays in the military during his term in office he deserves derision from everyone. So far, he seems to believe in nothing.

Well, duh. :)

Skyler said...

Skyler never answered my question. I am kinda curious what he thinks a "village people" atmosphere is with respect to the Armed Forces. Does he honestly think the people in the Armed Forces will start to be Village People-esque?.

Yes, and there's every reason to think so. When it becomes illegal to discourage or condemn homosexual behavior, it will become a protected behavior. Homosexuals will continue their track record of being obnoxious in promoting their views and their life style. There will be unending news reports of sailors falling in love. Of Marines struggling to find acceptance. Of soldiers getting married in foxholes. We will be laughing stocks.

It's a likely disaster for the image that the military needs to project to recruit the young men they need, and a disaster for the fear we need to strike in the hearts of our enemies.

Our enemies will fight all that much harder to avoid being beated by a bunch of homosexuals. They aren't as "enlightened" as some of you think that you are. They shoot back.

Ralph L said...

Tradguy, my g-g-gf (under orders from the governor) surrendered the city of Raleigh to Sherman and spent the night in his tent. I assume he wasn't buggered by that.

The 19 y.o. who drove his train through the lines was my (other side) grandmother's uncle. She heard his name on the TV in the 80's and learned the story from author Berke Davis.

Ralph L said...

Does anyone know if ADM Mullen has been renominated by Obama to a second term as Chairman? Current one ends Sept 30.

Beth said...


I could be flippant and ask the same question about Obama, but I'm going to answer your question more seriously than that.


It's not flippant. I do ask exactly the same thing about Obama.

Beth said...

So what price does a Democrat pay for not doing what you want?

I don't vote for them. I don't donate to their campaigns.

I'm not registered as a Democrat. I have no affiliation. I doubt I'll ever vote GOP for president, but I have for local elections, and will continue to, based on each individual contest.

Thanks for your concern over my political decisions, Jim. Why don't you discuss your own instead, though, and not bore yourself trying to fix mine?

Beth said...

You're not going to vote for the average Republican regardless of his position on gay rights because you disagree with the rest of his politics.

And you have a problem with me being more than a one-issue voter?

Beth said...

So tell me: if the majority of the gay community puts their other political priorities over achieving gay rights, then why should anyone else be inclined to do for you what you won't do for yourselves?

I'm back to this: do good, for the sake of doing good. Do the right thing, even when you have no self-interest in it. If I were going on about how I only vote for candidates who care about gay rights, you'd be harping about my not caring about other issues. You're so transparent!

Cedarford said...


Elliott A said...
@chickenlittle - We will always be fighting a war. We should allow women in combat if they wish. Any able bodied American who is properly trained should be be able to fight if they wish. We can ill afford to force able and willing people to the "back of the bus". And this is from someone, (me), who is to the right of Attilla the Hun.
.

The problem as I see it is you wish to reduce it to a matter of "choice". If women CHOOSE to fight in combat in a war, then by all means it must be about honoring their CHOICE.
But alongside that, and the demand that women who CHOOSE be given equal pay, honors, a chance in any position they CHOOSE to work for...

You have the men.

Who have no choice.

In any large war, most are DRAFTED against their will. Even in Existential wars like WWII, the ME wars with Israel. In WWII, when the Soviets were losing, they still had to have armed troops to spare to go in and back up the drafting authorities and ensure the conscripted youth showed up. Lots and lots, of course, died.
In the US, same war, of the 16 million who served, 9 million were involuntary Draftees. Israel does not have a volunteer military. It has men serve. It has abandoned drafting women or even accepting women for frontline work.

If you say that women can CHOOSE to be in combat, and do well!! Well, then that means they can be DRAFTED if the country is in extremis, and DRAFTED with no excuses. Got young kids and the woman's Draft number is 3 out of 365 and the Korean meatgrinder is going again..??? Kids go to relatives or foster parents or the unfit husband. Then off to the frontline with weapons and whatever gear she can carry to join the male Draftees and whatever men and women CHOOSE to be in combat.

Jim said...

Beth -

"And you have a problem with me being more than a one-issue voter?"

You're getting prickly here, since that obviously wasn't the point of my post. My overall point is that the gay community professes that this is the "single most important civil rights issue of our time." And I wouldn't necessarily gainsay them that argument. However, there is an effective way to push for your political goals and there is an ineffective way to push for them.

What has been done by the gay community as a whole thus far has been extraordinarily ineffective and there has been much complaining that neither Democrats nor Republicans do anything of substance to advance gay rights. All I'm trying to do is point the self-defeating behavior that is at the root of it.

If you think that other issues are more important than gay rights, then who am I to say differently? I've never said you had to only vote based on your sexuality. However, if it's as an important goal as the gay community claims it is then there needs to be a re-examination of the tactics that have been used thus far to achieve it.

If it's not that important compared to other more pressing issues then:

a) It's not really "the most important civil rights issue" of our time if those most directly affected by it think other issues are more important - either it's "the most important" thing, or it's not. There's really no two ways about that.

b) If you choose to place other issues ahead of gay rights, then you have no right to criticize anyone else for doing the same. Why are you entitled to something they are not? Answer: You're not.

c) If you're not willing to change your behavior, then why should anyone else? If you're not willing to vote for a Republican, then you have no right to expect that a Republican would or even should support you. If you're willing to roll over for Democrats and refuse to vote for anyone else (withholding your vote isn't like voting for the other guy, it's an expression of personal pique and nothing more), then you have no right to expect that they're going to do anything than pay you lip service.

d) Your prejudices are no better than anyone elses: prejudice is prejudice. Yours are based on your politics, theirs is based on their morality. You have no claim to moral, or any other kind of, superiority where gay rights are concerned.

Quite frankly if gays never achieve equal rights because they don't give enough of a damn to do what it really takes fight for them, then my life will go on unchanged. So this isn't "my hill to die on" here. I'm trying to offer helpful advice to people fighting for a cause I think is worthy of fighting for. But if you don't want or can't accept help because of your own prejudices, then that's also your choice to make.

Jim said...

Beth -

"If I were going on about how I only vote for candidates who care about gay rights, you'd be harping about my not caring about other issues."

When have I ever "harped about not caring about other issues"? Ever? You're putting words in my mouth to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions. That's not going to fly.

If you think that gay rights are the most important, then act like it. If your actions prove otherwise, it's not wrong to point that out.

Jim said...

As far as being a "single-issue" voter, I would probably qualify as one, so it's patently absurd to say that I would criticize you for not caring about other issues. That sounds like something one of your Leftist friends might say if you told them you were going to vote for a Republican because of his stance on gay rights, but it's not something I ever would - or ever have - said. That's a whole lot of projection going on there.

My single issue is national security. That's the most important issue to me. If everything else is equal, then the stronger position on national defense is what pulls the candidate over the finish line for me.

Secondary issues are an overreaching federal government, taxes, and regulations. Social issues finish a distant third for me.

So if I consistently voted for people who said they were strong on national defense, but then stripped funding, I would go to the other side of the aisle and have a conversation with the other guys and ask them to support higher funding in exchange for me working the phones for them and doing my best to convince everyone I knew to vote for them.

That's effective politics. That's how you get things done when something's really important to you. If you're not willing to do that, then you're saying something about how important that issue really is to you.

Beth said...

Well, no, I don't find that question "prickly," Jim. It was sincere. I am not a one-issue voter, and I believe that's a good thing. Are you one of those Ayn Rand readers who work only for self-interest? If so, that would explain our inability to agree that, sometimes, the sky is blue.

My overall point is that the gay community professes that this is the "single most important civil rights issue of our time."

Who are you quoting? I assume it's someone from a news story. But you're not quoting me. "Gay community" is not a very useful term for determining an actual individual's beliefs or motives.

I don't criticize anyone for not making gay rights their single most important issue. I ask that my fellow citizens support our rights; that's simple enough. Like walking and chewing gum - most people are capable of doing more than one thing at a time. I don't demand everyone abandon their own interests and priorities.

Withholding my vote is not pique. It affects how many votes a candidate receives. If enough people don't turn out to vote for a candidate, as opposed to the opposing candidate, that candidate loses. Look up commentary on the recent run-off between William Jefferson and Anh Cao, in the 2nd District of Louisiana. It would be good to have "none of the above" as an option on our ballot, but we don't have that in Louisiana.

I don't believe you give a moment's concern about gay rights, and you haven't actually offered a scintilla of "helpful advice" about the topic. If you do actually have some to offer, perhaps you should consider hiring out as a consultant.

Jim said...

Beth -

"I don't believe you give a moment's concern about gay rights, and you haven't actually offered a scintilla of "helpful advice" about the topic."

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Because, for the most part, I sit on the opposite side of aisle from you then I obviously must not care about gay rights. That's prejudice, pure and simple.

If you wonder why gays aren't given the benefit of the doubt and arms aren't outstretched to support gay rights, look in the mirror.

As I've said before, I have my principles so I will keep them regardless of the prejudices of others or the vitriol and bile which has been directed at me (bigot, homophobe, etc.).

There's a reason that support for gay marriage is going down rather than up, and I would posit that it's attitudes like yours which posit that if I'm not a Leftist then I can't possibly be sincere about gay rights. Believe it or not, you are extremely insulting to even make such an accusation.

Can I blame people who decide that people who are prejudiced against them don't deserve to have those prejudices punished at the ballot box? Not really, and neither can you. I understand completely when a person doesn't have a strongly-held belief one way or the other is turned off by such blatant abuse. But your answer to that is that it is then somehow their fault that they're not falling in line behind you. To put it bluntly: you've got it all ass-backwards.

Feel free to vote your conscience. I would never tell you to do otherwise. But if your conscience leads you in a different direction, it's hypocritical and wrong for you to criticize others when theirs does the same.

Jim said...

Beth -

"you haven't actually offered a scintilla of "helpful advice" about the topic."

If you really believe that, then you haven't read a word I've written. You're seeing what you want to see and nothing more.

Beth said...

Jim, I don't believe you care anything one way or another about gay rights because you haven't said a single word to indicate that you do. What is your position on same-sex marriage, or civil unions? On DADT? On ENDA?

Speak about your own ideas, Jim; otherwise, I must assume your chief enjoyment is in sophistry and meaningless hectoring. I'm not going to join any more tedious and boring exchanges with you. Chalk that up to the gay community's bad strategizing if you like.

chickenlittle said...

Script from an imaginary conversation between the President and a constituent:

Mr President: Vote for me!

Beth: Mr. President, I don't believe you care anything one way or another about gay rights because you haven't said a single word to indicate that you do. What is your position on same-sex marriage, or civil unions? On DADT? On ENDA?
Speak about your own ideas, Mr. President; otherwise, I must assume your chief enjoyment is in sophistry and meaningless hectoring. I'm not going to join any more tedious and boring exchanges with you. Chalk that up to the gay community's bad strategizing if you like.

Mr. President: I will!

chickenlittle said...

Sorry Beth, I'm actually sympathetic! :)

Jim said...

Beth -

"What is your position on same-sex marriage, or civil unions? On DADT? On ENDA?"

On DADT: see my posts above.

On ENDA: I'll go you one better. I support a constitutional amendment which prohibits both discrimination and preferences on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. (Or any other thing I might have inadvertantly forgotten to mention.) I think that all decisions in all instances should be based solely on the merit of the individual. Period.

On gay marriage: So long as the clergy is given the right to make a decision as to whether to perform a marriage, then I'm for gay marriage. Given the constitutional guarantees on freedom of religion, any law which doesn't include such an exemption would be unconstitutional in any case. However, I think that even if it weren't per se unconstitutional, I believe that people have the right to their own moral beliefs which the government has no right to interfere with (barring physical harm to another person, of course).

Those are my personal beliefs - all of which I have previously stated on this blog.

I also support the abolishment of the income, corporate and estate taxes in favor of a national VAT which would exempt food and clothing items under $100. This would ensure equality and fairness to all regardless of their socio-economic status while introducing a great deal of efficiency into the economy and reducing the size and reach of the government.

Kirk Parker said...

Jim,

"My single issue is national security. That's the most important issue to me. If everything else is equal, then the stronger position on national defense is what pulls the candidate over the finish line for me."

'Single Issue' and 'Most Important' are not the same thing. 'Single Issue' would be if you voted for candidates based on their stance on national defense regardless of everything else. If defense is only a tie-breaker, then you are paying attention to more than just that single issue.

Jim said...

Kirk -

Perhaps then I wasn't clear enough in my statement. As an example, I would vote for Joe Lieberman were I a resident of his state because of his strong stand on national defense regardless of the fact that he and I disagree on a great number of other issues. However, if there were another candidate who was equally strong on defense, but also offered other policy prescriptions which coincided with mine, then I would vote for that candidate instead.

National defense is my number one issue. Period. Any other policy disagreements we can talk about another time and I'll continue to try to dissuade you from your point of view on those issues, but if I have to make the choice between that and anything else, I'll take national defense every time.

Is that more clear?

Beth said...

Thank you, Jim, for enumerating your own positions. We are in accord across the board, it appears to me - on the issues I asked about.

I am not well-versed on the consequences of VAT versus other taxes. I'd like to know how the numbers add up - i.e., what would have to be cut, who would be affected and how. Someday, I'll take a little time and find out more about that.

Beth said...

chicken, that's pretty much exactly what I'd say to Obama right now. And how he'd answer.

jr565 said...

The problem for gays in dealing with both gay marriage and gays in the military is that gays are a small special interest group and thus are the easiest to screw over. Because where else are they going to go? Dems just need their votes. Don't expect many to deliver on promises.

I think Jim is making a lot of great points here and would suggest that a lot of the animosity gays are receiving towards gay marriage at least is how they're framing the debate. Back in the 80's (and before) when gay marriage wasn't an issue, there was no one screaming about how we needed to create an institution to discriminate against gays. So there was no animus. It was simply the best way for society to construct a mechanism and interaction that would best move society forward and help familiies r raise children. Once gays started demanding gay marriage equality it suddenly became a hate the gays issue for gays. This assault on the norm puts a lot of people off because they view it as a personal attack and don't want to be forced to change a longstanding tradition because they are characterized as bigots when they view marriage as having actual benefits to society the way it is.

Frame it a different way. If you ask instead do youthink society should deprive people in relationships similar rights and most people who want to preserve marriage would not at the same time want to deprive people of rights. Stress civil unions that are in most respects identical to marriages. Gays shouldn't worry about gaining acceptance of the preacher who is hard wired to view marriage religiously, nor should gays try to shame or force that person to sanctify their marriage. Rather, they should concentrate on working towards construting something separate, but ultimately equal to marriage. yes that reeks of segregation language. But the point is, it is separate. The fact that is has the word "gay" in front of it means its different. In gay marriages there are two grooms or two brides. it's different.
Ill fight people to the death to uphold marriage the way it is but I'd also support a civil union that gives gay people almost identical rights as if they were in a marriage. Certianly there are others who want to stick it to the gays, but I think they are a small bunch. If gays weren't so militant about forcing their morality on us straights, I thnk all sides coudl get what they want. Gays could have civil unions straights could have their marriages, those who feel marrieages are a compact with god wouldnt' be forced to sanctify that which they find unholy but gays could get the rights they need to care for their loved ones. Win win.

As to why politicians don't give people gay marriage or repeal DADT it's because again gays just don't rate as a big enough interest group. If a politician were to legalize gay marriage he would risk alienating more voters for himself and his party then he would gain by passing such laws. So as Jim says he's not going to stick his neck out if in doing so he gets it chopped off. Same thing with DADT. What's the benefit of DADT? How many gays are trying to join the military? Politiicans would also have to weigh how many people will the military lose if gays are allowed inMost likely the latter will be more. How many voters will he lose in unpending our longstanding military traditions for a scientific experiment. If the net result is a military that loses its cohesion and cause moral issues or cause the military to miss it's recruiting goals, then maybe that trumps the need to allow gays to serve openly.

You'd think Obama, with his rhetoric of hope and change would be the guy to deliver repeal of DADT, but if he did, I think he'd guarantee himself one term not to mention give congress back to the repubs. And he just doens't care that much about gays to risk his own neck. You see, that whole "Hope and Change" stuff was just bullshit. Do you feel stupid yet gays? You should. He's just not that into you and you were fools to believe such empty rhetoric in the first place. Enjoy having your hopes dashed.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

jr565 -

"Ill fight people to the death to uphold marriage the way it is but I'd also support a civil union that gives gay people almost identical rights as if they were in a marriage. "

There's actually a majority support for civil unions (somewhere around 60+% if memory serves) versus a majority of disapproval for gay marriage (something like 58% or so).

Based on the poll numbers alone, the gay community would be able to achieve civil unions with relative ease provided it was willing to work across the aisle to make it happen. (An absolute necessity since the Democratic Party constitutes nowhere near the over 60% who are for it.)

The only questions that remain are:

1) Do the leaders of the organizations which purport to speak for gays and the Democratic Party really want civil unions or would they rather keep it as a social "wedge issue" for upcoming elections? If they want it, the poll numbers show that it's there for the taking with a wide margin of public support, so the claim that there would be some kind of "price to pay" for Democrats is ludicrous. So by their actions it will be easy enough to see where they really stand on the issue.

2) Is the gay community as a whole willing to disentangle itself sufficiently from the apparatus of the Democratic Party to reach out to the other half of those who support civil unions but aren't part of the Democratic Party machinery, or are "other policies" more important? Again, the support is there for civil unions if only they will reach out to get it. By their actions, we'll know their true priorities.

Actions speak louder than words, but only if you're actually listening.

elpolacko said...

it's easy to look up: yes, the israeli army 'allows' gay people to serve openly, as do most armies who simply make no issue whatsoever of sexual orientation.
contrary to the wild psycho-sexual fantasies of some here, there are no reports of wild buggery, torrid make-out sessions, rape, or, as one charming fellow puts it, "shit play" in foxholes, bunks, or showers from any of these armies. the oft-cited canard about 'social experimenting' is meaningless since the 'experiment' goes on every day already. there are tens of thousands of gay military personnel actively serving right this very moment.
the discrimination lies in that, unlike their hetero brothers and sisters, they are required to be dishonest about who they are in order to exercise their patriotic duties and keep their careers.
as for the arab linguists: it just so happened that, of the thousands discharged in recent years for the 'crime' of being gay , several hundred were translators who, one would think, would be valuable to the military and, therefore, became a glaring example of why the anti-gay policy has a damaging effect.
finally, this schoolgirl notion of being 'humane' by worrying about jilted lovers outing each other is an insult to all service members. it's time to grow up, leave the juvenile soap opera fantasies behind, and accept all honorable men and women who choose to serve as equal citizens deserving of the same respect. period.

belhana said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

إني تذكـرت والذكرى مؤرقـة *مجـداً تلـيدا بأيـدينا أضعـناه

أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه

كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه

بالله سل خلف بحر الروم عن عرب * بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا

وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه

هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه

الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا * وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين مـجراه

يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته * الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه

يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ، وملوك الروم تخشـاه

يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

LarsPorsena said...

After the end of DADT we will see endless photos of same sex couples at the brigade balls. Clad in their dress blues cheek-to-cheek swirling across the floor to the tunes of J. P. Sousa. Then base housing issues and admittance to the various wives clubs...........

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

MM said...if commanding officers are unable to tell those beneath them to STFU, Stop dancing, and do the job they are paid for, then the Armed Forces are in a world of trouble completely unrelated to homosexuality.

The problem is that the militay views leadership as, "obtaining the willing cooperation of the unit to accomplish a common goal"

You fail to understand the binary mode to military life. Skyler tried to explain. Today you have DADT. Reverse the policy and you'd be adding classes on gay non-discrimination to the training schedule. And destroying peoples careers (which is what was implied by your statement) if they aren't fully on board with the Commnder in Chief's new policy on gays.

Te Military is all volunteer. Skyler and I think you'd get more departures on non-enlistments than you would solid gay troopers.

In the middle of a war, with lots of optempo stress, you'd be creating another distraction.

bad for morale?, you betcha...

Maybe I'm wrong and it's likely ultimately going to happen, but I urge caution and point out my concerns.

scinfinity said...

I don't even have to imagine a Bush getting the run around on DADT, but neither Bush even tried to get rid of that policy. W could have made the case; he didn't want to. There's no reason for me to elect Republicans, either.

Basically, you're supporting a man whose policy in regards to DADT is identical to Bush's, who you feel was bigoted against gays?

That's consistency.

Hint: The black community opposes it. The Hispanic community has, at best, quite mixed feelings. Guess who has more votes, those two or the gay community?

Steve said...

About the "CPL Klinger" scenario...Homosexual conduct can be punishable under the UCMJ by an Other than Honorable Discharge. No big deal, right? Many Reservists have avoided going to Iraq by simply becoming a non-participant and earning an OTHD. And mostly, the ones I have done this to, seem cool with that...until they want to buy a house or get a better job. So while some might not mind having their futures affected indefinitely, most do. I suspect that many straight people would prefer not to have their futures ruined for a fiction. Plus, the code is written to prevent just this scenario so that soldiers attempting this will simply be punished under UCMJ and retained.

Next, all DADT did was stop gay "witch-hunting." A Criminal investigation cannot be initiated just to determine sexual orientation. Did I say "criminal?" Yes. Homosexual behavior is still considered criminal under UCMJ, that is what should really be focused on. Now Gates, seems like a good man, needs to think about the stupid shit he is saying here about "maliciously outed."

So what happens next for the soldiers in question? Are they given a lifetime exemption from homosexual conduct? They are given at least one exemption but some paperwork must be done to document the "criminal" behavior and exemption. Yet another person, not outed maliciously, can be given the OTHD straight away. The key to maintaining good order and discipline, the thing that truly makes for effective Armed Forces, is consistent enforcement for similar offenses. If an Officer is maliciously outed and retained while a subordinate is just caught and given an OTHD, it will have an adverse effect on good order and discipline.

Further, the code recommends an under other than honorable discharge if the behavior is openly in public view. So how exactly would a malicious reporter gain knowledge of someone's homosexual conduct if it is not?

These are just the obvious problems with the current discussion. The less obvious ones are General Order #2 in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military doesn't like sex between soldiers period as it adversely affects good order and discipline. GO2 restricts males from being in female quarters with the door closed and co-habitation of unmarried couples. How to restrict same sex couples? You can't.

So, it is not just one law you would be changing, it is multiple. It is a very complex subject especially since any course must be evaluated on how it will affect Good Order and Discipline.

Beth said...

Basically, you're supporting a man whose policy in regards to DADT is identical to Bush's, who you feel was bigoted against gays?


No, basically I'm saying I'm rapidly losing reasons to support Obama, and that there's no reason to support Republicans either.

scinfinity said...

No, basically I'm saying I'm rapidly losing reasons to support Obama, and that there's no reason to support Republicans either.

Well, that is a fair assessment, then.

Doug H said...

As Steve said above, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law allows gays to serve in the military.

I do hope that those that are asking for it to be repealed are saying that it is okay for the military to kick out any service-member on grounds of homosexuality.

The law prevents the military from discharging a service-member based on sexual orientation unless that service-member requests it.

I personally find it odd that members of the GLBT community want that law repealed.

kentuckyliz said...

Redefine DADT and turn it around: it is an offense to ask or tell anything about a person's romantic or sexual life or orientation, whatever it is. That way you do not punish a person for being or dating or sexing or loving, but you punish the nosy gossip who is asking or telling.

don't ASK
don't TELL

Just STFU.

Ann Althouse said...

kentuckyliz: You need to take account of the right to free speech. How could the government require people not to talk?

Steve said...

Well, Doug, that is not exactly what I said. DADT prevents the military from initiating a criminal investigation for the sole purpose of determining sexual orientation. Open homosexuality will be punished under UCMJ with either an Honorable, General, or Under Other Than Honorable discharge depending on the openness of the behavior.

Kentuckyliz opened the door to an additional conversation. The military doesn't like sex or relationships among soldiers, gay or straight. IN uniform, soldiers cannot hold hands, kiss, stuff like that. The difference is that openly public displays of affection among straights generally receive an "hey! Knock it off!" rather than a discharge....unless it is between adulterous married people.

Adultery is also criminal under UCMJ as is sodomy among straight people. (There was a soldier serving time in Ft Leavenworth for adultery and sodomy during the Lewinski scandal. I bet he was pissed!)

So the military's sexual hangups are legion but they strive to maintain a certain level of decorum and morality.

A gossip provision or jilted lover provision would also protect adulterous soldiers. And for adultery to be proven, one of them has to admit it and that is usually the jilted lover.

Whether you agree or not, adultery is a particularly serious offense in the military as it can limit the level of your security clearance. The military feels that a Soldier that will betray the one he loves most, what other loyalties might he betray?

So, long post but if DADT is changed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the military, there are a host of regulations that will need to change for the straight community as well and the military will become much less strict on topics dealing directly relating to morality, conduct, and loyalty.

I don't think it is worth opening that can of worms. The events at Abu Ghraib are not predictive of military behavior but serve as an example of what happens when small rules are allowed to be broken. Those knuckleheads' first UCMJ offense was not prisoner abuse;they had General Order #1 and #2 violations relating to sex among Soldiers. The break down in discipline precipitated the abuse in the photos.

Additionally, in this case, the Company Commander and First Sergeant, the ones in charge of discipline, lived in much friendlier environs on Camp Victory; a dangerous half hour convoy away. Had they lived on Abu Ghraib, as they should have, those initial not-international-scandal violations would have been disciplined and changed the entire dynamic of the situation.

If the military decriminalizes those basic offenses, the first actionable offenses would have been the abuse.

Repealing DADT, in my opinion, will erode overall discipline in the military.

All that should be done, again my opinion, is to add the language "at the Commander's discretion" to the regulation. Many offenses include this language and it allows the CO to make the best decision for his unit to maintain Good Order and Discipline. He can order the tattle-tell to shut up and the homosexual to be more discreet. Subsequent offenses in that command may then lead to separation but the homosexual will have a relatively clean slate when he changes units.

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