The Right Time To Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Is Now by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Posted by Audiegrl

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Daily Kos/Senator Kirsten Gillibrand—Since 1994, almost 13,000 gay servicemen and women have been discharged from the military based not on their performance but on their sexual orientation. In 2009 alone, we’ve had more than 400 of our brave men and women leave the military under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. This is simply unacceptable. It is time to repeal this outdated and immoral policy once and for all and end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly and honestly in our armed forces.

To that end, I’ve secured the commitment from Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Armed Services Committee, to hold the first hearing on the policy since it began 16 years ago. Chairman Levin expects to hold the hearing soon and it’s my hope that it will be instrumental in demonstrating the level of support that exists for repeal not only throughout the country — where polls consistently indicate that solid majorities oppose the policy — but within the military itself.

I’m happy to see that, as the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing approaches, there are signs of momentum building toward repeal.

On September 24, Majority Leader Harry Reid sent letters to the President and Secretary Gates reiterating his support for repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and requesting their recommendations to Congress on the policy. I agree with Senator Reid. I know the President opposes DADT, and I am confident he and his Administration will work to engage Congressional and military leaders in this debate.

donataskdonttellThen, just last week, an article was published in the Joint Force Quarterly — a publication considered to be the scholarly journal of the Pentagon and released by the Joint Chiefs — that goes beyond addressing just Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but overtly calls for a repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the US military. In the article, Air Force Colonel Om Prakash writes:

After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly. Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.

It’s heartening to see such a strong statement coming from the top levels of the military. Not only did this article appear in a publication published by the Pentagon, but it was written by a man currently working under Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and was reviewed by the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen. Supporters of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell often cite the lack of support for repeal among the top levels of the military. With this article, those leaders are sending a clear signal that that’s simply not the case.

Then, yesterday, the New York Times published an editorial in which they cited the Joint Force Quarterly article and called for a reversal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Read more of the diary @ dailykoslogosmall

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Pentagon Airs Criticism of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ in Journal Article: Backs Gay Troops, May Signal Brass Open to Debate

4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Right Time To Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Is Now by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

  1. Whoa hold on a second… immoral policy? Lets not bring moral judgments into this argument, that is where homosexuals have had a problem..

    Top levels of the military? He is a Colonel, that is not even a top level in the Air Force.

    Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said the article does not in any way shape or form reflect any kind of opinion from this office it is “an individual writing in a personal capacity for an academic journal”

    Please answer me one question. Does sexual orientation have anything to do with serving our country in the armed forces?

    • audiegrl

      Hey Timmy K

      Three gay posts in a row, what’s up with that? 😉

      To save time, I’ll try to answer them all here.

      For me it really doesn’t matter what a Pentagon press secretary says, what matters is what the President and Secretary Gates have to say.

      Did you watch the 24 minute clip from PBS’s Obama’s War? It showed our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and trying to follow their mission to convince the people in the villages that we were there to help and protect them. In the clip, you will see our soldiers trying to communicate with the Afgans, and not doing a very good job making themselves understood. It also showed a 20 year old soldier being killed. When I think about what our brave soldiers are up against over there, it astounds me that we are letting soldiers go for being gay, soldiers like Lt. Cho who are Arabic language specialists and are trained for and really want to serve our country. We are letting soldiers get killed for what? Because some person is uncomfortable sleeping in the same barracks as a gay soldier? Like the gay soldiers are going to go around the barracks are force themselves on straight guys and turn them gay? Please, I don’t think so. In fact the only people that are sexually abusing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are the straight male soldiers and straight male contractors who work for Halliburton and Xe. (that is when their not blowing vodka shots out of each others butts) 😉 Just this week the republican Senators voted down something that would help female soldiers and contractors who had been gang raped peruse legal action. Why these Senators felt the need to side with gang rapers is beyond me. All the other countries with big militaries got rid of this stupid law before now. So why is America so homophobic? My father served in the segregated Navy during WWII, to me, this law is just as backwards thinking now, as the all-White army and navy were in 1943. America is better than this.

      • Thanks, i just watched the clip. It is sad.

        “We are letting soldiers get killed for what?” Don’t pretend like our military’s shortcoming in fighting the war have anything to do with this political issue. They are completely different.

        “Because some person is uncomfortable sleeping in the same barracks as a gay soldier”
        The reason this law is there in the first place is exactly that reason. Don’t water it down and make it sound like it is petty for a heterosexual soldier to feel uncomfortable showering with a homosexual. It is not about sexual abuse, bigotry, or civility. It is that there is a difference between the sexes and inside the military the accommodations that go with that.

        The rape stuff is sad. Homophobic? Not like we used to be, but again this doesn’t have anything to do with it.

        Does sexual orientation have anything to do with serving our country in the armed forces?

        • audiegrl

          If I was a soldier in Afghanistan trying to communicate with the local people, you would not have to ask me twice about having a fellow soldier who could talk to the people, gay or straight he would give my platoon a huge advantage, and yes, maybe even be able to listen and pick up something that either the translator missed or the translator purposely mislead me on. You see that in movies all the time. So yes, having a gay soldier who can speak fluent Arabic could save my platoons life. I want to give those young men and women every advantage possible, and our military should want that too.

          As for the sleeping in the barracks point. Yes it is very homophobic of people to assume there is some sort of ‘risk’ involved with gay and straight soldiers sleeping in the same room. The whole idea is ridiculous. They used that same argument in my dads segregated Navy, they had to have separate platoons, separate mess halls, and separate bathroom and sleeping quarters. The whole thing is stupid and silly.

          I’ll tell you an interesting story told to me by a Tuskegee Airman about 20 years ago. He claimed that Prez Truman integrated the military, not for civil rights, but for another reasons. He said that once we started fighting the Japanese in the pacific, the Japanese soldiers were shooting over the heads of the Black solidier’s to get to the white soldiers in the battalion behind them. The generals told Truman that they would have to integrate the troops so the white soldiers would not be separate and such an easy target. Again, this is his story, not mine, but it was an interesting theory.

          To answer your question-

          Does sexual orientation have anything to do with serving our country in the armed forces?

          I don’t think it has anything to do with sexual orientation. That’s the point. The majority of gay men and women outed in the military, are being reported by other people to get them sacked. So soldiers that we have spend 20 million dollars training, can be outed by some jerk and even though the soldier is a great leader, or fighter they can be kicked out. It makes no sense whatsoever. If DADT was ended, this would all be a moot point.

          This country need to get over its archaic hangups regarding sex. Why should a straight soldier be ‘uncomfortable’ showering with a gay soldier. This isn’t some sleazy prison movie, its just taking a shower. If they are uncomfortable that says more about them, than it does the gay soldier. If you are in a combat situation the last thing on your mind is trying to have sex with one of your fellow soldiers. You are dodging fricken bullets, not trying to put on some mood music… 😉

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