Friday, March 26, 2010

A Fair Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Impossible.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that changes have been made that will make it much more difficult to discharge members of the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuality.

Among the changes, the Pentagon will no longer acknowledge anonymous accusations of homosexuality - anyone identifying a member of the military as being gay will be required to do so under oath and will also have to pass a scrutiny test, making it much less likely that a serviceman or woman will be wrongly victimized in some twisted gay witch-hunt.

Additionally, only generals will be able to initiate proceedings and inquiries once a soldier has been accused of being gay, making the process of discharging a gay soldier a little bit more troublesome for those who feel gays have no place in the military.

Perhaps the best new measure is that any information divulged by a member of the military to a physician, attorney, clergyman or mental health therapist will be not be used to identify a solider as gay or in any discharge proceedings, allowing any gay service members to openly seek help in any capacity without fear of being fired.

Thanks to these measures, some are saying that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is all but dead, since these measures make it nearly impossible to identify and charge gay members of the military. Gates said yesterday that these new measures “...will allow us to execute the law in a fair and more appropriate manner.”

Now, I may be naive, but I’m fairly certain there is no fair way to execute DADT. While I can recognize the value of these measures, and that they are certainly a step in the right direction, I cannot understand how Gates, or anyone else, regards this small step to be fair. Consider: to this date, over 13,000 servicemen and women have been fired from their positions because of their sexual orientation. That doesn’t sound so fair to me. I know Gates is trying to appease us with these measures until the Pentagon can complete its investigation of the effects of having openly gay soldiers in the military, but it’s insulting to say that any form of DADT, no matter how progressive, is “fair and more appropriate”.

The actual fair thing to do is throw out all these ludicrous reviews and investigations and do the right thing: repeal DADT, right now. I don’t now about you all, but I don’t want to wait until December 1 when the Pentagon comes out with its findings on whether gays in the military causes a morale problem. Because let’s all be honest, there isn’t a problem with gays serving in the military, morale or otherwise. Rather, there’s a problem with people who have a problem with gays serving in the military. It’s time to stop with the excuses, throw DADT out the window, and allow all military members to serve their country without having to fear it at the same time.


Anonymous said...

New Policy is Dont't Kiss - Don't Yell
SPN Headlines Exclusive:

Have a great weekend! :-)

ShamRockNRoll said...

Great post, Aly! Rachel Maddow talked about this last night too. These are ridiculous half-measures the Pentagon is taking, which only really make DADT what it was supposed to be in the first place. It is still an immoral and impractical policy. The President really needs to take stronger action on this. How many more people will be dismissed from the military before they finally change the policy next year?

Aly said...

Exactly! I neglected to mention that while this asinine review is conducted, Gates still advised against a moratorium on all inquiries regarding soldiers accused of being gay, so gay members of our military can still be subjected to discharge at this time. Not to mention the Pentagon could have implemented the measures months ago. It seems that these measures are only being put in place as a last ditch effort as the left becomes more impatient with Obama for not working to repeal DADT sooner.

Andrea Watts said...

Aly, great post! Welcome to Lefty's :)

Bill said...

DADT is definitely not dead. It looks like the only change they've made is to make it less likely that straight members of the military won't be falsely accused of being gay.

Bill said...

great post btw

J D said...

While it's still unfair and a terrible policy, the fact is that these measures go a fair way toward killing it, and also go towards ending the policy by essentially bringing the military to the point where they don't care about it anymore because it's hardly enforced. Without opposition to ending DADT, it can be quietly eliminated with a minimum of reaction.

Anonymous said...

Just a question:

Do any of you think that sexual feelings of any sort could possibly create problems in front line or submarine environments?

J D said...

Sexual feelings? No. Sexual actions? Absolutely. A repeal of DADT wouldn't change sexual misconduct laws under the UCMJ.