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White House endorses 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise

By Ed O'Keefe

By Michael D. Shear and Ed O'Keefe

Updated 7:51 p.m. ET
President Obama has signed on to a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department that is likely to clear the way for repeal of the 17-year-old ban on the military's policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

Under the compromise, worked out in a series of meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill, lawmakers will proceed to repeal the Clinton-era policy in the next several days, but the repeal will not go into effect until a Pentagon study about how to implement it is completed.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a repeal, the White House wrote that "such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions." (See the full letter below.)

Gay rights advocates hailed the White House decision as a "dramatic breaktrhough" that they predicted would dismantle the policy once and for all.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is set to vote Thursday on adding a repeal to the defense authorization bill. Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) favors a repeal, but at least six senators on the panel are considered undecided. The House may also vote on a similar measure this week by Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.). House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) declined to include Murphy's bill in passing the House version of the defense spending measure last week, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she will allow a floor vote if there is enough support in favor of a repeal. Congressional aides said it's unclear whether Murphy has the votes necessary to pass his bill.

Any repeal would take effect only after President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen review the Pentagon study and certify that the new law can be implemented without a negative impact on military readiness, recruitment and retention, according to the sources.

The deal is consistent with a compromise pushed by repeal supporters in recent weeks and would allow Obama to fulfill his promise to work with Congress to repeal the policy, allow Congress to take vote on a repeal this year and permit completion and thoughtful consideration of the Pentagon study.

Gates and Mullen have told Congress that they support allowing gays to serve openly, but lawmakers have been slow to act after Gates asked lawmakers to wait until the completion of the Pentagon study.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

OMB Director Peter R. Orszag's letter to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) endorsing the compromise:

0524 Rep Murphy

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Once again the leader of bringing us all together has picked another issue that will only make the divide bigger. Why are we changing policy for only 1% of our population. This is what has amazed me the most. We are spending time discussing something that has no effect on America and her problems. Leave it alone and get us out of debt and distruction. This is STUPID!!!!!

Posted by: mgoodwin1 | May 24, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Once again the leader of bringing us all together has picked another issue that will only make the divide bigger. Why are we changing policy for only 1% of our population. This is what has amazed me the most. We are spending time discussing something that has no effect on America and her problems. Leave it alone and get us out of debt and distruction. This is STUPID!!!!!
*********************************************

You hit the nail right on the head it is all about diversion. They have not finished looting us and they need to keep us screaming at each other so we don't notice that we have all been swept to the gutter.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | May 24, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank God the Administration is finally addressing the inequality in the American military.

I'm sorry, mgoodwin1, if fixing discrimination and homophobia in our society is inconvenient. And I'm sorry if Congress is listening to the Joint Chiefs as well as young Americans (aka the people actually serving).

Posted by: blenderboy5 | May 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually the percentage of the population that is gay or lesbian is approximately ten percent. The percentage of gays and lesbians in the military, however, may be higher as military service provides a traditional social cover.

Posted by: LisaJain1 | May 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Actually the percentage of the population that is gay or lesbian is approximately ten percent. The percentage of gays and lesbians in the military, however, may be higher as military service provides a traditional social cover.

*********************************************
I am actually neutral in this argument i really don't care either way. When i served i knew their were gays in my unit but nobody really cared as long as they did their jobs.

But i find it hard to believe that 10% of the population is gay. Where did you get that number from?

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | May 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So let's continue the great American tradition of allowing a small minority of screamers and whiners to get their way and further divide our country. Minority rules!

Posted by: JAH3 | May 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

oh jezus pleeze this should have been passed ages ago, we the land of liberty should hold up our slogans and insist on equal rights for all americans, gay/ straight/bi/green and purple!!!

Posted by: willemkraal | May 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but I just don't get what there is to study.

Posted by: DCCharles | May 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse


The percentage of homos in the U.S. population is nowhere near ten percent. It is 1-2% only.

Posted by: screwjob15 | May 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't wait for the Pentagon. The Constitution says equality of citizenship. If the military resists, force them.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | May 24, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Repealing DADT will divide us? A small minority of screamers want DADT repealed?

REALITY CHECK: 70% of Americans support letting openly gay soldiers serve in the military. Only 25% oppose it.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/127904/broad-steady-support-openly-gay-service-members.aspx

The only people trying to divide us are the 25% who refuse to support all our troops.

The only minority on this issue are the 25% who are whining against the repeal.

The only stupid people are the morons who drag this issue out by opposing it instead of supporting a repeal so that the repeal can be passed quickly and we can move on.

Posted by: paulflorez | May 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The percentage of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered Americans is estimated at 2-5% of the general population. The number of Americans in wheelchairs is far less than than --- does this mean that making public buildings and streets handicapped-accessible is wrong too?

Civil rights is based on principles of justice, fairness and equality == not popularity.

Posted by: palmyra | May 24, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

When should we ever ignore a group, no matter it size? The American Ideal is that "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hapiness" is granted equally to everyone. Yet we are confronted, time and again, by many arguing that "it is such a small group!" Such a sad argument that!

DADT permitted gays, lesbians and bisexuals to serve but be denied their First Amendment Rights. It is not fear that these people would be a blackmail hazard, but that they would be present at all. "Out of sight, out of mind" has never worked, it just causes the problem to become much worse.

Contrary to what many peolpe believe, there are many things that must be accomplished at the same time. Delaying the repeal of this, must unamerican, act is one of the most significant things that needs to be done, and done now!

Posted by: RevJDSpears | May 24, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter whether gays make up 1-2% or 10% of the population (I think it is somewhere closer to 3-5%), fairness is fairness. Those who think we should not address legislation which only affects 1-2% are just plain ignorant and are making a rather lame argument. Plenty of legislation only affects a small percentage of our population - like tax cuts for the wealthy. Right is right, no matter how many people will be affected. It is called be a moral and just society.

Posted by: egalite522 | May 24, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Why you ask that a sexual permission needs to be addressed? Because what they do is sinful and sinners want to point to bigger sinners so they might feel good about their sin. You know; at least I didn't commit murder excuse. I also predict that equality is not the goal. What is, is superiority.....

Posted by: oldtimer1001 | May 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@mgoodwin1: 1% of the population is gay? Better question is where did you get that figure at?

The accepted figure in the US currently is FOURTEEN percent; as per a study conducted by Oxford University.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_sexual_orientation

Posted by: bwe43201 | May 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Here are some summaries of some US studies on the topic of the prevalence of homosexuality in the US.

The studies tend to suggest a greater prevalence of homosexuality among males, and that the number of self-identifying homosexuals is much lower than the number of those who have had homosexual encounters (or periods of exclusive homosexuality of three or more years). I'm sure both sides will just cherry-pick data, though.

Of course, if you look at the last study (Hewitt 1998) vis a vis the DADT policy, you'll get a sense of the importance of repealing the policy. Every single one of these categories is in violation of DADT: (1) open preferential homosexuals, (2) repressed preferential homosexuals, (3) bisexuals, (4) experimental homosexuals, and (5) situational homosexuals.

http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/bib-homoprev.html

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

mgoodwin typifies Right Wing intolerance with his comments, while stupidly forgetting what it means to future elections to insult minorities. Par for the GOP course. Yawn.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | May 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The ten percent figure is based on the Masters and Johnson study, published in 1966. Most researchers regard it as a good study, although the percentage of homosexual members of the community is probably over-reported. The one to two percent figure is fictional - it is not based on any study, but was pulled out of thin air. The best guess is probably six to eight percent of the population would be conidered homosexual.

Part of the problem, is that human sexuality is not the clear either/or that many envision, but is along a continuum of human sexual expression. Some people have no sexual feelings at all for people of the opposite sex, some none for people of the same sex, but most lie somewhere in-between. Even the idea of sexual feelings is a complex idea, comprised of elements of friendship and caring, as well as simple sexual attractiveness.

Most first-world nations now have "integrated" homosexual members of society successfully into their Armed Forces, with no problems. Our failure to do so does not reflect any inherent problems in integrating them, but rather persistent cultural taboos and fears - the result of our peverse and perverted understandings of sexuality.

Posted by: garoth | May 24, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Actually the percentage of the population that is gay or lesbian is approximately ten percent. The percentage of gays and lesbians in the military, however, may be higher as military service provides a traditional social cover.

Posted by: LisaJain1 | May 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

LOL sorry but the answer is approx. 2.5% of the US population that is gay. But keep trying to inflate the numbers in an attempt to gain special treatment. It won't work and never should be considered. Gays have ALL THE SAME RIGHTS STRAIGHT PEOPLE DO. Nothing else is necessary.

Posted by: askgees | May 24, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Sure -- there are more homos in the US than there are blacks and jews put together. This comments section is turning into a real laugh riot.

Posted by: screwjob15 | May 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Witeck-Combs is a Washington D.C. based marketing communications and PR firm which has done years of research on the LGBT market, often in association with HarrisInteractive. Their research is probably the most quoted/recognized in terms of the LGBT market's attitudes and perceptions.

Since at least 2000 they've reported consistent responses to the question "What is your sexual orientation?". About 87% answer 'heterosexual'. About 7% answer 'gay', 'lesbian', or 'bisexual'. The remaining 6% don't answer the question.

It's probably fair to say somewhere between 7% and 13% of the population is not heterosexual. Likewise, it's probably fair to say somewhere between 87% and 93% of the population is not lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

In any case, Pres. Obama promised to be a "fierce advocate" for the LGBT folks. It'd be refreshing to see a president live up to a promise every now and again.

Posted by: talldave | May 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This is something that should have been done a long time ago.

If we make progress towards it, I am content

But lets actually make progress and not continue delaying this idiotic provision

Posted by: Bious | May 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

My bad - I mentioned Masters and Johnsn - it was Kinsey. Sorry.

Posted by: garoth | May 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

mgoodwin typifies Right Wing intolerance with his comments, while stupidly forgetting what it means to future elections to insult minorities. Par for the GOP course. Yawn.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | May 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Take the d$%k out of your mouth and read a little US history. Sorry but the REPS are the ones that freed the slaves and passed the equal rights amendment. MEANING IT WAS THE DEMS THAT WE'RE AGAINST IT. The DEMS are the one’s keeping minorities down by using them as voter blocks instead of treating them like people. But keep thinking their doing it for you. You appear just dumb enough to believe it. There's a suck a@@ humped every min. LOL

Posted by: askgees | May 24, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

This comment section is becoming a laugh riot, you're right.

I posted a study, as did a couple others, than say that the % of the population that is LGBT is >10%. Others have offered OPINIONS that it is 1-2%. How about some scientific data to back up your OPINION? None exists.

This is typical. Folks want to blurt out an opinion and pretend it's fact when they know it isn't. The scientific evidence that LGBT makes up 10% or more of our population is overwhelming and accepted as fact. Those who want to post opinion that it's 1-2% might as well be posting that they have an opinion that the sky is orange with blue polka dots. That opinion carries about as much weight in the scientific community. Grow up and read a book before you open your mouth.

Posted by: bwe43201 | May 24, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

So let's continue the great American tradition of allowing a small minority of screamers and whiners to get their way and further divide our country. Minority rules!

Posted by: JAH3 | May 24, 2010 3:02 PM
-------------------------------------------

Yeah I'm tired of bowing to all those inconvenient minorities.

Who are Blacks to think they can go to school with me, or drink from my water fountains?

And I'm tired of all those Native Americans who won't stay on their reservations.

I've had enough of all those disabled people who demand ramps and elevators everywhere too. Make them walk.

Posted by: blenderboy5 | May 24, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Gays openly serve in the armies of Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Australia, India, Canada, etc.

It's interesting that supporters of "don't ask, don't tell" are using the same bigoted arguments that conservatives made about blacks integrating the military in 1948 (danger to troop morale, etc)

Posted by: sgtpepper23 | May 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The ten percent figure is based on the Masters and Johnson study, published in 1966. Most researchers regard it as a good study, although the percentage of homosexual members of the community is probably over-reported. The one to two percent figure is fictional - it is not based on any study, but was pulled out of thin air. The best guess is probably six to eight percent of the population would be conidered homosexual.

Part of the problem, is that human sexuality is not the clear either/or that many envision, but is along a continuum of human sexual expression. Some people have no sexual feelings at all for people of the opposite sex, some none for people of the same sex, but most lie somewhere in-between. Even the idea of sexual feelings is a complex idea, comprised of elements of friendship and caring, as well as simple sexual attractiveness.

Most first-world nations now have "integrated" homosexual members of society successfully into their Armed Forces, with no problems. Our failure to do so does not reflect any inherent problems in integrating them, but rather persistent cultural taboos and fears - the result of our peverse and perverted understandings of sexuality.

Posted by: garoth | May 24, 2010 3:33 PM |

*******************************************
Thanks for the answer garoth. The 10% figure just seemed to high to me and the 1-2% that is being throw around seems to low

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | May 24, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The DEMS are the one’s keeping minorities down by using them as voter blocks instead of treating them like people. But keep thinking their doing it for you. You appear just dumb enough to believe it. There's a suck a@@ humped every min. LOL

Posted by: askgees
------------------------------------------

This would carry more weight if you weren't simultaneously denying rights to the LGBT community.

What's your position on DADT, DOMA, gay adoption, and gays being discriminated against in the work place? I know the GOP's official platform, though there are some Republicans committed to equality.

Posted by: blenderboy5 | May 24, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I will start by saying I am 100% straight, so I have no personal stake in this matter. I agree with those who think that any transition from the present discriminatory policy has to carefully managed to avoid an adverse effect on unit cohesion. But the mere existence of prejudice against gays is not an adequate excuse. If that were so, the military would never have been desegregated. In any case, the idea that "gays have all the same rights that straight people do" is just silly on its face. If you tell a military recruiter that you are a heterosexual, this will not disqualify you from serving in the military. You cannot say that a person must hide something so fundamental as sexual identity in order to be a full citizen of our country, and then say that you have not affected that person's rights. The implicit premise of this ignorant statement that gays have the same rights as straight people is that gays choose their orientation, when all scientifically credible research contradicts this premise.

Posted by: bbigtim | May 24, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is absolutely ridiculous. Has anyone ever asked the service men and women of this country what they think? Let those who actually have to serve (and share barracks, bathrooms, and showers) with soldiers who are homosexuals and lesbians make the decision. Our present commander-in-chief (who never served in the military) has absolutely no idea how this would actually impact our soldiers individually, and our armed services in general, yet he is willing to pander to very small (but vocal) special interest group in order to appear "open minded." One can only hope that the study that the Pentagon does is fair and balanced, and that it considers the attitudes and opinions of the majority of the military, and not just the ideas of a few at the top. And all this while we are fighting two wars...like our military doesn't have enough to worry about already!!

Posted by: bcdej | May 24, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Young people are much less homophobic, bcdej.

More importantly, LGBT people are already fighting in our armed services.

And the "we have enough to worry about" argument is BS. Israel fights for its survival every day in an incredibly anti-Israeli environment. However, gays serve and do so honorably.

Posted by: blenderboy5 | May 24, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What does it say that supports of DADT repeal seem overwhelmingly reliant on factual evidence and tonal levelheadedness, while the DADT supporters on this board embrace the "shout-type" approach to discourse?

Posted by: Akger117 | May 24, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

mgoodwin1...Where on earth did you get the "1%" figure? Time to wakey, wakey... the actual percentage is around 10%+. You just shot your entire screed to pieces. Get your facts straight (pardon the pun).
Other than that, you should be thankful the GLBT military population even keeps your butt safe! Ingrate!

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's give gays in the military their recognition.

Starting with the Frenchman who trained our soldiers at Valley Forge. Bet a lot of you didn't know that.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | May 24, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

JAH3 wrote: "So let's continue the great American tradition of allowing a small minority of screamers and whiners to get their way and further divide our country. Minority rules!" Errrrrr, so we get to include the minority of Repugs, neocons, Failin' Palin puppets, televangelicals, et al??? I thought so. I'm no longer worried about the GLBT crowd, thank you!

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The US military should be focused on defeating our enemies NOT wasting their time on studies related to gays and their rights. This is just another liberal waste of money and an example of taking our eye off the ball.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The percentage of homos in the U.S. population is nowhere near ten percent. It is 1-2% only.

Posted by: screwjob15 | May 24, 2010 3:05 PM
------------------------------------------
ROTFLMBO... What an appropriate handlename, lolol. You really need to take some education courses above the K-3 level. You will find in Sociology, Psychology, and most courses dealing with life situations that 10% +- 1 percentage point is the accepted norm. Thanks for the giggle though. IdiVant!

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This matter should be settled by the RNC holding a meeting of the Eaglets at Voyeurs.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | May 24, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Sure -- there are more homos in the US than there are blacks and jews put together. This comments section is turning into a real laugh riot.

Posted by: screwjob15
-------------------------------------------
Well, what you take as laughing, screwjob, we take as deep sighs, as in...we really pity you and your faux argument. You're a few years behind the level of information that the normal world is operating at. Get yourself in gear and CATCH UP to the rest of the world. Cheesch!!! Now be quiet and quit embarrassing yourself!

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Two female soldiers and one male soldier meet at a hotel and engage in sexual activity. If there's sexual contact between the two female soldiers, is what has happened illegal according to the UCMJ?

What's it called? (An RNC meeting?)

Posted by: bgreen2224 | May 24, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's really pointless to get bogged down in the percentags. I think 10% is too high, and 1% is too low, but pick whatever number you want. Then compare it to this list:

Here's the percentage of religions in the US population, excluding Catholic, Protestant, and "None":

Mormonism (1.7%)
Jehovah's Witnesses (0.7%)
Orthodox Church (0.6%)
Judaism (1.7%)
Buddhist (0.7%)
Islam (0.6%)
Hinduism (0.4%)

Is it OK if our military discriminates against any of these? Can we tell Moslems, for instance, that if they want to serve in the army they have to never let anyone know they're Moslem?

Here's data showing the smaller major ethnic groups:
Native American - 1.5%
Puerto Rican - 1.2%
Russian - 0.9%
Chinese - 0.9%

Would it be OK if the US military said, "We won't take anyone of one of these ancestries?" Is that too small of a problem to fix?

Posted by: wbthacker | May 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

sgtpepper23 wrote: "Gays openly serve in the armies of Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Australia, India, Canada, etc." Thank you! And isn't it a bit "strange" that those countries don't seem to have any problems with GLBT military personnel in their ranks? Do you suppose the real reason is that our "straight" contingents...can't handle the superiority of people who may just outshine them?? MMMMMmmmmm...might want to take a look at that problem of...jealousy?

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Just what are the parameters for openly gay service people going to be? I'm fine with gays in the military, but not if they are going to be as open about it as they want. OK, proclaim you are gay but keep it off the base or if you are duty. Would that be too much to ask? Also, are sexual harassment charges going to allowed if a gay office pressures a private into having sex or makes sexual advancements? We will have to craft the policy very carefully.

Posted by: saelij | May 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Two female soldiers and one male soldier meet at a hotel and engage in sexual activity. If there's sexual contact between the two female soldiers, is what has happened illegal according to the UCMJ?
What's it called? (An RNC meeting?)
Posted by: bgreen2224 |
--------------
Now this...this is funny! And who wouldn't, based on everyday news reporting, believe it was true? Thanks bgreen2224!Good one!

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Did all the countries that have gays and str8s mix have to go through all this madness to achieve equality. Gays have been in the military helping us winning unnecesssay wars since the start of this Nation. A bunch of fools think str8 soldiers can't handle this? Well then they can't handle combat either so discharge them!

Posted by: gany5 | May 24, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

bcdej wrote: "Has anyone ever asked the service men and women of this country what they think?" Probably no more than one would ask a fox if he preferred chicken after a night on guard duty at a chicken coop. Little bit of prejudice there, perhaps?

Posted by: dakotahgeo | May 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that this is described as a "compromise." The don't-ask-don't-tell policy is itself a compromise. The new proposal -- an outright repeal of the policy after a fig leaf certification -- is NOT a compromise. It is an outright victory for one side.

Posted by: cjknew | May 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

to askgees... your comment about the DEMS and REPS back after the end of the civil war... ok the truth is the polital party back then that "freed the Slaves" as you call it now-a-days IS the Democratic party in the US. But why should you actually know any thing true from history.

Also, the "Slaves were freed in President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But then again, that's part of history. I guess you do not read history before you make historical statements, huh?

I hear Sarah needs someone to help her with her historical facts for her next tea party gathering. you might want to submit your resume for the job.

Oh and anyone who still thinks Sarah is on the side of the working class guy, like joe da plumber.. think again, she's a multi millionaire now that's to all the stupid slobs who bought her book and go see her live. But it's your money... go spend it as u see fit. LOL

Posted by: mikey1871 | May 24, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the fix is, I hope we will have heard the last about it. It's the same old crap every two or three years. But maybe if the real men out there would enlist.....

Here I thought Cheney was a coward being he was a 5 time draft dodger. In truth he was a homophobe.

Posted by: doughboy96 | May 24, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I KNOW IF I WAS STILL IN THE SERVICE I WOULD GIVE THE FIRST GAY SAILOR OR SOLDIER MY WEAPON AND GO HOME,I DIDNT SIGN UP TO LIVE WITH A GAY PERSON.AS SOON AS THE ADMIRALS AND GENERALS HAVE TO SLEEP IN THE SAME LIVING QUARTERS AS THE GAYS THEN I WOULD CHANGE MY MIND.I STILL SAY THE MILITARY IS NOT MEETING THEIR QUOTAS.

Posted by: SISSD1 | May 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Acceptance of gays in the military was a total non-issue for every other progressive democracy in the world. As far as all of our NATO allies are concerned, it is a long-since done-deal for their militaries.

There are so many issues that Americans consider "normal" or "politics as usual" that, in most other civilized countries, would be considered barbarically anachronistic throwbacks to an earlier age.

Posted by: kcx7 | May 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"I'm fine with gays in the military, but not if they are going to be as open about it as they want. OK, proclaim you are gay but keep it off the base or if you are duty. Would that be too much to ask?"

What does this mean?

When I was in, some of my colleagues had pictures of their wives on their desks; could I have a picture of my partner? I can't count how many times I heard another sailor going on about the hot chick he met at a dance club, last Friday; can I mention the cute guy I met at the disco? If another sailor has a picture of a pin-up girl taped to the inside of his locker (not an unheard of practice, at least when I was in), can I tape up a pin-up boy inside my locker? If I, just to be polite, asked a shipmate how his weekend went, and he answers, 'great, my wife and I went to a show Saturday night'; can I respond to the same question by saying 'I took my boyfriend to a show'?

Posted by: jbowler | May 24, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Why you ask that a sexual permission needs to be addressed? Because what they do is sinful and sinners want to point to bigger sinners so they might feel good about their sin. You know; at least I didn't commit murder excuse. I also predict that equality is not the goal. What is, is superiority.....

Posted by: oldtimer1001 | May 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What are you afraid that you and your views will no longer considered SUPERIOR to the rest of the world. Are you so afraid of being INFERIOR that you need to bash a separate group of normal human beings.
And speaking of sins -- should every person in the military who has committed one of your so-called SINS be discharged from the service -- because I know of no person in this world who is sin-free including your bigoted self who espouses HATE and judegement - which i believe is NOT taught as good deeds in most religions/

But maybe you started you own CHURCH OF THE BIGOTED IDJITS>

Posted by: racerdoc | May 24, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe all the posters whining about how 'controversial' they think this is.

It's the 21st century people and the US is the only member of NATO to have this ridiculous discrminatory policy. It should take all of 5 minutes to repeal. Hardly a distraction.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | May 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I KNOW IF I WAS STILL IN THE SERVICE I WOULD GIVE THE FIRST GAY SAILOR OR SOLDIER MY WEAPON AND GO HOME,I DIDNT SIGN UP TO LIVE WITH A GAY PERSON.AS SOON AS THE ADMIRALS AND GENERALS HAVE TO SLEEP IN THE SAME LIVING QUARTERS AS THE GAYS THEN I WOULD CHANGE MY MIND.I STILL SAY THE MILITARY IS NOT MEETING THEIR QUOTAS.

Posted by: SISSD1 | May 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

_______
POOR SISSI - afraid of a few little gays are you.
I bet you would not have turned down my service if you got hurt because I would have been the one saving your fat wounded ash.

you have no idea how many gays you served with and how many you run into everyday.


But if you are willing to GIVE UP YOUR GUN AND RUN AWAY SISSI then I guess that just shows who the real man/woman is - certainly not you ya little chickenshat

Posted by: racerdoc | May 24, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

As an 18 year front line combat vet. I like the idea of not having to guess who to send into the mine field first.

Posted by: ping4 | May 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Ef'n grow up

Posted by: bobbarnes | May 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry, but I just don't get what there is to study."
---
What there is to study is the cost -- if the percentage of gay troops in the military is as high as some on this thread believe, the cost of adding same-sex spousal benefits alone could run into the billions of dollars, not to mention the question, still under study, of whether they will need to add additional "privacy housing" and shower facilities, as had to be done when the military retrofitted itself to adapt to women in the service. I think the cost issue at this point supersedes even the issue of military culture, which is very much Christian, almost fundamentalist (my brother was in the Army National Guard so that's anecdotal from him.) The military budget is already stretched to the gills, and yes, you do have to conduct studies before implementing major changes like this.

And not for nothing, but it should be stated that repealing DADT is primarily a priority of non-military activists, not of the military itself. As commander in chief, Obama has to balance those priorities, and given that we are in two wars, and still have a massive national security responsibility around the globe, he is right to tilt toward the latter. The number of people actually discharged from the military has been small relative to the overall force. DADT repeal will happen. Just maybe not on everyone's personal timetable.

Just my take.

Posted by: JoyReid | May 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Just what are the parameters for openly gay service people going to be? I'm fine with gays in the military, but not if they are going to be as open about it as they want."

I think you have a very wrong image of what "openly gay" means and what will happen when "openly gay" individuals are allowed to join the military.

"Openly gay" means that you can admit that you're gay and still join the military to help defend this great country; or if you are already in the military that you will not be discharged if it is discovered that you are gay. That's it, that's all it means. I don't know what kind of images you have dancing around in your head, but if it's anything other than a person informing a recruiter, superior officer or fellow soldier "yes, I am gay" then I think you need to consider the possibility that you have a prejudice that is clouding your own judgment on this issue.

"OK, proclaim you are gay but keep it off the base or if you are duty. Would that be too much to ask?"

Keep what off the base? Proclaiming that you're gay? I doubt many gay soldiers would find the need to "proclaim" that they are gay. I'm sure some would like to be able to tell the truth when asked about their sexuality without fear of being discharged. It isn't about telling every single person on the base that you are gay, it's about being able to serve in the military without compromising your honesty about who you are.

"Also, are sexual harassment charges going to allowed if a gay office pressures a private into having sex or makes sexual advancements?"

Why wouldn't they??? Of course sexual harassment charges can be brought against a gay individual, regardless of whether the individual being pressured was gay or straight. Gays will be treated just like straight people, they will be held accountable for their actions, they just won't have to lie about being gay when asked.

"We will have to craft the policy very carefully."

No you won't, just repeal the dang thing! We already have rules in place to deal with sexual harassment, right? Those rules do not explicitly say "this applies to straight people only," do they? No? Then what is there to change?

For some reason you are reading a repeal of DADT as granting gays some kind of exclusion from the rest of the rules of the military. Giving gays exclusions, treating them differently than straights, would actually have the complete opposite effect of what is desired. The problem is that gays right now are not treated equally, as while straights can honestly admit their sexuality when asked without being discharged, gays cannot do such a thing. Once gays are allowed to admit their sexuality when asked without being discharged, what makes you think they're going to want to be treated differently when it comes to sexual harassment policies? If I was a gay soldier being sexually harassed by another gay soldier, I certainly wouldn't want the person harassing me to be excluded from the rules.

Posted by: paulflorez | May 24, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@paulflorez, your points are valid, but per this earlier comment:
---
"When I was in, some of my colleagues had pictures of their wives on their desks; could I have a picture of my partner? I can't count how many times I heard another sailor going on about the hot chick he met at a dance club, last Friday; can I mention the cute guy I met at the disco? If another sailor has a picture of a pin-up girl taped to the inside of his locker (not an unheard of practice, at least when I was in), can I tape up a pin-up boy inside my locker? If I, just to be polite, asked a shipmate how his weekend went, and he answers, 'great, my wife and I went to a show Saturday night'; can I respond to the same question by saying 'I took my boyfriend to a show'? "

---
That is precisely what people in the military who oppose repealing DADT are concerned about. What happens if some male soldiers object to "pin-ups" of naked men in their quarters? How does the commander rule on that issue? Either way, somebody is being discriminated against. What if some Christian cadet reports another troop's perfectly harmless boasting about the "hot guy" he met over the weekend as harassment, because he's offended by the content? Which troop gets disciplined?

These are the things the Pentagon is studying. They'd be fools not to study it, along with the cost issues associated with expanded spousal/partner benefits, and Robert Gates doesn't strike me as some raving homophobe. He's doing his job, and Congress should let him do it. We civilians often look at the military as just another extension of us. It isn't. It's a very particular cultural and professional institution that doesn't operate like the rest of society. I never served, but I grew up around that culture and respect it, even though I'm about as liberal as it gets (support gay marriage, or more particularly, don't care what other people do, etc...)

I'm kind of disheartened when people in my political camp so readily dismiss the genuine concerns of those who serve, and treat them as either frivolous or foolish. They should be taken just as seriously as your admittedly political, ideological, and most importantly CIVILIAN, preference for repeal.

Posted by: JoyReid | May 24, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

By redrawing the lines of protected group status to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), we must be willing to also add EVERY sexual behavior imaginable to the list. There is absolutely no reason we should not also include polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia with consenting minors, as also socially acceptable and legally protected, too.The same justifications for LGBT can be extended to anything and everything else you can think of in the sexual realm, so we will need to add a lot more letters (LGBTPBP…) to the diversity portfolio. Think about it: two men, two women and one man, a girl and a donkey, an infant and an old geezer. It’s ALL a matter of personal preference. Who are you to question someone else’s lifestyle?

America’s continued moral decay is inevitable, and one day there will be no sexual restrictions or taboos. The worst perversions you can possibly conjure in your mind will eventually all be protected in the workplace and taught in our schools. All you need is enough money and the buy-in of Hollywood and the media, and your favorite flavor of sex can be the next civil rights battleground. Seriously, this is all it takes. LGBT defeated the most fearsome military in the history of the world, without firing a single shot. Pedophiles unite! If they could do it, so can you.

America: Land of the freaks. Home of the depraved.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen54 | May 24, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I only read half of the comments so I don't know if someone mentioned it, but the original reasoning behind Don't ask don't tell was that the military is (was) comprised primarily of extremely conservative and politically right wing minded people. Homosexuals were being bullied, abused and so forth because of their sexual orientation.

I don't agree with the policy myself, but I understand the why it was implemented. So here is the issue people need to consider: how are openly gay service men/women going to be treated by the rest of military once Don't ask don't tell is repealed? What is the deterrent preventing the abuse and discrimination from starting up again once people openly admit their sexuality?

Of course discrimination and abuse in the military is wrong and abhorrent and is punishable if found to occur, but there is no deterrent to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is the sad reality of the situation.

Posted by: Kiyoryu | May 24, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

To understand the core issue- replace the word "gay" with either "black" or "Jew" and see if you are outraged.

Posted by: NotoriousKelly | May 24, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Countries that allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military:

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

Countries that bar gays:

Cuba, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jamaica, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, UNITED STATES, Venezuela, Yemen and Rest of Muslim World

Posted by: sgtpepper23 | May 24, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

If people think a corrupt government is going to repeal DADT they are wrong! There is only one way that the gays and lesbians are going to get equal rights when it comes to getting in the military and marriage and that’s to stop paying taxes. Let me explain I’m a gay veteran and one thing the military taught me better than anything else was to pay attention to detail. Both Democrats and Republicans are corrupt and they use your own tax money to keep you from getting equal rights. Our money keeps them living the good life and keeps the military in the supplies they need, but the people paying taxes are not allowed equal rights. They lied about repealing DADT, the reason I know this is because the men and women in the military are trained to accept change at a moments notice and they have to be ready. Now the government is saying it’s going to take time to repeal the ban, it didn’t take long for them to come out with DADT. It should only take a day or two to write it into legislation, I can write a paper in a day or two it doesn’t take a months or even years. And for marriage all I’ve heard is how congress wants other Americans to vote on it. The government tries this tactic when they don’t want to do the dirty work themselves, well I know it’s my life and no one else has the right to tell me who I can marry. To stop paying taxes will show them we mean business, they lose billions of dollars, you should not pay taxes if you don’t have equal rights. I ask every gay and lesbian and their supporters, celebrities, and business owners and anyone else who believes in equal rights to stop paying taxes till we are allowed to marry in all fifty states and allowed to serve openly in the military. I also challenge our government to prove how honest they are by signing laws allowing gay marriage in every state and allowing them to serve in the military, prove how honest you are. We’re not trying to force our lifestyle on any one, if some churches do not want to marry gay or lesbian couples they shouldn’t be forced two, that’s their belief, there are churches that will. This is the year 2010, by now we should be evolved enough to realize everyone deserves equal rights. This letter was written to prove to every gay and lesbian and their supporters how corrupt the government really is. Don’t listen to their lies watch their actions and they will prove how corrupt they are.

Signed True American

Posted by: jmullins1 | May 24, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

That is precisely what people in the military who oppose repealing DADT are concerned about. What happens if some male soldiers object to "pin-ups" of naked men in their quarters? How does the commander rule on that issue? Either way, somebody is being discriminated against. What if some Christian cadet reports another troop's perfectly harmless boasting about the "hot guy" he met over the weekend as harassment, because he's offended by the content? Which troop gets disciplined?"

Which troop was disciplined in the case of the "pin-ups" of women or talking about a "hot girl" in the previous example?

"These are the things the Pentagon is studying. They'd be fools not to study it, along with the cost issues associated with expanded spousal/partner benefits, and Robert Gates doesn't strike me as some raving homophobe. He's doing his job, and Congress should let him do it. We civilians often look at the military as just another extension of us. It isn't. It's a very particular cultural and professional institution that doesn't operate like the rest of society. I never served, but I grew up around that culture and respect it, even though I'm about as liberal as it gets (support gay marriage, or more particularly, don't care what other people do, etc...)

I'm kind of disheartened when people in my political camp so readily dismiss the genuine concerns of those who serve, and treat them as either frivolous or foolish. They should be taken just as seriously as your admittedly political, ideological, and most importantly CIVILIAN, preference for repeal."

We do consider every one of those issues, but if the end result is a delayed repeal of DADT or a failed repeal, then the harm caused to our gay vets is far greater than any cost or soldier's irrational discomfort. If those issues end in the decision that a repeal of DADT gets delayed then you are also dismissing the genuine concerns of those who serve, especially our gay soldiers.

I think if you repeal DADT you can still support all troops, even those who face discomfort or fear, by helping them process that discomfort or fear. It's not as if the military will start discharging anyone who admits that they are uncomfortable with the situation. If you fail to repeal DADT, then you cannot support your gay soldiers because the instant you know a soldier is gay, they can no longer be in the military and thus are denied military support. Every minute spent hand-wringing on the issue of repealing DADT is another minute of a gay soldier suffering and the U.S. NOT supporting all its troops.

It sounds like you don't want military opinion to be taken "just as seriously" but rather more seriously than civilian opinion. The reality is that 70% of Americans support a repeal of DADT and 25% oppose a repeal, and that includes the opinion of soldiers, so if we are to treat all opinions with equal severity, then there is a clear mandate to repeal the law.

Posted by: paulflorez | May 24, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

This backward homophobic "policy" has been flawed law since it's inception. Fighting two wars while cutting taxes leaves us with no margin to replace patriotic gay and lesbian Americans. Some of the examples I have read of this policy drumming out good military members leave me fearing for our chances at winning these wars AND joining the 21st century.

Posted by: dbrown52 | May 24, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"To understand the core issue- replace the word "gay" with either "black" or "Jew" and see if you are outraged."

Weak argument. Try out this sentence: Replace the word "polygamist" with either "black" or "Jew" and see if you are outraged.

I'm not. Are you?

It does not matter if it is a minority group. There are tons of minority groups. Will we protect EVERY sexual minority group? Shoud we protect men who want to have sex with rhinos? We will if the minority makes a big enough stink and creates MTV shows and movie after movie that makes it seem ok.

So many of your have been brainwashed you cannot recognize what is depraved and what is not. You accept whatever society spoon feeds to you.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen54 | May 24, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe all this back and forth commenting on the civil rights of ALL Americans, be the number of affected people 1 or 1 million. Amrica insures (or SHOULD insure) the rights of ALL, and does not allow a majority to impinge on the rights of a minority - period.
However, another salient factor is the quality of the people who've been drubbed out of the service during the years of DADT. Has anybody been listening and judging the performances of the Arab speaking translators (who are in terribly short supply); the Lt. Colonel in the Air Force who is a highly decorated hero; the many VERY qualified people who've been discharged when we need them the most? When the armed forces lower the admission requirements to allow convicted felons, etc. to enlist, and at the same time discharges highly qualified gays who are doing a bang up job, something is very wrong, and I for one resent that the best are not allowed to serve as protectors of the very freedoms they are being denied.

Posted by: tomron | May 24, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting logic with this one:

"Countries that allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military:

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

Countries that bar gays:

Cuba, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jamaica, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, UNITED STATES, Venezuela, Yemen and Rest of Muslim World."

Many countries allow polygamy, but we do not. Why not go along with THAT crowd, too? I'm not saying we should, but I am saying there is no obvious logic behind going with a majority. A majority can be wrong.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen54 | May 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

What I find most amusing is the wing nuts never bother to provide a reference for their 'opinions',though the more fair minded individuals routinely site good reliable, sources; respectable sources (sorry wikipedia). As for the erroneous belief in the 1-2 % homosexuality figure, ever consider counting the married bi-sexuals of the world? Likely, it would approach 25% in that case. :)

Posted by: dbrown52 | May 24, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else starting to wonder why this administrations policies will take years to be put into effect, as per the other headlines regarding this issue?

Posted by: thebink | May 24, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the new Obama Army. Government issue will no longer be uniforms, boots, and field gear ... but dresses, pumps, and mascara. Our troops will not longer march, but skip. It used to be that the objective of the U.S. Military was to win wars, but nowadays it's purpose is the advancement of left wing political agendas. So recruitment plunges, soldiers come home in body bags, we lose wars ... at least the homosexuals will be happy. Isn't that the important thing?

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | May 24, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"the original reasoning behind Don't ask don't tell was that the military is (was) comprised primarily of extremely conservative and politically right wing minded people. Homosexuals were being bullied, abused and so forth because of their sexual orientation.

"how are openly gay service men/women going to be treated by the rest of military once Don't ask don't tell is repealed? What is the deterrent preventing the abuse and discrimination from starting up again once people openly admit their sexuality?"

"but there is no deterrent to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is the sad reality of the situation."


There is a certain irony to suggesting that people should not join the military because - well, f'gosh sake, they might get hurt. The people in the military are well aware of the risks they take, and I can assure you that gays in the military are aware of the risks they take being gay in the military. Fine. In both cases the people involved are adults and capable of deciding for themselves if the cause involved and the benefits to be gained are worth the risk.

Also, it is not as if there are no risks for gays outside the military. Certainy gays in the military have been bashed, but so are gays anywhere. As far as I know, neither Matthew Shepherd nor his assailants had anything to do with the military.

The military recruiting system automatically excludes anyone with a known history of or demonstrable propensity for violence. As events at Ft. Hood showed, their system is not perfect, but it as good as any, and better than most. I strongly suspect that anyone, gay or straight, is safer on a military base (or ship) than they are on the streets of most major American cities.

Your starting assumption that the law was put there to protect gays is ludicrous. Whatever they thought they were trying to protect, I can assure you it was not gays.

Posted by: jbowler | May 24, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

To all you bigots who think that no gay should serve in the military

How many of you have signed up or are okaying your child to sign up to replace the more than willing gay person who WANTS to go to war for their country?

Bunch of you chickenshat people who oppose gays in the military probably never served themselves - like the CHENEY's and BUSHIES of the world

Posted by: racerdoc | May 24, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal? There aren't enough gays and lesbians aspiring to military service to worry about. All I really want to know about anyone entering military combat is whether or not he or she can shoot straight.

Posted by: Artisan1 | May 24, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA once again thinks we are stupid!
He is doing his doublespeak! How many pigs in a poke will you buy???
Repeal the law and THEN you will find out what OBAMA plans to do to you!!
Just like the OBAMACARE HEALTHCARE scam!
When ARE you all going to wake up?
OBAMA is out to destroy the military...they hate him because he disrespects all servicemen...he couldn't even get a trickle of applause at WEST POINT!
Ask yourself if you would want a room mate living in your dorm/barracks who can relate "however"to his/her partner in your presence. Not everyone is discreet. Now with DADT they have to be discreet!! Don't repeal!

Posted by: marylou1 | May 24, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

They vote on "us". We vote on "them." Back and forth... They always vote NO on us, yet we always vote YES on them. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!

Posted by: LawsLuvr | May 24, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The White House has thrown the gays a bone that cannot be consumed. They are saying that this will be studied so that they can figure out how to implement this. OBAMA IS JUST PANDERING TO THE GAY COMMUNITY TO GARNER SOME EXTRA VOTES IN A YEAR WHEN THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN BIG TROUBLE. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH WAITING FOR THIS TO BE IMPLEMENTED. THIS TIME LET'S NOT TAKE THE BAIT.

Posted by: barrysal | May 24, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it is stupid to make this a big issue. In fact, there is far more "attacks on women in the military than there are homosexual attacks on men. I notice that any military person who molests a person of the opposite sex is seldom prosecuted unless the perp attacks off base and the attacked person reports it to the police. Hundreds of women serving in the military have had to endure the most disgusting treatment from men and no one did anything to the perps. For me, the military has little to complain about till they clean up all sexual abuse whether male to female, or female to male, or gay.

Posted by: mJJ2 | May 24, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with this country? It took the 25 countries who allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in their militaries an average of four months to do so. And it could take us years? Pathetic.

Posted by: LevRaphael | May 24, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Well it is time to stop all of this discrimination against LGBT Americans. The right wing has done nothing but demonetize these Americans. The Republican party has used them as scapegoats to win votes & get money. Democrat's have used them to get votes & money. They promise equality, it never happens. Clinton got and signed into law DADT and DOMA. They have not passed ENDA because some of our elected official's don't want it to pass giving protection to LGBT Americans. If these American don't get the same rights as every other American. Then we will have to change many of our patriotic songs, poems. pledges and even our Constitution, The National Anthem, the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of allegiance to the Flag. Because there will be no Equally or Justice for all.
Those of you who are fighting over what percentage of LGBT Americans there are your pissing in the wind. It matters naught. What is important is that they are Americans. Not enemies of the State.
So ask yourself this? Are all Americans equal? If not then why?

Posted by: larry418 | May 24, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@PaulFlorez- yes, I think the military's concerns should be put before the concerns of civilians whose agenda is about a social issue, not primarily a military one. That's just logical, given that it's the military, not activists, who are doing the fighting and the dying. Let's say a growing majority of American society decided that green uniforms are ugly and discriminate against those who prefer to wear other uniform colors; and other countries have changed their uniform colors, so we demand the same, right now, and we don't care that most color-phobic troops prefer to be camouflaged... And as to the "pin up" example, my point was, do you discipline the guy with the pin-up boy in his locker, or discipline the troop who complained.

And @mjj2 - the harassment of women in the military, which I agree is egregious, is precisely the point of study. Integrating women into the military is a more direct comparison to repealing DADT than integrating African-Americans, since women posed very similar privacy issues, plus issues of fraternization. And yes, that had to be studied, too. Apparently, the military hasn't done such a good job of "implementing" it.

It's much easier to be an activist than to actually run the military. Personally, I think Bob Gates is more qualified to do that job than the Human Rights Campaign, but then, that's just me. And please don't take me for a winger. I'm a liberal Dem. I just think sometimes we liberals put our activism ahead of plain old practicality.

I'm sure most younger troops don't care who is in their units. But the Pentagon HAS TO care about the budgetary implications of adding additional partner benefits, privacy issues and changes to the disciplinary codes, which again, cost money.

One more thing: the point of the military isn't to teach people to "come to terms with their discomfort," as one of the commenters said above. It's to teach people to kill people, win wars, and come home alive.

Posted by: JoyReid | May 24, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

i think the whole thing is stupid and they should be worrying about other things then if certain people join the military and can show it freely how about worrying about the people who are over in iraq and afghan fighting to keep us all alive and free still and risking there lives to make it all happen not being able to come home and see there familys or there kids or anyone except over a damn computer... how about we worry about that instead!!!

u have to fix one problem before u move onto the next one and by the way they do join the miltary and i know many that do tell people they are gay/lesbian or anything else as long as u dont come on to the people who arent no body really messes with anyone everyone should learn and live the miltary before they go and judge the people in it

Posted by: karasue16 | May 25, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Why a sexually diverse person would want to be cannon fodder for the Empire is beyond me.

Posted by: seraphina21 | May 25, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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