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Listen to the American people: Repeal "don't ask don't tell"

News that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) will vote in favor of repeal of "don't ask don't tell" means the amendment will pass out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military is one step closer to elimination. But we're not there yet. So, I have a message for the fence-sitters in Congress who don't know whether they should vote to lift this shameful prohibition in the coming days:

The people of the United States don't have a problem with gays in the military -- and neither should you.

Because folks on Capitol Hill seem to live and breathe by public opinion polls let me remind them of three that hit in February that helped push us to our current, hopeful point. A Post/ABC News poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support ending "don't ask don't tell." One from the New York Times put support for gay men and lesbians serving openly at 70 percent. And 57 percent surveyed by Quinnipiac University favored repealing the 16-year-old law. Gallup shows that 70 percent of the American people are in line with that sentiment in a poll released on Monday.

As the data show, their attitudes toward gays serving openly in the military have changed positively since 1993. It's about time Congress caught up. Many on Capitol Hill are fond of saying that Washington ought to listen to the American people. Well, now's the perfect time to make good on that mantra. Repeal "don't ask don't tell."

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 26, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

What a load of liberal bull this is. Poll questions designed to get desired results are to blame here.

Most Americans are against the homosexualization of America's military. Homosexuals cruising the barracks for action is not a pretty picture. Just ask the Pope how that worked out for his Catholic Church. Those little choir boys were dropping like flies.

In making homosexuals the norm for our armed services, they are taking the risk of ruining the best military in the world.

Why would any patriotic American do this. It's surely not broken so why try to fix it for the sake of a tiny minority of sexually disoriented malcontents???

Posted by: battleground51 | May 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm. Interesting that you think congress and the administration should listen to the people on "don't ask, don't tell"..

But have no problem when they ignore the people on Health Care Reform, Immigration, Bail Outs, or Ear Marks?

Posted by: robinTX54 | May 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm. Interesting that you think congress and the administration should listen to the people on "don't ask, don't tell"..

But have no problem when they ignore the people on Health Care Reform, Immigration, Bail Outs, or Ear Marks?

Posted by: robinTX54 | May 26, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

so...repeal obamacare? that's what the american people want.

Posted by: robkruisenga | May 26, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

If you make homosexuality the norm in military life here's what will happen:

The armed forces will begin changing into a homosexual enclave. The "band of brothers" motto will acquire a whole new meaning as the number of "gays" increase and the number of normal men decrease.

The friction between "gay" advocates and normal men will cause the establishment to side with the "gays". The normal men will not re-up and word will go out that military life is "gay" friendly and straight unfriendly.

The long decay will set in and years from now, people will be wondering how America's military fell from #1 to somewhere under France.

Mark this day. It will become the future, one way or another.

Posted by: battleground51 | May 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Capehart ! Obama should LISTEN to the American people !

Now lets REPEAL Obamacare !

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of U.S. voters now favor repeal - its highest level ever.

Posted by: pvilso24 | May 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand where these people get the idea that the military is not a place for discrimination:

1. Marine 10 lbs overweight: Booted
2. Soldier that is blind in one eye: Booted
3. Sailor with a heart condition; Booted
4. Pilot cheats on spouse: Booted
5. Individual that chooses to engage in perverted unatural behavior; Should NEVER serve. If these pervs really wanted to be patriots they would abide by the military's STRICT standards like the rest of us!!!


Need I go on?

Posted by: MoralSailor | May 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen is a company that supports the GOP and tailors its results accordingly. Their methodology is out of date, and purposefully so. And you posters who predict the "homosexualization" of our military if gays are allowed to serve openly seemingly find the gay life so compelling you believe our fighting men will be powerless to resist it. This is called projecting. The comparison to the Vatican's problems unfairly conflates homosexuality with pedophilia. Also, pedophile priests with the full power of the Roman Catholic Church behind them preying on helpless children are a whole different animal than adults serving their country who merely seek an honest and equal standing with their colleagues. Let me also say that all of you right-wing trolls on the WaPo site would benefit from a Remedial English course. Your spelling, grammar, and syntax are awful.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | May 26, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell Don't Pursue.

Posted by: Greent | May 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"The people of the United States don't have a problem with gays in the military -- and neither should you."

Ok - then by that logic - enforce illegal immigration laws to its fullest - protect our borders, repeal Nobamacare - reduce taxes - cut spending, make government smaller....isn't that what the people want??

Posted by: short1 | May 26, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It was World War II. The Nazi German submarines were sinking Allied ships left and right. It was terrible. The Nazi U-boats were communicating their orders using a secret encryption device called "enigma". We couldn't crack the code. We were losing.

Then, a brilliant English mathematician working for the Brits figured it out. He cracked the enigma code, we were able to listen in on the U-boat communications, learned where they were, and sank them!

It was a turning point in the war. We could not have mounted the Allied invasion if the U-boats were sinking the armada. Many say that if it weren't for that mathematician, we might have lost the war.

His name was Alan Turing. He was gay. After the war, he was thanked for his service by being arrested for committing "homosexual acts" which were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time. He was forced to undergo hormonal "treatments". He lost his security clearance. He died two years later, a broken man.

That's what hatred of gay people can do.

On September 10th, 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown formally apologized and described Turing's treatment as "appalling". He said, "On behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better."

Mark my words, 50 years from today people will be wondering what all the fuss was about, shaking their heads, and issuing their own proclamations that they gay servicemen of today "deserved so much better."

Posted by: Len_RI1 | May 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I repeat: The American military is the best in the world. Why would any fool fool with that by conducting frivolous, social experimentation on behalf of a tiny fraction of the US population, namely homosexuals?

It's a thing only radical liberals would perpetrate on America. Obama specializes in forcing unpopular programs down the throat of America. It's crazy!

Obama seems to be striving to be a one term president. So far, he's doing a bang-up job.

Posted by: battleground51 | May 26, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand where these people get the idea that the military is not a place for discrimination:

1. Marine 10 lbs overweight: Booted
2. Soldier that is blind in one eye: Booted
3. Sailor with a heart condition; Booted
4. Pilot cheats on spouse: Booted
5. Individual that chooses to engage in perverted unatural behavior; Should NEVER serve. If these pervs really wanted to be patriots they would abide by the military's STRICT standards like the rest of us!!!


Need I go on?

_______________

I agree

How about we test every single soldier coming back from leave to see if they engaged in what many would call perverse behavior - Many I am sure have used hookers, and many may have had anal sex. How about BDSM? Is that perverted for you because I know of quite a number of soldiers when I was in the military who told lofty stories regarding their little sex games.

So are these people following the strict code of military discipline. The problem is that you have no idea of what you speak. If there is a flaming gay guy - sure he is not meeting the standards of the military. But neither are the loser who tried to pick me up on leave (female officer) or who used crude and foul language around me.

I would like to think that our military is full of professionals. I also know that when the chips are down, no one asked me whether I was gay or straight when it came to me saving their or their buddies life (I served 20 years as a physician surgeon). And I doubt that many of the people that I worked on would care, BECAUSE I WAS PROFESSIOANL IN MY SERVICE>

And if you had a problem with me serving my country, then that is on YOU, not on the many wonderful men and women, gay and straight, black, white, brown, hispanic, asian or whatever who view their jobs as serving their country and not to serve as a political whipping post.

Posted by: racerdoc | May 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, gays will absolutely destroy the military with deviant behavior. Get over yourselves!! Who commits most of the rapes, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes in the military? STRAIGHT MEN. Who are the main perpetrators of racism and sexism in the military? STRAIGHT MEN. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Middle-Easterners, Jews, Muslims, and women (both gay and straight) have been serving their country honorably and successfully for decades and all the while putting up with crap from knuckle-dragging, fear mongering, right-wing good ol' boys like you. The military has evolved...it's time for you to do the same.

Posted by: jdcinarlington | May 26, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart: Listen to the American people and the American fighting man. Homosexuals are not wanted in the same bunk-house, tent, shower with soldiers. If they come into the military, swish around and start the staring...I'm afraid there will be violence.

Posted by: wjc1va | May 26, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

wjc1va, thank you for emphasizing my point with your "fighting man" comment.

And if they gays in the "bunk-house, tent, shower with soldiers" aren't swinshing and staring now, what makes you think they will start? I think gay men are smart enough to know better.

You straight guys REALLY need to get over yourselves. The gays aren't as into you as you might think.

Posted by: jdcinarlington | May 26, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't Ask . . . Don't Tell . . . Don't Care . . . Don't Bring it to the Office -- let's end anyone's concern with your sexuality by making it a non-issue in the workplace!

Posted by: RBCrook | May 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

What a load of liberal bull this is. Poll questions designed to get desired results are to blame here.
Most Americans are against the homosexualization of America's military. Homosexuals cruising the barracks for action is not a pretty picture. Just ask the Pope how that worked out for his Catholic Church. Those little choir boys were dropping like flies.
In making homosexuals the norm for our armed services, they are taking the risk of ruining the best military in the world.
Why would any patriotic American do this. It's surely not broken so why try to fix it for the sake of a tiny minority of sexually disoriented malcontents???
____________________________

What a bunch of hateful, ignorant, right-wing Christian crap. Polls show that the majority of Americans support lifting the ban. Thirty four countries including Israel, allow homosexuals in their military. What you are essentially saying is that American heterosexual men that currently serve are so insecure with their sexuality that they couldn’t handle it as opposed to men of other countries like Israel. Are you saying they are better than us? Your claims of deterioration of the military is just as hateful and ridiculous as those who were opposed to racial integration long ago.

As to your comments regarding the Catholics and the problems, studies that have been done by those other than the Family Research Council do not find that homosexuals are any more prone to being pedophiles than heterosexuals. The fact that most are boys is because those are the ones they have access to. You know how they don’t allow girls to be altar boys. In fact, the only thing that they really have in common other than being male would be that they are Christian. Of course it would be wrong of me to assume that all Christians are pedos. So why don’t you just get over the fact that you lost this part of the culture war.

Posted by: Vocatus | May 26, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

75% of who agreed that the don't ask don't tell policy be repealed. I've spent 25 years in the military and I'll tell you one thing there are rules that everybody has to abide by in the military. If you enter the military and lie to get in you are discharged, homosexuals are not allowed to openly serve, before the don't ask don't tell policy the military did ask, well I'll tell you one thing some personnel must have lied( and have been kicked out) I for one would be ashamed to call myself a vet of the pink brigade. Poll smoll they didn't ask me. Of course if I had never served why would I care if gays serve it doesn't effect me. I think there's more pressing issues that need to be address instead of wasting time with this crap.

Posted by: robertblanford | May 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

What happens in Village People songs isn't necessary real life.

"We want you as a new recruit" Not

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | May 27, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you can get Jack Chick to do you a comic book on gays in the military. As possibly off the mark he is about the Catholic church, it could fit in.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | May 27, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan

Do your duty to Newspaper and Country as you assume the position and demonstrate to all readers the latest, "Don't Ask Just Yell" recruiting slogan of the Military. "Please Sargent Major in Deeper" !!

BTW on the Politico Round Table this morning its 2 announcements........

Pelosi's Husband has just invested in an Anal Lubricant Supplier that will be sole supplier to the Military !! And, Who says Socialists dont know how to make money ???

And Politico is announcing that our Head Judical Lesbo will lead a Recruiting Tour for the Military's New "Don't Ask Just Yell" on College Campuses around the country as she embraces the Military !!

Isn't Life Wonderful in the USA ??

Posted by: pleasingshareman | May 28, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like having your bunker re-decorated and fixed up real nice when you return from a 3 day patrol! Ahhhhh Home Sweet Home
Does make you feel strange as to now you not only have to worry who is in front of you, you now have to worry who is behind you!

Posted by: usmc1969 | May 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Is being gay or lesbian a choice or don't these people have a choice in this matter. If it were a natural thing to do then wouldn't it be common in the animal world to see this same situation to? I am serious by aasking if this something that can't be avoided by some people or do these people just choose to be in relationships with the same sex person.

Posted by: randykree | June 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Morale in our armed forces is low - suicide rates are at a very high rate and the gays want to serve openly which will add further stress for someone coming into the military wondering if they are going to be hit on by a superior who doesn't share their sexual orientation.

This is a no-brainer. Keep things the way they are - its hard enough servicing in the military as it is without that kind of nonsense.

Posted by: agapn9 | June 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

randykree--orientation is NOT a choice.


Why would people chose to lead lives that would cause them to be humiliated, harrassed, beaten, and given unequal rights?

DADT allows for the firing of someone solely based on their orientation-- its the only industry/career field where that is legal.

Posted by: annamolly | June 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

During the defense authorization bill debate, the House adopted this amendment that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell". The draft of the Senate Version of the Authorization Bill Contains A Similar Provision. We should do everything possible to help our military men and women by contacting our senator's from voting in favor of any bill with the Repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell.

This congress would not even wait until Secretary of Defense Michael Gates turned in his report on this issue due in December. The six-member Joint Chiefs of Staff, which includes the head of each of the service branches oppose this repeal of Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy, however Gates gave into President Obama. Their commander and chief is more interested in votes than doing what is right.

With our country engaged in two wars our military men and women as well as their families are already making enormous sacrifices for us. They live with danger 24/7. What they have to endure with just the temperatures and terrain alone is more then most men could endure. Many have been deployed multiple times. For the US Congress to add to their stress, discomfort and infringe on their morale in order to appease the secular progressives is disgraceful. If this repeal is passed into law, you can be sure that the military brass will be faced with how to deal with the confrontations that will occur among the troops the first time a gay makes a crude gesture or remark to a straight person. Have you ever seen a homosexual parade? They hold back nothing.

How would Senator Reid or HS Pelosi feel if their son or daughter had to undress or shower with some gay glaring at them openly? For the love of God, is their no decency at all left in our Congress? I know there is none left in this White House.

Posted by: takebackamerica1 | June 2, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

As for the ABC/News Poll on this issue the only people who watch ABC News are Democrats and radical Progressives. Their rating are at the the bottom and the majority of Americans watch Fox News. So what is your point Capehart?

Posted by: takebackamerica1 | June 2, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

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