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Virginia members of vets activist group urges repeal of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

Rosalind Helderman

The battle over the possible repeal of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy for gay service members is heating up, in Virginia and elsewhere.

Today, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an activist group opposed to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," delivered a letter to Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) signed by 20 Virginia military women, urging Webb to support an overturn of the policy. "There is no evidence that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will harm unit cohesion, just as there was no evidence that allowing women and minorities to serve would do so. To the contrary, we have seen from our own experiences that it is dishonesty that hurts unit cohesion - not the sexual orientation of our brothers- and sisters-in-arms," they write.

Webb has endorsed the approach of the current military leadership, which is now conducting an reexamination of the military's policies for gay service members. Advocates, like the legal defense network, are trying to move more quickly and get "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repealed as an amendment to the defense budget currently under consideration.

Meanwhile, there is also action from opponents of changing the policy today. The well-known Coral Ridge Ministries today distributed a letter urging Congress to leave the policy alone.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 24, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  James Webb , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Who is the Coral Ridge Ministries, and why do they want to continue discrimination in the US military?

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | May 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

DUMP ALL DEMOCRAPS IN 2010.
PS: Isn't Helderman A Lesbian?

Posted by: djmcfly | May 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Cross dressing drill sergeants? I'm betting on the Taliban

Posted by: twharvey1 | May 24, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

For those who believe that "Gay" or homosexuality is somehow some newly discovered modern "deviant" life style, I offer the following from the historical record: (Our modern marine corps aspires to these ethics of a "band of brothers" committed one to the other by an unbreakable bond of love and mutual respect.)

Example: two mismatched armies fight against each other. One side is clearly superior, but the other side has a trump card, an elite unit of 300 magnificent soldiers. Alas, even they cannot save the day for the weaker party, and as the superior opponents prevail they fall, and at the end of the day 254 are dead, and 46 were wounded.
The victorious general, moved to tears by the valor of these 300, exclaims: "Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly". All 254 are laid to rest in a monumental tomb, surmounted by a memorial that still stands today. What made the unit so special? As the historian Plutarch writes, any unit "cemented by friendship grounded upon love, is never to be broken, and is invincible; since the lovers, ashamed to be somehow base in sight of their beloved, and the beloved before their lovers, willingly rush into danger for the relief of one another." The 300 elite soldiers formed the "sacred band" of Thebes - 150 couples of male homosexual lovers -defeated in 338 BC at Chaeronia by Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the great.
The sacred band was the most admired and feared military unit of its age, and put into practice what Plato had theorized: "If there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour..! For what lover would not choose death rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms... Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?"

Perhaps this will cause some with any severe "prejudice" to do a little rethink, as to the common sentiment of the men on the front lines defending our world, and our civilization, and which is seemingly expressed by all combatants through so many sad wars, that they always only thought of their unit first and to protect their brother soldiers. It was never about any other cause, but to see each other as a "band of brothers", home safely to their kingdoms. We do them a disservice, to even consider any action that would bring such dishonorable temper to that belief and that essential bond!

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

I think I'd be more worried about how the next guy does his job, and how he watches my back, than what excites him, and whether he was also watching my butt.

Do your job right, keep your hands to yourself, do what you want to when you're off duty.

Posted by: FreeRoy | May 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Coral Ridge Ministries is a Christian Church located in Florida; and they are a group of very devoted and patriotic Americans.

As for Plutarch’s comments, he was just as wrong then as the homosexual lobby is today. The American armed forces are unique organizations; and we have a duty to maintain the operational readiness of these forces.

If you are familiar with homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders, you will find that they are "always" on the prowl for sex partners. Their attention is directed on sex and sex partners continually; and this attention to sex is in direct contrast to good conduct, order and discipline. Moreover, the distraction of this issue by our heterosexual men and women in uniform will be unnerving and their moral will plummet, rendering them significantly less effective in every area of their responsibilities.

Posted by: marinervn6971 | May 24, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Gee, twenty (20) Virginia military women... imagine that!
I'm with former Marine (and Silver Star recipient) Jim Webb -- look closely at the issue before moving ahead. The basic mission of the armed forces is to "conduct prompt and sustained combat operations," and I'm not sure how this issue makes that easier or more likely to be successful.

As for Ms. Helderman, PLEASE move to Montgomery County and get out of Virginia matters....

Posted by: JMACSR | May 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

PS In a wiser time we used a more accurate and less PC term to describe "activists" -- AGITATORS.

Posted by: JMACSR | May 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@marinervn6971... You posted this........"If you are familiar with homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders, you will find that they are "always" on the prowl for sex partners"

Since you are so familiar and I am not, could you please explain this? My understanding, and given the ages of our young men and women in uniform, is that they are all constantly sexually hyperactive? It is by my recollection, somewhat of a preoccupation with all genders in that age group? I believe it is also considered normal? What is your point in this case? I think I hear a fundamentalist creed being posited as fact? I prefer Plutarch's commentary. It appears eminently less bigoted?

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

It is kind of fun to talk about Plutarch in the midst of this debate, but I think the saga of the 300 is distinguishable because in that particular case, homosexual conduct was compulsory. Every warrior was required to choose a lover. I wonder if this is a next step to improve our fighting force? And while I am a classicist and a soldier, I don't think this is the critic’s intent. In my opinion, most soldiers really don't care who you sleep with. But, they are tired of the constant parade of lawyering and political correctness that has taken over the combat arms and see this as just another opportunity to be bludgeoned with more of the same propaganda. If you could have gays without the PowerPoint, I bet more soldiers would be in favor of the change.

Posted by: duchamp_98 | May 25, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

marinervn6971 wrote:

If you are familiar with homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders, you will find that they are "always" on the prowl for sex partners. Their attention is directed on sex and sex partners continually; and this attention to sex is in direct contrast to good conduct, order and discipline. Moreover, the distraction of this issue by our heterosexual men and women in uniform will be unnerving and their moral will plummet, rendering them significantly less effective in every area of their responsibilities.
--------
In response to this obviously biased statement, I will say that in my 20 years of active duty in the US Navy. The above statement would have been better applied to all the members of most of the commands that I was posted to. Including the "Heterosexuals", both Male and Female. As a matter of fact the individuals that you slight with your baseless statement, tended to be a whole lot more faithful to their lovers then the "Heteros." In closing, I would like to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart to my fellow "Brothers and Sisters" in arms. Without your service to this country, the Nay Sayers would not have the liberty to say the hateful and deceiving things they do. Once again, Thank You.

Posted by: swiftone | May 25, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

duchamp_98..... Your interpretation of the factual history of the Thebes 300 and your "forced to choose a lover" statement is lacking in definition......If your are a student of the classical form as you mention, then you should be better versed in the actual demands of the time, as regards the entirety of that society, and the significant same sex relationships at all levels, which were considered normal and socially essential.
There was in fact no force involved, but what was a required "consensual commitment" to ones brother in arms. The intimacy between consensual partners remained very much a private matter. Upon the battle field however, it became essential for the 300, to declare openly their love for their partner, and in this manner the Phalanxes of defence and attack were formed, so that at each others shoulder could always be found an intimate...... Seems eminently sensible upon reflection don't you think? In any event, their love for each other was unquestioned and became as a result, a symbol and reason for their strength as a unit.

Posted by: jmconvey | May 25, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Webb is a closet Rethug and needs to go in 2012 - Webb is a disgrace and bigot. Remember today and support ANYTHING else other than him/it

Posted by: mjcc1987 | May 28, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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