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Don’t Lie, Don’t Misinform

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By Julia Rosen

The right is incredibly effective at spreading lies and distortions in an attempt to stop change and reform. That’s why it is crucial that the truth gets out about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, especially when we have seen the enormous damage done to attempts at reforming health care, the banking industry and many more. The Courage Campaign proudly signed on to a letter and a great piece of research from Media Matters debunking a number of myths that the right is spreading in an attempt to stop the repeal of DADT.

The letter is below the fold, and was also signed by AMERICAblog’s John Aravosis, GLAAD’s Jarrett T. Barrios, Human Rights Campaign’s Joe Solmonese, Knights Out’s Becky Kanis, Media Matters’ President Eric Burns, National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Kate Kendall, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Rea Carey, National Security Network’s Heather Hurlburt, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Aubrey Sarvis, Servicemembers United’s Alex Nicholson, Truman National Security Project’s Rachel Kleinfeld, VoteVets’ Jon Soltz, and last but not least our friend and yours, Lt. Dan Choi, US Army Infantry Officer and Arabic Linguist. It’s not all that often that all of these folks sign on to the same letter and it is a testament to the excellent resource produced by Media Matters and importance of pushback on the lies.

Here are a few of the myths and links to sources that debunk the claims. I urge all of you to help spread around the accurate information whenever you see someone making an inaccurate statement about DADT.

MYTH: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is working

REALITY: Over 13,500 service members reportedly fired under law, including decorated officers and those in “critical occupations.”

MYTH: Repeal would undermine morale and unit cohesion

REALITY: Unit cohesion argument “not supported by any scientific studies.”

MYTH: Military experts oppose the repeal of DADT

REALITY: More than 100 retired generals and admirals have called for DADT’s repeal.

MYTH: The public does not support repeal of DADT

REALITY: Numerous polls find broad support for gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military

MYTH: Right-wing attacks on DADT repeal are not anti-gay

REALITY: Prominent right-wing figures opposing repeal have a history of anti-gay rhetoric.

MYTH: DADT repeal would adversely affect retention

REALITY: Myth defies experiences of several other countries that have allowed gay men and lesbians to serve openly.

MYTH: Experience of other nations aren’t relevant because “nobody counts on” their armies

REALITY: Several nations have fought in wars after allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly.

MYTH: Only progressives support the repeal of DADT

REALITY: Polls show support for repeal of DADT among many Republicans, conservatives.

MYTH: DADT repeal would expose servicemembers to greater HIV risk

REALITY: Military regulations and procedures already exist to prevent the spread of HIV.

And here is the letter.

Interested Parties:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has announced he will be the chief sponsor of legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. The proposed repeal signifies a crucial step forward in the long-overdue process of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve honestly and proudly in the United States armed services.

Since its inception, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law has resulted in the firing of at least 13,500 servicemembers and has reportedly cost the military an estimated $555.2 million. Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly has proven successful for many of our closest allies and enjoys broad support in the United States among the public and top military leaders alike, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and former Joint Chiefs Chairmen Gen. Colin Powell and Gen. John Shalikashvili.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell proponents too often paint a distorted picture of what a repeal would mean. Today, Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review detailing how opinion pages and cable news talk shows have been flooded with falsehoods and anti-gay rhetoric to support the dubious argument that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is working.

Myths that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would adversely affect unit cohesion, retention, or the HIV rate among servicemembers are not based in reality. Similarly, the anti-gay rhetoric permeating many of these arguments only serves to cheapen the national discussion on this important issue.

Because news outlets continue to repeat these outrageous myths, a coalition of organizations is banding together to combat misinformation about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. As Congress moves forward on this legislation, we will be vigilant in ensuring that news reports are accurate and fair. The public deserves an honest debate — not one marred by blatant falsehoods and anti-gay attacks.

Signed,

AMERICAblog
John Aravosis, Editor

Lt. Dan Choi
US Army Infantry Officer and Arabic Linguist, West Point Graduate, Openly Gay and still serving

Courage Campaign
Rick Jacobs, Founder & Chairman

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Jarrett T. Barrios, President

Human Rights Campaign
Joe Solmonese, President

Knights Out: West Point LGBT Grads
Becky Kanis, Chair

Media Matters for America
Eric Burns, President

National Center For Lesbian Rights
Kate Kendell, Executive Director

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Rea Carey, Executive Director

National Security Network
Heather Hurlburt, Executive Director

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director

Servicemembers United
Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director

Truman National Security Project
Rachel Kleinfeld, CEO & President

VoteVets
Jon Soltz, Co-Founder & Chairman

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85 Comments

  • 1. Straight Grandmother  |  February 24, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I agree repealing DADT is important but this issue already has wide support. While SS marriage does not. More important to me is SS marriage as that is for every LGBT person. DADT only directly affects those LGBT's who were, or are, in the Military.

    Don't get me wrong, it is another battle to be fought and won and an importatn one, but it is not as important as the civil right to marry the person of your choice.

  • 2. PDXAndrew  |  February 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I get a kick (to the gut) out of the "DADT repeal would expose servicemembers to greater HIV risk" myth.

    Please correct me if my logic is flawed.

    If a serviceman/woman is hiding their sexuality to keep their job, it would seem logical that they wouldn't go to gay bars or gay-dating sites to find a date, and wouldn't go to a gay-friendly restaurant for a date.
    Instead, he/she is more likely, one could assume, to get what sex they could on the sly… Some anonymous trick in a back alley, or a quick hookup in an adult shop. Nothing stable or monogamous.
    These clandestine rendezvous, I would imagine, are much more risky for STDs.

    Thus, by forcing brave serviceprople to slink around, it seems the barracks are MORE at risk of HIV infection.

    And let's not forget the implied homophobic message that HIV is a gay-only disease. That is so contrary to medical science. 'Nuff said.

    love, Andrew

  • 3. Bill  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

    SORRY, OFF TOPIC, BUT BIG BIG BREAKING NEWS

    Effective IMMEDIATELY folks!!!! Effective IMMEDIATELY!!!!
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2010/0

    Yay us!!!

  • 4. Richard W. Fitch  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Straight Grandmother, I have to disagree with you on this. DADT(DP) is basically systemic of the entire animus underlying all hatred, distrust, dislike, whathaveyou of the LGBT citizens of the US. Many of us have/do spend much of our professional careers and personal lives multi-tasking. This is no different. Overturning DOMA, Prop 8 and other mobocracy actions of 'separate but equal' for gays is critical, but the visibility of DADT both as a national issue and a statement on the international landscape is imperative. There is the boast that the US military is the finest in the world, yet 13,500 of the nation's finest have been shamed simply because they want to serve their fellow countrymen, but are also gay. Lt Dan Choi is such an excellent example – a West Point graduate, a proficient Arabic linguistic ostracized simply because he is 'hardwired' to be attracted to other men then to women. You are making many valued contributions to these discussions, so this is not meant to offend, just to ask that you give further consideration.
    <3 rwf

  • 5. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:07 am

    In a way, though, Straight Grandmother, the repeal of DADT will actually enhance our efforts to gain the proper LEGAL rights to marry, as this will let people see that we have only one difference from straights, and that difference does not impair our abilities to perform the same jobs with he same level of valor as straights. So the repeal of DADT will actually be another blessing on the way to ssm being legal throughout the nation.

  • 6. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Also, PDXAndrew, when you have to lie about being LGBTQQI, you ar LESS likely to be tested for HIV, and therefore pose a greater risk of transmitting it. After all, if you can be fired for being LGBTQQI, you are certainly not going to have a blood test that by its very nature could be used to out you.

  • 7. Bill  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I bguess we are back to the, 'HIV is a gay disease' bullshit again.

    I was wondering when they would start using that one.

    You know, the heterosexual's capactiy to bury their head in the sand as far as HIV is concerned may be part of the reason that they are responsible for 2/3 of all new cases. Statistics, while terrifying, do not lie.

    Pass this on to everyone you know:
    http://www.avert.org/worlstatinfo.htm

  • 8. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Personally, while I applaud the efforts of this open letter, I still feel it will fall on deaf ears. People who already harbour these sentiments will not see it (as they only go to websites that support their own views), and even if they do see it, they will deny it and call it another propaganda machine of the gay agenda. Some people simply don't want to change, and that's the biggest hurdle we have to face in this entire movement.

    So, I guess the ultimate question is… what happens when an unstoppable force (glbt rights) meets an immovable object (deep-seeded homophobic bigotry)?

    My mind is boggling :p

    But seriously though, I feel that this is just preaching to the choir. But then again, even the choir needs to be reminded occassionally to keep the faith.

    Group hug. <3

  • 9. Sheryl Carver  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I agree, the DIRECT impact of repealing DADT will be on current & former service personnel AND their families. However, it will be important also because this will be a FEDERAL level law. Unlike pro-SSM laws/rulings which have so far been only at sate level.

    The military frowns on businesses that discriminate against servicemen/women & can make them off-limits. Once LGBTs can serve openly, all businesses in areas with a large military presence will find it's in their best interest to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, even if their state laws allow it.

    And if 2 gay soldiers get married in a state where it's legal, the military & federal government are going to have an even harder time trying to reconcile DOMA & treating those soldiers the same as heterosexual married soldiers, regardless of where they may be currently stationed.

    So while the repeal will not have a direct impact, it will ultimately have a very strong one.

    Love, Sheryl

  • 10. Sheryl Carver  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

    That should be "state level" not "sate level" – sorry.

  • 11. Bill  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I think you should take a look at the letter as more of a gesture than as a 'tactic.'

    It would be rather odd for our organizations to say NOTHING, wouldn't it.

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as far as I know, does not yet apply to civilian life.

    I would rather they speak than be silent.

    Wouldn't you?

  • 12. PDXAndrew  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:43 am

    AMEN. For LENT this year, I'm giving up being siLENT.

  • 13. G. Rod  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Grandma; let me rephrase your comment: repealing DADT is another building block that could be taken down.
    The truth is one will not know where the next opportunity will arise. Being prepared to support each build towards the civil rights you endorse.
    I have included a link to the opinion of the Maryland AG, which the Governor says will have immediate effect. Taken together with the likelihood that Congress will not act in the next week vs à vs DC, these three affirmative actions are a building blocks to the goal of all who place comments on this site – minority civil rights. They give hope!
    Think global, Act local.

  • 14. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the gesture. But I don't feel we should get our hopes up that this will somehow cause any truly biggoted person to suddenly have an epiphany.

    We can debunk these myths (and they are heinous myths) all day long, but unless people desire to know the truth, they will ignore what they see.

    What I'm asking is: How do we make them see?

  • 15. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Hay, guys, gals, and those who have yet to make up their minds….I had to go pick up my iphone from the geniuses at Apple and food shopping…just read this and one myth stood out to me:

    "MYTH: Experience of other nations aren’t relevant because “nobody counts on” their armies"

    All I can say is WOW!!!….WOAH!!!!…..OMG!!!!……and WTF!!!!…..the ego….I mean seriously its like they are saying, "Nations of the world we are better then you….Nuke of…..IF YOU CAN!!!!"……..pift…..<3…Ronnie

  • 16. G. Rod  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Andrew, Lent requires you to give up something desirous, or take on a work of mercy. I do not think that you find speaking your mind, which you do so well, difficult to so. Suffering views, suxh as my own, might be said to be a work of mercy.

  • 17. Straight Grandmother  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I think if DADT gets repealed before we get to the Supreme Court it will hurt us. Right now we can say we are minority group in need of protection, look at how we are discriminated against in the military. Also in court our experts said that we lack political muscle and need to be protected as whatever that legal word was, a minority. Now, if before we get to the Supreme Court, we win one victory here and one victory there it makes our court case weaker as the Supreme Court can say that we do not need any protections from them, we are doing just fine on our own that we are gaining victories.

    As far as societal changes DADT is BIG, probably bigger than SS marriage. SS Marriage as we all know only really affects the gays, it doesn't really affect anyone else so the change to society won't be that big but the change for gays will be HUGE, much bigger than DADT to them personally (if you are not in the military or want to be).

    If you are in the military and are in love and want to get married I don't know which of these changes would mean more to you. Hopefully somebody who is in that situation will post and enlighten us.

    Changing DADT tomorrow does not give my daughter the right to marry her spouce tomorrow. If I had the magic power I would first enact SSM and then repeal DADT real quick. Put another way, there are more gay people NOT in the military then IN the military so logically SSM is more important.

    Oh and I took no offence whatsoever.

  • 18. Straight Grandmother  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Bill this is really good! My son did not buy a home in Maryland because he felt SSM was coming to DC so he bought there.

  • 19. PDXAndrew  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:20 am

    And yet, does that surprise you? As a nation, USA often stands for Unbelievably Smug Arrogance.

  • 20. Bill  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

    We can not make them see.

    More importantly, it's not our job. We've tried the 'winning hearts and minds' crap for decades. You know what we've won?

    Not equality.

    We need to concern ourselves with the legal aspects of our fight for equality, and we need to stop even participating in ANY MORE REFERENDUMS with these fools. I mean, it wastes ALL of our money, and WE CAN NOT WIN. Not for many years, anyway. I'm not saying that to discourage, but to point out that the only avenue we seem to have left in this country is to plead for mercy from the courts. That's why this trial is so important. It starts OFFICIAL PUBLIC RECORD of our situation and of the unfairness of our legal options as same-sex couples. It can't be rewritten for history books, it is and will forever be the Perry v Schwarzenegger trial. It is, I believe, the beginning of a civil rights act for LGTB Americans. I always held hope that it wouldn't come to that, and that heterosexuals would come to recognize their behavior toward their LGTB offspring for what it was – ABUSE – and that they would reform. But the 'Christians' will never let that happen. Homeschooling exists for a reason, and it ain't a superior math & science program.

    We will never change those people's minds. But more importantly, until we ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO any longer, we aren't really even citizens of this country.

    No other law abiding citizens of this country have to wonder what is going to happen to harm their life everytime this country holds an election.

    It's vile. ANd I don't think we shoud be playing this game with them anymore. Let them pass every f'ing referendum against us they want to. WE'LL SUE THEM AND WE'LL WIN. And we won't be wasting 40 million dollars like we did in California.

    It's time for us to start playing SMART instead of HARD. We CAN choose our battles, and we need to start choosing the ones we can WIN.

    You can't WIN when you're playing with the fundamentalists. Even Jesus couldn't win with them.

    He forgave them. And so will the gays.

    But we need to stop playing their silly game of voting on our rights and simply turn to the court at any and every given opportunity. It is a FAR better use of our money.

  • 21. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

    well i mean I know that but this is like putting it in writing…..<3….Ronnie

  • 22. JonT  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Exactly Andrew…

    Repealing DADT would be a *huge* deal in the march to equality. Another pillar of institutionalized discrimination knocked down. I hope it actually happens, and sooner rather than later. Don't want to wait another year for a 'maybe'.

  • 23. Bill  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I thought it was especially important, because the Attorney General demanded that it be effective right away. Immediately. Now.

    No special studies, no focus groups, no blah, blah, snore…

    It was truly a dignified moral statement that once your eyes have been opened to injustice, it is your responsibility to do whatever is in your power to do to correct it.

    Is there ANYTHING more American than that?

  • 24. PDXAndrew  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Lol, thanks for the compliment. More, I was making a pun out of si-lent. Truth be told, the habits of being in the closet are still very prevalent in my life. For me to out myself at work or with friends or complete strangers is still difficult. But this cause of ours is sooo important — not just for ne personally or my LGBTQQIA friends, but all the people I haven't yet met — I am taking this opportunity to remind myself that I cannot afford to keep silent any longer.

    Love, Andrew

  • 25. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

    hey dopty-daddy…I'll text 2morro….my iPhone needs to be re-synched so it will be plugged in all night

  • 26. PDXAndrew  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Heh… On this site, anything that helps end the eldisvrimination of LGBTQQIA folks is not off topic… About the only thing j can think of was the "look, a puppy" vid a few days ago — but that was SOO needed at that time, it was still a from of healing which is all good :)

    Love, Andrew

  • 27. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Ok O.T. people…just quick I have no idea what is up with youtube it says:

    Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.

    my javascript is fine and I installed the updated AFP like 10 times…what am I missing?……<3…Ronnie

  • 28. Straight Grandmother  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I TOTALLY 100% agree with Bill in post #18

    I have nothing more to add that he didn't state beautifully.

    That is why, when this case gets to the Supreme Court there BETTER be the biggest march on Washingtion since the 1960's. And I'll fly in from France and join you all on the National Mall.

    I think all of the activism in the past was critical to getting us to this point. I am very appreciative of those who marched and shouted since Stonewell (I hope I got that right I'm not an expert on gay history you know). I remember Act UP!

    I forget which country it is, but there is a saying, "I stand on the shoulders of giants" The use of this saying is when you accomplish something big that has been a long struggle long struggle that many people helped with and sacrificed for. You do not take credit for it soley, you respect all those who struggled before you, you stand on the shoulders of giants.

    I think many many many brave giants got us this far but now I am with Bill, for this time, for right now, quit begging, quit working on referendums, put that money into court cases. There are many many many states that do not allow SS couples to adopt. Individules do not have the resources to sue the states for adoption rights, it can only be done when organizations get behind them and pay for the costs. So I am with Bill, how many court cases would 40,000,000 dollars have paid for? And court cases inn every state not jsut California. Bill makes a lot of sense, i'm with Bill.

  • 29. Straight Grandmother  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Little error it is Bill's post #23 I am refereing to above,

  • 30. Richard W. Fitch  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

    [{ I was confident that you wouldn't, just wanted to make my intention explicit. <3 rwf }]

  • 31. Richard W. Fitch  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

    "I stand on the shoulders of giants."
    That great saying is attributted to none other than Sir Isaac Newton, probably a giant in stature to the sum total of all upon whose shoulders he stood. [from WikiQuotes: If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants. ]

  • 32. Sheryl  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I agree with you Richard that repeal of DADT is a step toward people accepting the LGBT community as equal.

    DADT also affects the families and loved ones of the person serving, which makes its repeal even more important.

  • 33. Sheryl  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Never heard that before but oh so appropriate.

  • 34. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Try resetting your browser. If you're using Safari, you can do so from the "Safari" menu. If you're using IE or FireFox, then you should empty your caches, delete cookies, clear history, etc. Then restart the browser.

  • 35. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Yes, Bill, there is. Full equality for LGBTQQIA's in all fifty states and at the federal level, all effective immediately! That is even more American.♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Richard

  • 36. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    yeaaa….It worked….thanks Billy….I'm a total techie…..but these things always draw a blank in my mind….I always forget them….<3….Ronnie

  • 37. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    That works, dopty-son. Looking forward to it. Meantime, don't go getting into battles of wit with unarmed people like Carrie Prejean and the imitation Miss Beverly Hills.♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • 38. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    @Bill:

    I love that attitude. You know, in my American History class, we had to dissect MLK's letter from a Birmingham jail, and one of the parts that really hit home:

    One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

    Do you feel that the glbt movement as a whole has finally reached this point? I personally feel like no politician in office truly has any glbt person's best interests at heart, and none ever will, seeing as how an election is akin to winning a popularity contest. So yes, I believe the next logical evolution to our struggle will be landmark litigation (whether good or bad, at least the record will show what we have to endure).

    By the way, I love your name. :p

  • 39. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    No problem. :p

    Before I started going to school for social work, my previous scholarly pursuit involved computer hardware/software and HTML development. 😀

  • 40. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    @#4. Thank you, Sheryl. As I have mentioned before, my first partner was with the USMC during Vietnam, and was in-country for almost all of his time in the military. We met afterward, and the valor and honor he had in the militry carre over into his treatment of me. Guess tha is part of the eason it took so long for me to find anyone else thatI wanted wth all my heart to marry after Joe died. He really spoiled me by treating me like a real human being. Made it very difficult to stay with others after I discovered that they were only users and losers. And my current husband is also a veteran. In fact, all four of us in this house are veterans–2 USAF, and one each from the Army and the Navy. See, we have ben there for a long time. Now it is time for our families to have the same support network available to them that is available to the other families left behind during deployments.

  • 41. jimig  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    What will happen? remember many of these people are the same people that only a few years ago opposed mixed / racial marriages. What will happen SSM marriages will move on and the bigots will have to hid behind close doors.

    In some cases they will start to openly except their own family members because they will be shamed if they hate them.

  • 42. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Don't feed the models…..heheeh….wouldn't want to confuse the beauty queens whose only ammunition is their looks…although Misshap Beverly Hills doesn't have that to fall back on either….lol…….<3…Ronnie

  • 43. jimig  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    It's been a few years since I served in the military. I shared quarters with a gay man. We became great friends, we drank, we went to strip clubs (not gay). We trained together, worked together and shared lives together. We were good friends.

    He was openly gay to me and towards the end of his career open to others. I was openly hetero. I do not think I ever offended him or made him feel uncomfortible bunking with a strieght man. And he never made me uncomfortable bunking with a gay man.

    Four of us shared the same space we were all great friends, we all new he was gay and we didn't care, he new we were straight and he didn't care. I think it helped him knowing at least one straight man didn't care and it helped me that a gay man didn't care.

    I think it's funny when people are afraid of gays in the military or in general I always think to myself are they afraid or afraid to think they might like men. The men I know who are hetros and secure couldn't give a shit if a man he serves with is gay.

  • 44. christina  |  February 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    i fear there will be more violence in the begining days of the DADT repeal. gay men will be a target, and women will be raped to see "that they really do need a man"

  • 45. jimig  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Christina, I hope you are wrong.

  • 46. Straight Dave  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I agree that repealing DADT will be a significant step forward for SSM marriage, though somewhat indirectly. The military is sacred and macho in this country, and today a source of pride. If LGBTQQI can be accepted there, they must be OK. It would also be a national deal, not some small obscure corner of the country that can easily be ignored. That lowers a lot of the psychological barriers to other rights and acceptance.

    Straight Dave
    SSgt, USAF
    1970-72 Laredo AFB, TX
    1972-74 RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge, UK

  • 47. christina  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    i SOMEWHAT agree with them wanting to do it slowly, for this reason. there should be sensitivity train ing for those who feel they would have the most issue, so they can tackle those said issues

  • 48. Straight Dave  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    We can allow women on submarines, but not gay men?
    I am just fascinated by this. Sociologists and psychologists will be kept busy for years.
    Distraction, sexual tension, privacy, disease, unit cohesion???!!!???!!!
    I guess all that doesn't matter anymore..
    http://www.latimes.com/dp-now_women_on_subs_0326,…

  • 49. Ronnie  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    no…..personally they are suppose to be there to protect or freedoms…and blah blah….If these "macho" guys are so afraid of a Gay man who was already looking at him during DADT……Then I don't feel protected by them at all……it doesn't change the fact that they are gay….all it changes is that they are openly gay….and my tax money is already paying for their education and their PTSD and now I should pay for sensitivity training…so that they can learn who to treat another human being with dignity and respect….oh hell no…their Mamas should taught them that shite……I say take it or leave….nobody wants you anyway.. we promise to serve and protect all freedoms not just whatever the FU<K you choose to Private cry baby…..JMHO….<3…Ronnie

  • 50. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    And Christina, I also think that trying to avoid this very scenario is why the UK military top brass have been meeting with our military top brass for some time about how to achieve a smooth transition with the repeal of DADT. Other than that, all I can say about DAD's reeal is that it is LONG overdue.

  • 51. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    No, straight Dave, it only matters when it is their fantasy that is being disrupted. You see, these "men" have huge fantasies about cornering women in the torpedo rooms of the subs and having their fun there, but they don't want to admit that they have already ben cornering the ones they thought were gay even before now. They just don't want their little secrets to come out. I have been in situations where the ones I had to watch out for in the showers were the same ones who would verbally attack me in public for being openly gay. They seemed t think that if they got me alone in the shower, they could do whatever they wanted and I would remain silent. The onl problem was that I could read them like a cheap dime store novel, and I did so very vocally. I just love outing hypocrites!♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • 52. Richard W. Fitch  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    There already is 'sensitivity training' in place, formally known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. You are no longer 'Joe the Plumber' when you become 'GI Joe'. If you don't/can't conform to the code, you are either penalized or served a dishonorable discharge. With the current all volunteer army, many are there as a stonestepping to future civil and/or military careers. Most would not be willing to risk those opportunities.

  • 53. jimig  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Richard, The same guys grow old and become spokesmen for Focus on the Family.

  • 54. Joe  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Every nation in NATO except the US, Turkey and Portugal (the last one its last legs) allows gays to serve openly in the military. In every country, all of these were foretold. In every country, none of these happened.

    <cite>The report concludes that in foreign militaries, openly gay service members did not undermine morale, cause large resignations or mass “comings out.” The report found that “there were no instances of increased harassment” as a result of lifting bans in any of the countries studied.

    In addition, the report says that none of the countries studied installed separate facilities for gay troops, and that benefits for gay partners were generally in accordance with a country’s existing benefits for gay and lesbian couples.</cite>

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/world/americas/

  • 55. julie mcneil  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    we must fight for equality on all fronts at the same time. to say that one issue is more important than another marginalizes us and divides us. we all need each others support. it should be us all together against people who hate us- not us against each other. we have all that we need together to fight these battles and win!

  • 56. Billy  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Everyone loves puppies.

  • 57. Linda  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I have to admit, this whole issue is so baffling to me it's hard to even know how to comment. The impression I get from all the arguments against the repeal is that they think/assume our straight military personnel are going to go ballistic and cause all kinds of mayhem and violence, or just up and quit the military all together. It isn't the gays they're concerned about; they've been serving just fine for several years. They haven't caused any problems; haven't broken rules or laws. No, it's the straight soldiers that they don't trust.

    That's just wrong! We can trust them with all kinds of lethal weapons; but we can't trust them to work alongside an openly gay soldier. If I were a straight soldier, I would be greatly offended by that hypocrisy.

  • 58. Linda  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    forgot to subscribe

  • 59. John  |  February 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Forgive me if I've missed it, but how do they propose to lift the ban over time?

    First the ultra masculine gay men and über femme lesbians will be allowed?

    Then the masculine gay men and feminine lesbians?

    Then the sort of ambiguous gay men and lesbians?

    Then the flaming gay men and butch lesbians?

    I mean, that's how they did it when they integrated the races in the military, right?

    First the the octaroons were allowed to mix with the whites.

    Followed by the quadroons . . .

    Then the mulattos . . .

    Then the the light-skinned blacks . . .

    Then the darker ones . . .

    Then, finally, the really, really dark ones.

    Bitch, please!

  • 60. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Yes, and they need to take heed to the decal I have on the back of my little Suzuki. It reads, "ALL Families Matter!" And your family is living proof of that. I look forward to the day when this is settled, and children grow up knowing the benefits and joys of full equality.

  • 61. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, and our men and women in uniform are proving them wrong and rising above it. Notice that as Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the JCS, is conducting his town hall meetings with ou servicemen and service women, that he is the one who is having to mention DADT's impending repeal. Our military personnel are telling him that for them it is a non-issue, because they have been serving alongside of LGBTQQI personnel and don't give a flying rat's behind who their fellow service personnel love, they just feel that it is wrong for them to have to lie in order to serve, and also that it is wrong that the families of our LGBTQQI servicemembers do not have the same access to support services that the families of straight military personnel have. So our rank and file servicemen and servicewomen are proving that they CAN be trusted, and that they are better men and women than the people who want us to go back into the closet. And that makes me proud of the men and women who are wearing our military uniforms.

  • 62. Richard Walter (soon  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Actually, John, I think the integration is already in place. All they are doing right now is figuring out, with the help of other military leadership that has BTDT to show them how to implement the strategies and paperwork to grant dependent status to the familiy members who would automatically qualify if the family were headed by a different gendered couple. That is where they seem to have the indecision. That and convincing the lone holdout on the JCS–the COS for the USMC. An he really needs to wake up and smell the cappucino! We have had LGBTQQI's in ALL branches of our military for the entire time we have had a military, even back to the days of the colonial militia units! And there have never been any problems before now. Hell, I remember reading a book that related the experiences of the Rainbow Tribe in the military and on some bases and ships, subs, etc. that were under deployment, some of the unit members who were open were perofrming drag shows for their units! They just want to raise a ruckus now so that they can raise money for trying to shove us back into our prisons of hiding. They are too myopic to see that it is too late. Once the closet doors open, there is no way to turn back!

  • 63. fiona64  |  February 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Christina, one in three female service members will, at some point during her career, be sexually assaulted by a male fellow service member — it doesn't matter whether she is straight or lesbian. I have posted the links to this statistic before.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 64. Linda  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Also, it seems like they're wanting to 'ease into it'. First they'll stop firing LGBT's; that will lead to less reporting of 'out' servicemen/women; that will lead to a higher comfort level for our LGBT servicemen/women, and they won't have to stay so closeted. In other words, it seems like they want to take the teeth out of DADT, so that it becomes pointless, and it won't be any big deal to officially repeal it.

  • 65. John  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I was being facetious. On the other hand, either gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly . . . or they're not.

  • 66. Bill  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:57 am

    She's not.

    Anytime in history that the LGTB community has achieved any gains in terms of civil rights, there is a backlash of violence unleashed toward us.

    It's that haterosexual morality they are all screaming their heads off about.

  • 67. PDXAndrew  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:59 am

    "take the teeth out of [it], so that it becomes pointless"… Just like what Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius do to the Abominable Snow Monster, Bumble, to save Rudolph and…

    :)

    Love, Andrew

  • 68. Bill  |  February 25, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Most important to note here is that in terms of letting women serve on submarines, no 'year long study' was suggested. No public outcry. Nothing of the sort.

    It only points out how discriminatory LGTB citizens are treated in terms of the military.

    Why no intense study on the effects of women in the submarines? Why no outcry from the crazy lady at the Center for Military Readiness??? What about all the sex that will happen on the submarines???

    Blah, blah, snore…

  • 69. Bill  |  February 25, 2010 at 1:04 am

    The military is ALREADY integrated with LGTB citizens.

    Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell requires NOTHING from ANYBODY.

    It only allows LGTB service members to finally live up to their honor code.

  • 70. SEA_Andrew  |  February 25, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this or asked this yet, but is there any research about how our military works with other nations that form NATO?

    If other countries have gay and lesbian service personnel, and if we "jointly" combine for mutual targets (ie: Afghanistan, Iraq, etc:), are we not already serving alongside a diverse military from other NATO members?

  • 71. SEA_Andrew  |  February 25, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Oh – I forgot….

    Love, Andrew

  • 72. K!r!lleXXI  |  February 25, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not just an issue for all those gay servicemen and servicewomen in the military, it's not just an issue for all the people who serve in the military, it's not just an issue for all those families and friends of gay people in the military — it is an issue for each and every gay person living in the USA, for families and friends of all gay people in the USA, for straight allies of gay people in the USA…

    Why? Because there is something behind the whole idea of Don't Ask, Don't Tell — that homosexuality is something immoral and wrong, and it should not be allowed in the military which, apparently, is all about upholding high-moral standards… This is the idea we all have to fight against, not just the policy itself! The idea is what is wrong with this society that hates us so much! The idea is what hurts each and every one of us! The idea is what is standing in our way on the road to full equality and same-sex marriage!

    As long as we have policies and ideas like this one implemented by the government, as long as our employment protections are so easy to rescind by a simple executive order of the Governor, like it was done in Virginia, there is no hope to prove everyone that we deserve marriage equality.

  • 73. Ed-M  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:02 am

    @jimig… WOW!!! 😀 Beautifully spoken! Couldn't have said it better myself! I always thought that the presence of openly gay troops would IMPROVE troop morale and unit cohesion instead of the other way around.

    Another myth bites the dust.

  • 74. Ed-M  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:12 am

    @Richard: Absolutely right! Under the old FDR and Reagan-era bans and DADT, the victim's sexuality was suspect and HE (or SHE) would be put under suspicion, investigated, or processed for discharge simply because he/she filed a seual harassment or physical or sexual assault complaint — when it should be the bashers and predators whjo should have been discharged, and the victim, protected!!!

  • 75. Ed-M  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:27 am

    And the problem is, K!r!lle, is that it's the religious bigots who are promulgating the IDEA that our orientation is wrong and immoral, that we are somehow less deserving of full and equal rights, immunities, privileges, benefits, incidentals and responsibilities, and that somehow it's just and right and good to put OUR RIGHTS,/strong> up for popular vote. And we CAN'T WIN,/strong> against these referenda on OUR RIGHTS.

    And how in the world can we fight these bigots and their lies when the media gives them a platform to spew their BS and puts us and our truths under a cone of silence? It's like fighting out of your weight class with both hands tied behind your back!

  • 76. K!r!lleXXI  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:38 am

    @Ed-M
    I live in Russia, so I have a privilege to compare our countries. And I see how far USA have gone in the past 40 years. It is a slow walk, I'd even say "crawl," like a snail's, but when the direction is right and the destination is in plain sight, you know that someday you will be there! And if you'll have to fight your way towards that destination with both hands tied behind your back, it will only make you stronger when you finally win, and the taste of that win will be like nothing else!

    –Kirill

  • 77. dieter  |  February 25, 2010 at 8:23 am

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Prop. 8 suit closing arguments may be televised

    Thursday, February 25, 2010
    SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a rebuff from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bay Area’s federal judges are again proposing to allow cameras in their courtrooms, a plan that could lead to telecasting of closing arguments in a suit challenging California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

    The U.S. District Court in San Francisco has posted a rule change on its Web site that would allow its judges to take part in a pilot program of airing selected non-jury civil trials. The public comment period began Feb. 4 and ends next Thursday.

    The proposal is the same one Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker adopted in January after a week of overwhelmingly favorable public comment. But the Supreme Court intervened when Walker approved camera coverage of the trial over Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage.

    In a 5-4 ruling, the court – which has refused to telecast its own proceedings – rebuked Walker for shortening the usual comment period.

    The court said it was not deciding whether federal judges could televise trials. But the conservative majority did not cite any public benefit in trial broadcasts, and said any such project should start with a more humdrum case.

    The justices cited statements by Prop. 8’s sponsors that telecasting outside the courthouse would intimidate their witnesses. Sponsors withdrew four of their six scheduled witnesses, all academic experts, when the trial started Jan. 11 and did not reinstate them after the court barred cameras.

    No federal trial in California has ever been shown on television or the Internet. Walker had proposed live, closed-circuit telecasts of the Prop. 8 trial to a few other federal courthouses and a delayed posting on YouTube.

    Testimony in the lawsuit by two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco ended Jan. 27, but Walker postponed scheduling lawyers’ closing arguments until after a final round of briefs, due Friday.

    If his court approves the new rule next week, Walker could allow camera coverage of the arguments along the lines of his previous order, subject to approval by Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/

  • 78. K!r!lleXXI  |  February 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Thank you, Dieter!
    This is great news!
    Fingers crossed!

  • 79. Kathleen  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Seth MacFarlane during appearance on Bill Maher, on subject of DADT:

    “If you’re sitting at home in your undershirt, watching TV, worried about terrorism, and at the same time objecting to the person who’s putting their life on the line so that your family will be protected, then you’re the worst kind of f***ing a**hole there is.”

  • 80. G. Rod  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    The AG's opinion on out-of-state marriages solemnized in others states was an interesting read. Although the AG does not see many other states being in the same situation as Maryland finds itself, he believes the opinion provides a roadmap for same sex couples seeking in state marriages to achieve it through the courts.

  • 81. Don  |  February 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Overturning DADT is not just an issue for GLBTs in the military, but it affects the whole society. The military is an institution that has a large affect on the people that serve. That effect has a secondary effect on their friends, families and coworkers. I think that the work the military did to overcome racism, when the Military was integrated has had a similar large effect. I think we need to work on both at the same time, as well as on other fronts.
    love, don

  • 82. JQ  |  February 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

    The rampant sexual assault of military women is one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Service Women's Action Network.

    Check them out: http://www.servicewomen.org/index.asp

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