Sanity finally prevails on ‘don’t ask’

Now that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military has been repealed, we can reflect on the absurdity of a 17-year official national policy that was effectively to look the other way.

All signs were that the federal courts were going to strike down this dubious policy if Congress didn’t act first.

Given that, and the fact that the the Pentagon’s own study showed that a large majority of troops see no problem with allowing openly gay people to serve, it would be foolish for opponents to try to drag out the inevitable.

If we really care about the morale of our troops, the way to go is a smooth and measured implementation with plenty of education along the way.

It was sad to see opponents waving their arms and spouting tired arguments about how allowing gays to serve is a threat to combat troops — the same arguments that were once made about allowing military service by blacks, Japanese Americans and women.

It made no sense to to deny any of these classes of willing, law-abiding Americans the right to join in defending their country. Chalk this up as a victory for national sanity as much as gay rights.

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6 Comments on “Sanity finally prevails on ‘don’t ask’”

  1. charles Says:

    I’m amazed that the majority of the troops didn’t have a problem with this. I’m sure this was persuasive to some.

    Makes you wonder what would have been the result if Truman had asked the troops if it was okay to have Blacks serving in the military.

  2. Michael Says:

    Knowing how Muslims hate Gays, it would be a reason to attack American Troops assuming that all American Soldiers are Gay.

    “I didn’t know, they all look the same in uniform. I couldn’t ask and they won’t tell. I don’t speak American”. says the opposition.

    If Gays become a Majority, then things will be different, until then I would just say Pandora’s box has been opened.

  3. Teddy Freddy Says:

    And why might I ask is it only now ok to “reflect on the absurdity”? If more people would have had the courage to speak out boldly (more than just reflect) on the aburdity earlier then this absurd policy may have ended years ago.

  4. Kolea Says:

    Dave,

    We agree it is good this policy is finally over. The United States is continuing to take baby steps towards tolerance, albeit behind most other “advanced industrial” countries.

    But you either miswrote or you misunderstand the actual DADT policy. You describe it as:

    “a 17-year official national policy that was effectively to look the other way.”

    If only that were an accurate description of the truth. That was the NAME of the policy, and Bill Clinton says that was his original understanding of how it would be carried out. A gay service member would be free to be gay off-base, going to gay bars, even gay rights rallies, provided they did not wear their uniform. On-base, they were expected to “maintain” order with no overt gay behavior and not “flaunting” their sexuality. If they didn’t TELL their colleagues, their superiors wouldn’t ASK about their sexual orientation.

    On paper, that may have seemed like a reasonable compromise: “what you do in your private time is YOUR business, but don’t bring it into the job place.”

    But in practice, active investigations were launched against gay and lesbian service members, digging into their private lives in search of evidence which was clearly NOT on display. Emails and Facebook accounts were scoured, private, off-base housing was searched, off-base neighbors were questioned. More gays and lesbians were fired under the policy than before its adoption.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the brass did NOT “look the other way” under DADT. Now, maybe, they will.

  5. Kolea Says:

    After posting that comment, I recognize I am replicating the bad logic of the DADT policy. Gays should not have to hide their sexual orientation any more than heterosexuals. “Tolerance” based upon hiding one’s identity is still oppressive and dishonest.

    Whatever rules govern overt displays of affection or sexuality of heterosexuals should apply equally to gay service members. If gays can tolerate openly straight colleagues, maybe straight colleagues can (eventually) be mature enough to accept gay colleagues?

  6. Michael Says:

    “Numbah One day of Christmas, my tutu give to me One mynah bird in one papaya tree.”


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