Don't Ask Don't Tell

Gays In The Military

Gays In The Military

…..Guest blogger Yoko Grosshans brings us up to date on the continuing political hot potato involving “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”……..

“Gay men have had a very difficult time finding acceptance alongside their comrades in the military. It begs the question; if a man proclaims to be gay, why is he deemed incapable of defending our country? Is it the “effeminate” nature of some gay men that has been exhibited or forced to be proclaimed? If that is the case, why are women allowed to serve in the military?
This brings the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act” into continual play. A law passed by Congress in 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton. It is exactly what it states; don’t ask about one’s sexual orientation and don’t divulge information about one’s sexual orientation.
James Pietrangelo II knows all too well about this act and its effects. The former Army infantryman and lawyer was booted from the military after fighting in Iraq in 1991. He returned as a JAG officer in the second war in Iraq and was preparing to return for his third combat tour in 2004, when he openly declared that he was gay. After many appeals the Supreme court is declining to review his case.
President Barack Obama has stated numerous times that he would overturn the act, but thus far no changes have been made. In fact, the Obama administration in its brief last month supported a lower court ruling, stating they acted accordingly in upholding the gay ban! What’s even more suprising and somewhat baffling is that a recent Gallup poll found that most conservatives and churchgoers now support gay men and women to serve openly in uniform, yet still no action has been taken to change the law to date.
It doesn’t seem to make sense that because of a person’s sexual orientation, they should be denied their rights to defend our country. Just when one thinks we have made such great progress in this land of hope, a non-sensical issue such as this arises and makes one question how much progress we have actually made.”

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One Response to “Don't Ask Don't Tell”

  1. Phinneas Says:

    I think the issue with gay men in the military has far less to do with the gay men in question and far more to do with the homophobic straight and latent gay guys they’re grouped up with. These are the ones who I think have the issues such as distraction, hang-ups, harassment, etc. that is detrimental to the job at hand. Personally I believe the negative reactions are just classic fears of the unknown since many of these guys haven’t had any real exposure to the gay community – but have instead had their heads filled up with crap their whole lives. Although there will of course be friction along the way, what better way to educate and advance these sheltered ones than by the exposure of close quarters and the camaraderie of combat? Was it any different when blacks first integrated, or women for that matter? Growing pains, sure, but then they learn and bring that back with them and teach their kids differently than they were taught because they know better, having fought alongside some seriously tough badass gay dudes who never, as it turned out, tried to play games in the shower.

    As for the conservatives now supporting it, I’m inclined to be cynical and feel that since the U.S. military isn’t doing as well as hoped over there, these folks are taking the stance of allowing the gays to participate so they can be cannon fodder. Remember, these are the same geniuses who believed that AIDS was sent by God to wipe out gay men and who want to see health care fail because they can’t stand to see a black president succeed.