The most recent update, (Source: Washington Blade) has most people clamoring the isles of the United States Capitol with anticipation as it was announced, that, on the 23rd of this month the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee will begin to hear testimony by Military members and other on the effects of the 1993 "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) Policy. According to other news reports this will be the first time in over fifteen years that the actual policy undergoes an evaluation process. Some of the more notable witnesses invited to testify are: former Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, who is gay and the first Service member wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and former Air Force Captain Cholene Espinoza, a lesbian. In the same week that the Congressional policy review and oversight was announced four retired Generals issued their findings on this historically discriminative policy with some outstanding results.
Ex-US generals want gays to serve openly
By Karin Zeitvogel
Four former US generals have joined a growing call to end a policy barring homosexuals from openly serving in the military, after a study showed it was out of step with the times and harming the armed forces. The retired officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps found in a year-long study that the 15-year-old policy, which allows gays to serve in the military only if they do not reveal their homosexuality, "is not working."Another random poll (unfortunately with a really small sample of constituents) by the Washington Times and American Broadcasting Company News Service reported on two days ago finds that 75% of Americans feel that said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the United States Armed Forces. The survey also revealed some other interesting numbers.
"The military is losing critical talent and it's requiring some members to serve with a unique disadvantage in that they can't be honest with their peers," Nathaniel Frank, a senior research fellow at the Michael D. Palm research center in California, which commissioned the study, told AFP on Tuesday. The Pentagon policy -- called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- is mandated by a congressional statute passed under president Bill Clinton in 1993 and replaced a blanket ban on homosexuals serving in the military. The "Don't Ask" part of the policy means military recruits can no longer be questioned about their sexual orientation; "Don't Tell" means that, as long as they don't reveal their homosexuality, through words or actions, they may continue to serve.
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Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith insisted that sexual conduct, not sexual orientation, was the criterion on which gay service members could be excluded from the military. "The law establishes the basis for separation from the armed forces as conduct, not orientation. Our policy reflects the law, ie no military member is discharged due to his or her sexual orientation," Smith said in a statement emailed to AFP... the Pentagon will "follow congressional direction on homosexual conduct."
The study indicated otherwise.
"According to a report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, nearly 800 people with skills deemed 'mission-critical' by the Pentagon have been dismissed" under the policy, it said. The study also found that around 1,000 men and women were discharged from the military each year as a direct result of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and that "3,000 would likely have stayed in the military if they could have served openly."
(source: AFP 9th July, 2008) via Yahoo! News
- Support from Republicans has doubled over the past 15 years, from 32 to 64 percent.
- 8 in 10 Democrats and more than 3/4 of independents now support the idea
- 57% of white evangelical Protestants now support allowing openly gay service members in the military
- 82% of white Catholics support so as well.
- 80 percent of those with no declared religious affiliation too.
- 8 in 10 women support allowing openly gay soldiers, and nearly two-thirds of men do too
When Army Sergeant Darren/Daniel Manzella, a medical liaison for his division, was is in Kuwait on his second deployment of the Iraq war. He spoke to 60 Minutes without permission told his story about how he came out in order to stop harassing messages and was subsequently told your not gay enough was finally discharged recently by the Pentagon under uncertain reasons 6 months after the original story aired.
Lastly after two recent Federal Appeals Court Decisions one in the Ninth District, which was reported previously on F6, and another more recent decision out of the First District in Boston, Massachusetts, which put a curb on the previous Courts ruling and finding of facts. Their decision in Cook v. Gates stated that, while they "agreed with the idea that the military should do more than prove homosexuality to warrant dismissal" must still consider that "in the end, that ensuring national security outweighs arguments from 12 former military members who say their rights were ignored when they were dismissed for being gay.", said Jim Lobsenz, an Attorney in the previous 9th District case for Margaret Witt v. Department of the Air Force. Both of these cases have the Military Chiefs and Administration officials scrambling for cover and attempting to keep a lid on everything. These two cases alone are enough to push DADT to a Constitutional Judicial and Congressional Review next year. In a heartfelt showdown of ideals versus practical realities, just three weeks ago Stars And Stripes issued a d facto warning to all Service members to "stay in the closet, or else!"
+ Soldier Who Came Out on "60 Minutes" Booted by Andy Humm
Gay City News 03 July 2008
+ 60 Minutes: Is Military More Tolerant Of Gay Members In Wartime?
Hosted by Leslie Stahl
Produced by Karen M. Sughrue
16th December 2007
+ Zachary Denver has awesome commentary using the infamous You Tube Republican debates earlier this year along with the 60 Minutes story footage it is hilarious towards the last minute and a half and as a whole is worth the viewing.
+ Johann has a You Tube Channel and a MySpace Group
+ Andrew Sullivan offers review of the Sergeant Manzella story and some commentary in this December post @ The Daily Dish
F6 LINKS: Articles on Gays In The Military | Links re Gays In The Military |