This was originally suppose to be Wednesdays post, commemorating the 16th Anniversary today, of then President, William Jefferson Clinton's, signing of this historic piece of discrimination into Title 10 of the United States Code, and provide highlights of how the policy of Dont Ask Dont Tell Dont Pursue is truly failing to enforce those protections presumed back in 1993. Along with excerpted updates on previous posts on this forum.
Instead this post is going to make a dramatic turn and issue a warning to any Democrat that thinks twice about not repealing DADT, by not reintroducing and passing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007-08 or some variation within one year. If you don't repeal DADT, in some way in the next year, more than likely, you will be voted out of office in the midterm 2010 elections, and possibly replaced with LIBERTARIANS, who will get the job done, because we believe in the individual being equal in law!
GLBT Service Members have been serving sometimes openly already, even after the laws were passed by Congress and Presidents who were Calvinist and Fundamentalist Christians. The laws against homosexuality in the military have only existed since about 1916. The problem comes because Congress and Command are still holding the bible as a weapon while having their head in the sand and crucifix shoved up our posteriors.
Personally, they should have been repealed along side the civil sodomy laws, in tandem with the Supreme Court decision of 2003. The Lawrence vs. Texas case, which has already proven its self to be an effective precedent in current legal decisions, could start taking an effect on DADT, later this year from the Ninth District United States Circuit Courts unless the Supreme Court puts the cases under review.
So first lets rehash some basic principles and facts: If WE THE PEOPLE believe that all persons are created equal as a self evident truth, per the Declaration of Independence which is Constitutionally binding on The United States, then under no circumstances should anyone whom is physically and mentally capable of serving should be restricted from doing so. Of course no one in Congress or Command who served previously want to admit what happens between brothers in arms is love and sometimes gay sex as well.
Before I go any further, not only do they not want to admit or deny anything, the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, as reported earlier this month, also want to now engage the social political commentator on their own turf, the comments section:
Air Force Releases 'Counter-Blog' Marching OrdersI know that several people from the DOD read this blog regularly. I welcome any one from the UNITED STATES UNIFORMED SERVICES, with a deep bow, on bended knee, and arms open, to leave a comment here. Your opinions will always be respected and treasured just as my commentary while always informative and well thought out is yet snarky, lewd, and sarcastic, is done with the greatest of honour for those who serve and defend the basic inherit right from the infringement of free speech,the press, and to redress grievances, and your sacrifice for my life and liberty and our homeland.
by Noah Shachtman WIRED Blog Network 06 JAN 09
Bloggers: If you suddenly find Air Force officers leaving barbed comments after one of your posts, don't be surprised. They're just following the service's new "counter-blogging" flow chart. In a twelve-point plan, put together by the emerging technology division of the Air Force's public affairs arm, airmen are given guidance on how to handle "trolls," "ragers" -- and even well-informed online writers, too. It's all part of an Air Force push to "counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the U.S. government and the Air Force," Captain David Faggard says.
Over the last couple of years, the armed forces have tried, in fits and starts, to connect more with bloggers. The Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense now hold regular "bloggers' roundtables" with generals, colonels, and key civilian leaders. The Navy invited a group of bloggers to embed with them on a humanitarian mission to Central and South America, last summer. Military blogger Michael Yon recently traveled to Afghanistan with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
In contrast, the Air Force has largely kept the blogosphere at arms' length. Most of the sites are banned from Air Force networks. And the service has mostly stayed away from the Pentagon's blog outreach efforts. Captain Faggard, who's become the Air Force Public Affairs Agency's designated social media guru, has made strides in shifting that attitude. The air service now has a Twitter feed, a blog of its own -- and marching orders, for how to comment on other sites. "We're trying to get people to understand that they can do this," he tells Danger Room.
The flow chart (right click and open in a new tab) lays out a range of possible responses to a blog post. Airmen can offer a "factual and well-cited response [that] is not factually erroneous, a rant or rage, bashing or negative in nature." They can "let the post stand -- no response." Or they cancan "fix the facts," offering up fresh perspective. No matter what, the chart says, airmen should "disclose your Air Force connection," "respond in a tone that reflects high on the rich heritage of the Air Force," and "focus on the most-used sites related to the Air Force."
Despite the chart's sometimes-stiff language, former military spokesman Steven Field says he's "a fan." Field, who's been occasionally critical of the armed services' blog outreach efforts, tells Danger Room: "I've always thought that a military-like process would be a good bridge to connect the services with the blogosphere. There's a field manual for everything in the military, so this flow-chart presents online communications in a DoD [Department of Defense] friendly format."
One stipulation -- While it should be a guide of communications, it shouldn't become a ball-and-chain. Online comms require some level of nimble, on-your-feet response. As long as the Air Force doesn't use the "evaluate" phase to get approval from every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Pentagon, it should be a good tool.
"Now they just need to lift those damn IP [Internet Protocol] filters," Field adds, so airmen can actually read those blogs that they're supposed to respond to.
Source: Phillip DeFranco 07 JAN 09
DADT: Two Military Men Tell Their Stories
by Scott Stiffler EDGE Contributor
Sunday 18 JAN 2009
One year from now, we may very well be able to look back upon this era as a less enlightened time in which the men and women of our all-volunteer military were not yet allowed to serve if they were openly gay or lesbian. But until that time, the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy--which mandates not confiding a service person’s sexuality and in return not being asked about it--continues to devalue, demean and discharge those who are anything other than avowed heterosexuals.
EDGE recently spoke with two gay men who served and emerged from their experience with different perspectives on what it’s like to be a homosexual within an institution that requires you to deny who you are--but has no trouble asking you to risk or give your life.
Brett E. Stout: ’Classic Gay Overachiever’ v. The System
When Brett Edward Stout joined the Marines, the physically and academically gifted young man soon became what he calls "your classic gay overachiever. I did all the badass things you could do: recon, linguist, Marine. I thought if you keep your appearance and academics up, if you look and play the part of a Marine, that would protect you from any type of real criticism or attack."
But when Stout got to recon, "the system started to buck back against me. It’s such a boy’s club. They really didn’t want me there - and there were already rumors about my sexuality."
It soon became apparent to Stout that "they were not going to stop trying to get rid of me; it broke my spirit--a little bit." But rather than give in, he decided he wouldn’t be "working so hard to prove I am not something that I am." Stout decided that the next time he was confronted with questions about his sexuality, "I was going to be a little in their face about it."
That decision came out of his simmering resentment of having to constantly edit his conversations on the military base: "I made the conscious decision to live openly, not ambiguously. ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ meant that I would no longer hide or change the subject. I would attack it by boldly being honest about not answering the tainted questions concerning my orientation."
Shortly thereafter, he was confronted in the barracks by a Marine who came up to him and said, "So I hear you’re a fag. Are you fucking queer? Are you gay?" Stout replied "Why, do you want me to fuck you? From that moment on, people actually started to respect me."
Robaire Watson: Not ’In Your Face’ About It
Navy Veteran Robaire Watson’s six years of service (1989-1995) occurred before and during the days of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Throughout his career, Watson "spent six years in the Navy as an openly gay military man." He is telling his story because he wants people "to hear a positive story and not a negative one."
Watson served as a US Navy Ship’s barber aboard the USS Kansas City and participated in the Gulf War and Operation Southern Watch off the coast of Somalia in 1993. "I’m black and openly gay and never encountered the slightest discrimination aboard my warship," he says of his time serving in Arabian Sea.
Although Watson’s sexuality was talked about and people knew, the implementation of DADT was soon followed by comments such as "We don’t have to ask and we don’t have to tell. They knew. I said thank you to them. You learn how to take control of your lifestyle, and say I am in the military. The mission comes first, then my lifestyle. I lived my life the same way I live it now as a civilian. I’m not flamboyant but I don’t hide anything either."
Not initiating conversation about his sexuality--yet not manufacturing stories of heterosexual conquest for cover --led to an existence in which Watson says he was given respect and tolerance in exchange for not "necessarily flying a rainbow flag for people. You don’t have to do that for people to know what your lifestyle is." Many times, Watson says, he was told "I know you are gay and I don’t care because you don’t put it in my face or do anything to offend me with it."
An Uneasy Compromise
But while that uneasy truce let Watson live his life in the military without constant denial, is it enough? Stout left the Marines reluctantly and looks back on his time served and closeted with regret. Now a writer in Iowa City, he wrote about his transition from military to civilian life in his debut 2008 novel, "Sugar-Baby Brigade." (picture to right; more information below)
It deals with a gay Marine coping with life after the Corps. "The moment of getting out was sad," he says now. "There’s a deep sense of regret that you’ve lost that moment in time. What I wasn’t prepared for is losing the strong straight environment I was in. My life became very one sided. Everything I did was gay because all the straight elements of my life evaporated, and that was a bit jarring. The institution itself, it was really hard to leave."
Stout expresses concern for those who must still serve in the closet, and emphasizes the emotional cost of DADT. The policy, he says, "robs you of any recourse if anybody threatens you. You can’t let people into your life even if you want to."
A repeal of the policy would at last allow LGBTs to "come home and tell the people you’re living with what you did that weekend," Stout says. "It’s trivial, but it’s important that they be a part of your actual life if you choose to let them in."
Watson, who thrived by employing the opposite approach of not sharing his off-ship activities, still advocates for a policy in which "each of us are viewed based on our skills and accomplishments. We must prove to the government that sexual preference has absolutely nothing to do with one’s work ethic whether it be military service or otherwise. Sexual orientation is nobody’s business but your own."
The stories don't end there. There are too many more to tell. Directly above is a plea by JOHANN aka GAY MILITARY MAN for you to sign the petition by the Service Members Legal Defense Network, and ask Congress to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. Below is the final story of Johann's service to our Country whom until three months ago served quietly but was still active in the fight against this historic discrimination. F6 has been proud to link with to Johann's channel, pretty much since our inception in this format, and continue with prayers and support and thanks for the great sacrifice he made for both our Country and Our Community.
This discrimination must end if we are truly going to ask these men and women to live with integrity and brotherhood and liberty, by wearing a uniform which demands nothing less than our best and our brightest!
Unfortunately, THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, has refused to accept our best and brightest, by insisting for and allowing such discrimination to continue for sixteen years and choosing to give waivers, "to felons over faggots!" (not my quote)! That was a big mistake on their part to assume that GLBT Service Members wouldn't have PRIDE!, or bring honour to our great nation, while wearing the uniform and openly serving the Country.
So, can we get this bad legislation over turned within a year? There is still a 50% chance, it probably wont happen, but then it will be to late.
Because after four years of control of both Houses Democrats will more than likely be voted out in the midterm election. If they get replaced by Republicans, even in one of the Houses we are pretty well screwed. However if even a third of the entire Congress gets replaced with Libertarians, it will be a new era for our Country! It will mean the end of the two named political party monolithic power structure, and the final death blow to discrimination against GLBT individuals across the board, especially in the United States Military.
F6 Links and Resources
Gay Military Man
[MySpace] [YouTube] [MySpace Group]
Service Members Legal Defense Network
Military Readiness Enhancement Act [HR 1246 Text]
Please note: Since a new Congress was sworn in January 2009, this bill needs to be reintroduced as the previous version linked above was wiped off the record since it was never voted on. Please sign the above petition and then call your Representative and Senators and demand they reconstitute this legislation and bring it to a floor vote.
Brett Edward Stout [Website] [Novel: Sugar Baby Bridge]
[Article: Profile In Patriotism Gay Military Times]
Robaire Watson [Blog]
[Article: Profile in Patriotism GMT]
F6 Editorial Policy Statement
F6 has several resources and commentaries regarding GAYS IN THE MILITARY. As an issue of editorial policy, F6 will challenge any assertion that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is either Constitutional or proper policy in our great country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, especially in a place where all men are created equal!