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The ONLY Two Valid Reasons to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

February 12, 2010

I’ve heard plenty of arguments for and against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and I’m completely unimpressed.  Most of them either ignore the obvious or distort the basic facts.  In reality, there are only two valid considerations and, they both suggest repeal.  But neither one is likely to come from the community asking for the repeal.

First, let’s get rid of the nonsense.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does NOT keep gays out of the military.  Arguing for or against the policy based on whether “having gays serve next to straights” is a good thing or not wastes time and misses the point.  Gays ARE serving in the military.  They are in the foxholes with you, they are living with you in the barracks and, obviously, they are on board the same ships.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does not keep military members from knowing your sexual orientation.  I’ve been in the military, I’ve known gay people who served in the military.  I specifically know a lesbian who “married” another woman and then chose to reveal this when she decided she wanted to get out before her tour of duty was over.  It wasn’t the revelation that she was gay that got her out – this was already known – it was the marriage itself.  Granted some DO keep it a secret, but it remains open to debate who would have told even without the rules in place.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, doesn’t even prevent you from telling.  This one is from the lawyers in the office I used to work for when I was a legal Specialist in the military.  The way “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is written, your preferences don’t matter – it is actual homosexual ACTS that come under fire.  And then only if you commit them and then tell someone.  And yes, that means you don’t actually have to be gay to be chaptered out under this policy – all you need to do is experiment…

Now, with that out of the way, lets talk about REAL reasons to rescind “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

It’s Discriminatory – Against Heterosexuals

Remember that gay marriage and subsequent chapter I mentioned?  Straight military members don’t have that option.  If anyone else wants out, they have to get fat or take their chances on whether they can walk the thin line between a general discharge and a federal conviction for violating a law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Even deliberately failing Physical fitness tests is dangerous because you are then malingering, which can get you punished – most likely restrictions, fines and reductions in rank, assuming your commander, on deciding you are just trying to get out, doesn’t decide to make an example of you and push for a summary court-martial.

But if you are gay, separation from the military is just a civil union away.

How Can You Take Action Against THEM If You Don’t Know Who They Are?

This deserves repeating – If you are concerned about “serving in the trenches next to someone who is homosexual” or “sleeping in the same bay as someone who is gay” or “getting ogled while showering,” then are poorly served by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” After all, it encourages them to keep their orientation hidden from you.  So how do you know you AREN’T sleeping in the bed next to someone who has been ogling you in the shower and having fantasies of the two of you in the same foxhole?

Okay, granted you DO know with some people and with others you won’t know regardless of official policy, but present policy DOES encourage a fair portion of gays in the military, who might otherwise come out, to keep you in the dark.  And as far as their fantasies about you go, making it illicit likely only intensifies them…

Now, neither reason is necessarily compelling – I certainly don’t expect debate to stop any time soon.  I just would prefer it if the debate were over the ACTUAL issues rather than the idiocy going on now.


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