Thursday, March 25, the military policy known as ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ which was enacted in 1993 under president Bill Clinton to ‘integrate’ gays into the military, was altered. Only Congress can appeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ If you think the new Health Care Legislation was contentious, just revisit gays in the military as a political hot bed of contempt.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is still the policy for gays in the military in the United States. However, yesterday Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the new rules that relax how a gay person serviing in the military would be eased out if their ‘openess’ became ‘open.’ Sounds like weasel words, doesn’t it? I have never totally understood ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I think it says, its ok to be gay in the military but don’t let anyone find out or they will throw your ass out. Yea, any way you cut it, that’s what the policy says. Let’s take a look at what happened via Time Magazine:
Pentagon took a giant step toward integrating openly gay men and women into the U.S. military on Thursday. No, it didn’t repeal 1993’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law — only Congress can do that. But it did something that could be almost as important: it eased the enforcement of that law by loosening the regulations that have been used to snare 13,500 gays — and boot them out of uniform — since 1994. “These changes will allow us to execute the law in a fair and more appropriate manner,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. The revised regs “provide a greater measure of common sense and common decency to a process for handling what are difficult and complex issues for all involved.”
The new rules require a senior officer — a general or admiral — to approve the ouster of a serviceman or -woman for being gay. That’s at least one rank higher than earlier mandated, and is likely to cut down on the number of such cases. Hearsay will no longer be allowed, and statements about a military member’s sexual orientation will have to be given under oath. Furthermore, information given to lawyers, clergy or medical professionals — or in connection with domestic violence — can’t be used to oust someone.
History of gays in the military from Time Magazine
The next step of this process would be for Congress to make a law to repeal the ban on gays serviing in the military. According to the Globeandmail.com:
Unlike Canada and several other Western countries that permit openly gay soldiers to serve, the U.S. military forces homosexuals to conceal their sexual preference or face dismissal.
More than 13,000 men and women have been kicked out of the U.S. military – a group roughly the size of the Canadian army – since the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was created by former president Bill Clinton in 1993.
Many have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to be dismissed for being gay.
The changes announced yesterday by Defence Secretary Robert Gates will make it much harder to bring frivolous and vengeful accusations against homosexuals. The changes amount to a stopgap until Congress determines whether to scrap the existing policy entirely.
As for “Don’t ask, don’t tell’ being totally overturned by Congress, I would bet on donkeys flying first. Americans love to hate their gays. Need proof? One of the best ways to get out the vote in a hotly contested race is to put a marriage amendment on the ballot at election time. Love the sinner, hate the sin by George, it gets out the vote. Of course, that is often a one time flash in the pan.
Notice the presence of Act-Up in the picture. They are demonstrating outside a recruitment center in New York. They will NEVER learn. Act-up is known for its outlandish, stand out behavior. They have never quite grasped the idea that what helps gays the most is to somehow convey the idea that they are like everyone else–your next door neighbor, your cop on the beat, your Sunday school teacher. Act UP does the exact opposite and misrepresents gays. If I were a gay in the military, I would probably go to war with these clowns.