Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Display of Astounding Ignorance

Did you know that lifting the ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military could cause widespread natural disasters such as earthquakes? And did you know that allowing proud, patriotic Americans to be open about who they are will cause a breakdown of our military, and open the door to a draft? If you were not aware of these things than you must not be paying attention to the stunning battle of wits being waged over President Obama’s recent promise to repeal DADT.

These are just some of the arguments being thrown around by those opposed to making America just a little less hypocritical, and a little bit more, you know, 21th century-ish. The sad part is that these sentiments are being expressed in our nation’s capital, and around the country, by ignorant people who are, for one reason or another, mortally terrified of homosexuals. According to some enlightened individuals, not only are homosexuals invading the classroom and trying to seduce our children, but now our Nazi Socialist Muslim non-American-born president has hatched a devious plan to destroy our country by allowing sexual deviants to serve in our military…

The repealing of DADT is something that this country should take very seriously, if not for the social implications, but for the very real reason of simply needing more bodies to throw away in our two wars. Well, that’s at least how our generals should see it, right? It is quite telling that the same people who seem to always love a good war are the most vocal about keeping the military shorthanded just to maintain some vague status quo that keeps good men and women from serving their country. It is telling that people place perceived normality over the necessity of defending our nation (whenever we are actually “defending” America) and upholding of individual human rights.

Nearly 14,000 gay and lesbian service men and women have been discharged from military service since 1993. Additionally, a 2007 study by the Williams Institute found that DADT hurts retention as “an estimated 4,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel” per year since 1994 “would have been retained if they could have been more open about their sexual orientation.”

In seventeen years 14,000 proud soldiers, men and women who volunteered to protect and serve their country, have been discharged not because they are criminals but because they happen to be attracted to the same sex. And why, you ask? Apparently because “the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” would pave the way for allowing “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization, and body art”, says Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

I know for a fact that no soldier or general has ever gotten drunk, or cheated on their spouse. And I’ll be damned if I’ll ever see any marine with a tattoo…

This seems to be the mentality of perhaps half the people who run our country.

What I find most quaint, if you will, about the whole anti-homosexual mentality is the narcissistic notion that once these people can serve openly they will immediately begin hitting on their fellow same-sex comrades while dug into a foxhole, or on patrol through a minefield. This is a wholly chauvinistic mentality, which does not seem out of place in our Hollywood-crafted view of the military as a place where men can be men, killing men, for the good of home and country. Well I’m sorry to say folks, but women can kill just as efficiently as any man. And so can homosexuals. The fears of soldiers suddenly adding lace trim to their uniforms and wrapping boas around the barrels of their M-16s is a tad absurd, don’t you think? And yet this is the sort of mentality seen at the forefront of the push against repealing DADT.

I have heard veterans offer many poignant insights before, but none are so critically important to this topic than “If you go down on the battlefield and a hand is reaching for you, you don’t stop to see what color it is.” To think that all of a sudden soldiers won’t help fellow soldiers (although there could be some who would act so atrociously) and that somehow the person next to you will shoot any less straight, or not work as hard to accomplish the mission because they are gay is just giving ignorance an excuse to stay locked into our national psyche. As a nation we are supposed to ask people to die for their country, many times in unjust wars, to protect so-called American values, and yet expect them to continue being ashamed of who they are?

If you think that serving with openly gay and lesbian soldiers will somehow compromise your efforts, than perhaps it is you that is lacking in moral fortitude. The whole “they’re icky and gross and it’s wrong” excuse just makes you look like a fool. And it makes America look like a pack of hypocritical puritan idiots. As proud as our soldiers are of serving their country let them be just as proud of who they are.

Posted by Michael Falino at February 3, 2010 11:28 PM
Comments
Comment #295095

Michael - have you ever been in the military?

In my +20yrs I have know gays and lesbians in the military. No I am not part of that social grouping but I had friends among them. Unfortunately even today there are many individual ‘soldiers’ who are adamently against gays/lesbians. Doesn’t matter who or where they work, civilian or military. There is a saying among some and it goes “Friendly fire isn’t”. Did you stop and think that the DADT may actually be protecting those gays and lesbians on duty from their fellow soldiers? I don’t mean all would take such drastic actions but there are those who will. Look how kids in school treat those who are ‘different’. Discrimination views can only be changed at home from the parents as the child grows. For an adult to make that change is more difficult, I believe it a cultural change rather than an opinion(?) but psychology is not my forte by any means.

Posted by: Kathryn at February 4, 2010 7:01 AM
Comment #295105

Kathryn, Gay haters are strewn throughout society. Our laws protect gays because they are people. Once made official military law would do the same. I am sure there would still be those who would act out physically. But they will be there regardless and will have to pay the price for acting on impulse. People like Chambliss and McCain are ignorant in their antiquated views. They in their misguided perceptions do more to perpetuate and sustain these biases than simply being gay does. It is a shame. But on the plus side they are old and hopefully the last vestiges of such ridiculous cultural bias in this modern world will go by the wayside with them.

Posted by: RickIl at February 4, 2010 9:33 AM
Comment #295110

It should be noted the UK has openly recruited gays in their armed forces since 2000, with no loss of morale or any of the horrific negatives the homophobes say are going to happen.
It was brilliant of President Obama to come out with this measure at this time so the Republicans will have one more issue to argue and to alienate themselves even further from one more class of American citizen. Give the Obama administration credit from slowly making the Republican party less appealing to all Americans one issue at a time, I suspect the Republican party will be less of an influence way before the old conservative white guy dies off.
I always love it when someone asks, have you ever been in the military? Kathryn, before you ask me if I’m a veteran, the answer is yes(never sure why that question matters). Any repercussions in the military would most likely come from one of the felon gang bangers Bush put in the military but not everyday soldiers, they follow orders and know better than to act out against military rule. An article yesterday interviewed several soldiers and none of them had a problem with gays in the military. This is but another issue for the hypocritical right to try to capitalize on for their fanatical far right fringe (their new base). I can’t see this one not backfiring on your party and alinating even more voters, and to the Republican party, i say keep it up, we can use the help.

Posted by: Jeff at February 4, 2010 11:31 AM
Comment #295111

The major segment of anti-homosexuality in regards to open military service is not coming from the military. It comese from conservative politicians and conservative voters.


And Jeff, the retort “have you ever served in the military” is mostly seen when someone cannot think of a good way to criticize your point, so they presume that you’ll believe that being in the military is some secreet organization where the normal rules of reason and logic are to be abandoned, along with human and individual rights.

This is the same argument we got when women started serving. It’s a seriously fallacious argument that is simply used to keep things the way they are rather than progress as a society. Notice only “conservative” minded people feel negatively towards repealing DADT…

Posted by: mike falino at February 4, 2010 12:09 PM
Comment #295112

Kathryn-
Does it protect them, or does it stigmatize them and justify their exclusion? The truth of the matter is, the more people deal with each other as ordinary human beings, the less we see this kind of prejudice.

The military does not exist to cater to the prejudices of a few bigots. It exists to protect and defend this country. resignation to misbehavior in the ranks, while somewhat necessary in small amounts, becomes an open invitation to a lack of discipline in large enough doses.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2010 12:42 PM
Comment #295113
It was brilliant of President Obama to come out with this measure at this time so the Republicans will have one more issue to argue and to alienate themselves even further from one more class of American citizen.

Yeah, leave it to this president to do things for political reasons instead of what is right. I am finding that pattern pretty typical of this administration to be honest.

Why wasn’t this done last January/February? Basic civil rights not high on the priority list when it takes about, what, a half hour to order a writ written and sign it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 4, 2010 12:57 PM
Comment #295114

BTW, yet another PROMISE to do something.

Now we will have hearings and debates and talking…

*sigh*

The fact is that the reason this is coming up now is because this president losing support from the homosexual community. Further evidenced by his now condemning another country’s treatment of homosexuals…

It’s a shame he doesn’t have the guts to just end the practice and tell everyone to ‘man up’ as it were…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 4, 2010 1:04 PM
Comment #295115

Rhinehold-
Sometimes good politics and good morals are one and the same, particularly at times when pent-up injustices have people champing at the bit to get them resolved.

The Republicans have left a mess of problematic status quos for everybody to deal with. We will have more support for dealing with them than the Republicans will have for opposing them.

If only the Republicans would subscribe to that strange, radical theory that when a majority of people want a law, it tends to get passed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2010 1:38 PM
Comment #295117

Sorry, Stephen, DADT is firmly on the shoulders of the Democrats. Sure, the Republicans had no issue with leavin git in place, but it was Clinton who created this mess.

I have no problem with the right thing getting done. I wish people would do it for the right reasons, not political ones, but that’s the way it goes, whatever it takes…

However, don’t appreciate people tryin got claim some sort of moral superiority because they PROMISE to do something they promised 2 years earlier and have still not done.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 4, 2010 1:56 PM
Comment #295118

Rhinehold

Yeah, leave it to this president to do things for political reasons instead of what is right. I am finding that pattern pretty typical of this administration to be honest.
Why wasn’t this done last January/February? Basic civil rights not high on the priority list when it takes about, what, a half hour to order a writ written and sign it?

Really? He’s been in office for one year, he has started pulling combat troops out of Iraq when just a year ago, Bush couldn’t even give us a date when we might be pulling out of Iraq. Keeping this country out of a full blown depression.
Could it be that yes there really are higher priorities? And could it be possible he’s living up to his campaign promises?

Posted by: Jeff at February 4, 2010 2:09 PM
Comment #295119

Sorry, Stephen, DADT is firmly on the shoulders of the Democrats. Sure, the Republicans had no issue with leaving it in place, but it was Clinton who created this mess.
I have no problem with the right thing getting done. I wish people would do it for the right reasons, not political ones, but that’s the way it goes, whatever it takes…


Yes, Clinton recognized the problem in 1993 and enacted a rule to correct the existing injustice of not allowing homosexuals to serve their country. That was the first step in correcting it completely. President Obama will finish correcting this injustice. Republican discrimination is slowly coming to an end. Some injustices take time to correct.

Posted by: Jeff at February 4, 2010 2:21 PM
Comment #295120

Rhinehold said: “Yeah, leave it to this president to do things for political reasons instead of what is right.”

Not used to a president who walk and chew gum at the same time, eh, Rhinehold. Longing for GW Bush’s return in the form of Sarah Palin, perhaps? Obama’s DODT position serves multiple purposes including being the right thing to do at this time according Colin Powell, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and for the efficacy of the Democratic Party in keeping its word to its party supporters to walk forward the equal civil rights of the GLBT community.

How refreshing to have a president who can and will manage multiple issues facing our nation at the same time. Those who can’t wrap their lesser intellect around such capacity in a president are destined to complain they can’t keep up with it all, and it makes them scared of what they don’t know about what is happening.

Our military is now ready for this move. Its own leadership says this is so. But, hey, if ‘stop progress and solutions’ conservatives want to go ahead and focus on this issue, while the bigger ones get solved in the background, they are welcome to do so. Its still a free country to think and fear what one chooses, now that Republicans are out of control.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 4, 2010 2:24 PM
Comment #295126

David has a point. Most people seem to want a president that speaks in slow, small, deliberate words. As seen in many criticisms he receives about how he “talks down to people”…

I’d much rather have a president who has a working brain, can handle multiple situations, and doesn’t dumb him/herself down to cater to the rampant ignorance plaguing our country.

To say he’s doing this for purely political reasons proves that whomever says such a thing does not value the rights of homosexual individuals. Because if you did you would only be saying “finally, about damn time”, not trying to make Obama look like a weasel for trying to champion individual liberties…

Posted by: Mike Falino at February 4, 2010 5:05 PM
Comment #295133
I’d much rather have a president who has a working brain, can handle multiple situations

I would to. I’m still waiting for one…

When I complain that it’s taken a year to do what should have been done day 1, I get told that there are ‘higher priorities’. Really? So you’re saying he CAN’T multitask then, right?

It’s getting old. He still has done NOTHING. He has said he will look at doing something. That’s it. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.

Troops coming out of Iraq? Slowly and being replaced by Blackwater. That’s a great move there…

Why are we still in Afghanistan? Osama is either dead or irrelevant, there are, reportedly, less than 50 al qaeda members left. Yet there we still are. And of course it is backed by the people who complain we shouldn’t have been there in the first place by those who will support this president, no matter what, because of political reasons.

He has failed, he is continuing to fail and those claiming his success will be scratching their heads in the coming months and years…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 4, 2010 8:44 PM
Comment #295134
To say he’s doing this for purely political reasons proves that whomever says such a thing does not value the rights of homosexual individuals. Because if you did you would only be saying “finally, about damn time”, not trying to make Obama look like a weasel for trying to champion individual liberties…

Oh what BS. HE has still done NOTHING. over a year into his term and the best he can do is talk about doing something, perhaps, in the future, maybe?

This should have been done day one. Every day this excuse of a situation continues is another day he has failed millions of Americans and their right to individual liberties.

It is clear that progressives don’t give a crap about individual liberties, this was proven just a few weeks ago when they went ballistic at the Supreme Court defending the rights of a hated group of free speech. Now they are DEFENDING the creation of DADT and the continuation of it for over a year.

It’s disgusting.

Let me know when this actually happens, I’ll try to convince the homosexual community that the wait to be treated as an actual person was worth it. I don’t think they are going to be willing to listen though…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 4, 2010 8:48 PM
Comment #295135

I want to be clear, I’m not saying Obama has done a sterling job, or really done much of anything except, in certain regards, stave off further catastrophe, but if you think his call to repeal DADT is purely a political maneuver, you’re just refuse to give the man any credit.

I never said the man was doing a great, or even good job, but the man is trying to do something good, and the only people who don’t see this, as far as I can tell, can only be objecting because they see homosexuality as a blight, not a matter of fact of life.

Posted by: Mike Falino at February 4, 2010 8:52 PM
Comment #295173

[The military does not exist to cater to the prejudices of a few bigots. It exists to protect and defend this country. resignation to misbehavior in the ranks, while somewhat necessary in small amounts, becomes an open invitation to a lack of discipline in large enough doses.]

Stephen - that is really good - While Clinton with his wandering ways with Monica - he set the example for the 7years of blantant sexual harassment I had to deal with from my Flight Chief. This was known by his boss, our Commander and numerous others up the chain of command. I was not the only one - I however put an end to the problem and paid the price as well.

The Commander in Chief sets the Tone of the Military and it’s mission. How are we protecting the US citizen in Afganistan? Iraq? and every other idiotic interference with another country. If that country in fact threatens us openly, through economic takeover or other mediums now available these days - by all means send in the troops - women, gays, men and anyone else who wants to stand for the Constitution and this country. Otherwise leave’em alone to sort out their own problems; there are plenty here that need to be addressed.

When a group is favored over another is when problems arise - special rules, conditions, ad nauseum… if we really want equality make it so - not half-way.

Posted by: Kathryn at February 5, 2010 2:02 PM
Comment #295217

Ref; comment #295173 is right dadt does need to be changed let it stay as it is, a lot of military personel cannot say anything one way or the other because it is too political,after
22 years in the military it does not work,
KEEP DADT AS IT IS.

Posted by: chuck at February 6, 2010 3:55 PM
Post a comment