Asking, Telling and Testing the Waters

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Is allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the United States’ military a wise decision? It appears that we’re about to find out. Civil rights advocates hailed Saturday’s 65-31 vote to end the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, while some conservatives and military leaders continue to worry that the move will affect unit cohesion and put lives at risk. However, the deal is not quite sealed yet. The legislation contains an escape clause, and while it’s unlikely that the administration would invoke it, the official end of DADT is still a few months away.

Eight Republicans Senators, led by Susan Collins (R-Maine) crossed party lines to vote with Democrats and Independent Joe Liebermann to end the controversial policy. Over 13,000 men and women have been dismissed from the service since DADT went into effect in 1993. Supporters and opponents alike acknowledge that most of those who were dismissed served honorably. Fox News provided an example in Warren Arbury, a veteran of three combat tours with the Army before he was kicked out for violating DADT in 2008. “It’s one step in a very long process of becoming an equal rights citizen,” Arbury said of the repeal. “Even though this is really huge, I look at it as a chink in a very, very long chain.”

Changing the policy had become a cause célèbre among leftist politicians and entertainers in recent years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tweeted Lady Gaga, an outspoken critic of DADT, shortly after the vote was taken, triumphantly telling the flamboyant singer: “We did it! #DADT is a thing of the past.” No doubt Lady Gaga and her fellow members of the Hollywood elite will feel much better about themselves and their country once a person’s sexual preferences are no longer officially a matter of interest or import to the United States Armed Forces high command. Yet, that’s not the issue. Democrats may love the decision, entertainers may celebrate and generals and admirals may or may not agree with it, but the only question that matters is this: how will the men and women on the front lines react?

Anyone who has been engaged in a situation that involves prolonged stress and danger understands how deep and important are the bonds that form between comrades who share the risks. That experience isn’t limited to combat. To a lesser, but still important extent, this kind of bond is a vital part of many civilian professions, like being an oil rigger, a miner or fishing in dangerous waters. Personally speaking, I spent ten years of my career climbing big industrial smokestacks, an experience that gave me a glimpse into the kind of relationships that are forged when danger lurks. But, of course, all of these sorts of jobs pale in comparison when we consider what men and women go through on the front lines. Those of us who have shared a whiff of personal peril in civilian life can only begin to imagine what it is like to serve in a squad rooting out terrorists in a Baghdad slum or chasing the Taliban through the wastelands of Afghanistan.

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  • Anonymous

    Why don't Hollyweird celebs just mind their own business!!!!!Elvis Presley said it best:"Maam,I'm just an entertainer.My opinion really doesn't matter."

  • Alexander Gofen

    "… about to find out" what?! There is nothing to find out.

    Repealing DADT now is a manifestation of the bigger plan of the ruling anti-American clique to disable our army by all means possible: this recent one being the most ugly. It means womanizing the army by letting in as though males with lack of manly character, and creation of an untenable atmosphere where the utmost cohesion is a matter of life and death.

    1) It violates the contract signed with servicemen who voluntarily joined the army when this explicit abomination was still prohibited. Now those servicemen have all the rights to leave immediately just because of that.

    2) Moral people who considered to join the Army now have all the reasons to never do it.


    • Tony Bonagura

      Look at this a positive event, the Commander-in-Chief can now come out of the closet. According to Larry Sinclair and the recently murdered Donald Young (the Music Director from Jeremiah Wright's church and the liason for the Obama campaign and a homosexual) Obama is a closet homosexual or obviously bi-sexual ready for a segment on Oprah. There were two other young homosexual men from Jeremiah Wright's church who were also murdered during the same time frame as Donald Young. What, no investigation by any news agency. Dwayne Madsen an investigative journalist from Chicago has begun some leg work on this case. Shame on the DOJ and the News Outlets.

      • trickyblain

        Really, FPM "editors"?

        You didn't like the "closet Muslim, communist, homosexual, foreign-born radical" mocking of your sub-moronic readership?

        Why not?

  • Alexander Gofen

    3) Those who capitalize on the repeal of DADT now are not just perverts in hiding wishing only to be left alone. Both in civil and especially in military environment they politicize the legalization of their deviancy. They deliberately push their abomination into the eyes of the beholder provoking the justified reaction, for which now the moral people may be harassed and punished.

    4) Worse. Both in civil and military environment homosexuals may happen to harass or blackmail straight people asking for sexual favors from subordinates. And unlike in civil life, in army it is within their power to send subordinates into harms way!!!

    This legislation is a disaster authorized by the coward military brass, those yes-men good only in reading the wishes of their superiors and picking political winds.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    I'm sure there are gay men who see the army as an opportunity to get lots of new boyfriends. The problem is the guys who aren't gay aren't likely to appreciate other men doing the deed in their bunker or being hit on buy their bunkmates. We don't put women in the same bunks as men but now we are going to put female men in the same bunks as men. That's discrimination against women. Women should protest. Then they too would have a wonderful opportunity to hit on men in the army especially married men.

  • Charles

    19 years in the US Army and National Guard. Never once, have I ever heard a soldier of either gender say they thought repealing DADT was a good thing.

    I will not be staying the remaining year to “get” a retirement. The repeal of DADT has tarnished the reputation of many for the whims of a few. The honest patriots, the ones who have not used their military service to advance their political agendas, have been betrayed and dishonored. Social deviants will never be considered mainstream, thus the term “social deviant.” Enjoy the paper moon . . . . . .

  • Michael S

    The Military is NOT about equal rights – it is about creating human weapons. The GLAAD – (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is among the most active demonstrators in the country. The problem ≈ IMO ≈ is soldiers are subjected to extreme stress to knock the 'civilian' out of them. When a superior officer is confronted with a substandard or under performing soldier the actions consequences can be significant.
    Before repeal of DADT any corrective action taken by a superior officer was simply a matter of building a better soldier to build a better unit to more adequately defend themselves and ultimately the USA.
    Now, if the same situation arises (and it will), will the now openly gay or lesbian soldier complain they are being singled out for being gay and will GLAAD be their ACLU? As a result of this will superior officers now be forced due to political correctness to accept less from soldiers which will make for a less effective unit and ultimately weaken National Defense. If you don't think PC is in the military recent events would suggest otherwise not only with repeal of DADT but also the Ft. Hood shooter. If you don't think gay soldiers are activists just see Bradley Manning and the wikileaks mess.
    Suppose an officer uses the unit to try and correct a soldier – if not gay NO PROBLEM, if gay will the soldier complain about being singled out for being gay and as such will fellow soldiers in the unit be subjected to hate crimes charges.
    To avoid all of these situations will the military be forced to train all personel in "SENSITIVITY" and what role does this have in building a National Defense?
    Gay or Lesbian soldiers have been serving honorably for a long time now and the reason why is they were all neutral when compared to other soldiers NO LABELS other than ARMY, MARINE, NAVY, AIR FORCE, COAST GUARD member. Now we will have those and GAY ARMY, GAY MARINE etc……
    We must congratulate the 111th Congress for continuing to rip apart the USA they have done a remarkably good job ! And for the WEAK KNEED RHINOs shame on you !

  • Hayeksheroes

    What happens when Johnny and Joe want to live together on base?
    The military can’t discriminate against them. J and J can’t get married.
    Not every state allows civil unions. This dadt repeal is another ploy towards a federal law for gay marriage. This is why the left wanted dadt repealed.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    I thought of new jingles

    Be all that you can be
    Keep your arms off of me.

    The few, the loving, the marines

  • muchiboy

    Firstly,some of the toughest soldiers,and some of the most competent officers, I have known were gay.And this was in an army at war.An army every bit as capable as the IDF.
    The American Army,the Marines ,both highly professional, and America itself is bigger then any inconveniences a controversial but accepted minority may pose.Although I was caught off guard as well in how far our society has come with Gay Rights in recent years it appears it has not weakened,and maybe strengthened,our social bonds and capital.And if one thinks about it,and our ongoing conflict with Islamic Fundamentalism,Gays in the Marines bringing the fight to them is ironic,but just,and maybe appropriate.muchiboy

  • donna_marie

    I served in the Navy from 85-90. There were many gays and lesbians serving then-of course, if their sexual orientation was made public then they would be administratively discharged. I don't know if this is going to make a huge difference to the military-because the way I see it is that the only difference is that they (gays) now can tell those around them that they are gay without fear of being kicked out. It will be a wait and see kind of thing but you have to remember the kids that serve on the front lines are really only 18-20 year olds that have been told in public school that being gay is okay. I think that they are a lot more accepting and that there is not going to be the backlash like some think.

  • Edmund Scott

    So, does it mean now that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will be replaced with, "Do Ask, Do Tell,"? – or perhaps, "Must Ask, Must Tell,"?

  • Edmund Scott

    So, does it mean now that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will be replaced with, "Do Ask, Do Tell,"? – or perhaps, "Must Ask, Must Tell,"?

  • Gene Russell

    Remember, the military has greater control of its people than any other segment of our society. If women can serve on submarines, show me a place where gays can't serve. Obedience to authority is the name of the game. The British, the Canadians, the Dutch, the Israelis, the Australians have paved the way. Three years from now we'll be asking what all the fuss was about.

  • Steve Chavez

    IS IT A BATTLEFIELD ISSUE OR A LOCKER ROOM ISSUE? People can openly come out of the closet now so let's openly analyse this without any punches being pulled.

    A bullet is a bullet no matter who shot it but if there is any hesitation to shoot that bullet due to feeling sorry or fear, then an enemy bullet will kill our soldiers or even that person. But, it's more of a LOCKER ROOM issue. What if while taking a shower, or taking a leak, someone sneeks a peak and with a look of lust? It will happen. "What are you looking at" the soldier screams? What if the gay man gets an erection? Could this lead to a fight? Who will get in the most trouble? Could that then lead to a battlefield problem? So what do you do? Put them in separate areas or they shower at different times? What if now that the gays are segregated and they have their own shower times, they have sexual encounters taking place since now they are all in agreement? What if they also have their own bunk areas and when the lights go out…? LOOK FOR THOUSANDS OF LAWSUITS by the Liberal lobby. Many innocent soldiers will be dishonorably discharged because they argued with a gay in the shower!

    • donna_marie

      Just have to hope that they act like adults with self-control. After all an adult should be able to do that. Are there jerks? Sure. Can your scenario happen? Of course. However, I will tell you that when I was on active duty, non-homosexuals that were friends with homosexuals were discharged wrongly just because of their friendships with gays.

  • Jane Baer

    Gays who are above rank can come on to newbies, just like now Gays who are teachers in colleges can come on to students. The problem is with the teaching that gay is OK so that what used to be called militant gays (now the norm) can try to seduce recruits to their beliefs with society's approval and the underling has NO recourse. There will be many recruits.

    • Jane Baer

      my sons aren't going in the military now

    • trickyblain

      Please. Homosexuals are not "recruited." They are what they are.

      You are talking about quid pro quo sexual harassment, which is illegal. Very hard to get away with these days, even in the military.

      • Infidel1683

        why the deletion, admin?

  • howdigg

    Looking for input…
    In the event that the draft is reinstated, what will the repeal of DADT mean for gays who don't want to serve?

    Am I correct in thinking that gays could got a deferment in past wars?

  • USMCSniper

    Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell, who no doubt knows something about racial discrimination, made the proper distinction between racial and behavioral discimination during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee when he said: "Skin color is a benign nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of acquired human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but totally invalid argument," he said. Therefore, excluding open homosexuals from the military has nothing to do with equal rights or freedom of expression. Expect the following now: Sensitivity training in the military not for tolerance but for sanctioning homosexuality and openly flaunting of their homosexuality by the debauchers and deviants – and evem minor criticism of anything homosexual will result in disciplinary actions. Oh well, there is always fragging!

    • zsqpwxxeh

      You know who is responsible for this outrage? We are. We elected the Democrats and the RINOs, and they performed exactly as we knew they would, lowering morale and increasing leftist indoctrination in the military on the last weekend of their lameduckedness in order to appease their favorite constituency, homosexuals. A great nation declines in baby steps; this is just another.

      But don't despair; it's very reversible. All it takes is 60 conservatives in the Senate and one in the Oval Office, and DADT is back in force. I notice Sarah Palin has a son on active service–I'm sure it would be her pleasure to sign a reinstatement of the policy the day after her inauguration as President in January 2013.

    • Citizen-Comrade

      …and the banning of Bibles on base because they contain 'hate speech'.

      You know where this is going: A leftist inspired war on Judeo-Christianity useing homosexuals in the military as pawns..

  • Jason

    If memory serves, some years ago the Marine Corps underwent an extremely difficult task rooting out the service-wide corruption caused by a so-called "Lesbian Network." This network was established to facilitate the rise of homosexual women to positions of power. A brief study of the tumult this episode wrought within the Corps should be required for those who only see favorable outcomes from this insidious form of integration.
    Not long ago, the Chief of Staff decreed the Army's official position for all to hear and know when he stated that preserving the diversity program was at least as important as determining the true cause of the Ft. Hood shootings (if not more so). It does not take much to imagine future chiefs of staff proudly supporting and sponsoring gay pride celebrations on US military installations around the world. Indeed, political correctness being what it is, how could this not happen.
    I suspect many of our best troops will vote with their feet on this one.

    • Infidel1683

      Hey Jason, I've been searching the internet far and wide for the Lesbian network within the marine corps. Nothing so far. Can you provide a link, source or some additional information on this?

  • Stephen_Brady

    I am a veteran of the Vietnam (101st Airborne). If there were any homosexuals in our unit, they didn't tell anyone about it, and we would not have reacted well to the knowledge. Instead of concentrating on the enemy, we would have been looking for any signs that an officer or NCO was giving the man privileges. It would have been a morale-buster, in the extreme.

    It was tough enough being in-country with men who didn't want to be there. Add open homosexuals to the mix, and it's a prescription for disaster.

    If I was in the military, today, I would leave … at the first opportunity. I suspect that getting men like me out of the service is the goal of the enemy in the White House.

    @Steve Chavez: The trial-lawyers lobby might be a secondary reason for this.

  • Erikk

    Is it just me or are those who are currently "leading" the Nation doing everything that they can to make us weaker and more open to destruction? DADT, START, the very open border with militant drug cartells waging open warfare on our soli. Islam geting all possible consessions while home grown jihadis are now being manufactured right here it the USA. The systematic and purposfull weakening of the US ecomomy.

    Wake up America.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Erikk, you're right on target …

  • Rifleman

    Sex within combat units, hetrosexual or homosexual, creates big problems for discipline, cohesion and morale.

  • WallyG

    This is one of steps in undermining the nation and one of the solid core value elements left untouched by liberalism. It is also another cog in the wheekl of the gay marriage movement. So one should suppose that now that the ban is lifted millions of gays will enlist? Hardly! This was never about anything more than disruptive politics and the social experiment weaklings and weak officials subscribe to. Let me ask, is China, Russia setting up their military to be wonderully gay? Gee I wonder why it isn't? Let's bring back the draft and really speed up the collapse the dems want.

  • FPM.COM Subscriber

    I'll add my thought, too. Repealing DADT says, essentially, it's "OK" to be queer. It is NOT OK to be queer!! It's unnatural, against nature, and an abomination (See God's word in Romans, Ch. 1, 2). Men naturally associate females with intimacy and nurture … caring, which extends to their natural role with infants and small children -NOT like someone 'charging' up some "Porkchop Hill"!!! Just as some grown man 'playing with' an effeminate doll. The former shows the COWARDLINESS of a people, just as the later shows the SICKNESS (moral) of a people! You 'obliterate' natural roles and you 'obliterate' a man's fundamental motivation and functionality. Allowed to stand, repeal of DADT not only will ruin morale and combat readiness, but will turn the armed services from an honorable and respected institution into, ultimately, a predatory force that'd be open to incursions against the the very citizens it was intended to defend! -at the 'whim' of reprobate leaders. This has happened before in the 1930s, initially with the 'Brown Shirts' in pre-Nazi Germany. "Those who FAIL TO LEARN the lessons from history are doomed to repeat that history!"

    • jhall9999

      You make a good point that the military could be turned into a predatory force that could be used to turn on the citizens they are supposed to defend. With a dangerous tyrant like Obama, it is very possible in the future.

    • trickyblain

      You do know that Nazi Germany executed homosexuals, right? Sort of the opposite of the point you're trying to make…

  • Infidel1683

    When I go to ETS shortly (that is choose not to re-enlist) I can say the repeal of DADT was what pushed me off the fence. Hooah!

  • Paul

    Most of those commenting on this and voting did not serve in the military. I did and I would be uncomfortable serving with openly gay soldiers.- showering with them and sleeping in the same quarters. They would promote their own and keep their own out of dangerous situations if possible. Don't ask don't tell worked pretty well. It is foolish to risk our military to make a bunch of liberals, who hate our soldiers anyway, happy.
    The vast majority of our Senators and Representatives have not served either. A pox on them, too. Medical costs for veterans will soar also due to AIDS.