Dont Ask Dont Tell

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 12:36 AM GMT
    Ok so this policy has been active way too long, what are your opions on this policy and do you think it will be removed soon? I personally see why it was created but i believe that its time for it to end. We have every right to be in the military just like any other law abiding citizen. The real issue is fratizing in the ranks, which should be focused on both straights and gays i the military.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 22, 2007 1:07 AM GMT
    The policy is a joke.
    Especially when you consider statistics of people leaving the military claiming they are gay. Even when I was talking to a recruiter he mentioned if I ever wanted out, i could always just use it as an excuse to leave.

    I dont see it ending anytime soon though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 2:40 AM GMT
    There are lots of gay men in the military.

    The policy is not going to disappear soon unless there is a directive from the President.

    There are a lot of very conservative evangelical christian officers, especially at the upper levels. The generals (like Patraeus) are not going to do anything unless pushed very hard, and I can't see anyone - especially a Democratic President who doesn't have a war hero background - doing that in the near future. No matter what they say now.

    At most I expect that gays might not be persued like they are now.

    Get us out of any wars, get us out of the middle east, get a second term in office - and yes, I think it might be possible for one of the Dem frontrunners then.

    R
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:02 AM GMT
    Momentum for repealing that blundered compromise has been growing each year. I've been involved with SLDN (see www.SLDN.org) for several years, mainly because of the first guy I dated and who remains a great friend in active duty is in the Navy.
    Congress needs a veto-proof majority under the Bush administration. However, it won't take a war hero Democratic president to accept Congress's decision--all of them are in favor of repealing the ban.
    But because the culture in America hasn't caught up with the dozens of other (progressive) countries that allow gays in the military, the critical part will be how the repeal is socialized. The good news is that we have so many countries to look at for best practices and possible errors. I'm personally very optimistic. I want the next time I go to my friend's change of command ceremony, for him to be able to thank his partner just like the others thank their spouses.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:15 AM GMT
    It would be nice to think.

    I am obviously not as immediately optimistic.

    Funny how things go, my life certainly might have been much different...

    SLDN is a great organization, I urge everyone interested to support their difficult and nescessary work.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:40 AM GMT
    END IT??? ...NOW??? ...IN THE MIDST OF A CRAZY WAR???? ... icon_eek.gif ... ARE YOU MAD????

    This is the time to fully support the policy!

    "Yes, sirree....let me in the showers with a bunch of naked men and all hell is gonna break loose. You better not let me in the military...cuz...cuz...cuz I am a homo-sexual predator...a shower peeker...and everything else!"

    icon_biggrin.gif

    Hell No! ...I dont have to go! ...nanny-nanny-boo-boo ... icon_lol.gif

    How delicious that their policy bites them in the butt. ... icon_biggrin.gif

    That policy doesnt mean anything now except that gays dont have to die for a bunch of crazy, gay-hating, red-state, religio-wacko idiots. ...And I wouldnt change it for the world ...at least, not til they are out of power and America comes to its senses.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:53 AM GMT
    I know what its like to live by rules like that. Mines aren't official tho, they're just things that everyone already know to be true. When you're in the public eye you can't be you, especially when you have a teams reputation at stake.

    I don't agree with it. Its demeaning man to watch other people live they lives and be congradulated but to have to hide yours.

    it shouldn't apply to any field. Sports or the military.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Oct 22, 2007 4:11 AM GMT
    The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy remains an embarrassment on the US as long as it a self-established standard-bearer of progress and opportunity.

    It is also emblematic of the patronization leveled onto the US military personnel, claiming that the individuals within the military are not and should not be mature enough to work alongside gay and lesbian persons.

    There are certainly many existing problems within the US military in terms of the masculinity / feminity dichotomy, rigid gender role constructions, and the maintenance of a patriarchal hierarchy. However, the aimed solution should not be to insulate and perpetuate these difficulties.

    ***

    As for how long the policy will remain, that fully depends on political leadership (as opposed to mere political opportunism) and social attitudes within the US. The increasing demystification of LGBTQ humans and the mainstreaming of LGBTQ persons (thanks to movements on the part of LGBTQ persons and popular media developments) work to pressure against the foolish differential treatment on part of the US military. Yet, the so-absurd-that-it-should-not-be-true-yet-it-is development of authoritarian "Christianity" and of persons that have bought into the US' self-established hype work against these efforts...thankfully, they're doing an extraordinary (and unfortunately costly) job at diminishing their influence.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Oct 22, 2007 10:13 AM GMT
    This is an insane policy
    but as long as the climate of republican fear mongering stays in washington it ain't gonna change
    and this being an election year we're going to be targets all year long
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    Oct 22, 2007 2:10 PM GMT
    I actually kind of like the idea that we can serve and leave at will simply by saying we are gay. If they bring back a draft for a possible Iran war you better believe I'll play the gay card to get out of that BS. Don't forget, its don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue. So you can be gay, just don't run around proclaiming it to everyone. On principal it sucks, but realistically, I'm not that annoyed by it. As far as inter rank fraternizing, I can completely understand how officers and enlisted shouldn't fraternize. It creates favoritism and can create unnecessary drama.
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    Oct 22, 2007 2:37 PM GMT
    owl: You need to read some more stories about how DADT has been played out. You make it sound like a wonderful convenience for gays and lesbians.
    You're not in the work force yet, but pretend that when you're a lawyer in the firm you love, you have to be distant from everyone, never give a hint that you're gay, never bring a "real" date to events. And if someone sees your facebook profile by chance and makes the connection that you're a big 'mo, they can work to get you fired and prevent you from practicing law again.
    And regarding the draft, rest assured that if the country is in crisis and needs bodies, dismissal cases would be rescinded in a heartbeat.
    References: http://www.sldn.org/templates/dadt/index.html?section=42
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Oct 22, 2007 2:39 PM GMT
    owl,

    sorry, it doesn't work that way. I was pursued right out of the Marines because somebody thought it was odd that I wasn't married. They'll come after anyone who doesn't quite fit in with what they think is normal...
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 22, 2007 2:49 PM GMT
    Caslon, right now, gay or straight, no one has to die by being a member of the US military service. There's no draft going on, so the men and women are all individuals who signed up. Therefore it isn't "gays dont [sic] have to die for a bunch of crazy, gay-hating, red-state, religio-wacko idiots", but more of "gays are not allowed the choice of serving in the military."

    I have no intention of joining the military myself, but it's just wrong that if I did want to I'd have to completely hide my dating life or risk being kicked out--and even then, there'd still be a risk of being found out and kicked out anyway.

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell's days are numbered. The thing is, things like this change much more on a generational time step than otherwise. Few adults really change their mind about such social policies without some sort of major upheaval in their own life--maybe if they find out a child or a sibling is directly affected, but often even not then. It's more that as the oldest members of society are replaced by younger ones, the overall society shifts.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:04 PM GMT
    Speaking as an active-duty member of the US Navy currently serving in Afghanistan and fighting the war on terror the policy DOES HAVE A PLACE.

    Namely it protects gays from the persecution that was common (and still happens on rare occasions) from the older and/or more closed-minded personnel in the service. It's nearly ended the gay witch-hunts and hazing that were common before the policy went into effect. It allows gays to keep their business to themselves and not have to worry about outside attention.

    I will say this, I am a God-fearing member of the United States Navy, and proud to serve my country and allow the sissies out there to b*tch and whine about whatever the hell they want, BEFORE I am anything else.

    Democratic presidents and administrations are the #1 enemy of the military and I will never in good conscience support the Democratic party. They reduce veteran benefits, cut our yearly pay increases (which are based solely on inflation and hell, WE AREN'T PAID ENOUGH AS IT IS!!!), and give money meant for defense of this nation to rediculous programs like Welfare for the illegal immigrants to mooch off of as opposed to helping those of us who were born here and have balls enough to serve.

    I will also say I am a firm believer in conscription and I think everyone out there needs to serve this country while also bettering themselves. War is a gruesome business and it's not going to change any time soon but someone needs to do the job, and I'm one of the people happy to do it.

    For every insurgent we kill here in Afghanistan and in Iraq, that is one less person who could potentially harm you and your families and the people you love. I think it's sad, but it's going to take another September 11th to get people off their asses and open their eyes to reality.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Oct 22, 2007 3:34 PM GMT
    Arvis-
    Thank you for serving in the military. I respect you and every other man and woman giving their all to protect the freedoms we have. The freedom I most appreciate after reading your post is my right to disagree with most everything you said - other than "War is gruesome".

    God speed, and be safe over there.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Oct 22, 2007 3:40 PM GMT
    Hi Arvis,

    I was in the Marines, stationed in DC when the policy was being debated and implemented. I supported the ban wholeheartedly back then. I agreed that lifting the ban would be harmful to the military as a whole, because of the kind of people the military tends to attract. Such individuals are by nature conformist, and any expression of indivuduality is to be squashed immediately.

    I took a LOT of shit from gay people for my position (ever had a drink thrown in your face in a bar?). I firmly believed the military was better off staying the way it was, without openly gay people. I know better now.

    After ten years of service, I was summarily kicked out. An investigation was launched by an anonymous co-worker that thought it very odd that I was unmarried at age thirty. Up the chain of command things went, and I was asked the supposedly illegal question. I was also pursued when I was clearly not supposed to have been.

    DADT doesn't work, period...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:51 PM GMT
    Jarhead-

    While I do feel sorry for you I know of many people in similar positions. For example the old CO of my ship was 34, single, and lived in a huge flat in San Diego in HILLCREST (the gayborhood in SD). Everyone knew for matter of fact that the guy was gay, and he had been seen in gay bars before but no one cared.

    In all honesty, you are the only case that I personally know of in which DADT has not worked. I also know as someone who is involved in the legal processes of my command that there are tons of cards that can be played to defend against those who would try to out you. Had you cited the specific Executive Order and the DOD regulation which contains DADT, you would have been under no obligation to answer their questions as it is a direct breach of regulations.

    I also know of a service member who was outed because a fellow sailor saw an email to his boyfriend in his hotmail when he walked by. The gay member was kicked out but his discharge was overturned in an appeal because he never directly outed himself. The service member responsible for his discharge was found guilty of invasion of privacy and was then discharged. The gay member returned to active duty and served 6 more years before receiving an honorable discharge at the end of his enlistment.

    This is just one reason why it was modified to "Don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:58 PM GMT
    I lived under don't ask don't tell for 8 years in the Marines. And I did have people ask, but I never told. The problem a lot of the time came from older senior leadership, who had no experience at all with homosexuality (General Peter Pace, for example). Their attitudes are never going to change, so when they eventually leave, the policy will be easier to repeal. They'll fight it tooth and nail, and have their ways of making it harder for people under suspect, no matter what President, Democrat or Republican, says. The younger guys generally have not as much a problem with it, as they have been more exposed to it. There was one section on a base I was stationed on that was known as a haven for lesbians. From my experience, lesbians can be more open about their status than gay males- chalk it up to straight guy fantasies. I've seen the policy go unenforced on several occasions because the people involved were valuable, and didn't throw their sexuality in the face of others. Unfortunately, a lot of times it is used as a tool for retribution.
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    Oct 22, 2007 4:06 PM GMT
    There are cases where it works and cases where it doesn't. It is up to each of us to defend ourselves and ensure it is not abused. If someone quotes that reg in a case, then that is all they need to stand on. I've done it with other regulations in cases before and it shuts people up. Quoting a reg is the simplest and most powerful thing someone can do when matters like this come up.

    DADTDP is not a saving grace and it is not a condemning evil. It has ups and downs, positives and negatives. But then again, if we were able to solve issues to everyone's liking then we wouldn't have wars or fights or disagreements. In some cases it works, in others it is abused. I can't speak for the cases where it's abused becuase I've only personally seen it work.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Oct 22, 2007 4:07 PM GMT
    re: Arvis

    The current positive purpose of President Clinton's executive order (as in, positive for lesbian and gay servicemembers) is indicative of a problem with the US military; it is incumbent on the US civilian leadership to rid the US military of both.

    Granted, the political and social manuvering required for such a develop demand a highly competent and committed executive administration.

    From the looks of the Republican "leadership," they certainly do not come across as genuine supporters of US veterans. They apply the right buzzwords and lip-service and apply the common (non)sense of the Republican Party as necessarily being pro-servicemember / pro-veteran and the Democratic Party as anti-servicemember / anti-veteran. In the Republican crusade for efficiency (read: taking funds away from public employees and institutions and putting them into more expensive private companies), the US military will get screwed.

    If you want to go for the Democratic Party's major flaws, you will be far more successful in pointing to its support of the (I believe useful, yet likely overly wasteful) executive bureaucracy as established by President Franklin Roosevelt.

    ***

    As for conscription, I support it myself. I believe that all citizens (and possibly non-citizen inhabitants) should receive either military experience / training or disaster response experience / training. It would be costly, though the purpose would be to render the population prepared for emergencies on local, regional, and national levels (providing a social good, and not a direct financial investment).

    I am in still on the drawing board on how I believe it could be realistically achieved.

    ***

    As for the insurgents killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, your equation does not hold. It simplifies the the local, regional, national, and international conflicts to a useless extent, rendering it a catchphrase rather than accurate description.
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    Oct 22, 2007 4:12 PM GMT
    Nick-

    Tell that to my close friends who died two weeks ago from an IED explosion on a convoy here in Kabul. Oh wait, you can't, he's dead.

    The threat of terrorism against the US is very real and were we to simply back out and leave them alone, then we're likely to lose some other huge building containing hundreds of people.

    Like I said, it's going to take another September 11th to reawaken this country.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Oct 22, 2007 4:44 PM GMT
    Arvis,

    Once the investigation was complete, they had me. I had just bought a house with my partner, we jointly owned our cars, had joint power of attorney, all of it. The evidence against me was overwhelming.

    My point, however, is that the investigation should never have started to begin with. There was no basis, NONE, for anyone to question my behavior, yet some knuckle-dragging bigot from Utah was able to whisper in my CO's ear and start the whole ball rolling. DADT was not supposed to allow speculation like that, yet it does it every day...
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    Oct 22, 2007 4:55 PM GMT
    I guess my partner and I are a bit more careful about that. Neither of us has the other's power of attorney, we own nothing jointly, and we're not legally married.

    Sorry to say, you left a paper trail and that is a big no-no. BTW, both my partner and I are military.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 5:01 PM GMT
    Arvis,

    Your partner's and your feelings toward the military are simply more important than your feelings towards each other. From that perspective, not leaving a paper trail is easy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2007 5:13 PM GMT
    Or maybe he and I both have less than a year left on active duty and we'd like to finish our careers in the military without any issues and retain our veteran's benefits.

    Honestly McGay, you have no right to judge our feelings towards eachother. We decided mutually to hold off on anything with a paper trail becuase he NEEDS his benefits to continue receiving medical treatment for an injury sustained in a helicopter crash.

    I have never called someone's feelings about their partner into question and I would greatly appreciate it if you extended the same courtesy to us.