November 30, 2010

Allowing gays to serve openly in the miliary "would not be the wrenching, traumatic change that many have feared and predicted," said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

At a news conference today, after the release of a 9-month Pentagon study. 
He said it was a “matter of urgency” that the lame-duck Senate vote in the next weeks to repeal the law.  If not, Mr. Gates predicted fights in the courts and the possibility that the repeal would be “imposed immediately by judicial fiat.”...
... Gates acknowledged the higher levels of “discomfort” about repealing the law among those in the combat branches of the military. He said that those findings remained a concern to him as well as to the chiefs of the service branches, but that the concerns were not insurmountable as long as any repeal was carried out carefully and with what he said was “sufficient time and preparation to get the job done right.”

66 comments:

1jpb said...

And, the Rs are still against a change in policy.

So, obviously, BHO is to blame.

franglo said...

If only we'd elected McCain DADT would have been repealed ages ago, we would have full employment and no deficit, and marmelade would've flooded the gulf instead of crude.

Seven Machos said...

I've always said that if military leaders are fine with gays in the military and people through their elected officials are fine with it, I am fine with it.

What is not cool at all is a judge suddenly discovering something in the penumbra.

traditionalguy said...

Enough Rs will swing over to get this repeal done. Hating people for being different is not a good long term strategy for the military or any other group effort. we all just need to get along, to quote a famous African American philosopher and DUI repeat offender. Gay marriage may be the real bridge too far. Stay tuned.

Jay Retread said...

Well Ann has stated in previous posts that she supports a district federal court judge tossing DADT and the president not appealing the ruling.

Skyler said...

”...... Gates acknowledged the higher levels of “discomfort” about repealing the law among those in the combat branches of the military. He said that those findings remained a concern to him

Yeah, the concerns of those pesky combat branches.

Hmmm. Shouldn't they ALL be combat branches? Every Marine is a rifleman.

Michael said...

One solution would be for the military to develop all gay battalions. It worked for the Thebans with the "Sacred Band." Of course, Alexander and Phillip killed them all at Chaeronaeia. The problem with combat arms is real.

Freeman Hunt said...

What if you only allowed one gay member per combat squad, or some such rule, to preclude romantic involvements? (Just as we do not, at least to my knowledge, allow men and women to mix in ground combat squads.) No such limits for non-combat positions.

Would that be an acceptable compromise?

(I'm guessing not because both sides would hate it, but I'll ask anyway.)

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

I doubt it will be an issue at all in "the combat branches" or in any of the more macho specialties in the military. Combat arms, special ops, even munitions and aircraft maintenance will see very, very few openly gay men. They'll stay in the closet, just like they do now. Look at pro sports, where it's already legal to be gay but there are exactly zero openly gay players in MLB, thr NFL, NBA or NHL. There's other reasons besides legality why gay men stay in the closet.

On the other hand, I believe the medical and legal branches will have their hands full dealing with gay issues. Linguists and intel, too.

Joan said...

Gay marriage may be the real bridge too far.

And this is why DADT works. If the military suddenly says being gay is OK, are then military chaplains expected to perform gay marriages? Will the military be providing family housing for married gay couples? If gay servicemen want to get married in a state where it's not legal, could they anyway, on base? What is the federal law regarding gay marriage?

Besides, if DADT is repealed, then homosexuals will not be allowed to serve at all -- right? Wasn't DADT implemented as a way around the uniform code that expressly forbids any homosexual activity? Just repealing DADT isn't going to fix anything, and I wonder if there has been sufficient study of what it might break.

Fen said...

Hating people for being different

is not what this is about.

And the hypocrisy is ridiculous.

If we forced civies into unisex stalless public bathrooms, you guys would riot.

edutcher said...

I think the issue would be that we'd see the types usually featured in the Castro festival getting in everyone's faces and they would be given the usual PC protection. So a lot of people would decide to leave. I think this whole thing is aimed at weakening the country militarily.

I also think the "survey" is as phony as the vote that gave Saddam Hussein 99% approval.

PS Never forget Robert Gates is the CIA wizard who kept telling everybody that the Russkies were going to come through the Fulda Gap one day in overwhelming force. This guy is a cheap bureaucrat who does what ever he thinks the politicians want.

Bender said...

I doubt it will be an issue at all in "the combat branches" or in any of the more macho specialties in the military.

It absolutely will be an issue.

If only because those continue to say that the present policy is the right policy, those who object to having their service and the mission of the military politicized in this fashion, will most definitely be subjected to disciplinary action for their political incorrectness.

Bender said...

And it should be no surprise that the report favors the change. The change was mandated before the report was even ordered.

The military leaders are fine with it because they were ordered to be fine with it and because at that high level, many are consummate political bootlickers.

Roux said...

Just ask Private Manning....

Bob said...

The loss of a significant number of Chaplains is gonna leave a big bruise. And that other "DADT", homosexual rape, will be another huge issue. Personally I see this going no where as the lame duck session isn't going to kill this issue - generates too much $ for Democrats.

Jason said...

Wishful thinking.

miller said...

You know, I've come around 180 degrees on this.

Just end it.

For God's sake, we let African Americans earn their citizenship through their sacrifice in the Civil War.

What the hell is this policy doing still hanging around?

William said...

I am sure that there are any number of gay men who can and will serve honorably. Their service will be reported on the nightly news and, if one should die in combat, expect to, at long last, see a Hollywood movie about a heroic warrior.....Are there any gays here who worry about serving under an officer like Massa? A commanding officer or NCO has a great deal of power over someone lower in rank. I don't think someone like Massa would pick on the heteros, but I can see him exploiting the gays under his command.....Also if you can't keep a Rutgers dorm free of bullying what are the chances that a flamer recruit will survive the barracks unscathed?

Jason said...

Gays != African Americans.

Seven Machos said...

Miller -- Gays can serve.

what are the chances that a flamer recruit will survive the barracks unscathed?

Low, unless he's a tough motherfucker.

miller said...

"Miller -- Gays can serve. "

Then what's the big deal about whether we know they are gay?

Just end it. It's a stupid policy that does nothing positive.

Seven Machos said...

Miller -- I think the idea is that you want killing and not sex on the mind.

Also, more importantly, and I've always felt that this is the huge deal, you want to limit the amount of venereal disease you have in a military, and anal sex is the best way to spread venereal disease, and gay men engage in more anal sex than most people. Further, you've got a lot of strapping young men in close quarters and few eligible or attractive women around. Who knows what happens when you turn the spigot?

I think the cultural thing is overrated.

All that said, I am ultimately with you provided the citizenry and the military brass are also.

Jennifer said...

My husband is in the machoist of all macho combat branches and he's always said he'd rather have a gay man on his team than a woman.

Separately, the idea that a bunch of flamboyantly effeminate activists are going to sign their lives away to the military during war time just to cause a ruckus is idiotic.

Skyler said...

Separately, the idea that a bunch of flamboyantly effeminate activists are going to sign their lives away to the military during war time just to cause a ruckus is idiotic.

No, it's not. Homosexuals are not going to be the problem. It's the break down in discipline that will result from flamboyantly effeminate or militant homosexuals that will destroy the reputation of the military.

Homosexuals aren't the problem. It's the symptom of a society that has lost its moral foundation.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: What if you only allowed one gay member per combat squad, or some such rule, to preclude romantic involvements...

The thing is, not all gay men will be open about it, and not all gay men will be comfortable telling everyone they work with they are gay. They may only share it with a few people.

Plus, sometimes people don't realize they are gay until later in life, or aren't comfortable saying they are gay until later in life. And some people are bisexual. You'd have to break up combat squads because of this.

Jason (the commenter) said...

edutcher: I think the issue would be that we'd see the types usually featured in the Castro festival getting in everyone's faces and they would be given the usual PC protection.

It would certainly clash with the depraved swinger/frat-house lifestyle the military has now. Oh, that's right, they don't allow lewd sexuality from anyone, just like at most other workplaces, so your point wouldn't be an issue.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Joan: Will the military be providing family housing for married gay couples?

I can't help remembering a scene from The Birth of A Nation where the white people are mad because the blacks want to walk on the same side of the street as them.

Gays will want their legally married spouses and children to live on base, and it should be expected.

Ironclad said...

Let them serve openly, but do NOT make a new protected class. The last thing the military needs is another "group" whose mention in a conversation can ruin a career. But that is much too un-PC to fly.

LarsPorsena said...

"It would certainly clash with the depraved swinger/frat-house lifestyle the military has now."

And you are basing that on what?

AllenS said...

Jason,

I see you finally showed up. A couple of days ago, you said that I said something that I didn't. I challenged you to find the quote, and then you ran, ran like a sissy, pussy, like a little girl.

Now, you show up and say something so childish, so fucking stupid about the military. Like this: It would certainly clash with the depraved swinger/frat-house lifestyle the military has now.

Where did that come from? Personal experience in the military?

Jennifer said...

Oh, that's right, they don't allow lewd sexuality from anyone, just like at most other workplaces, so your point wouldn't be an issue.

Do we not see what this does to the previous statement?

AllenS said...

Just heard a good one on ESPN. A man who had a sex change into a woman was denied a right to play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Keep the perverts out of the military also.

c3 said...

And, the Rs are still against a change in policy.

I think you'll find that many/most "Rs" are agnostic on the policy.

I'll be interested to see how my senator, McCain, reacts. I haven't understood his stance.

PS My son is in the Navy. He feels the policy is stupid and he believes most of his fellow officers of his generation agree. His CO is gay (but don't ask him directly) and its had no effect on morale or unit cohesion.

Jason said...

In other words, DADT works.

Jason said...

Allen: J the C was being ironic.

His argument is that the flamboyantly gay Castro-district-style expression would be prohibited in the military by the same rules that govern general behavior.

It's a stupid, naive argument - as if people never change out of uniform or act naturally in the barracks and dayrooms outside of duty hours, but that's his argument.

AllenS said...

Bullshit. He wasn't being ironic. He opened his mouth and said something stupid. It was his attempt to say something bad about the military.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Jennifer,

They can't see because they are blinded by hate. They've lost touch with reality and I'm glad they flaunt it because it makes it that much easier to discount their opinions on this issue.

Jason (the commenter) said...

AllenS,

I think the battle against ending DADT is the stupidest fight the military could have taken on just before we have to make severe budget cutting decisions.

That's what I have to say that's bad about the military.

Jennifer said...

Apparently, Jason, because you were pretty clear.

If we want to talk about discipline breakdown due to out of place soldiers, let's discuss the people who join the military for no other reason than a lack of skills and the hope for an out of whatever bad situation they come from. People who don't actually want to be soldiers, don't give a shit about the mission and do nothing but drag down unit morale. There's a whole lot of them in your average pogue unit. Should we ban poor people from the military? Unskilled people?

What about the people who join the military only to find out they're still weird, people still don't like them and not only do they not fit in to their unit, they annoy the hell out of everybody and affect unit cohesion?

All of these types abound in far larger numbers than the hypothetical "flamboyantly effeminate or militant homosexuals" that you all seem to be convinced are going to run straight to their nearest recruiter in droves, putting their lives on the line and giving up their freedoms to make a point.

Famous Original Mike said...

"I've always said that if military leaders are fine with gays in the military and people through their elected officials are fine with it, I am fine with it.

What is not cool at all is a judge suddenly discovering something in the penumbra."

This.

veni vidi vici said...

"Penumbra" sounds like a scaly growth found beneath a damp, mossy patch of pubic hair.

"God damn that odor emanating from your penumbra!"

Chase said...

For God's sake, we let African Americans earn their citizenship through their sacrifice in the Civil War.

Fewer things make African Americans happier than being compared to gays.

After all, skin color does affect a person's behavior and choices, doesn't it?

Chase said...

Hint, for those who don't get it . . . that's called sarcasm.

Ralph L said...

Veni, you may have grossed out even ironrails.

are going to run straight to their nearest recruiter in droves

If they aren't going to sign up en masse, why is this an big issue? And if they're going to run straight, why is this an issue at all?

c3 said...

Jason;
In other words, DADT works.

My son's response would likely be:

I don't see the point of the policy, what its helping and what its preventing

It does (in this case) have the feel of that stereotypical communication between parent and teen
I know you're drinking and I don't approve but as long as we don't say it I can claim you don't drink and you can too!

Revenant said...

If they aren't going to sign up en masse, why is this an big issue?

You sound like a Republican senator explaining his vote to keep earmarks. "It isn't much money, so who cares?"

It is the principle of the thing. If you want to exclude a class of people from doing something, you'd better have a damned good reason for it.

Jason said...

The mission.

Revenant said...

"The mission" of the armed forces is to do what we tell them to do.

Jason said...

Bullshit.

Seven Machos said...

The mission of the military is to kill the people and break the things we, as a people, through our representatives, tell the military to kill and break.

Can and should the military accept admittedly gay people for this mission? Yes and yes, provided that killing and breaking is no less effective and provided that we and our military leaders think it's a good idea -- emphasis on we.

Jason said...

Incidentally, the survey found that fully two thirds of the Marine Corps is opposed to repeal.

c3 said...

Incidentally, the survey found that fully two thirds of the Marine Corps is opposed to repeal.

That doesn't square with this

Revenant said...

The mission of the military is to kill the people and break the things we, as a people, through our representatives, tell the military to kill and break.

The mission of the military is to do what we tell them to do. If we tell them to kill people and break things then that's what they do. If we tell them to pick up trash in downtown Paris, that's what they do. If we tell them to recite scenes from "Angels in America", that's what they do.

If they don't like following our orders, they can stop taking our tax money and quit.

Revenant said...

Incidentally, the survey found that fully two thirds of the Marine Corps is opposed to repeal.

Who cares?

They answer to us. We do not answer to them. They're our employees.

former law student said...

They answer to us. We do not answer to them. They're our employees.

Unlike other employees, nobody joins the military for the pay, but because they are motivated by intangibles. If they felt they were just employees they'd be working at Wal-mart.

Skyler said...

They answer to us. We do not answer to them. They're our employees.

True enough. And you get what you pay for.

Seven Machos said...

Thus Rev displays the closet fascism that so many libertarians have in their dark, evil hearts.

Revenant said...

Unlike other employees, nobody joins the military for the pay, but because they are motivated by intangibles.

That's true for many people in the military but by no means all of them. Why do you think Army commercials emphasize acquiring skills that will let you get good civilian jobs later? There are plenty of people in the military motivated by patriotic spirit, but there are also plenty of people who just want the benefits and security.

If they felt they were just employees they'd be working at Wal-mart.

Wal-mart employees make slightly less than an Army private's $17,366 starting salary, don't get health insurance, and don't get the numerous other financial benefits of military service.

On the plus side, they also don't get shot at and can tell their boss to go fuck himself without going to jail. But from a purely financial perspective, the military is one of the best deals available to a high school graduate.

Revenant said...

Thus Rev displays the closet fascism that so many libertarians have in their dark, evil hearts.

You shouldn't use words you don't understand, Seven.

Seven Machos said...

Like "quit"?

Revenant said...

You don't know that one either? Let me help you out with an example:

"At a young age, Seven Machos quit trying to think for himself; he found it easier to parrot the opinions of others."

Seven Machos said...

Revenant tried to quit the military because he is a starry-eyed libertarian. The JAG Corps tracked his ass down and subjected his ass to a court martial, during which time he rotted in jail because bail was not an option.

Revenant said...

I point out that you can't think for yourself, and you respond... by copying me.

Comedy gold, Seven.

Jason said...

So both the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Staff of the Army publicly oppose lifting DADT.

But Revenant knows the issue better than they do.

WV: Conan