Sunday, April 12, 2009

Repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”

I decided to split my introduction to D, and my opinions on the current U.S. policies concerning gays and lesbians in the military, into 2 different posts

My opinion is that they're deplorable, thank you very much.

65,000 gay and lesbian soldiers (that's a low estimate; there are those that think it's closer to 100,000) are serving this country right now. They are driving tanks, and patching wounds and cooking and accounting

I've talked to a lot of people about this in the last couple of weeks, including my son and other soldiers, commanding officers, and gay friends. I've learned a lot, and gotten a lot of different perspectives.

One point seems to be brought home universally: The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, when it gets here, isn't going to be a miraculous "toggle" for gay soldiers. Ta-DUH, life is easy! Uh, no. One officer, S, noted that there are victims of prejudice in all walks of society:

[even though]...women and blacks have proven their value and abilities in the military, the system still hasn't fully adapted to the integration. People say
that's bad, but the reality is society hasn't either...if there are still equality issues in the real world why should the military be any different?...It's sickening the number of crimes against women being committed in the combat zone, and it's not just rape and harrassment.
These truths have ancillairies that get very ugly, but I try to stick to the subject today. Prejudices and hate crimes, sadly, continue to exist everywhere, and the repeal of DADT isn't going to shelter gay and lesbian soldiers from those individuals small-minded enough to commit them.

It will, however, ensure their jobs. And their benefits. And support for their families that the rest of us are presented with the minute one of ours signs up. It will ensure that all soldiers that do their jobs, and work for and fight for this country will be guaranteed the rights and benefits due to them for their service.

The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is currently slated to be dealt with sometime in 2010; and many believe it won't happen in this term at all. My friend Tracy opines:

For the next four years, the *only* issues that Obama will spend any time
on...will involve how to fix the economy. Gay civil rights? That won't help the economy. . . . that's going to be shoved aside.
Well. That may be true, but here's also what I believe:

There aren't very many problems—in any aspects
of our lives—that are solved with our silence.

If you have a problem with a soldier—any soldier—giving his or her all for this country, and being dishonorably discharged, as D said in his letter on the last post, "for who they love," then raise your voice.

You don't have to "yell" to raise your voice.
  • Talk about this.
  • Cut & paste.
  • Link to this blog.
  • Link to D's blog.
Writing a letter to your state reprensentative or senator is easier than you think—you can fill out the forms and your concerns right online!


  • Write your representative—House of Representatives . To find yours, punch in your zip code, click on your representative, hit the "Contact us” button, and fill in the blanks.
  • Webforms, e-mail addresses and mailing addresses for your state senators can all be found here: United States Senate.

Writing letters and taking action can be intimidating, I know. Many people feel that they don't write well enough, or they just don't know what to say or where to begin. If you'd like to write, and you're stuck, or need a little help, e-mail me. I'm still learning as I go, but I'll help you. If you have more questions, I may not have the answers, but perhaps together we can find them.

Keep in touch, won't you?

6 comments:

  1. Ah, if I didn't love you already, I would now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not American so writing would do no good. Actually, I'm not even sure if we have such a policy in Canada. I hope to hell we don't.

    I know it makes no difference, but you have all my support.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jazz, Canada's Anti-Gay policies were repealed 17 years ago, and hailed, even then, as "long overdue."

    U.S., Russia, and China still live in the dark ages on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. june in florida10:15 PM

    Lori i will send some letters,thank you and "D" for bringing this up.Even in private life gay partners have very few if any rights.I does need to be changed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have you seen this, Lori?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqL-bRtHfz4

    ReplyDelete

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