Monday, February 1, 2010

it's time to ask about don't ask, ctd.

tuesday's congressional hearing on the military's don't ask, don't tell – the first such hearings in 17 years – could reveal some mildly good news, and some chicken-shit bad news. first:
[Defense Secretary Robert M.] Gates and Admiral [Mike] Mullen will unveil the Pentagon’s initial plans for carrying out a repeal, which requires an act of Congress. Gay rights leaders say they expect Mr. Gates to announce in the interim that the Defense Department will not take action to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners, one of the most onerous aspects of the law.
so you're gay cousin in the air force won't be discharged if his pissy ex-boyfriend rats him out, as long as your cousin doesn't talk about it himself. and that was the good news. the bad?
Republicans are already signaling that they are not eager to take up the issue. “In the middle of two wars and in the middle of this giant security threat,” Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC, “why would we want to get into this debate?”
it's just never a good time for republicans, is it mr. boehner?

the silver lining? the pentagon knows, and polling shows – it's largely a generational problem:
Although Pentagon officials were of the view that the younger rank and file did not care much about serving with openly gay service members, Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps, had major reservations.

Polls now show that a majority of Americans support openly gay service... A 2008 census by The Military Times of predominantly Republican and largely older subscribers found that 58 percent opposed to efforts to repeal the policy; in 2006, a poll by Zogby International of 545 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that three-quarters were comfortable around gay service members.

1 comment:

  1. The best part was when Adm. Mullen told Sen. Sessions that he'd served in the military with gay people since 1968. Sessions definitely wasn't expecting him to say that!


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