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It's Time to Drop "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- End of Story

Robert Gates said he wants to make DADT more humane; the only way to do that is 86 the policy altogether.

Shaker Phira just emailed me this story about Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying he's looking at ways to make the US military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy "more humane," including possibly changing the rule to allow "letting people serve who may have been outed due to vengeance or a jilted lover."

Phira writes (which I'm posting with her permission):


There's just so much wrong with this. DADT is based in hatred, cruelty, fear, and discrimination; to make it "more humane" would require it to become humane. And to become humane would mean, at least to me, that DADT would be thrown out. And I doubt that's Gates' goal right now. Or Obama's.


And being selective about which LGBT people are allowed to stay in the army is just further discrimination. "Oh, you're gay? You're out of the army. Oh, but we know about it because your ex-girlfriend got angry and told us? Then I GUESS you can stay," vs. "Oh, you're gay? You're out of the army. Oh, but we know about it because you had the courage to stand up for yourself and be up-front about your sexuality? Then get out. I don't care if you're our last Arabic translator."

I don't have much to add, aside from this: The stated rationale for forcing soldiers into the closet is troop cohesion (or some wacky variation thereof) -- which has long been debunked, anyway -- but I can't imagine how the military expects to continue trying to justify the policy on that basis if they let some openly gay soldiers serve, with, inevitably, no discernible effect on morale.



Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare's Sister .

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