Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don't ask....66,000 already serving.

I don't comment on this blog about most issues (this is unabashedly a one-issue blog) but I have to say something here. In the wake of the hysteria over Obama's declaration that DADT will be repealed, the Republicans are ranting on about gays in the showers, rampant gay sex in the barracks, etc etc.

Forget for a moment that they are just playing on the stereotype of gay men as sexually uncontrolled predators.

The whole point of DADT is not to keep GLBT troops out of the service. It is to keep them in the closet. THEY ARE ALREADY IN THE MILITARY.

There are gays and lesbians serving honorably at all levels of the military all ready. There are already gay men in the showers, guys. In fact, if you talk to young servicemen, they know some of their colleagues are gay and don't care. And I can say this from personal experience; my stepdaughter dated several young guys in the Marines or Navy, and brought them home for dinner. (Nothing does more satisfaction to a pair of cooks then feeding an appreciative boy in uniform!) They were well aware of gays in their units, and it was simply a non-issue. As long as they both do their jobs, and work as a team, it doesn't matter who they sleep with off base.

Quoted by Andrew Sullivan:

An estimated 66,000 lesbians,gay men, and bisexuals are serving in the US military, accounting for approximately 2.2% of military personnel....

Approximately 13,000 LGB people are serving on active duty (comprising 0.9% of all active duty personnel) while nearly 53,000 are serving in the guard and reserve forces (3.4%).

While women comprise only about 14% of active duty personnel, they comprise more than 43% of LGB men and women serving on active duty.

Lifting DADT restrictions could attract an estimated 36,700 men and women to active duty service and 12,000 more individuals to the guard and reserve.

Since its inception in 1994, the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy has cost the military between $290 million and more than a half a billion dollars.

The military spends an estimated $22,000 to $43,000 per person to replace those discharged under DADT.

UpdateIn the testimony on Tuesday, Joint Chief of Staff Adm Mullen said that GLBT people should serve openly.
The military's top uniformed officer on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for allowing gays to serve openly in uniform, telling a Senate panel it was a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

The comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set the stage for the Defense Department's yearlong study into how the ban can be repealed without causing a major upheaval in the military.....

"No matter how I look at the issue," Mullen said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Noting that he was speaking for himself and not for the other service chiefs, Mullen added: "For me, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."....

Mullen said it was his sense that rank-and-file troops would support the change.
"I have served with homosexuals since 1968," he said in response to questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "There are a number of things cumulatively that get me to this position."

No comments: