In the Blog
A Time for Asking and Telling
In the US, the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee hearing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unfolded into a ridiculous circus of homophobic sentiment, revealing the incredibly unabashed anti-gay doctrine that can come from high up in military administration. The hearing has also revealed that most troops could care less about the sexual orientation and preferences of their fellow soldiers, as long as they are competent and prepared. Given that the military has taken to lowering prerequisite test scores, raising age limits, and even recruiting alcoholics and felons before letting the gays in, it would seem that there’s a disconnect between what’s best for the troops and what’s actually going on.
For those of you who don’t know about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it is a US Military Policy, implemented by Bill Clinton, that prohibits homosexuals or bisexuals from disclosing their sexual orientation, or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. HuffPo gives us a rundown of the recent hearing on the (archaic) policy:
Last week, some in the Democratic Party with a good sense of historic timing held a committee hearing on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of excluding gay people from the military. It’s the first such hearing in 15 years. Democrats invited three witnesses, including a retired Navy Captain and a retired Marine Staff Sergeant, both of whom are gay (and one of whom lost a leg in Iraq). A black retired Army Major General also spoke about how the current policy resembled segregation in the military. The Republicans invited retired Army Sergeant Major Brian Jones, and a woman, Elaine Donnelly…
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness and anti-gay activist, seems to have exiled her brain to a cave on Mars for the last 20 or so years. Among her many reasons for not permitting gays and lesbians in the military was the prevalence of “inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community.” She claims that “Don’t ask, don’t tell” contributes to the spread of AIDS. She mentioned a case of “black lesbian” gang rapists who prey on new recruits.
Donnelly also dropped quotes like “forcible sodomy” and “exotic forms of sexual expression.” For full details of what went on during the hearing, the Washington Post has a great take. Here’s a clip of Donnelly getting called out on her total lack of respect and inability to treat soldiers like the professionals they are:
Just so you’re aware, Elaine Donnelly has also been fighting for years to keep women (straight and gay) out of combat. Crazy sexist homophobes exist everywhere, but why is this one the president of the Center for Military Readiness?
I think it’s time to see Jon Stewart’s take on this.