Anonymous Comments from Readers on DADT Repeal


dadt.jpegThis morning I sent this note out to about 7,000 people:

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

Senator Harry Reid
has committed himself to a cloture vote on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the US Senate. The partner stand alone bill has already passed the US House of Representatives. Today, Saturday, could be a historic day when it comes to another notch in America’s civil rights history.
I have written some pieces pasted below on the subject that I want to forward to you. I recognize that not everyone is as interested as I am in this subject. Just delete if not your thing — but today’s vote is a big deal and would be a very big score for the nation as a whole, the US military, and for the Obama administration.
Thanks for reading – and all best to you for the holidays!
On the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Fight Now:

Chatting with Joe Manchin on DADT
Corker’s Price on Nuclear Warhead Safety is Bigotry?

On these issues but written in earlier years:

When Intolerance Kills Christmas II: Why Should Gay US Soldiers Still Fear Saluting Barack Obama?
December 2009
When Intolerance Kills Christmas: My Gay Friend’s Holiday Story
December 2007

Steve Clemons
Publisher, The Washington Note
@SCClemons on Twitter

Here are some of the responses that have come in:
Response 1:

I agree fully with you on DADT. My generation is the closet generation. When I was in HS (1945-49) we had a group of lower class (no matter their parents’ income), thuggish Guys who actually did beat up a homosexual student and got away with it. When I was in the Army (1951-53) there were several homosexuals in our unit. We all knew them and didn’t give a damn as long as they did their job.
I have known several homosexual Professors who were good friends and excellent teachers or not, depending . . . But they were friends.
We have many people openly homosexual/lesbian in various professions who are superb at what they do.
Now, as a so called disclaimer, I have an emotional problem with homosexuality, largely due to my cultural background, but also due to being raped by a young man when I was 14.
However, as with any other form of Racism, I cannot allow emotion to rule! I, for the life of me, cannot see what skin color, language, culture, or sexual orientation has to do with what one is worth as a person. I was brought up to suppress prejudice and emotion and to use reason and logic, and usually I am successful. Anyone who holds National Policy hostage to Racism deserves the full approbation of society.
Unfortunately society all too often fosters that behavior.
Well, enough of that.
Thanks again for the help.

Response 2:

I agree it’s a big deal. I’ll be glued to the news today.
Gates (one of my heroes) has had his task forces, but the remaining implementation details are many and some will require legislative action to get it right. To name one, regulations need to be changed for such everyday, but important, issues as who to notify in case of the death of a soldier — current regs require notification of a gay soldier’s parents as next of kin, even though he/she may be married. There here are many more, some of which will require DOD to change regulations and some of which will require additional legislation. We’ll need to keep our attention on this space.
I spoke not long ago with a Lt Col. in the army who had been part of one of the Gates task forces on morale and unit cohesion in the field. He’d had responsibility at various levels for troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan and said that at no point in his army career had he ever been part of a unit, large or small, that did not have at least one gay soldier. He also said that he didn’t really know much about the gay political agenda, but that he did know a lot about the military and that the gay soldiers with whom he had served had been patriots and good soldiers and he couldn’t personally imagine why the country would not take advantage of their service.
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Response 3:

Interesting reading, and fingers crossed. And as a small added bonus, nice to be able to feel good again about Joe Lieberman at least for the time being!

Response 4:

As my great grandmother would have said, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed. …

Response 5:

Dear Steve,
One of my closest and dearest friends is Dixon Osburn, co-founder of SLDN. Today is his birthday and all he has asked for is repeal. It’s all I want for him, and the many others who’ve been removed from their calling to national service by the travesty of a law.
Should this happen, there will soon be a small but heartfelt celebration……and you’ll be included.
Keep talking about this your readers are educated by it regardless of they agree….
Your old friend

Response 6:

It will be great if at least one positive thing comes out of the lame duck.

Response 7:

Steve—two years from now, this will be a non-issue. Badly handled
from the beginning the issue should have been a matter of standards of
conduct under the UCMJ and the repeal of the idiotic sodomy provisions
still in it.
But as a good friend and former head Chinese spy here told me years
ago when he was being posted home, “it is good going back to a really
civilized country.”
The really big deal is START as DADT will be resolved. If START is
not passed, that will present some real problems and sadly the
Republican opposition over missile defense and warhead reliability is
nonsense too. But this is not a civilized nation.

Response 8:

Isn’t this exciting!!!

Thanks to everyone for these constructive and interesting comments. They continually flow in.
More soon — hopefully with historic news.
— Steve Clemons


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