"Don't Ask Don't Tell" Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

SpaceDog wrote:

As far as I can tell the reason that gays are not currently allowed in the military is one of the same reasons why women arn't allowed in combat units. I don't think the biggest problem is the fact that they are gay (although this is probably a part it). It's because once you allow either women or gays into a combat unit you run the risk of romantic relationships forming, and a romantic relationship within a combat unit could risk the effectiveness of that unit.

Gays are absolutely allowed to serve in the military. They are just not allowed to disclose that they are, in fact, gay.

I am more galled at how chauvinistic a sentiment that is. If corporate America can develop policies about inter office dating and relationships, I am pretty sure the military can do the same, probably more effectively given the near prison like control exercised over troops and recruits. Or is it just that the female gender could not help falling in love with one of her handsome soldier peers? Or that a male soldier could just not control his machismo enough to stop staring at her ass?

Here is the issue. Women, gays, minorities have a lot of trouble overcoming the prejudice of the establishment when it comes to police, rescue services, military.

As far as I can tell the reason that gays are not currently allowed in the military is one of the same reasons why women arn't allowed in combat units. I don't think the biggest problem is the fact that they are gay (although this is probably a part it). It's because once you allow either women or gays into a combat unit you run the risk of romantic relationships forming, and a romantic relationship within a combat unit could risk the effectiveness of that unit.

They are already serving in combat, and doing well. The strongest evidence for this is that commanders are bending the rules to bring them in, and setting up the necessary support infrastructure to deal with any issues. If they were a serious source of unit failure, this would not happen.

Women are barred from joining combat branches like the infantry, armor, Special Forces and most field artillery units and from doing support jobs while living with those smaller units. Women can lead some male troops into combat as officers, but they cannot serve with them in battle.

Yet, over and over, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army commanders have resorted to bureaucratic trickery when they needed more soldiers for crucial jobs, like bomb disposal and intelligence. On paper, for instance, women have been “attached” to a combat unit rather than “assigned.”

This quiet change has not come seamlessly — and it has altered military culture on the battlefield in ways large and small. Women need separate bunks and bathrooms. They face sexual discrimination and rape, and counselors and rape kits are now common in war zones. Commanders also confront a new reality: that soldiers have sex, and some will be evacuated because they are pregnant.

Nonetheless, as soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, women have done nearly as much in battle as their male counterparts: patrolled streets with machine guns, served as gunners on vehicles, disposed of explosives, and driven trucks down bomb-ridden roads. They have proved indispensable in their ability to interact with and search Iraqi and Afghan women for weapons, a job men cannot do for cultural reasons. The Marine Corps has created revolving units — “lionesses” — dedicated to just this task.

A small number of women have even conducted raids, engaging the enemy directly in total disregard of existing policies.

The main reason gays are not allowed to serve openly is opposition in Congress and from some parts of the top leadership of the military. My guess is that that is related to the ultra-conservative religious beliefs common in the officer corps, but it's telling that the rank and file are not really bothered by the idea.

If this bothers you, then be sure to call your Senator. Tell them you're a registered voter and let them know what you think.

Also, my.barackobama.com has a convenient form you can use to write a letter to Newspaper editors. Just select the ones you want from a list, and write your letter and it'll e-mail them for you.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/conte...

KrazyTaco wrote:

In my previous unit I would comfortably say that over 80-90% of the personnel did not care if someone was gay or not and quite a few were outspoken about the unfairness of the don't ask don't tell policy.

Guess what I said in September is pretty close to what the entire military agrees with.

OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

Expecting our soldiers to work alongside all people like the rest of the country is tantamount to dehumanizing slavery now?

Academic, anyway, because apparently most of them don't care.

Anyone know of a list of Congresspeople explicitly holding this up?

McCain...

Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

They are soldiers. They don't get asked their opinion about policy decisions, they get told about what those policy decisions are. To put it more bluntly they don't get to "vote" on whether or not gays can serve openly in the military just like they don't get a say in which country our leaders decide to invade next.

OG_slinger wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

They are soldiers. They don't get asked their opinion about policy decisions, they get told about what those policy decisions are. To put it more bluntly they don't get to "vote" on whether or not gays can serve openly in the military just like they don't get a say in which country our leaders decide to invade next.

But they do, in the same way YOU do, by voting, because they are citizens. They are not some 2nd class person like you and Malor make them sound.

They are not some 2nd class person like you and Malor make them sound.

Don't forget, they are both victims of and representatives of the ultimate abusive power, government force. Anyone with a strong anarcho-libertarian bent will be highly conflicted about soldiers.

Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

They are soldiers. They don't get asked their opinion about policy decisions, they get told about what those policy decisions are. To put it more bluntly they don't get to "vote" on whether or not gays can serve openly in the military just like they don't get a say in which country our leaders decide to invade next.

But they do, in the same way YOU do, by voting, because they are citizens. They are not some 2nd class person like you and Malor make them sound.

Occasionally voting for your political representative *is not* the same as personally weighing in on an individual policy decision.

And, technically, members of the military become 2nd class citizens as they surrender a tremendous amount of rights when they put on their uniform. Just as an example, as a citizen if I really don't like the policies my elected leaders have implemented I have a right to free speech and can call them anything under the Sun to express my disappointment. I'm specifically prohibited from doing the same if I'm wearing a uniform.

OG_slinger wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

They are soldiers. They don't get asked their opinion about policy decisions, they get told about what those policy decisions are. To put it more bluntly they don't get to "vote" on whether or not gays can serve openly in the military just like they don't get a say in which country our leaders decide to invade next.

But they do, in the same way YOU do, by voting, because they are citizens. They are not some 2nd class person like you and Malor make them sound.

Occasionally voting for your political representative *is not* the same as personally weighing in on an individual policy decision.

And, technically, members of the military become 2nd class citizens as they surrender a tremendous amount of rights when they put on their uniform. Just as an example, as a citizen if I really don't like the policies my elected leaders have implemented I have a right to free speech and can call them anything under the Sun to express my disappointment. I'm specifically prohibited from doing the same if I'm wearing a uniform.

Oh, that's right, I forgot you just got back from a summit with Obama where he was hearing your opinion on his latest fiscal policy...

Shoal07 wrote:

Oh, that's right, I forgot you just got back from a summit with Obama where he was hearing your opinion on his latest fiscal policy...

Shoal, the military conducted the largest and most comprehensive survey it had ever done on the issue of DATD. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, and airman were asked to personally weigh in on a policy decision: whether or not gays should be able to serve openly.

So while Obama never asked me about fiscal policy it seems the brass certainly asked a lot of soldiers about military policy.

At this point is anyone actually arguing for or against the repeal of DADT or are we all stuck in entertaining little tangents?

[edit] came off more snotty than I intended, apologies. I like the tangents, btw.

First post and probably my last post in P&C.
Call me crazy if you like and I know I am living in a fantasy land as I type this, I think that the Republicans should make this one of their main priorities when they take control. What I mean by that is setting up a bill to abolish Don't ask Don't tell.
Anyone that is willing to risk their life for the country they live in deserve the respect of all citizens no matter Race/Religion or Sexuality. No one able bodied person should be denied the right to serve their country.
And to anyone that would say this is the worst time for this I would disagree. Peace time would be the worst time for this, when the bigots are bored and would find any excuse to beat up someone because of their sexuality. At least in a war zone you better have your squad-mates back or everyone's screwed.

At least that is my take and my pipe dream. Not that it matters but these are the opinion of a registered Republican.
I would become a Libertarian but I don't see them having a chance in hell until we have open general elections in every state. But that is another discussion entirely.

My two Cents on the matter.

Elendil wrote:

First post and probably my last post in P&C.
Call me crazy if you like and I know I am living in a fantasy land as I type this, I think that the Republicans should make this one of their main priorities when they take control. What I mean by that is setting up a bill to abolish Don't ask Don't tell.
Anyone that is willing to risk their life for the country they live in deserve the respect of all citizens no matter Race/Religion or Sexuality. No one able bodied person should be denied the right to serve their country.
And to anyone that would say this is the worst time for this I would disagree. Peace time would be the worst time for this, when the bigots are bored and would find any excuse to beat up someone because of their sexuality. At least in a war zone you better have your squad-mates back or everyone's screwed.

At least that is my take and my pipe dream. Not that it matters but these are the opinion of a registered Republican.
I would become a Libertarian but I don't see them having a chance in hell until we have open general elections in every state. But that is another discussion entirely.

My two Cents on the matter.

There are quite a few things the Republicans should do but don't. They should, for instance, champion immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in country. Hispanics are demographically perfect Republicans (highly religious, socially conservative, fiscally conservative, join the military in disproportionately high numbers...) and taking that step would go a huge way toward winning a large part of that demographic. Unfortunately, they're too busy trying to build a Great Wall of Texifornia and carding anyone with a tan.

Shoal07 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Malor wrote:

I don't understand why we even care what the opinion of the military is. They work for us, not the other way around. Shut up and soldier, you know?

Yup. You don't need to ask the opinion of someone you can order around.

Your soldiers are volunteer citizens, not enslaved dogs.

This.

@Robear: Read the article, it's not the same thing. There are no female PJs, TACPs, Combat Controllers, Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, etc. There are a *lot* of female Army 11b's, which is the Army's infantry MOS. Reason being is that Infantry is not necessarily a combat MOS, and there are several desk positions within any assignment. As a side note, being sent on a convoy, while the possibility exists of being exposed to hostile fire is considered "acceptable risk", which is what allows commanders to send female troops on them. Placing a female with a special operations team where the likelyhood of being physically able to pull their own weight is completely different.

On DADT, I've done the survey. I was a 'Meh' response. That said, Congress and the federal courts need to keep their nose out of it. If DADT is going to come down, it will need senior leadership support from all branches. Right now, that doesn't exist and for(to them) good reason, which spacedog detailed previously. I'll be honest, 400k, while it may be a good sample size, really doesn't matter. If you want to know what everyone on AD service thinks, then ask all of them. Statistically significant doesn't cut it IMO on something like this.

edit - And as for the legality of the matter at hand? It's absolutely legal. UCMJ can absolutely curtail *any* constitutional rights for members of the Armed Services, so long as the Commander in question feels that doing otherwise would be detrimental to unit morale and/or mission accomplishment, end of story. In other words, civilian courts and laws have very little bearing on decisions made by the command structure.

AnimeJ wrote:

Statistically significant doesn't cut it IMO on something like this.

Why? Does the military not do anything unless 100% are in agreement? Did they get unanimity before desegregating?

@Robear: Read the article, it's not the same thing. There are no female PJs, TACPs, Combat Controllers, Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, etc. There are a *lot* of female Army 11b's, which is the Army's infantry MOS. Reason being is that Infantry is not necessarily a combat MOS, and there are several desk positions within any assignment. As a side note, being sent on a convoy, while the possibility exists of being exposed to hostile fire is considered "acceptable risk", which is what allows commanders to send female troops on them. Placing a female with a special operations team where the likelyhood of being physically able to pull their own weight is completely different.

And all of those positions are male due to *exceptional* physical strength requirements, not the general and strenuous ability to function in combat. If there were other major issues, commanders would not be adding female soldiers to fill out rosters. To me, the fact that they can perform average combat roles (not the top couple of percent as you cited) is enough to qualify them.

BTW, you say that Infantry is not a combat MOS. But 11B is most definitely, according to the definition.

Major Duties: The infantryman supervises, leads, or serves as a member of an infantry activity that employs individual or crew served weapons in support of offensive and defensive combat operations. Duties for MOS 11B at each level of skill are:

* Skill Levels
o Skill Level 1 MOSC 11B1O. Assists in the performance of reconnaissance operations. Employs, fires, and recovers anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. Locates and neutralizes mines. Operates, mounts/dismounts, zeros, and engages targets using night vision sight. Operates and maintains communications equipment and operates in a radio net. Operates in a NBC contaminated area. Constructs field expedient firing aids for infantry weapons. Performs as a member of a fire team during a movement to contact, reconnaissance, and security, an attack, defense, situational training exercises and all infantry dismounted battle drills. Processes prisoners of war and captured documents.

o Skill Level 2 MOSC 11B2O. Performs duties shown in preceding level of skill. Leads an infantry team in combat operations, providing tactical and technical guidance to subordinates and professional support to both superiors and subordinates in the accomplishment of their duties. Leads, supervises, and trains subordinate personnel. Calls for and adjusts indirect fire. Evaluates terrain and selects weapon emplacement. Controls organic fires. Installs and recovers anti-handling devices on anti-tank mines and electrical and non-electrical demolition charges. Supervises construction of hasty fortifications and receipt, storage, and issue of ammunition. Records operational information on maps. Receives and implements combat orders, directs deployment of personnel in offensive, defensive, and retrograde operations. Requests, observes, and adjusts direct supporting fire. Evaluates terrain and supervises the emplacement of sighting and firing all assigned weapons. Uses maps and map overlays, performs intersection and resection, and determines elevation and grid azimuths. Leads a fire team during a movement to contact, reconnaissance and security, an attack, defense, situational training exercises, and all infantry dismounted battle drills.

o Skill Level 3 MOSC 11B3O. Performs duties shown in preceding level of skill. Leads an infantry squad and/or a reconnaissance (scout) team during combat operations. Supervises tactical deployment of assigned element in offensive, defensive, and retrograde operations. Provides tactical and technical guidance to subordinates and professional support to both subordinates and superiors in the accomplishment of their duties. Receives and issues orders. Coordinates action of the element with adjacent and support elements and organic and supporting fire power. Ensures collection and proper reporting of intelligence data to unit. Adjusts aerial fire support. Analyzes terrain. Conducts tactical operations for a squad, operations of a patrol base, and NBC operations. Maintains operational security. Prepares, operates, and maintains secure communications equipment. Leads a squad during movement to contact, reconnaissance and security, an attack, defense situational training exercises, and all infantry dismounted battle drills.

o Skill Level 4 MOSC 11B4O. Performs duties shown in preceding level of skill. Supervises an infantry or reconnaissance (scout) platoon in combat operations and intelligence information gathering. Leads a platoon during a movement to contact, reconnaissance and security, an attack defense, situational training exercises, and all infantry dismounted battle drills. Provides tactical and technical guidance to subordinates and professional support to both subordinates and superiors in the accomplishment of their duties. Supervises the occupation of an assembly area. Employs NBC defensive teams. Plans for, supervises preparation of, and conducts NBC operations. Performs battle damage assessment. Develops a platoon training plan.

o Skill Level 5 MOSC 11B5O. Performs duties shown in preceding level of skill. Supervises an infantry company in combat. Plans, coordinates, supervises, and participates in activities pertaining to organization, training, combat operations, and intelligence of units at battalion or higher. Provides tactical and technical guidance to subordinates and professional support to both subordinates and superiors in the accomplishment of their duties. Serves as the principal noncommissioned officer in an infantry company; supervising the processing of operations and intelligence information in an infantry battalion or higher level unit.

Physical demands rating and qualifications for initial award of MOS. The infantryman must possess the following qualifications:

(1) Physical Demands Rating: very heavy

(2) Physical Profile: 111221

(3) Color discrimination of red/green

(4) Correctable vision of 20/20 in one eye; 20/100 in other eye.

(5) Minimum score of 90 in aptitude area CO.

(6) Formal training (completion of MOS 11B course conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Army Infantry School) mandatory.

CLOSED TO WOMEN

Again, if women are fulfilling this role - and you believe there are a lot of them - it's a combat role. And I'm curious - if it's closed to women, how are they getting the designation? Maybe I misunderstood your statement above.

AnimeJ wrote:

That said, Congress and the federal courts need to keep their nose out of it. If DADT is going to come down, it will need senior leadership support from all branches.

Racial integration was opposed by a lot more of the senior leadership, nearly all of the rank and file and a majority of the American public. It was considered a success by 1951.

So the Marine Corps' top general says having gays serve openly will get soldiers killed because they're "distracting".

"When your life hangs on the line," said Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, "you don't want anything distracting. . . . Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines' lives."
...
"Right now is a very intense period of time for a pretty healthy slice of the United States Marine Corps. This is not training," Amos said.

"The forces that wear this uniform, that are in the middle of what I call the real deal, came back and told their commandant of the Marine Corps they have concerns," Amos said.

"That's all I need. I don't need a staff study. I don't need to hire three PhDs to tell me what to interpret it," he said. "If they have concerns, I do, too. It's as simple as that."

It's only distracting if you buy into the idea that once homosexuals are allowed to serve openly that they'll be having sex with each other from revile to taps. That idea goes in the same pile as "[race x] can't be integrated because they don't [whatever] as well as white people."

So they don't currently spend all their time distracted by thoughts of their fellow Marines' sex lives, but if we allow teh gays in, they'll be unable to focus, due to thoughts of hot, sweaty, gay sex.

I see two possibilities here:

1) They're deeply closeted.
2) They're sh*tty Marines.

OK, I can't count:

3) They have wildly overestimated the hotness of their own asses.

I'm still waiting for a decent response to "how is this any different than racial integration". Every argument against repealing DADT would have just as easily applied against integrating the armed forces.

"It's offensive to compare DADT to racial discrimination because black people didn't choose to be black." This seems to be the standard line.

Al wrote:

"It's offensive to compare DADT to racial discrimination because black people didn't choose to be black." This seems to be the standard line.

Which would be a valid counterargument if gay people chose to be gay. It doesn't work like that, though.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

So they don't currently spend all their time distracted by thoughts of their fellow Marines' sex lives, but if we allow teh gays in, they'll be unable to focus, due to thoughts of hot, sweaty, gay sex.

I think of this in the same way that co-ed brazillian jiujitsu was described in another thread. Someone was worried that grappling with a female classmate might be awkward because the guy who was wrestling with her might get aroused. As another poster put it, if you're getting aroused while being beaten to a pulp then you're doing it wrong.

I kind of feel the same way about this. If you're on patrol in a combat zone where you have to worry every second about being killed then I seriously doubt most soldiers are going to be so focused on worrying about whether Private Smith was hitting on them earlier that they walk into an ambush. If they do then they've got some deeper problems in the military than just a few soldiers thinking gays are icky.

I really do think a lot of the top brass thinks that all gays act like Big Gay Al and that if they allow open homosexuality that suddenly half their troops are going to start talking with lisps, wearing pink scarves and singing Judy Garland songs while they skip-march through drill. The fact that gays are regular people that are already serving in the military and who can be just as bada@@ as any other overly-testoteroned male seems to have missed their attention.

Maybe they are scared that the ranks will swell with gays since they appear to be the only people who are still in shape in the US.