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

Nomad wrote:

You were complaining that Obama never asked you about fiscal policy, while soldiers are asked for their input about military policy. Soldiers bravely die all the time as a result of current military policy, knowing full well they are putting themselves in harm's way. I find it hard to believe that you would compare your situation in relation to fiscal policy, to theirs with military policy. Whether or not you believe gays should openly serve in the military, your comparison seems flawed at best.

No, I wasn't complaining about Obama never asking me about fiscal policy. That was a comment made by Shoal. I responded that I don't expect to be asked about fiscal policy just like members of the military shouldn't expect to be asked about matters of military policy.

Perhaps it is just my liberal elitist way of thinking, but if you're in the middle of a firefight with a $10 Tabby who is aiming to kill you and your squadmates and you find yourself "distracted" by the thought that one of them might be looking at your junk, perhaps you are in the wrong line of work.

Queue Fred Phelps inbred army rampage in 3, 2, 1...

OG_slinger wrote:
Nomad wrote:

You were complaining that Obama never asked you about fiscal policy, while soldiers are asked for their input about military policy. Soldiers bravely die all the time as a result of current military policy, knowing full well they are putting themselves in harm's way. I find it hard to believe that you would compare your situation in relation to fiscal policy, to theirs with military policy. Whether or not you believe gays should openly serve in the military, your comparison seems flawed at best.

No, I wasn't complaining about Obama never asking me about fiscal policy. That was a comment made by Shoal. I responded that I don't expect to be asked about fiscal policy just like members of the military shouldn't expect to be asked about matters of military policy.

Your point was

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.

And I argued they're also citizens, just like everyone else, and that's when you go into ludicrous statements like

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.

Which I responded curtly about you being invited by Obama for your personal opinion, which I think you missed the sarcasm in, and I left the argument, because you and Malor seem to think they're lesser citizens/people/humans than you are where as I disagree. This entire thought line had nothing to do with DADT, FWIW.

I don't get it. Yes, those serving in our armed forces are indeed citizens, but they're citizens who are doing a job. At my workplace I don't get input as to who my coworkers are or what the company's hiring procedure is. If I don't like my coworkers I can complain to my superiors, as to move to a different office, or quit but I don't get to veto their hiring choices because the idea of them might make me uncomfortable. Why is this somehow different in the military? Sure, some people might be uncomfortable but they're doing their job and I expect them to do it in a professional matter, regardless of their personal beliefs.

bnpederson wrote:

I don't get it. Yes, those serving in our armed forces are indeed citizens, but they're citizens who are doing a job. At my workplace I don't get input as to who my coworkers are or what the company's hiring procedure is. If I don't like my coworkers I can complain to my superiors, as to move to a different office, or quit but I don't get to veto their hiring choices because the idea of them might make me uncomfortable. Why is this somehow different in the military?

Your workplace isn't the US Government, and trying to draw parallels between "the government" and "a business" is a failed endeavor. Your analogies don't even work, unless you're trying to say the people should have no say in how their government is run...? Also, when you specifically bring up the military, you can't just quit, transfer, move, etc, because you want to. The military isn't a job in the same light that working in a cubicle is a job. Neither the employer, nor the expectations, are remotely similar enough to equate them as equal. I'm not saying they're better, I am saying it's different.

bnpederson wrote:

Sure, some people might be uncomfortable but they're doing their job and I expect them to do it in a professional matter, regardless of their personal beliefs.

I don't disagree.

Was being discharged for being "outed" an honorable or dishonorable discharge?

I was curious, because for someone in the military that wanted to get out, it would seem like a very easy out.

And could you imagine how "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would work with a draft?

"You're Drafted!"

"I'm gay"

"You're free to go"

I think it would be totally awesome if the guy who recently won The Medal of Honor came out.

Shoal, you read a lot more into a simple--and entirely accurate--statement that soldiers can be ordered to do something. Neither Malor or I said that soldiers were "enslaved dogs" as you put it. More controversial policy decisions were simply ordered in the past, like desegregation, without the military taking nine months to conduct a glorified opinion poll to find out how white soldiers would feel about serving with a black soldiers.

Again, soldiers aren't asked about their opinion on who we should fight next, what our overall military strategy should be, or any other matter of military policy so the fact they were asked about DADT specifically stands out. Given history that the policy could have been ended with a simple order and the reality that the courts had already ruled that the policy had to end, what individual soldiers thought didn't f*cking matter. Not because they're sub-human, but because it was a decision made way above their pay grade.

You seem to be very uncomfortable with the reality of military service. Soldiers aren't simply citizens when they are in the military. They are literally property of the US government, tools of statecraft. Different laws and codes of conduct apply to them. They surrender a chunk of their Constitutional rights.

This technically makes them second-class citizens. But that isn't a disparaging remark, just the simple truth. Just ask the officer who is now serving time for refusing to deploy without seeing Obama's birth certificate first. See, as a civilian he could be a birther. As a solider, though, he could not, at least not without consequences. As a civilian he had the freedom and the right to believe all sorts of crazy things. As a solider he does not.

Well, they can still believe whatever they like, they just can't act on them like a civilian can.

Stengah wrote:

Well, they can still believe whatever they like, they just can't act on them like a civilian can.

Which is why I said they were technically second-class citizens since they don't have all the freedoms and rights a civilian does while they are serving.

You seem to be very uncomfortable with the reality of military service.

I don't think that's a really accurate statement. I mean, I agree, soldiers and other government employees give up some rights. But I don't think Shoal is ignorant of or uncomfortable with military service. To say the least...

Robear wrote:
You seem to be very uncomfortable with the reality of military service.

I don't think that's a really accurate statement. I mean, I agree, soldiers and other government employees give up some rights. But I don't think Shoal is ignorant of or uncomfortable with military service. To say the least...

I'm simply saying the reasons people join and serve are far different than how they really get used by the government. Sure, there's patriotic lip service by those in office, but the reality is that thousands of Americans have died, tens of thousands have been wounded, and the lives of hundreds of thousands more affected by multiple deployments to fight manufactured conflicts that have very little to do with our safety as a country and that we as citizens don't care enough about to really win (not that we even know what the actual victory conditions are). Viewed from that perspective a lot of people in uniform and their families have made tremendous sacrifices over the past decade for, well, nothing.

The only problem is we're not allowed to openly admit that, just like we couldn't admit that Vietnam was a costly and pointless exercise over some unproven political theory about the spread of communism (which didn't even matter anymore 20 years later).

Nevin73 wrote:

Was being discharged for being "outed" an honorable or dishonorable discharge?

I was curious, because for someone in the military that wanted to get out, it would seem like a very easy out.

And could you imagine how "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would work with a draft?

"You're Drafted!"

"I'm gay"

"You're free to go"

I'm not sure on the status of the discharge, but I know the whole outing thing definitely worked in the past. Kiri used to work with an elite Army helicopter pilot (Delta Force insertion and extraction work) that wanted to leave the service but was told that his skills and ongoing operational knowledge were too critical for the service to be without. They stop lossed him a number of times until he told them he was homosexual (he was and is). And without a single question, they gave him his walking papers.

I'm not sure on the status of the discharge, but I know the whole outing thing definitely worked in the past. Kiri used to work with an elite Army helicopter pilot (Delta Force insertion and extraction work) that wanted to leave the service but was told that his skills and ongoing operational knowledge were too critical for the service to be without. They stop lossed him a number of times until he told them he was homosexual (he was and is). And without a single question, they gave him his walking papers.

Simply amazing. Crucial point, though: was he discharged honorably?

Viewed from that perspective a lot of people in uniform and their families have made tremendous sacrifices over the past decade for, well, nothing.

Again, we agree, but I know Shoal and I think you're underestimating his experience in this area.

Shoal07 wrote:

Your workplace isn't the US Government, and trying to draw parallels between "the government" and "a business" is a failed endeavor. Your analogies don't even work, unless you're trying to say the people should have no say in how their government is run...?

As far as I'm aware, we citizens participate in running the federal government by electing officials who do so on our behalf. So I vote for the president (well, I vote for which I prefer and the electoral college decides how to use their votes based on that), my senators, and my local representative. Occasionally I might vote for a judge and of course there's state government, which varies more.

But in any event, unless one of us is elected to congress we don't get to do an up/down vote on any laws or current federal policy. If congress wanted to push unpopular laws or go to war, they wouldn't feel the consequences of that until the next time they were up for election. So I think the analogy stands, though we could make it more correct by having the employees be voting shareholders (with less than .1% of shares, naturally) in the corporation if you'd like.

Regarding a soldier's inability to quit, well I consider that part of contract law basically; when an individual signed up for the military he said he or she agreed to those conditions. The fact that they can't easily quit doesn't magically give them rights beyond our own. Unless there's part of their hiring contract that says they have to be consulted before homosexuals are allowed to serve alongside them they don't get a say, outside of the same one we all do when the next election comes around.

bnpederson wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:

Your workplace isn't the US Government, and trying to draw parallels between "the government" and "a business" is a failed endeavor. Your analogies don't even work, unless you're trying to say the people should have no say in how their government is run...?

As far as I'm aware, we citizens participate in running the federal government by electing officials who do so on our behalf. So I vote for the president (well, I vote for which I prefer and the electoral college decides how to use their votes based on that), my senators, and my local representative. Occasionally I might vote for a judge and of course there's state government, which varies more.

But in any event, unless one of us is elected to congress we don't get to do an up/down vote on any laws or current federal policy. If congress wanted to push unpopular laws or go to war, they wouldn't feel the consequences of that until the next time they were up for election. So I think the analogy stands, though we could make it more correct by having the employees be voting shareholders (with less than .1% of shares, naturally) in the corporation if you'd like.

Regarding a soldier's inability to quit, well I consider that part of contract law basically; when an individual signed up for the military he said he or she agreed to those conditions. The fact that they can't easily quit doesn't magically give them rights beyond our own. Unless there's part of their hiring contract that says they have to be consulted before homosexuals are allowed to serve alongside them they don't get a say, outside of the same one we all do when the next election comes around.

It's a good thing your comparison about contract law isn't valid. With the change to DADT, anyone who wanted could declare a breach of contract and renegotiate or walk. It would be a huge nightmare every time the feds wanted to change any military policy.

... or every time Congress wanted to change any workplace/labor policy, come think of it. I don't see any difference, except for the fact that in our case here, the government is THE employer.

I was just chuckling at some of the particulars of Kenji Yoshino's response to a response to an attempt to justify banning gay marriage, founded on common procreation apparently. But what of infertile straight couples? Well:

"A baseball team has its characteristic structure largely because of its orientation to winning games; it involves developing and sharing one's athletic skills in the way best suited for honorably winning . . . But such development and sharing are possible and inherently valuable for teammates even when they lose their games."

Classy! "Infertile couples, the Chicago Cubs of Traditional Marriage!" I say run with it. But I wonder, what if the gay couple swears they're trying to conceive? Lord, how they do try!

Oh, the sudden worry over the feelings of service men and women, as it seems to only apply to their opinions on homosexuals, feels mighty disingenuous. And I've still not seen anything that addresses racial integration.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I was just chuckling at some of the particulars of Kenji Yoshino's response to a response to an attempt to justify banning gay marriage, founded on common procreation apparently. But what of infertile straight couples? Well:

"A baseball team has its characteristic structure largely because of its orientation to winning games; it involves developing and sharing one's athletic skills in the way best suited for honorably winning . . . But such development and sharing are possible and inherently valuable for teammates even when they lose their games."

Classy! "Infertile couples, the Chicago Cubs of Traditional Marriage!" I say run with it. But I wonder, what if the gay couple swears they're trying to conceive? Lord, how they do try!

Oh, the sudden worry over the feelings of service men and women, as it seems to only apply to their opinions on homosexuals, feels mighty disingenuous. And I've still not seen anything that addresses racial integration.

I'll have to inform my wife that a Princeton professor thinks we're the Pittsburgh Pirates of marriages. I predict blood.

It's a good thing your comparison about contract law isn't valid. With the change to DADT, anyone who wanted could declare a breach of contract and renegotiate or walk. It would be a huge nightmare every time the feds wanted to change any military policy.

Only if the contract allowed it. And yes, military service is governed in part by contract law, as witness the contract itself (Form 4).

Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me.

Also, there is a document (for example, Annex A for the Army National Guard) which requires that one actually serves the entire term of enlistment. So no, the contract can't be considered breached when military or even enlistment policies change.

Interesting article about how the military has enforced (or not) DADT when it wants to:
http://www.tbd.com/blogs/amanda-hess/2010/12/don-t-ask-don-t-tell-i-m-gay-discharge-excuse-6215.html

Military brass confirmed to the Blade that out gays and lesbians would sometimes be deployed to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be discharged following their tour of service. "The bottom line is some people are using sexual orientation to avoid deployment," an army command spokesperson told the Blade. In the case of Army Reserve and National Guard forces called up for service, the spokesperson said, "if a soldier 'tells,' they still have to go to war and the homosexual issue is postponed until they return to the U.S. and the unit is demobilized."

Kind of proves the lie of "Gay is a distraction in combat" when the brass has previously said "Fine, you're gay, go fight then we'll get rid of you".

Edit: According to wikipedia, DADT resulted in an honorable discharge, for those who wanted to know.

But there were many dishonorable discharge statuses associated with homosexuality.

Robear wrote:

But there were many dishonorable discharge statuses associated with homosexuality.

Recently? From what I gathered from the wiki article (I know, grain of salt), dishonorable discharges were used like pre-Vietnam.

If people were being discharged in modern times for DADT, that sucks majorly, since dishonorable discharges are no joke.

Nevin73 wrote:
Robear wrote:

But there were many dishonorable discharge statuses associated with homosexuality.

Recently? From what I gathered from the wiki article (I know, grain of salt), dishonorable discharges were used like pre-Vietnam.

If people were being discharged in modern times for DADT, that sucks majorly, since dishonorable discharges are no joke.

It's probably just as hard to get employment with a dishonorable discharge as it is with a Felony. Of course, in today's military, you have to commit a Felony to get a dishonorable discharge. You can get an OTH (other than honorable) for lesser offenses, which isn't much better, honestly.

Dishonorable discharge I'm pretty sure. I remember a couple of nuke em's getting kicked out because some photos of the 2 together happened to show up in their lounge (both were married and their wives were friends). It was frequently used ad a way to her out in the past (this was late 90's of course)

Recently? From what I gathered from the wiki article (I know, grain of salt), dishonorable discharges were used like pre-Vietnam.

If people were being discharged in modern times for DADT, that sucks majorly, since dishonorable discharges are no joke.

I don't know how often they were used, latterly, just that it seems they were still on the books.

because you and Malor seem to think they're lesser citizens/people/humans than you are where as I disagree

It's a volunteer outfit. When they put on that uniform, they're put in charge of the deadliest weapons ever created by mankind. And they do this to serve the desires of the country as a whole.

They still get a vote, like any other citizen, but if the vote goes against them, they do not have the right to refute that outcome. When they're wearing that uniform, they are explicitly subservient to the whims of the country, even more than other citizens, because of the responsibility of using that weaponry.

If they don't like that, they don't have to put on the uniform.

Malor wrote:
because you and Malor seem to think they're lesser citizens/people/humans than you are where as I disagree

It's a volunteer outfit. When they put on that uniform, they're put in charge of the deadliest weapons ever created by mankind. And they do this to serve the desires of the country as a whole.

They still get a vote, like any other citizen, but if the vote goes against them, they do not have the right to refute that outcome. When they're wearing that uniform, they are explicitly subservient to the whims of the country, even more than other citizens, because of the responsibility of using that weaponry.

If they don't like that, they don't have to put on the uniform.

I think this view expresses exactly the sort of "tyranny of the majority" view that the founders aimed to combat in the forming of a republic.