« Corporate Personhood 2 | Main | Blame it on the last Administration »

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Comments

Travis

Miranda,

If you've taken a look at the evidence on DADT however, you will see that persecutions of homosexuals and discharges of homosexuals from the military have actually gone up since DADT was instituted. Additionally, there are numerous examples of when female soldiers were accused by their superiors for being "lesbians" and it just turned out that they didn't want to sleep with their superior and that spurned person then falsely accused them of being gay for retribution. There are so many problems with the DADT policy that it is quite possibly one of the worst policies ever. Seriously, do some in-depth research on this topic and you'll find a whole mess of problems with it.

jhm47

If I were a gay or lesbian, the very last place I'd want to be is in the military in a combat situation. It would be very easy for "accidents" to happen, and from past experiences in the military, I can say that the G/L lifestyle is not looked upon favorably by most of the troops.

Miranda

Travis,

Thank you for your comments. It's always nice to see you around the blogosphere.
I will certainly take your suggestion and research the issue more fully.
In the meantime, however, I think there are a few problems with your argument.

Before Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I believe there was a complete ban on homosexual military service. It would not be surprising, then, that more homosexuals were discharged after the policy was put into place, as law-abiding homosexuals simply would not have enlisted. Therefore, they would not have been there to be discharged.

Furthermore, ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell would not mean a return to a pre-1993 environment. Before 1993, some homosexuals who did enlist (see this article: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1707545,00.html) personally enforced their own "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy. One would almost have to to get around the ban. But this would not be the environment after Obama's repeal. Instead, homosexuals could and no doubt would, be more open about their orientation.

If Jhm47 is right, then the military is not a gay-friendly place and if you are right, the number of persecutions of homosexuals has been increasing since 1993.
Therefore, I think repealing DODT might very well have some very negative consequences, though I will agree that it was a bad policy to implement in the first place.

SC Guy

I support keeping DADT in place. I think that Senator McCain and other members of Congress (on both sides of the aisle) have made some valid points why it shouldn't be repealed. It's clear that Obama is pursuing this right now because his poll numbers are down and he's pandering to this fringe constituency.

Travis Dahle

I do realize that GBLT individuals who did enroll enforced their own "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy - however, with the policy in place, people abused it to persecute those who they thought were gay, or like I pointed out, females who turned down the advances of their male superiors.

I do agree with Jhm47 that the military is not a gay-friendly environment, but does that mean we should just allow that hatred to continue? The south wasn't very friendly to African-Americans sharing water fountains or bus seats - should we just have said "well, there might be some negative consequences, so we better not do anything" - no. I do realize that having openly GLBT individuals serving in the military will probably anger some people and will have some backlash - but at the same token, that doesn't excuse it. To me it is about treating all people with respect and dignity - of course, I'm a liberal, and I think they should be allowed to marry as well, so I'm sort of in the minority here...

Springy

Having served in the military, having bunked on board ships and barracks I can say I would rather have DADT in place.
I don't want the military turned in to some Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Bravo mini series.
The military is not about equality, fairness, or promotion of liberal agendas.
The military's function is to kill and destroy, nothing fair about that.
Women have limited roles, nothing fair about that however survival is more important than ensuring Nancy can carry a gun, a pack, and a fallen soldier

Miranda

Travis:

I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say that you’re tolerant and respectful because you’re a liberal or that others aren’t because they’re conservatives.

Taking a stance on gay marriage necessarily demands intolerance. If you take a stance for it, you may show your tolerance of homosexuality, but in telling fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Muslims and a whole host of others, that they are wrong and that they should change their ways, you show a lack of tolerance toward their beliefs. Similarly, if I support fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Muslims and their right to stand up for their religious or moral values, I necessarily discriminate against homosexuals.

It is not, as you try to make it seem, a matter of liberals being more tolerant than everyone else. Conservatives and liberals simply differ in what they are tolerant of.
Badlands Blue, for instance, isn’t tolerant or respectful of John Thune. Take this paragraph from a recent post:
-
Thune, who never bothered to serve in the military, likes to pander to Teabaggers, hype up patriotism (mainly his own) and pretend he gives a rip about national defense. But he doesn’t. Not when he takes campaign money from fat cats who do business with terrorist aiding nations.
-
Tolerant? Not really. Respectful? Not at all. Liberal? Yes.

Meanwhile, I tend to be more tolerant of Thune and less tolerant of the current administration. We just tend to tolerate people who appeal to our biases more than people who do not.

I don’t doubt that some abused the DODT policy. The fact that some abused the policy does not automatically make it a bad policy, however. Take aid to Africa. Many have abused aid projects, taking money for themselves when it ought to have gone to those in need. This does not mean we need to stop sending AID to Africa. It just means we should take more care in doing so and prosecute those who abuse their positions. Perhaps the same could be said of DODT policies. Perhaps not.

I think Springy makes a good point. The purpose of the military is not to promote any sort of equal rights agenda. It is to defend the country. And while equality is important, we allow discrimination on the job, in some cases when we fear that safety depends on it. We might not, for instance, find it appropriate to hire a woman as the only guard in an all-male prison for violent offenders. This sort of discrimination has nothing to do with ill-will toward women. It is simply sensible.

Springy: Thank you for your service and for your comments.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican

Hope you’ll listen to my radio show on homosexuals in the military.Comments welcome.

http://www.theamericanview.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4140

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Communications Director, Institute on the Constitution
Host, “TheAmericanView” radio show
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

KB

Great post and great thread!

Miranda: I agree with you (contrary to Travis here) that the issue is not whether to treat homosexual servicemen and women with "respect and dignity," but what is the best way to do so. Before DADT, homosexual activity was reason for discharge. Under DADT, being "openly" gay became the punishable offense. You are right to point out that difference, and you offer a novel reason for it.

Why is being openly gay wrong, but staying in the closet okay? You argue that it might be the best way to protect homosexuals in the military against various kinds of mistreatment. That may be right, but I don't think so. DADT made homosexuality a guilty secret, and it is pretty clear that this made gay soldiers vulnerable to anyone who suspected their secret. Just tip off the officers, and an investigation would be launched.

Military service is very demanding, and one of the demands is to judge your comrades by their conduct as soldiers and not by their racial, religious, or sexual identities. I think that that is the better solution to this problem. It's not perfect, just the best approach available.

Miranda

Mr. Lofton: Thank you for stopping by. I will certainly return the favor.

Dr. Blanchard: You may be right - but I'm not sure it is a solution. The sentiment you voice is nice one and it is one I agree with. But simply believing that people ought to respect even those they oppose does not make them do so. Public schools have voiced similar sentiments for years. "Respect your peers," "Everyone is someone," "Be kind," "Celebrate diversity." These posters and policies have not stopped school bullying. Nor have they made students treat one another with respect.

Changing a policy does not change how people feel. Getting rid of this policy simply makes it easier to identify differences. And it is likely, I think, judging by the comments of the soldiers who have commented, to cause problems that would otherwise not have been.

SCGuy: I missed your comment earlier. Thank you for your input!

Travis Dahle

Miranda, my response was getting quite long winded, so I posted a response over at Badlands Blue. Thanks for the debate, it made me do a lot more thinking and research than I have done on the blog for a while!

http://badlandsblue.blogspot.com/2010/02/dont-ask-dont-tell-debate-with-south.html

Straight Lover of The Gays

Wow. I cannot believe your (Miranda's) response to Travis Dahle's comment on tolerance. Somehow you got from "I accept the lifestyles of others" (paraphrasing T. Dahle) to "EVERYONE SHOULD THINK JUST LIKE ME!" Way to put words in his mouth.

While the fundamentlists exemplify over and over and over that if everyone doesn't think exactly like them and hold the same beliefs, they are sentenced to hell, the word "tolerance" indicates more of a "live and let live" approach.

Way to sensationalize the issue of tollerance while going WAY off topic.

You do that research yet? Do some and get back to us with actual facts instead of spewing psudo-logic tainted with your anti-GLBT colored glasses on.

Oh yeah - one more thing. Good thing gays can't marry in South Dakota or I would have to get divorced -- that would tear apart my family.

Miranda Flint

Travis: Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am in the process of writing a reply.

SLOG: I can hardly believe my reply in your version either. Probably because it wasn't my reply. At no point did I accuse Mr. Dahle of saying that he thought everyone should think like him. Furthermore, my objection was not to a simple statement that Mr. Dahle thought people ought to be treated with respect - it was to the comment he appended that statement with, which was, "of course, I'm a liberal, and I think they should be allowed to marry as well, so I'm sort of in the minority here." Which implies that conservatives do not think people ought to be treated with dignity and respect. That, I thought, was a bit unfair.

I will do my best to address the rest of your comments in my reply to Travis.

Thank you for stopping by and for demonstrating liberal tolerance so well for us!


The comments to this entry are closed.