Press, Congressmen Skewer Donnelly’s Testimony

Jim Burroway

July 24th, 2008

Elaine Donnelly testifying for Elaine Donnelly’s ridiculous testimony yesterday before the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee continues to elicit expressions of disbelief throughout Washington. Speaking before the first hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 15 years, Donnelly set back the cause of excluding gays in the military and “torpedoe[d] her own ship,” according to Dana Milbank at The Washington Post:

Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) labeled her statement “just bonkers” and “dumb,” and he called her claims about an HIV menace “inappropriate.” Said Snyder: “By this analysis . . . we ought to recruit only lesbians for the military, because they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country.”

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), a veteran of the war in Iraq, called Donnelly’s words “an insult to me and many of the soldiers” by saying they “aren’t professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while successfully completing their military mission.”

Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) pointed a finger at [retired Navy Capt. Joan] Darrah and glared at Donnelly. “Would you please tell me, Miss Donnelly, why I should give one twit about this woman’s sexual orientation, when it didn’t interfere one bit with her service?” Donnelly said something about “forced intimacy.” Donnelly returned to the case of “Cynthia Yost . . . assaulted by a group of lesbians.” She neglected to mention that the incident was alleged to have occurred in 1974.

Donnelly clearly seemed to unify lawmakers on both sides of the aisles against her. As Milbank pointed out, “It was tempting to think that Donnelly had been chosen by Democrats to sabotage the case against open military service for homosexuals.”

Donnelly wasn’t the only opponent of DADT to provide comic relief:

Donnelly was followed by [retired Army Sgt. Maj. Brian] Jones, a tough-talking businessman who suggested that the military’s tradition of “selfless service” would be undermined by gay men and lesbians. “In the military environment, team cohesion, morale and esprit de corps is a matter of life and death,” he said. His written statement spelled it “esprit decor”; it also warned of “a band of lesbians that harassed new females,” and noted his own military experience when “the only way to keep from freezing at night was to get as close as possible for body heat — which means skin to skin.”

Timothy Kincaid

July 24th, 2008

Donnelly went to Congress to report on a letter she received about the recollections from 1974 of an incident that was never reported. A story, we note, that had decidedly racist overtones.

Is it any surprise that the media is having a field day with her testimony?

Richard W. Fitch

July 24th, 2008

Tim: Does anyone have the hard facts regarding the alleged attack on corpsman Yost? I spent nearly 4 hours last nite reviewing the CSPAN video of the hearing and a couple hours today hunting info on Donnelly and the related materials. SDLN, HRC, et al could not have done better had they been allowed to choose the witnesses on either/each side of this hearing. Coleman, Darrah and Vila gave coherent and to-the-point testimony. Donnelly and Jones not only rambled and stammered but felt at liberty to interject their skewed fantasies, without invitation, during the presentations of the Congressmen. Someone, please, give us a heads-up for the next rounds of this hearing.

Adam Robertson

July 24th, 2008

I’m delighted that Donnelly & Jones were ruthlessly mocked in a public forum. And I second Richard Fitch’s request for a heads-up on the next hearing. I almost missed out on this one. Had I not checked a few blogs and listened to NPR this morning, I would have missed out entirely, right? I mean, where were Katie Couric & Charlie Gibson?

Timothy Kincaid

July 24th, 2008


As far as I can tell there is no record at all of this event ever occuring other than a letter that Donnelly claims to have received.

“I have received a letter…” may be very effective for televangelists but it’s incredibly stupid to present such “evidence” as testimony in a Congressional Hearing.

Richard W. Fitch

July 24th, 2008

Is the prepared statement of Ms. Donnelly’s testimony on public record? She tried to explain a chart in her written stmt that dealt with the numbers of personnel separated for various reasons. It would be worth studying to see such things as disabled, homeland -vs- deployed overseas, by skill levels, etc. She claims that separation due to DADT is only a small percentage, but what is the real impact on critical assignments?
RWF – Indianapolis IN


July 24th, 2008

I think we should all write Ms Donnelly a nice thank you note for doing such an excellent job of illustrating why DODT is just plain stupid.


July 24th, 2008

You missed the gem from Mr. Jones –

[Donnelly was followed by [retired Army Sgt. Maj. Brian] Jones, a tough-talking businessman who suggested that the military’s tradition of “selfless service” would be undermined by gay men and lesbians. “In the military environment, team cohesion, morale and esprit de corps is a matter of life and death,” he said. His written statement spelled it “esprit decor”;]

What kind of nincompoop thinks having more of us around wouldn’t result in vast improvements to any kind of DECOR !!

Timothy Kincaid

July 24th, 2008

perhaps he was less concerned about the spirit of the troops and more worried about the spirit of the drapes.


July 25th, 2008

A copy of the thank you note I left for Ms. Donnelly at the CMR website:

Dear Ms. Donnelly;

Just a brief note to say thank you for the excellent job you did illustrating that DODT is a ridiculous policy. Tales of lesbian swarmings, stumbling, and insulting answers. You’ve done more to promote the cause of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than you can possibly imagine.

Keep up the good work!

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.