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CPAC Overboard on DADT

Jim Burroway

February 19th, 2010

Die-hard supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military’s ban on LGBT people serving openly, held a news conference at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 18 in Washington, DC. It was a truly priceless exercise in surrealism that has to be seen to believe.

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Here are my favorites. Tom Minnery of Focus On the Family thinks repealing DADT is a bad idea, but not because he dislikes gay people. In fact, he’s worried all to pieces over what repealing DADT would do to gay men:

TomMinneryThere are going to be a number of young gay men who have been shoved in the middle of this social engineering debacle and told that it is their right to serve. In the confines of barracks life, the sexual tension that will result when you try to develop a warrior culture and put these two very different ideas of sexuality in the middle of that culture, it’s going to produce a lot of abuse, a lot of angry, a lot of severely disappointed young gay men.

Tony Perkins, of the Family “Research” Council has a hard time with polling data:

Tony PerkinsWhen you look at the polling data of the sixty percent of Americans or whatever saying they thing that homosexuals should be open, should be able to serve openly in the military, well do they really understand the conditions under which their sons and daughters and their neighbor’s kids would have to serve in.

People understand the conditions of war very well, and nobody understands it better than those who are in the military currently. The Military Times finds that there has been a sharp decline in the percentage of men and women currently in uniform supporting DADT. Fewer still who personally know a gay person serving are willing to report them to their command.

But the most surreal statement comes from Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons:

James LyonsYou know in the Navy in the late nineteen hundreds, homosexuality was rampant in the United States Navy. It was so bad that mothers would not let their sons enlist in the Navy until the Navy cleaned its act up, and fortunately they did. …On board ship the Navy found that there are three things unacceptable to good order and discipline and its impact on readiness. You cannot have a thief aboard, you cannot have a drug-user or a drug-pusher, and we found out you could not have a homosexual.

And as anyone who has ever been to Fleet Week in San Francisco, New York, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale can tell you, they don’t have any homosexuals in the Navy anymore.



February 19th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks for posting this Jim – it is pretty shocking. To my reading Mr. Minnery is basically arguing that there will be wanton gay-bashing by their straight counterparts because of the “sexual tension” that will inevitably rise (all puns intended). So, if we let gay men (but not lesbians, hmmm) into the military, the straight soldiers will be so unable to control their hatred, they will beat them?

Alternatively Mr. Minnery could be worried that those poor gay men will be so full of sexual frustration from being around all those straight men (because gay men are attracted to every single member of their gender) that they’ll be angry and unhappy. Isn’t it nice that he’s looking out for us.

And I love Admiral Lyons’ argument – because mothers 125 years ago acted in a specific way, we should assume the same thing will happen if we allow gays into that bastion of straightness, the Navy (or, God forbid, the Marines). Apparently the Admiral has not evolved in the last 50 years, but I think America has.

Richard Rush
February 19th, 2010 | LINK

While I certainly believe gays should be permitted to serve openly in the military, I believe that DADT should remain in place with its focus shifted to another target: Religious Proselytizers. If a soldier openly shares the gospel, he’s out. It’s harmful to unit cohesion.

Just imagine: An unsuspecting soldier drops the soap in the shower room, and the next thing you know he has religion rammed up his butt. At that point he is likely to have been exposed to the pathogen that causes religion-based bigotry. Few things are as harmful to America’s military, especially while we are fighting two wars in predominately Islamic nations.

Christopher Waldrop
February 19th, 2010 | LINK

Actually, if you read Admiral Lyons’ comments carefully, you’ll see that he’s referring to “the late nineteen hundreds”, which, I guess, would be the 1990’s. Which makes me wonder where I was because I don’t remember hearing anyone’s mother forbid their children from joining the Navy. At least not for the reasons the Admiral mentions.

And if he is talking about the 1890’s, well, they have been called the Gay Nineties.

February 19th, 2010 | LINK

I see another problem with “mothers who wouldn’t let their sons enlist” argument. Last I checked, the military doesn’t enlist minors. And if said son isn’t a minor, then the mother can’t actually stop him from enlisting. Unless, of course, she still has some sort of control over her still-adult son. And you know what happens when mothers are smothering and overbearing toward their sons….;)

Chris McCoy
February 19th, 2010 | LINK

The the late nineteen hundreds (1993 to be specific), I was graduating from high school and had respectable SAT and ACT scores. I was summarily head-hunted by all 5 branches of the armed forces. They continued to hound me despite my repeated protests that I was not interested.

Finally to make them go away, I told them I was gay. They all went away. Except the Navy recruiter – who excitedly replied, “That’s ok! We have Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!”….

February 19th, 2010 | LINK

My favorite part is where Perkins, who supports voting down gay rights, says he knows better than the vast majority of Americans.

Richard W. Fitch
February 19th, 2010 | LINK


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