Posts Tagged As: Elaine Donnelly

Time Magazine Relies on Non-Representative Poll Pushed by Anti-Gay Activist

Timothy Kincaid

February 4th, 2008

elainesux.jpgOn the 29th, Time Magazine ran an article about the 15th anniversary of the military’s Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell policy. And as anti-gay activist Elaine Donnelly, president of the non-profit Center for Military Readiness, is about the only one still willing to publicly champion discrimination against gay soldiers, they used her as a source of information.

Ms. Donnelly and her Center are the face of anti-gay activism for issues surrounding the military. It has not been an easy task.

In the past 15 years, the public has been exposed to a steady list of gay persons expelled from service that seem to defy logic. Leaders, poster boys and girls (literally), linguists, medics, heroes, people who have the support and trust of their peers. And the public has increasingly come to question the necessity of excluding gay people from service.

They’ve not been alone. In recent years former generals and admirals, a former Defense Minister, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a former Republican Senator have all said that it was time for this discriminatory policy to go.

Donnelly’s intractable position of total opposition to any gay person serving (openly or under DADT) has appeared to be ever more shrill in contrast to these carefully considered changes of opinion. And her public efforts to punish gay soldiers paint her as cruel and extremist.

When Sgt. Manzella came out to a national audience on 60 Minutes and suffered no immediate penalty, Donnelly was livid. She set about trying to force the military’s hand, bothering commanders at his base and going so far as to tell news sources that Manzella’s superiors should be disciplined for not firing him.

But new sources seeking supporters of an exclusionary military are limited in their options. Few voices seek to publicly support the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and some have found anti-gay moralizing to be detrimental to their career. So perhaps it is reasonable that Time turned to Donnelly for its anti-gay “balancing voice”.

However, they did not have to rely on her for a report of the opinions of service persons. A Zogby Poll released in December 2006 shows that only 37% of active service persons serving in Iraq and Afghanistan indicated that gay personnel should not be allowed to serve openly (26% favor disbanding DADT and the rest have no opinion). The same poll showed that 72% of returning soldiers were personally comfortable around gay people.

Yet Time chose to report the following:

But Americans in the military seem less friendly to the idea of junking the ban. A 2006 opinion poll by the independent Military Times newspapers showed that only 30% of those surveyed think openly gay people should serve, while 59% are opposed.

That quote is taken almost verbatim from Donnelly’s website:

In the most recent poll announced by the Military Times newspapers, in answer to the question “Do you think openly homosexual people should be allowed to serve in the military?” 30% of the active duty military subscriber respondents said Yes, but 59% said No, 10% having No Opinion. The same percentage, 59% in opposition, was reported by the Military Times survey in 2006 (Army Times, Jan. 8, 2007).

So do service persons oppose gay participation by 39% as Zogby reports, or 59% as Donnelly claims? Well, in the same article on her website, Donnelly dismisses and criticizes the Zogby poll as being nonrepresentative:

Apparent absence of random access undermines the credibility of the poll, even though the news release makes the inflated claim, “The panel used for this survey is composed of over 1 million members and correlates closely with the U.S. population on all key profiles.”

Much of the anti-gay argument of those supporting DADT is that the young recruit would not want to be in the proximity of gay soldiers. Those in favor of allowing open service argue that young people are more familiar and comfortable with gay people than those of, say, Donnelly’s age.

Donnelly is quite critical of anyone making this argument. However, she must not have taken a good look at the poll on which she is relying. Nor did Time notice any inconsistency.

Had they looked closer, they would have noted that the participants in the Military Times poll were far from representative of military service persons.

Using the 2000 statistics of the Heath Status of the United States Army (and assuming that there is not a strong variance between services) we can compare the Military Times poll to the Army’s report of those who actually serve.

  • Army average age – 28; MT poll participant average age – 37
  • 44% of service members between 17 and 24; 7% of MT poll participants fell in this category
  • 8% of army personnel are 40 or older; 41% of MT poll participants are 40 or older
  • 51% of army personnel are married; 82% of MT poll participants are married

As the Military Times put it, “The annual poll has come to be viewed by some as a barometer of the professional career military.”

In other words, this is NOT a poll of active service persons who are on the front lines eating, sleeping, and showering with their mates. In fact, only 2% of those polled lived in barracks. Unlike the Zogby poll, the Military Times poll is of those who have made the military their career.

When viewed in conjunction with the Zogby poll that Donnelly found so faulty, the logical conclusion is that those military persons who sit on their butts in an office have the luxury of entertaining their anti-gay biases while those are in the line of fire may care more about the abilities of their fellow soldier than they do about the gender of his spouse.

More Evidence that DADT is Dead

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2008

Do you ever get the sense that Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is a walking corpse that just hasn’t noticed that it isn’t breathing?

USA Today tells us that in the three weeks since Army Sgt. Darren Manzella came out on national television he’s heard no indication that he’s being discharged. And other than the ever reliable one woman army against gays, women, and creeping liberalism, Elaine Donnelly, no one seems to care (when you’re down to quoting Elaine, it means no one else is talking).

And Elaine’s crusade may not be going real well.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce says the “policy is public law, and it is being enforced.” It’s not illegal to be gay in the military, he points out, as long as a servicemember keeps quiet.

Quiet like 60 Minutes, I guess.

But the most interesting part of the article was this last bit at the end:

Eugene Fidell of the National Institute of Military Justice, a group of military legal experts, wonders whether the dwindling number of discharges suggests broader implications for the policy. “Is it dying basically for lack of interest?” he asks. “Military managers may be turning a blind eye because it’s a nuisance, and we need these people.”

Sorry Elaine, it looks like you’re pretty much on your own now.

     Newer Posts »

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.