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The Illogical Defense of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

March 31, 2009

Towleroad has the latest from Elaine Donnelly, the horribly ignorant defender of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  After previously testifying (see below) before Congress and being eviscerated by Rep. Murphy, Donnelly is now bringing forward a group of retired officers supporting the current policy.

Here’s the first problem with her logic (as Rep. Murphy points out in the clip below).  First, she thinks that people who will bravely risk their lives for our country aren’t brave enough to do it with people who are openly gay.  Also, that their parents who would support such brave men and women, wouldn’t do so if they were serving along side openly gay soldiers.  How is this not insulting to those who risk their lives everyday for our country, and to the families who support them unconditionally?

You may have noticed that I underlined the word openly twice.  Here’s the real problem with her logic.  She is defending an army that doesn’t exist.  The crux of this argument is that you can’t be a homosexual and serve in the military without undermining “unit cohesion” and ultimately a volunteer force.  However, the current policy allows gays and lesbians to serve, as long as they don’t tell the truth about who they are.  Donnelly’s argument below (regarding Cynthia Yost) is that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to serve at all (regardless of their openness).  The people Donnelly so loves to vilify are there fighting for our country day in and day out and our nation is still standing.  I’d even bet (with limited anecdotal evidence) that a lot of them are  aware of their colleagues’ sexual orientations.

This isn’t now–and never was–about the ability of gays and lesbians to serve.  This is about the bigotry of a few.  America has never been about dropping to the lowest common denominator (in this case the bigot who won’t protect their country if they have to be exposed to people they know are gay), and we shouldn’t pander to them now.  If someone is so afraid of gays and lesbians, maybe they should find a different career.  I promise you it won’t make our armed forces weaker to lose this handful of bigots.

Here is the report on Donnelly’s group of bigots, as reported by the AP.

“A statement issued by the retired officers Tuesday said passage of that bill ‘would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.’ Among the signatories were Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., a former commandant of the Marine Corps; Adm. Leighton W. Smith, a former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Gen. Charles A. Horner, who commanded U.S. aerial forces during the 1990-91 Gulf War; and Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, a former vice chief of Naval Operations. The retired officers said they strongly supported the principle that ‘homosexuality is incompatible with military service’ and warned that repeal of current law could jeopardize morale and ‘unit cohesion.'”

If you want your blood to boil, just listen to her speak.  Especially when she says that proponents of repealing DADT have the mentality that if soldiers don’t like serving with gays and lesbians, then they should “just relax and enjoy it”–a not very clever allusion to a wildly offensive stereotype of gays and lesbians as predators.

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