Pentagon to Reveal Plan to Repeal DADT

Obama made brief mention at the SOTU on Wednesday that he will be taking steps to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ and it appears that the Pentagon will be unveiling the steps they plan on taking to abolish a grossly homophobic and frankly inhumane policy.

Gates and Mullen are not expected to offer a specific legislative proposal to repeal the law, but rather to detail some of the preliminary steps that need to be taken inside the military in advance of formulating a legislative plan.
Gates will discuss options for more “humanely” implementing the current ban, for example, according to a senior Pentagon official. The secretary asked his general counsel’s office for options six months ago including how to possibly not expel personnel whose homosexuality is revealed by third parties, the source said.
The 1993 law bars gay men and lesbians in the military from revealing their sexual orientation, and prevents the military from asking about it.
Another military official familiar with the discussion said some of the issues to be considered include the cost of implementing a new policy, benefits for gay spouses, potential hate crimes, and even logistical questions such as the possible need to renovate barracks to separate straight and gay troops.
According to the official, the idea of separate housing or showers was not considered a serious possibility, but would be discussed in order to rule it out.

Let me just say, thank goodness! But the steps include benefits for gay spouses, potential for hate crimes and separate housing? I don’t know enough about military housing, but that doesn’t sounds right to me. I generally don’t equate segregation with humanity.
It is amazing to me that for all these years, young men and women that have given their life to serve in the military have not been given the simple ability to express their full humanity and be respected and supported.
I, of course, advocate the repeal of a law as ignorant and hurtful as DADT, but I advocate more wholly for a world where less and less people see the military as a viable option and to bring an end to militarism. The domination, greed and ignorance that propels our wars is the same ignorance that propels homophobia in the military. Without ending one, we probably won’t ever end the other.
But since we don’t live in a just or ideal world, at least they are truly taking steps to repeal DADT.

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9 Comments

  1. Yoshimi
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I agree wholeheartedly. While I oppose increased militarism and military spending, this is a positive step. Both militarism and homophobia are a part of the SAME oppressive ideological framework.

  2. Hershele Ostropoler
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    So they’re discussing the agenda for the meeting to discuss a plan for considering a repeal of DADT? Um, yay? It’s better than when they were planning to discuss the agenda for etc., but somehow I’m not breaking out the Champagne just yet.

  3. singforchoices
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Agreed 100%, Samhita. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people realized what a horrible time-, money-, and humanity-suck the military is. Can’t wait to watch this proposal’s progress – hopefully it won’t get too chewed up in the process of being implemented.

  4. Toongrrl
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell always
    reminds me of this couple on
    the episode of “Secret Lives
    of Women” about Late in Life
    lesbians. Here’s some links
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ0w2BTjLgo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_eBL5mMjE4&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1jz3DnFKwg&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33XJcjSxYvE&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZVIw7Z2jjs&NR=1
    I hope Jocelyn and “Ellen”
    are ok, I hope things will
    be great for them

  5. Jane
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with ending DADT. It’s an obvious injustice.
    However, I have a question on your final statement: “I advocate more wholly for a world where less and less people see the military as a viable option and to bring an end to militarism. The domination, greed and ignorance that propels our wars is the same ignorance that propels homophobia in the military. Without ending one, we probably won’t ever end the other.”
    I’m a military historian (learned it from my dad and endless hours of the Military Channel). I wrote my senior honors thesis at Michigan on Nazi propaganda before and after the Battle of Stalingrad.I thought for a long time about going to West Point to study war strategy. War fascinates me – the movement of armies from those of Hannibal to those of Hitler really makes me think. Moreover, I really, really don’t think a society without war/military is possible. Chimpanzees fight “wars” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0kuMS-EATs (now obviously, we shouldn’t be basing our societal norms on chimpanzees, I’m just saying its not unique). What IS possible is limiting the use of arms and making peace the ultimate goal, and fighting wars “smarter” (i.e. wars of manuever over attrition to limit death toll, making limiting civilian casualties a point of emphasis) World War One showed us that war is no way to settle imperial disagreements (and that Franz Ferdinand shouldn’t have visited Sarejevo on Vivovdan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Archduke_Franz_Ferdinand_of_Austria#Royal_visit).
    All I’m saying is that the military isn’t going away, and the need for people who know about war and how to fight it won’t, either. I can’t be a pacifist, to me it seems illogical. Is there a place for me in this?

  6. Brianna G
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I take the middle ground– I dream of a world where war is unneeded, think some current wars were bad moves and should never have been done, and believe we all need to work for peace, but I admit that until everyone on earth is equally educated and has access to resources, war WILL happen. Thus, it is important to use technology and diplomacy to reduce the impact of those wars on life– and a large part of that is not firing the translators, doctors, engineers, etc who happen to be openly homosexual.
    Remember, feminists don’t have to agree on everything. Just like we would not say “Only Buddhists can be feminist,” we can’t say “Only those who believe pacifism is the only correct philosophy at our time can be feminists.”

  7. jak
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I hope the military also has plans to change the culture that leads to sexual assaults on the men and women who serve. I have this fear that gay people serving openly become that much more vulnerable to attacks (which, of course, happen in the military now, anyway).

  8. aleks
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    It would have obviously been better for AD FF not to have gone to Sarejavo for his own sake, but do you think that would have averted either the Austria-Serb war or WWI? According to Europe’s Last Summer Austria was looking for an excuse to attack Serbia and Germany was looking for an excuse to attack Russia, and Franz’s assassination provided only the excuse for what would have been otherwise blamed on something else soon after.

  9. rebekah
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    I am so glad that you feel this way too Samhita. Frankly, if a draft for women happens I am running to canada and not looking back. The military is the most dispicable part of our human existence. There are countries without a military system. It can be done we just don’t want to do it.
    On a different note, If you watched the president give his state of the union address, he did talk about this and when he did not a single military person sitting in that room was pleased. They all had these huge scowls on their faces. So what if gay men and lesbian women decide that they want to be in the military? It doesn’t affect their job performance so what does it matter

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