In the run-up to this weekend’s National Equality March, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has become a hot issue.
Just last night, Lt. Dan Choi was on Anderson Cooper with the offensively delusional Elaine Donnelly of the anti-gay Center For Military Readiness, Representative Patrick Murphy held a Special Order Hour in the House of Representatives where many spoke against the policy, and even The Daily Show hammered Obama on not addressing it on their show.
Here’s some of the content that’s out there.
First, check out this conversation between Lt. Choi and Elaine Donnelly. I think it’s fair to say that Lt. Choi has really become the face of repeal, and unfortunately, Donnelly is very much the face of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This clip is pretty quintessential to how the arguments from both sides sound:
Lt. Choi has been very outspoken about his experiences. I highly recommend you listen to his story on The Moth podcast as well.
I think last night’s Special Order Hour in the House was a very uplifting hour of discussion by various congresspeople, including Rep. Walz of Minnesota, Rep. Polis of Colorado, and Rep. Baldwin of Wisconsin. Rather than embed an hour’s worth of floor speeches, I want to direct you to an important document: The Efficacy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Col. Om Prakash (PDF). This essay won the 2009 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition and pointedly addresses the issues. Here are two excerpts from the conclusion:
The 1993 “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law was a political compromise reached after much emotional debate based on religion, morality, ethics, psychological rationale, and military necessity. What resulted was a law that has been costly both in personnel and treasure. In an attempt to allow homosexual Servicemembers to serve quietly, a law was created that forces a compromise in integrity, conflicts with the American creed of “equality for all,” places commanders in difficult moral dilemmas, and is ultimately more damaging to the unit cohesion its stated purpose is to preserve. Furthermore, after a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly. In fact, the necessarily speculative psychological predictions are that it will not impact combat effectiveness. Additionally, there is sufficient empirical evidence from foreign militaries to anticipate that incorporating homosexuals will introduce leadership challenges, but the challenges will not be insurmountable or affect unit cohesion and combat effectiveness…
Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather, it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.
It is very exciting to see some growing momentum behind this issue, even though it is only one of many that we will be marching for on Sunday.
Hopefully, President Obama realizes that it is insulting to suggest that we wait any longer for this discriminatory provision to be lifted. Here’s some heat from The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Gay After Tomorrow|
Again, I implore you to join us this weekend as we march for equal rights!