As we edge closer to Tuesday’s implementation of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal, Queerty is taking a look back at the some of the stories that have brought us to this point.
The House was hopping yesterday as five witnesses took the stand to discuss Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with the Armed Services Committee.
Among the witnesses one could find Eric Alva, a gay Marine who was also the first member of the military wounded in Iraq, as well as Capt. Joan Darrah and Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, both of whom are retired. They all back a DADT repeal, as do the majority of Americans.
Those who support “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” claim that they do so in the interest of unit cohesion. Well, as a former Marine, I can tell you what it takes to build unit cohesion: trust. It takes trust in your fellow unit members to have your back and do their job. And I can also tell you that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does nothing but undercut that trust, and with it our nation’s security.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” imposes secrecy and undermines unit cohesion, ousting gays and lesbians at the expense of the military readiness of the United States. Allowing gay, lesbian and bisexual service members to serve openly will only improve unit cohesion and in turn our military.
Right-wing wacko Elaine Donnelly, who’s never even served in the Girl Scouts, took the stand to support the discriminatory policy—which she thinks helps curtail “disruption.” In addition to the standard ideological rubbish, Donnelly also tainted her answer by bringing up HIV, which did not endear her to the Committee.
“The Armed Forces cannot afford the elevated risk of disruptive homosexual conduct in the ranks,” Donnelly said in her statement. “That risk is even more dangerous when HIV infection enters the picture.”
Attacking Donnelly’s testimony, Snyder sarcastically said, “We ought to recruit only lesbians in the military, because they have the lowest incidence of HIV and AIDS.”
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) a freshman who served in the Army, was visibly enraged, assailing Donnelly over her statements that allowing openly gay people to serve in the military would hurt unit cohesion. He charged that Donnelly implied that the straight men and women in the military “are not professional enough to be able to maintain unit cohesion.
“This is an insult to me and many of the soldiers,” said Murphy, who served in the Iraq War.
That’s some real shit.
Meanwhile, Steve Ralls of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network blogged all about it.