Gays: Not Allowed to Openly Serve, Not Allowed to Openly Contribute to DADT ‘Debate’

Ya know how we think it’s silly that even straight soldiers’ families are getting the chance to weigh in on repealing DADT? When it comes to weighing in on the public sphere, once again the straights are leading the debate!

Producers aren’t exactly booking the LGBTs to come on and chat about the policy that affects them.

Since it became law in 1993 under Bill Clinton, DADT has forced lesbian, gay and bisexual service members to stay in the closet or face discharge; the law has drummed more than 13,500 members out of the armed forces, while forcing tens of thousands of current service members to hide their identities.

Yet in the four weeks following Obama’s call (1/28/10–2/24/10), only three of 25 sources commenting on DADT on ABC, CBS and NBC—one on each network—were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or representing an LGBT organization.

It isn’t just about having LGBT voices included in the debate. It’s about framing the law as something that even needs to be “debated.”

Trouble is, if it’s a question of discrimination, there’s little to debate. Framing it as a question of military effectiveness, however non-existent the evidence, gives the right a foothold and makes TV debates possible. And it lets Fox hosts bring up the North American Man-Boy Love Association. As Fox host Oliver North told Sean Hannity on February 4: “This isn’t about rights. This isn’t about fairness. It’s all about national security…. Now, here’s what’s next. NAMBLA members, same-sex marriages.”

Unsurprisingly, in Fox’s nine segments that mentioned Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell following Obama’s announcement, not a single gay source was featured.

Enter Exhibit A.