“This year” President Obama wants to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, allowing gay soldiers to serve openly in the military. That ‘promise’ in the State of the Union address garnered hope for those wanting liberal “change” while others vowed to fight this battle, one more time.
“This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,” Obama said.
Two percent of our military, or about 66,000 men and women, are gay. As long as nobody knows, these gay soldiers can keep their jobs. A Jacksonville, FL resident, Michael Schumpert was a lawyer in the military whose job was to take action against anyone purported to be gay. The problem was, he was gay himself. Jacksonville.com reported about the personal turmoil that led to this solder’s own admission of sexual persuasion, then his discharge.
Gay advocates like Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, want more than a “broad vision” from the President. This activist wants the President to use his executive power to “stop discharges,” until the DADT law is repealed, noted a Washington Post article.
This is a sensitive issue, with many politicians on both sides of the fence wanting to hear from top brass before throwing their support either way. U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., along with democrats Senator Bill Nelson and U. S. Rep Corrine Brown are waiting to hear what’s best for the military from an inside perspective. Senator-elect Scott Brown is on the same waiting list. However, even military’s top brass disagree. Retired Vice Admiral Michael Kalleres of Jacksonville said “sexual orientation” should not be added to war-time stress, and the culture should stay the same. Conversely, retired General John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supported the repeal, noting that everyone should have the same “standard of conduct and discipline.”
Just as the ‘hate crimes’ initiative was slipped into the defense bill and passed last year, Representative Barney Frank believes the DADT initiative will be passed similarly in 2011, in another defense legislation.
Dr. Richard Swier of Red County served in the military twenty years ago, and believes repealing DADT would be detrimental for our volunteer forces. “The casualties of an openly gay military policy would be the morale, welfare and readiness of the force,” this former officer said. He spoke about the health issues of the gay lifestyle, as spelled about by Family Institute. More than that, he brought up the culture in the lands we are at war with. Heavily Muslim, their Shariah law considers homosexuality anathema, and punishable by death. “Having gays openly serving in these countries would be a social, health and political nightmare for our field commanders,” he exclaimed. “Any changes to national policy must be based upon science, not emotion or a political agenda.”
The Pentagon’s top military brass will testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee as soon as next month.