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Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 828

Posted by timothy
from the everyone's-got-an-opinion dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Senate and House have now acted to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, [a decision] which President Obama will soon sign into law. While this does not permit homosexuals to openly serve, it does return control of the policy to military leaders after nearly two decades."
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Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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  • Yea America! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silpher (1379267) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @07:13PM (#34603364)

    Now get rid of torture and death sentence and you'll upgrade from stone age to bronze age!

    • Errr, I thought Bronze Age armies in Greece and whatnot had openly gay soldiers.

      • by dwye (1127395)

        Errr, I thought Bronze Age armies in Greece and whatnot had openly gay soldiers.

        No, but gay meant allowing oneself to be buggered by someone of equal or lesser status; it was perfectly fine to ass-ream women, children, or younger males (let alone animals or slaves). The Theban Sacred Band was about 60% older soldiers screwing their recruits and PFC-equivalents. Read an annotated translation of Aristophanes' The Clouds for more on this (where it also points out that homosexuality was an upper class affectation considered silly by the lower classes).

        • by fantomas (94850) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:51AM (#34606194)

          Aristophanes Clouds is a satire / theatre comedy. So some of the views shown by the characters will represent what Athenians thought was funny rather what was true so might not represent true views of the time. Don't take what's said as being the Athenian view of society. After all if you were to do that reading other Aristophanes you'd believe that all Greeks thought that rain was Zeus pissing through a sieve.

          Other references from the time to cross references Aristophanes and strengthen your arguments?

            Though of course there is always a grain of truth in comedy.

            From my classical studies I remember reading that gay relationships were encouraged on the grounds that soldiers would fight harder for their lovers in the line next to them. This paper seems to cover some of that ground: "The Eros of Achilles: Homoerotic Bonding Among Combat Soldiers" by J Laskaris - Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 2000 - vol 10 p139 onwards.

          • by Kirijini (214824) <kirijiniNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:32PM (#34609608)

            This paper seems to cover some of that ground: "The Eros of Achilles: Homoerotic Bonding Among Combat Soldiers" by J Laskaris - Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 2000 - vol 10 p139 onwards.

            Wow, awesome find.

            First of all, there's a section titled "Mantaming Sparta."

            Second, there is this very interesting passage:

            Jonathan Shay calls attention to our culture's homophobia as inhibiting or preventing combat soldiers from expressing their full grief at the loss of close comrades - a process that he considers essential in preventing post-traumatic stress disorder and states that, ''Veterans need to voice their grief and love for their dead comrades if they are to heal. However, many have learned to keep quiet because of their culture's discomfort with love between men that is so deeply felt."

            That's an aspect of homophobia / "don't ask don't tell" that few think about.

    • by assertation (1255714) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @07:39PM (#34603536)

      Don't worry, we still have the Christian fundamentalists and the far right to help us catch up to radical Islam in the race back the middle ages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18, 2010 @07:16PM (#34603386)

    A protocol with an ask request without a tell response could be considered an early form of udp.

  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @08:04PM (#34603728)

    Whether you agree with DADT or not, it's hard to argue that it's a priority. Shut down Guantanamo Bay, get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and do something about the economy and deficit. Then I won't view this debate as an utter waste of congress' time. In the meantime, this is just a wedge issue that Republicans can use to gain midwestern support, much like gay marriage was for Bush in '04. I doubt Obama even personally cares about this issue -- he just cares about the money he gets from the homosexual interest groups. This hardly changes anything. Now gay service members can talk about being gay. Whoop-di-do. I'd rather they be safe at home and not be allowed to talk about their sexuality than serving in hostile territory allowed to talk about it. It just doesn't matter if DADT is right or wrong, it's nowhere near as wrong as putting these soldiers in harm's way unnecessarily. Obama pretended to be outraged by these wars and Guantanamo Bay on the campaign trail, what happened to that?

    • by vadim_t (324782) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @08:24PM (#34603856) Homepage

      Why is Guantanamo a priority and DADT isn't?

      Unlike the Iraq war, practically speaking, Guantanamo doesn't make a big difference. There are only 174 people there. The biggest benefit to closing it is a "we care about people's rights" angle. Which is an excellent idea, but doesn't DADT fall into the exactly same category? It probably even affects many more people in the practical sense.

    • by Isaac-1 (233099)

      He woke up one day and was the president, then he realized all the stuff Bush had been saying about there not being easy, quick solution to these things were true..

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by IICV (652597)

        Seriously? For DADT, there's a very very easy solution - the President is Commander in Chief of the army, he can literally say "this is bullshit guys, you must treat people of all sexual orientations equally". Quick and easy - after all, that's what the commander does, he commands. I mean, how do you think Bill Clinton got DADT started in the first place? He just said "allright people, you just can't talk about this", and then Congress fought about it for a while.

        The problem Obama has, of course, is that th

        • Of course, I really wish he would grow some balls and actually do that - the people he would lose are already lost, and actually getting something done would, I think, energize his base and maybe sway some moderates. Unfortunately, he's just fobbing this off on Congress so there's less risk to his political image.

          You say this right after he GOT this passed. And it had to be a bi-partisan effort (to some degree at any rate) due to the super-majority requirement caused by the GOP filibuster system. If he sha

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @08:44AM (#34606754) Journal

          For DADT, there's a very very easy solution - the President is Commander in Chief of the army, he can literally say "this is bullshit guys, you must treat people of all sexual orientations equally"

          I might be missing something about the US chain of command, but my understanding was that DADT was passed as a law (wikipedia confirms this: federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. 654)). No officer, even the CinC, may give an order to violate a law without facing court martial. If he ordered the generals to ignore DADT, he would be telling them to ignore a law, which would be an illegal order and they would have no obligation to follow it.

    • by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:49AM (#34607876)
      Whether you agree with DADT or not, it's hard to argue that it's a priority. Shut down Guantanamo Bay, get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and do something about the economy and deficit. Then I won't view this debate as an utter waste of congress' time.

      You could make the same argument about any number of rights issues: "Whether or not you agree with civil rights, it's hard to argue that allowing blacks to vote and ending segregation is a priority when we have the Vietnam War and Soviet imperialism to worry about. Until we do something about that, civil rights is an utter waste of time" Or how about:"Whether or not you agree with the suffrage movement or not, it's hard to argue that it's a priority. After all we have the Great War to worry about. Until we win against Germany, debating about an amendment to give women the vote is an utter waste of time"

      How can we say that basic civil rights aren't a priority? How can we say that ending discrimination is a waste of time? That justice is just too inconvenient right now? Because that's exactly what you're arguing. Our society is fundamentally about rights and liberties. The right to speak and assemble, the right to worship as we choose, the right to privacy, the right to a just trial, the right to pursue happiness- to live your life. Those rights aren't an inconvenient afterthought, they're the entire point of the country. It's critical that gays and lesbians are allowed to serve in the military, because it's defending the rights of everybody, including and especially those who are different, that makes the country worth fighting for in the first place. If we aren't doing that, then everything else becomes just a waste of time.

  • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @08:11PM (#34603758) Journal
    Any votes on how long the policy lasts after someone 'transgendered' files a lawsuit requesting permission to live in the opposite-sex barracks and wear the opposite-sex uniform?
    • by Jeremi (14640)

      Any votes on how long the policy lasts after someone 'transgendered' files a lawsuit requesting permission to live in the opposite-sex barracks and wear the opposite-sex uniform?

      You realize that 'gay' and 'transgendered' are unrelated categories, don't you? Policy regarding gays is a separate issue from policy regarding transgendered people.

    • Awesome use of scare quotes, but repealing DADT still leaves trans people in the dust. [transequality.org] Ignoring the fact that (as someone mentioned below) trans people and gay people aren't the same thing (it's a Venn diagram with some overlap, just like straight and trans have some overlap) the US military will still be discriminating against trans people. Don't worry.

      (How preventing a trans person like myself, with a tech background and a desire to serve her country, from entering military service helps keep our country

  • by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @08:14PM (#34603796)
    Out with "An Army of One" and in with "We're Fabulous!"
  • Happened Before (Score:5, Insightful)

    by germansausage (682057) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @09:03PM (#34604120)
    This same bullshit happened twice already. Negroes in the Army..Oh Noes..its the end!! Women in the Army..our forces are doomed. Openly gay Gays in the Army. There will be a bit of friction and then the Army will adjust OK. Anyhow it's nice to see the bigots are now out and the gays are in.

    Seriously, if somebody wants to pick up a rifle and go defend my cowardly ass, why on earth would I care who they sleep with when they're on leave.
  • by mmmmbeer (107215) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @09:32PM (#34604270)

    Prior to DADT, the rule was no gays in the military, period. If this were a repeal of the policy, it would mean returning to that. This new law goes further IN THE SAME DIRECTION as DADT.

  • by pauljlucas (529435) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @09:57PM (#34604400) Homepage Journal
    FTFS:

    While this does not permit homosexuals to openly serve ...

    I can find nothing in the linked article [washingtonpost.com] that says that homosexuals can not openly serve. In fact, the very first sentence says:

    The U.S. military will for the first time in history allow gays to serve openly after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that has required such troops to hide their sexual identity or risk being expelled from the services.

    So is TFS wrong?

    • by compro01 (777531)

      No, TFS is correct. Read further down the article, specifically the bottom of page 2.

      This leaves it to the military leadership (Obama and the joint chiefs) to decide whether to allow open homosexuals to serve, if they find that it would not affect "troop readiness, cohesion or military recruitment and retention", which a recent report by the pentagon says it wouldn't, so this should be happening shortly.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@ l y n x.bc.ca> on Saturday December 18, 2010 @10:47PM (#34604616) Journal

    "The Marine Corps' top general suggested Tuesday that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because their presence on the battlefield would pose a distraction."

    While it's granted that people who admit to doing something that sounds unusual or strange can be distracting, where, exactly, do they get the idea that people who openly admit to being homosexual is going to be any more distracting than anyone else who openly admits to doing anything that other people around them might not necessarily understand?

    For example...

    "I really enjoy vampire larping"

    "I often wake up in the middle of the night to find I've been sleep-masturbating."

    "Twilight was a good movie"

    I mean, the list is endless. Who would not find any of the above remarks so alien to their own experience that they might find simply being around a person who admitted to any of the above too distracting to usefully concentrate?

  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:37AM (#34605132)

    I haven't heard a single resonant argument since gays in the military became an issue.

    The opposition's arguments are the same arguments used to oppose desegregation in the military. The pro-segregation arguments have been trashed by sixty years experience.

    When you think about it, the whole brouhaha is really stupid. Back in the sixties, during Vietnam, homosexuality was still a powerful taboo to almost all of male Americans (even the gay ones). Men went to Canada, when all they had to do to legally get out of going to war is express sexual orientation towards other men.

    Time has passed this nonsense by. It would be seriously fucked if a young man could avoid the draft just by bringing a sex video of himself doing a sex act with another man. People would certainly avail themselves of that nowadays if the war was unpopular.

    Those in power who want to send men into the meatgrinder of war surely have this on their mind. They don't want their manpower (cannon fodder) pool compromised by an easy way to avoid the draft.

    There is no way around this if you want to have a fair draft that hits every man evenly. (And don't get me started on upper middle class deferments).

  • John McCain Says: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:21AM (#34605320) Homepage

    "This successful policy has been in effect for over 15 years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels [...] [We have the] most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. (source [cnn.com])

    Men and women were pretty heroic in World War II and the Korean War, just to name two. DADT wasn't in effect back then. I bet that GLBT and everything else were serving in the military back then, too. Hard to believe, I know... But I guess we are somehow more professional because we don't allow gay people to serve?

    Speaking of professional... You know what would happen if you did this in a business? You'd get your ass sued right off, and rightly so.

  • by assertation (1255714) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:06AM (#34607566)

    It is kind of silly to worry what will happen as a result of gays being in the military, since they have always been there. They just haven't been allowed to admit it.

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