Ron Paul on Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel asked Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) why he changed his mind and now supports repealing the military's “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Here’s what Paul said:

"I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual," Paul said Friday. "To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • hmm||

    You just had to put the Weigel bait up there on a long weekend, didn't you. Just couldn't resist, could ya.

  • alan||

    Come on, there are worse people in the World than Weigel. At least three.

  • Pip||

    No, Kennedy, Murtha and Timothy McVeigh are now dead.

  • alan||

    Sorry, my mistake.

  • ||

    Good on Paul.

    Glad to see Hawaii's newly minted congressman, Charles Djou, was one of the four other Republicans voting to repeal DADT.

  • Kolohe||

    Djou is still foursquare against civil unions for the state, though

  • Sam Grove||

    Logical.

  • Ice2||

    this was a pleasant surprise. When I saw that the vote was coming up i was almost certain he would have voted to not repeal but im glad he proved me wrong.

  • ||

    repealing the military's “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

    To be honest, I don't even know what this means. Are they going to explicitly acknowledge the homosexuality of military personnel, and allow them to stay, or something else?

  • Mike Laursen||

    There'd be no reason now for the military to even concern themselves with the soldier's sexuality. Gets them out of dealing with acknowledging or not acknowledging it.

    Well, until someone brings up the question of supporting their domestic partners.

  • Some dude||

    I heard that repealing DADT leaves the matter up to the president. The president could ban gays now if he wanted. Or allow them.

  • ||

    Like, if there's no official policy, he can just ExecutiveOrder whatever he wants? Bummer. (Not like bumming, you pervs.)

  • ||

    Good for him. I've been advocating the military use lesbians to kick the shit out of Muslim extremists since Gulf War I.

  • Abdul Muhammad N'dal||

    My Allah help us!

  • ||

    Lesbians slathered in pork lard, you mean. Now THERE would be a conflict that would be worthy of Gulf War I's "SuperBowl" TV coverage!

  • Kolohe||

    Sasha Grey type lesbians, or Rosie O'Donnell type lesbians?

    This is why it's extremely important to spell everything out in military contracting.

  • strat||

    It's called developing "requirements." q.v. the Pentagon's brownie recipe.

  • ||

    Sasha Grey type lesbians, or Rosie O'Donnell type lesbians?

    It will take time to determine the optimal squad composition, but i suspect a 40/60 mix to be most effective.

  • John Doe||

    80 Sasha Grey/20 Rosie

    And that stuff would be great.

  • ||

    Wonder what Rand Paul will say when someone asks him how he would vote on the repeal of DADT?

  • ||

    My thought as well.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That the 19th Amendment was patently unnecessary because womens' franchise was implied in the Articles of the Constitution. Also, those sufferagettes were a bunch of angry dykes.

  • Warty||

    "Bungle bungle blarg. Bungle bungle booga misinterpret this, please."

  • ||

    I figured he'd vote against it because it would be attached to something else he didn't like. Hasn't his position been don't discharge them if they're not disruptive the whole time?

    Seriously though, there needs to be a study into the 55 Arab linguists who were discharged for being gay. What is the connection between being an Arab linguist and being gay?

  • Tony||

    Gay men are often verbally intelligent.

  • Troll Response||

    Also, most blacks can't swim.

  • ||

    Well they certainly get hired for speaking jobs. Even at fast food joints, the gay man always works up front.

  • ||

  • AA||

    +1

  • Warty||

    venomlash
    May 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    It would make sense. For CENTURIES at least, Kashyyyk was oppressed by Trandoshan slavers and the Czerka corporation while the Old Republic bureaucrats stood idly by. Also, Chewbacca’s a smuggler; he WOULD be a libertarian.
  • ¢||

    The bill doesn't repeal DADT.

    It sets out a vague mess of military-bureaucratic conditions that, if met, can result in DADT being struck out of the Code, if the President, Defense, and Joint Chiefs all agree that's what should happen.

    So is Ron Paul homophobic?

    Again?

  • Some dude||

    So is Ron Paul homophobic?


    I seriously doubt he has a morbid fear of things that are the same.

    Homo = "the same"
    phobia = "morbid fear"

  • Jim Treacher||

    Now look up "pedantry."

  • Random Dude||

    +1.

  • Fluffy||

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....5/28/crazy

    Paraphrased Greenwald: "Screw the people who say Ron Paul is crazy".

  • ||

    Why does Greenwald always have to write so many words? Is he paid per line?

  • cls||

    I am pleased Paul changed from calling DADT "a decent policy". My only disappointment in the vote is that this one doesn't accomplish a lot, it is pretty meaningless as it doesn't actually repeal anything until the military approves it. And, it would have been nice had Paul mentioned the rights of the enlisted men and women. All he talks about is how its a waste of tax dollars. I don't like wasting tax dollars, I don't even like taxing dollars, but the real issue was the rampant violation of individual rights, not fiscal impact. Of course, it's hard to be a Republican and support individual rights these days, as the votes of the rest of the GOP showed.

  • Some dude||

    Serving in the military is a right?

  • Fluffy||

    The only reason DADT has lasted this long is because the Joint Chiefs are terrified that they won't be able to field a force if redneck bigots don't volunteer to serve because they're afraid of gays.

    I think we really don't need to be encouraging this kind of cowardice by the military bureaucracy, or this kind of low estimation of the patriotism of our recruits.

    The kids who want to serve aren't going to stop enlisting because of Da Gheyz. And they aren't going to bail on their units either. I don't care how many studies they do to try to prove this is the case. If their CO's tell them to shut the fuck up and man up, they'll do it.

    And if not, I'd rather have the draft back then have to shape our military policy to cater to the desires of bigots so we can be sure those bigots will volunteer.

  • Jonas||

    Just yesterday I heard a 60-year-old-ish redneck working class guy make some joke about a coworker being a homosexual (who's actually not) and then said something that was roughly the conservative redneck equivalent of "not that there's anything wrong with that".

    I also had a conversation with my 70-year-old-ish, very Republican truck-driving great uncle when he basically said he didn't really have a problem with homosexuality because he doesn't see how homosexuals could be anything but gay.

    I imagine part of this is because old redneck types probably have figured out it's not worth wasting the last few years or decades of their lives worrying about teh gayz, while young redneck military recruits are all about asserting their masculinity, but I'd say when you get old, conservative, working-class veterans, it's probably to a point where homosexuals in the military aren't going to be reacted to negatively by pretty much anyone except the Republican Party's social conservative activists, and not always even them.

    In brief, you're probably right that the Joint Chiefs are worried about recruiting people afraid of serving with gays, but here pretty soon it's just going to be obvious that that's not really a problem.

  • ||

    The only reason DADT has lasted this long is because the Joint Chiefs are terrified that they won't be able to field a force if redneck bigots don't volunteer to serve because they're afraid of gays.

    Screw em (pun not intended). We'll have a better military if its all Teh Gheys.

  • MatTrue||

    Wait, I thought all libertarians were racist, xenophobic homophobes. That's what *NBC/CNN/NYT want me to believe.

    Gays in the military? Against the Arizona immigration law? Oh, we still think racists have the right to only serve other racists on their property.

    We're just a bunch of gay and mexican loving rednecks!

  • Chuck||

    So what do you do about bathrooms and showers? Just asking. Whatever your answer, I don't see why they shouldn't just make everything co-ed at the same time.

  • qwerty||

    Hey, it worked on Starship Troopers.

  • zoltan||

    *The movie, not the book.

  • Tony||

    There are already gays in the showers. Why do so many people not get this? This isn't about allowing gays to serve where they were once banned. It's about not firing them for the misdeed of having their sexuality discovered.

    Why are straight men such squeamish little prissy pantses?

  • MatTrue||

    Wow, Tony. I never thought I'd be agreeing with you.

    If there were one or two average looking women showering in a group of 20 guys, I don't think 19 would have a problem those women seeing their naked bodies. One might because of his religion. A few might sport wood seeing the naked women, which would be embarrassing.

    But we aren't talking about co-ed showers. If a gay man is checking me out, I'd just ignore it. And if he got wood, I'd just make sure I didn't shower at the same time from then on. If it's all the men he gets chub over, then he should have to shower with the women or be forced to take really quick showers.

  • ||

    Yes, and it's a supreme challenge to not become excited, especially when you're 13 and one of the other kids in gym class is this dumb-as-dirt but totally hot guy who's been held back a couple of years...

    But you do it because you're scared shitless of being gay bashed.

  • MatTrue||

    If I were in a women's locker room and had wood, I'd be scared of being beaten up!

    Must suck to be gay in that situation. I'd think it would be easier as you got older though.

  • Tony||

    The only reason I learned to play violin was because taking orchestra exempted me from gym class in 6th grade. Not that I hated exercise, I was just terrified of the locker room boner.

    Anyway, it's rather insidious to assume that gay soldiers can't be professional enough to control their raging horniness. And presumptuous on the part of straight guys to assume they are so desirable.

  • zoltan||

    And presumptuous on the part of straight guys to assume they are so desirable.

    Ugh, this is the worst part about all of this nonsense.

  • ||

    Oh, and the gay-guys-shower-with-the-girls thing so wouldn't work. Every straight boy would claim to be gay to get into the girls locker room. Fundie parents would be outraged.

  • ||

    Why are straight men such squeamish little prissy pantses?

    It's not straight men who have a problem with gays, it's the closet-cases.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Just what they do in school locker rooms, Chuck -- Nothing.

    The jocks can grabass and horseplay all they want and nobody says anything. The gay guys are the ones staring at the locker, or the floor, or anything other than another naked guy.

  • Warty||

    I wonder how closeted football players deal with the rampant homoerotic grabassing for which football is little more than a cover story. Jesus, half the reason I stopped playing in college was because I was tired of having dudes slap my ass.

  • zoltan||

    But it's soooo plushy.

  • B||

    With the wide of availability of internet porn, who seriously gets unmanageably aroused at the mere sight of someone naked anymore, other than maybe 13-year-old guys?

  • ||

    I thought it was interesting that the effective date was delayed until December -- you know, when the Republicans might take over the House and do something to undo this when the new members take office in early January.

    Or is that too cynical?

  • Tony||

    The constituency the administration was most concerned about was the DOD. They are anxious about this change.

    The dems wanted to get the vote over with before the election, but give Defense some breathing room before implementing.

  • ||

    Or is that too cynical?

    Is that even possible anymore?

    /cynicism-off

  • ||

    Whatever your answer, I don't see why they shouldn't just make everything co-ed at the same time.

    Because they have enough problems with sex (not to mention pregnancy) messing up unit cohesion and discipline without going out of their way to make it as bad as possible.

  • zoltan||

    Why doesn't the army just make vasectomies/IUDs compulsory for any personnel serving with the other sex?

  • ||

    I wonder how many people here actually have any experience with DADT, either as an observer, or as a gay person serving in the military.

    Since I was college educated, and was the guy who knew how to use a computer in an infantry company, it was inevitable that I got stuck as the company clerk at one point during my time in the army. As such, I assisted in the outprocessing of two soldiers under DADT. However, neither of those two soldiers were actually homosexual. They were, however, dangerously incompetent at their jobs, and deploying with them would have required a full time babysitter for them.

    If they were just kicked out on some kind of administrative discharge, they would have had to pay back their signing bonuses, as well as having a other than honorable discharge following them their entire life. However, if they claimed to be gay, we could get rid of them via general discharge and DADT, and everyone was happy. We didn't have to worry about their incompetence killing anyone, and they got to keep some of their army benefits.

    Conversely, in another company, there was one guy who everyone in the battalion knew was a complete flamer. However, no one cared, because he was GOOD AT HIS JOB. He even ended up stop-lossed like the rest of us for his second deployment.

    What do these anecdotes prove? Probably nothing, but I would be interested in hearing anyone else who has first hand observations on this point.

  • tarran||

    Kyle, that is pretty similar to my experience in the Navy. We had several guys who were gay & I knew of no problems arising from that (except for an incidence of fellatio that occurred on a sponson as we sailed down the narrow channel out of Jebel Ali, and yes - the guys were quite visible from shore, and the fellator's excuse that he had dropped his pen and had merely bent over to retrieve it led to a funny form of hazing where old hands would pointedly toss pens down in front of the new guys and glare at them expectantly.

  • ||

    Shoot! I can't believe I forgot this story!

    During my first tour, the headquarters company First Sergeant is doing an tour/inspection of the guard towers around the base, when he chances upon two guys in one of the towers going down on each other.

    They ended up getting extra duty for "Being out of uniform on duty."

  • pmains||

    Well, if they had given you "Massa Massages," I'm sure you would have felt differently.

    Just, you know, a couple of guys giving each other back rubs, engaging in tickle fights, playing slap-pickle. Nothing out of the ordinary. Why do you ask, Mr. Beck?

  • AA||

    Being a former soldier myself, this doesn't surprise me. Seriously, I don't think my platoon would have really cared if one of us was gay as long as the gay soldier was a damn good soldier. Most of the showers in Iraq were single man showers.

  • nj||

    This was indeed a pleasant surprise

  • ||

    I'm an old Viet Nam vet and I think this is a total disgrace to allow these fags in the military .Can you imagine a sissy ass queer fighting some man that they would rather make love to .Come on people get your head out of your ass. We need real men to fight .

  • ||

    And that attitude is what won you the war..

    oh wait you fucking lost you fag hating loser! Hahahaha

  • rah62||

    Yep, like that sissy ass queer Mark Bingham, who helped crash into the cockpit of United 93 and kept it from crashing into the White House on 9/11.

  • Warty||

    Well at least he didn't TUK AR JERBS. Illegal ain't just a sick berd!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Mooobbbyyyyyyy....

  • I am the Military||

    I don't want any gay people around while I'm killin' kids.

  • ||

    After Clinton did DADT, I was in Panama [Infantry]. 1st a soldier passed out drunk, and woke up to another soldier sucking his dick. He broke his arm hitting the gay soldier who was sexually assaulting him. Next a soldier who joined the Army to get away from his father who was sexually molesting him ended up in a room with an older SP4 who sensed what was up and ended up taking Daddy's place as the abuser. This came out after he was discovered raping the private. Before Clinton changed the policy, at Ft. Ord, a Lt. who was a homosexual was using his position to get head from soldiers. Then an older NCO was back from a deployment, in charge of his battalion's rear detachment, and he was caught by the FOD raping a private in the parking lot. So for me, although nothing ever happened to me personally, I am good not having it in the open, and discharging when discovered. But I am retired now, and it is for another generation to sort out. But I just thought I'd add a dose of reality after reading the sweetness and light posts above. Remember, more men are raped every year than women. And that's a fact.

  • ||

    I just got out of the army about a year ago. When I was in, Rape and Sexual assault were punishable under UCMJ, as well as local laws. Were they not in your day?

  • l0b0t||

    I call bullshit on the anecdotes about Ft. Ord. I was there with the 9th Infantry regiment (Manchu) then HHC 7th ID (light) from 1988-1994 and recall no such incidents occurring. There were quite a few problems with hetero rape (male soldiers forcing themselves upon female civilians), esp. up at DIVARTY. IIRC, DIVARTY barracks were not allowed female visitors for quite a spell in the early 1990s.

  • EMp||

    I can tell you for sure that an over-whelming majority of enlisted personel - paticularly in combat m.o.s. postions do not want anything to do with openly serving homosexuals. Why can't gay people just deal with the fact that most people do not approve of their lifestyle and probably never will? There are now laws against employment, housing, etc. discrimination towards them? And the intellectually vacuous can make the cavalier assumption that it is, i.e., 'the soldiers' "bigotry" and they need to just shut up, soldier on and 'deal with it', that will cause a lot of dissention in the ranks and retention rates will assuredly drop off- unless the military drops some serious amounts of cash in the sign-on bonuses. The military is not a touchy-feely encounter group that should have to appease the p.c. civil-rights mentality that has this country tip-toeing on eggshells. It is an institution that is there for defending our nation and for defeating our enemies. I'm sorry - was that too real?

  • libertytexan||

    What you don't see is that when it come to the government, you are the one that has to deal with your own bigotry. The military, just like every other part of the government is not supposed to discriminate. If you don't approve your their lifestyles you are free to do so on your own time not on the taxpayers dime.

    Also:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6_b-72H3E

  • EMp||

    Understood and good point, Libertytexan (I am a fellow Texan, btw!). I think this is really - what it boils down to - a very vocal minority group trying to prove a point and achieve some type of validation for their cause. IMO - it has the potential of causing some particularly nasty backlash incidents to occur.

  • zoltan||

    As another fellow Texan, I call BS. Gay soldiers, like most soldiers, want to be left alone while doing a difficult job. They don't want police and co-workers ratting out their private marriages and intimate details and then get fired for it. I don't see anyone trying to "prove a point" and "acheive...validation". Instead, it'd be damn nice if people could just do their job without getting fired for what they do in their private time and which has absolutely no effect on others.

  • ||

    Weren't these the same arguments used in the attempt to block integration of the Armed Forces??

    That seems to have worked out okay.

  • j||

    I'll be a conservative knuckle-dragger about this. US submarines, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons, have not accidentally started a war thus far. This type of weapons platform has been operated by heterosexual white males (and closeted gay males) since its inception. If someone wants to change the type of personnel serving on this type of weapons platform, the burden of proof is on them.

  • Kolohe||

    heterosexual white males

    Huh?

  • j||

    Yup. And just about every US soldier who died in the American Revolutionary war, the Civil war, and WWII was a *white* male. You want to get something off your chest, Kolohe, what is it?

  • alan||

    Probably that you are a piece of shit.

    When my brother served as a missile tech on a Trident submarine I don't believe he started any wars. Perhaps they kept it hush, hush, but I suspect you don't know what the fuck you are talking about it.

    Also, we have ancestors that fought in every war since the Revolution so you can shove that up your ass as well.

  • alan||

    Here is a picture I keep in my wallet, btw.

    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?54e2639969.jpg

    It's of my Hispanic pop and my white ma on their wedding day. You'll note from that uniform he was a member of the 82nd Airborne. I would love to meet someone like you in a bar sometime who disrespected my pop's memory the way you just did. There are some things worth dying for in this life, and for me that man's honor is one that I would not hesitate for even a second.

  • j||

    I did you the courtesy of copying your link to a fresh browser page to look at. I think trying to pick a fight over something you imagine I wrote.

  • Warty||

    Those are some pretty cracker-ass looking beaners, dude. And from the look of your old man, he could still kick the shit out of me if I said that within earshot.

    j, shut the fuck up.

  • alan||

    Bro looks more so than pop did and dad was pretty swarthy. Poor bastard (my brother) looks like Pablo Escobar, and with his dinted up skin I'd say Escobar from after the shoot out.

    Still, Hispanic is the designated classification for dad on the military records. In my case, my first college labeled me Hispanic, and then the UNC system gave the more nuanced designation of Caucasian with Spanish surname. I guess by that time I passed the paper bag test;). Actually, I take after mom.

  • j||

    I was kicked out the Navy for smoking pot and kicked out Max's Kansas City for not being gay enough (though my slutty girlfriend got in - that was a long night).

    Warty, mind your own business.

  • zoltan||

    I was kicked out the Navy for smoking pot

    Wow, you really are fucking stupid.

  • alan||

    Fortunately, for you, you are a racist coward hiding out in these internets who has nothing to worry about. You can talk any kind of smack you want to because it is a big ol' game to you.

    For your sake, talk like you have some sense when you are really out and about because you have no fucking clue as to the kind of buttons you are pushing.

  • strat||

    Aren't boomer crew under a Personnel Reliability Program like the Minuteman crews? Given that sort of vetting I'd expect anyone who passed (and stayed passed) to be pretty good at their jobs.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Why were homosexuals banned in the first place?

  • l0b0t||

    Because Christians have spent the last 2000 years misinterpreting 5000 years of Hebrew historical allegory as literal truth handed down from a big, invisible, man in the sky. Prior to about 1916, soldiers that were caught fooling around with the sergeant's privates were court-martialed for sodomy, imprisoned, then dishonorably discharged. Convening Courts-Martial became too time consuming and labor intensive so in the early 20th century, Blue Tickets (a form of less than honorable administrative discharge) were used to get rid of gays and blacks. This became a PR problem so the military started committing its homosexual troops to military hospitals and discharging them Section 8. This too became problematic so the Army changed the classification for discharge. From roughly 1955 to 1993, if a service member was found to be homosexual but could not be proven to have committed any homosexual acts while enlisted would be given a general discharge, while one who had been found to have committed homosexual acts would be given an undesirable discharge. After some high profile murders of gay servicemen, Gov. Clinton ran for POTUS on a pledge to do away with the gay ban altogether, so an ignorant, provincial Congress beat him to the punch and passed DADT. You should check out the history, it's pretty sordid. The military psychiatrists calling for equal treatment for gays back in the 1930s, the VA denying benefits to Blue ticket holders & gay veterans despite Congress telling them not to.

  • ||

    I call bullshit. The Tanach's description of homosexuality as an abomination only supported America's homophobia, it didn't cause it.

  • PicassoIII||

    Chicken or egg...
    JudeoChristian morality in general has to go hand in hand.
    As Goldwater has oft been quoted "Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar."
    It may be revisionist but most of the Roman Emperors save for Claudius were bi. Pederasty was common for the Greeks for sure. So somewhere along the way as with society the stigma grew. Seems in parallel with the Church FWIW.

  • rah62||

    For some reason, Congressman Paul can't bring himself to use the word "gay".

  • Right Wing Realist||

    Liberaltarian heads asplode.

  • hmm||

    Not sure I'm completely happy with the financial argument, but whatever it takes for someone rationalize the conclusion that people should be left the fuck alone in their own bedroom is usually fine by me.

  • John Doe||

    I think DADT should be repealed. Never understood why gays couldn't serve in the military, aside from people's homophobia. If it takes a financial argument, rather than the fact that you're throwing away soldiers who are doing jobs that need to be done i.e translator, then a financial argument works.

    And co-ed showers, like in Starship Troopers, would be amazing!

  • Josh Fulton||

    Thank goodness.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement