Civil Liberties

'I may be straight, but I'm not narrow'


The live feed from today's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hearing just ended. The curious can watch it here. (Warning, this thing went on forever: 2h35.)

The hearing went better than I expected, insofar as the Democratic witnesses, Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, and Marine Staff Serg. Eric Alva utterly outspoke Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones and Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, both of whom testitified (poorly, and in some places, damn near incoherently) on behalf of Republicans.

Donnelly managed, somehow, to answer every question from both the right and the left with, "Sexual urges would prevent unit cohesion." Jones, when asked whether or not he thought homosexuality was immoral, replied, "No, but if I'm 6'8″ and I want to be a fighter pilot, I can't." Both think a gay-friendly military would bring on the end of the world.

As this hearing evidenced, the social conservative arguments for preserving DADT, letting the Department of Defense write its own policy, or banning gay service, range from paper-thin to non-existent. The only obstacle I see to passage of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act—the bill that would repeal DADT and implement a non-discrimination policy—is good ole' fashion homophobia.

Hopefully the 111th Congress makes repealing DADT a top priority, so that our military can get back to risking the lives of straights and gays in pointless wars.

John Cloud at wrote a great recap of the policy, and ended with this:

Do we want a military where Americans are not forced to lie about their most important emotional bonds?

I wrote about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" here.