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The Right’s obssession with sex especially with DADT

September 28, 2010

A little over a month ago I got married.  I am a straight woman and my wedding day was the most magical day of my life.  Perfect, beautiful and I am still grinning like a Cheshire Cat when I talk about it.

But it got me thinking, especially in light of last week’s block of the DADT repeal, I can talk about my marriage, I can talk about my partner, I can talk about the things he and I as a day to day couple do, yet gay men and women in America who put their lives at risk for the good of everyone else, can not, because if they do talk about going to dinner with their partner, or are asked about their partner while active in the Military then they are dismissed.  BTW that’s over 12, 000 (according to About.com) men and women dismissed because of DADT.

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

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The Right would have you believe that DADT allows gay men and women to serve without harming the balance of the Military – IE: without straight men and women from having to hear the sullied accounts of gay sex, or without fear of being jumped on by a sexed up gay marine in the fox hole.  The Right would have you believe that they are protecting the sanctity of marriage, relationships and the human race by keeping in DADT. The Right seem to me to be especially caught up on the sexual element of gay relationships insteadof what this is really about – not having to lie about who you are, not having to make up a story about your partner, just so you don’t get kicked out of the job you have decided to do.

BTW if you don’t believe me about the arguements that some on the Right hold against gay men and women serving openly in the Military please see the Family Research Council, headed by the odious Bryan Fischer.  And here is an article from TPM that highlights some of their vile agenda:

Family Research Coun cil: End Of DADT Means More Gay Rape In The Military

“We are today releasing an analysis of publicly a vailable documents which show that homosexuals in the military are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are relative to their number s,” Sprigg said. “We believe this problem would only increase if the current law against homosexuality…were to be repealed.”

Other arguements include moral would be undermined, the public does not support the repeal (when actually 60% do), the repeal would expose servicemen to a greater risk of HIV, and that the countries that have repealed similar policies don’t count because their nations don’t rely on their army – tell that to the following countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

BTW many of these nations were active in supporting the US in recent wars. And of course Israel is openly engaged in conflict and relies on its military daily.

How does the Right feel when they are openly compared to North Korea, Iran and Syria who ban gay men and women from service? As Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) says:  “Is that where we as a country want to be? I think not,”

As for the Rights assertion that allowing gay men and women to serve openly would somehow disrupt the military, a report in February 2010 from the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara says: “allowing homosexuals to serve contributes to improving the command climate in foreign militaries, decreasing harassment, retaining critical personnel, and enhancing respect for privacy.” (CSMonitor.com)

Lady Gaga holding a speech at National Equalit...

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Lady Gaga has leant her support fully behind the repeal and delivered an impassioned speech at an event in Maine.  She has put together several videos directly appealing to Senators such as John McCain about their stance on DADT (more on him soon). In Maine she parodied the pledge all military men and women have to take highlighting the bigotry that hides behind that oath when some aren’t supporting all they claim to be swearing to:

I do, solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to do the same, and I will obey the orders of the president of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice, so help me God.

Unless, there’s a gay soldier in my unit, sir.

Gaga also notes that the DADT policy is wrong, as it is not the gay men and women that should be thrown out when found out, but the bigots who are instead being sheilded by fellow bigot policy makers: (See the full transcript here: MTV.com)

Doesn’t it seem to be that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is backwards? Doesn’t it seem to be that, based on the Constitution of the United States, that we’re penalizing the wrong soldier? Doesn’t it seem to you that we should send home the prejudiced, the straight soldier who hates the gay soldier, the straight soldier whose performance in the military is affected because he is homophobic, the straight soldier who has prejudice in his heart, in the space where the military asks him to hold our core American values, he instead holds and harbors hate, and he gets to stay and fight for our country? He gets the honor, but we gay soldiers, who harbor no hatred, no prejudice, no phobia, we’re sent home? I am here today because I would like to propose a new law; a law that sends home the soldier that has the problem. Our new law is called “if you don’t like it, go home.” A law that discharges the soldier with the issue, the law that discharges the soldier with the real problem, the homophobic soldier that has the real negative effect on unit cohesion. A law that sends home the homophobe, a law that sends home the prejudiced. A law that doesn’t prosecute the gay soldier who fights for equality with no problem, but prosecutes the straight soldier who fights against it. Or perhaps that was a bit spun. … To be fair, it sends home the straight soldier who fights for some freedoms, for some equalities, but not for the equality of the gay. He is the one — or she is the one — under this new proposition who will be discharged for disrupting the military. If you are not committed to perform with excellence as a United States soldier because you don’t believe in full equality, go home. If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home. If you are not capable of keeping your oath to the Armed Forces to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to do the same, unless there’s a gay soldier in my unit, then go home.

Don't Ask Don't Tell

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The battle that many of us are trying to overcome with the repeal of DADT is not to do with sex, but to do with honesty and trust and respect.  Everyday serving soldiers are urged to remember those back home and family back home are encouraged to keep the moral of their loved one up in times of service.  But gay men and women are not allowed this – they instead are asked to lie about their relationship status, lie about partners they may have and lie about every day home life.  I can tell you now, if someone asked me to not talk about my husband, to hide the pictures of my wedding day or I will be fired, I would walk from my employment – and many on the right are telling gay men and women to do that – but not through support, but mainly because they would rather just see the back of all gay men and women – gone for good, back in the closet. Imagine what is like when a simple question is asked: “What did you do at the weekend?” and like many of us we recall the things we did with our partners.  Something simple as say “my husband and I went furtniture shopping”.  Now imagine if you were told, saying just that would get you fired?  Is that fair? No it isn’t. All the arguements against DADT from the Right are about sex – hot, sweaty, gay sex, with “lurid” images of men pouncing on other men, women being forced to kiss another woman and the wholesale gaying up of the army, because lets face it, ever since homosexuality stopped being unlawful, everyone is doing it, and the last safe bastion of hetrosexuality, the military, will also succumb if gay men and women are allowed to serve.  What hogwash!  This is not about sex foremost, this is about something simple as being able to have a conversation on the phone while serving, to your loved one without someone overhearing and going to your Commander “there’s a gay in the unit sir”.  DADT some say protects soldiers and John McCain would have you believe the army respects everyone’s privacy and no one has ever been fired because of snooping – but they have, see the case of Mike Almy if you don;t believe me and for all his blustering, McCain knows this as he sat on the committee looking at this.BTW as I mentioned earlier, John McCain, once was a sound advocate of the repeal of DADT, but after loosing the Presidency and his affiliation with Sarah Palin, McCain has done an eyewatering flip flop and is now against DADT.  In 2006 he said:

“The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it,”

But in 2010, when the Military did come to him he said: “At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,”

You may also want to see his two and eight with reporters Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate and Chris Geidner of Washington, D.C.’s Metro Weekly confronted him about the extent of investigations on military personnel who are gay:

Again google Mike Almy, or see this interview on the  Rachel Maddow show (HuffPost):

I testified before the Senate Armed Forces Committee in March and told my story. Senator McCain was there. He sat 20 feet away from me and he listened to every word of my testimony. For him to make that statement today, that the military does not search private e-mails, tells me that he either didn’t listen to my testimony in this past March, he forgot what I said, or he’s being deliberately deceptive with the American public about the true nature of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and using partisan politics over the interests of national security. The simple truth is the Air Force searched my private e-mails in 2005 in Iraq. During the height of the insurgency they launched an investigation solely to look into my private e-mails, solely to determine if I had violated “don’t ask, don’t tell” and to find whatever evidence they could use against me. And those emails, searched in Iraq, were the sole basis of my discharge from the Air Force, despite me never having made once one statement to the Air Force that had violated “don’t ask, don’t tell” in my entire 13-year service career. So for Senator McCain to make that allegation, I’m just dumbfounded about where he comes up with that type of explanation, that type of an answer to a reporter, and to be quite honest with you, I’m very angry at that statement today.

The Right can continue to claim DADT is protecting gay men and women and can keep claiming that DADT protects straight men and women from sexual attack, but all DADT does is ask patriotic men and women who happen to be gay to lie to their compatriots about the simple things in life, the things we cherish and yet may not think twice about – something as simple as telling your friends in the Military that you and your partner went shopping at the weekend and brought some new furniture for the house.

The repeal of DADT should have been simple and should have been the up and down vote promised, instead it was hidden in another bill and was stopped by those who want you to fight but keep quiet about whom you love.

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