Monday, February 15, 2010

Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell Years Away


Last March, Dan Choi, an Arabic speaker, infantry officer, and Iraq combat veteran, of over ten years, told Rachel Maddow, "By saying three words to you today -- 'I am gay' -- those three words are a violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. . . . Basically, they want us to lie about our identity." For disclosing that he was gay on the Rachel Maddow Show, he became the first military Arabic translator discharged under DADT during the Obama presidency.

Choi, who spent the first ten years pretending to be someone he wasn't said he didn't "realize how painful and how toxic and how deadly Don't Ask, Don't Tell is until I had a love relationship and I was forced to lie about that."

Nearly 11,000 men and women who refused to comply with "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy, including those who experience "third party outings," where a service member is kicked out after being reported by others to be gay, were dropped from duty since 1993. Amongst those 11,000 men and women fired -- despite the fact that we're at war with Arab countries, amidst a shortage of Arabic translators -- many were gay Arabic linguists.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the military. The 75% figure is far above the 44% of Americans who said so in May 1993. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney thinks it’s time for DADT to go, but despite popular support, and the call for the end of DADT by the military's top officials, a complete repeal of DADT is probably years away.

"I wonder if they're going to poll the loved ones of gay soldiers and ask them how does it feel to not exist. How does it feel to be lied about?" "How does it feel when you're partner goes over seas [and] you can not kiss him or her on the tarmac. How does it feel if your soldier dies [and] you won't be notified? I hope they take that into consideration because those families are all American families." -- Dan Choi
However, just last week, one week after Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, called for an end to the 16-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Choi was called back to active army duty.

2 comments:

Anonymous,  12:01  

LOL @ the nuns. Did you take that picture?

Roth's stepchild 12:07  

No, someone sent it to me, although I did see two nuns going at it in my youth.

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