Shuck and Jive

Monday, February 15, 2010

Use Your Voice

The haters will certainly come out for this opportunity, so I hope the lovers will too. The Johnson City Press is asking its readership to send letters voicing opinions on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
President Barack Obama has informed members of Congress that he plans to scrap a controversial policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was adopted during the Clinton administration as a means of allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the armed services as long as they kept their sexual orientation to themselves. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen told Congress the armed services will no longer use assertions by sources outside the military as the basis of investigations into a service member’s sexual orientation, and that only top-level officers will be allowed to authorize discharges.

Those changes accompany a recent poll among service members that show opposition to gays serving openly in the military has declined dramatically. The Military Times newspapers reported last week that an exclusive survey of some 3,000 active-duty troops found opposition has dropped from 65 percent in 2004 to 51 percent today.

...Tell us what you think. Should gays and lesbians be allowed to serve openly in the military? Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or mailbag [at] johnsoncitypress [dot] com 
OK, beloveds, get those letters written!


  1. Here's my $.02 to the JCPress on the subject:

    Members of the GLBT community should be given the opportunity to serve their country openly. Anything less is discrimination, end of argument. It is also a ridiculous waste of money to fire those who have attempted to follow the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). As of January of 2009, 13,000 highly qualified men and women have been fired from the military since DADT was implemented in 1993. It costs about $70,000 to get a soldier through basic training alone. Multiply that by 13,000 and we've wasted over $900M at the very least. This doesn't include any additional training, equipment, or support for highly trained individuals such as those in special ops, interpreters and officers.

    The only argument left for keeping GLBT people out of the army is the "hostile work environment" argument. I recommend asking female soldiers if they have ever been exposed to a hostile work environment from their heterosexual male peers and superiors. According to the Pentagon, one-third of women in 2008 said they had. In 2007, 2688 sexual assaults were reported. Perhaps we should also ban heterosexual men from serving in the military. It makes just as much sense as banning gays or lesbians!