"I am pleased that both the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee took important bipartisan steps toward repeal tonight. This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity." 1
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) -- one of the leading advocates for a repeal of DADT included the following personal story in their mailing:
"HRC's military consultant Jarrod Chlapowski relayed this story to me that should remind us all why we do this work:"
"This morning a friend still on active duty called me to ask what I thought about today's votes. "We got it, man," I responded. He didn't believe me and frankly, I didn't quite believe it myself. As I tried to tell him how good a position we are in, the phone became silent. I asked if he was ok, only to realize he simply couldn't get the words out to respond. He was crying. We both were. Finally, a whispered `thank you`."
"It's incredible to be faced with the thing you've been longing to see since taking the oath to serve and defend the country against all enemies foreign and domestic. I -- and many like me -- long to take the oath again. And because of events this week, I believe we will. So this is what history feels like." 2
CNN reported that:
"Opponents of the repeal language said the military should first carry out the review ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that is scheduled to be completed in December. Only then would military leaders have the necessary information from force members to develop a plan for carrying out the repeal, according to the opponents."
But this is exactly what the bill calls for: for the completion of the Pentagon report, and confirmation that the resultant plan by the Pentagon will not jeopardize unit cohesiveness and military effectiveness. Finally, DADT would be repealed and LGB soldiers could be open about their sexual orientation.
"[Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, both said this week they could accept the compromise language." 1
Life Site News, a pro-life and anti-gay group, reported:
" 'We feel strongly that the current policy has served the U.S. military well for 17 years and it would not be wise to make a major cultural change in the middle of two wars,' The American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill wrote to the House leaders earlier this month. 'Moreover, the Department of Defense has already directed a study on the policy and it would be premature to act before the commission conducting the study releases its findings'."
" 'Under current policy, men and women are already allowed to serve their country regardless of their sexual preference. Allowing homosexual members to announce their preference within the ranks could jeopardize the unit cohesion which is so essential to military success,' said Hill, a retired U.S. Navy captain and veteran of the Gulf War'."
"'The military is a unique environment, in which DADT has worked well, without diminishing our nation's war-fighting capability,' Hill continued. 'Indeed, the core purpose of our military is to fight and win our nation's wars. Enacting any law that does not enhance the military's ability to accomplish that mission would be detrimental to the security of our nation. We believe that the repeal of DADT would be such an action'." 2
In a Washington Update, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council -- a fundamentalist Christian group -- wrote:
"... the House and Senate are poised to risk the integrity, strength, and very future of our nation's military, just to please a small but vocal group of donors. The intent is to add an amendment that will force open homosexuality on the military. President Obama and the leaders of his party are ignoring the pleas of the military, as all four service heads--those who lead the men and women who actually understand what it means to selflessly serve America -- have said, 'Don't do this.' A majority of military associations have asked for the same respect toward our military commanders. ..."
"This afternoon I joined Cong. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and several other members of the House, along with about 40 pastors from around the nation, for a press conference on Capitol Hill. We asked Congress to not circumvent the very process that this Administration established to review this issue. I have never feared more for the future of my country and hope you will join me in fighting for our troops. Please continue to confront these politicians who are using the military to advance their radical social policy." 4
Gail Zoppo of DiversityInc wrote:
"Rep. Murphy, a U.S. Army Iraq war veteran who introduced the DADT amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act in the House, stated in a release: 'Congress took a historic step toward repealing Don‚t Ask, Don‚t Tell and toward ensuring that every American has the same opportunity I did to defend our nation. Patriotic Americans willing to take a bullet for their country should never be forced to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. I will not rest until the repeal of this discriminatory policy that hurts national security is signed into law'."
"Aubrey Sarvis, a U.S. Army veteran and executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), echoed these sentiments in a statement. 'The U.S. House and Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee both passed a historic roadmap to allowing open military service, but it doesn‚t end the discharges. It is important for all gay and lesbian active-duty service members ‚¶ to know they‚re at risk. They must continue to serve in silence under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law that remains on the books. Congress and the Pentagon need to stay on track to get repeal finalized, hopefully no later than first quarter 2011'."
"Sarvis, one of several activists who crafted the compromise pushing DADT to a vote yesterday, criticized the ninth-hour posturing by Pentagon service chiefs and said they '... seemed to have forgotten that they are not the policy makers here. That role in our government rightly belongs to Congress and it was properly exercised today in the dismantling of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'." 5
2010-MAY-27: American Family Association blog links Adolph Hitler and Nazis to the repeal of the DADT policy:
Bryan Fischer posted an article titled: "Homosexuality, Hitler, and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' " in the "Rightly Concerned" blog of the American Family Association.
He claimed that Adolph Hitler was gay, had a male lover over a five year interval during World War II, and was denied a promotion as a non-commissioned officer because of his sexual orientation. If there is any truth buried in this allegation, it is most probable that Hitler had a bisexual orientation. He is believed to have had sex with female prostitutes. Just before committing suicide on 1945-APR-28, he married his long-time mistress, Eva Braun. His doctor testified that 'the Fuhrer had sexual relations with Eva Braun from time to time, although they slept in seperate beds." There were rumors that he also had a sexual relationship with his neice, Geli Raubal.
Fisher wrote that:
The SA (a.k.a. the Brown Shirts and Storm Troopers) was made up almost entirely of homosexuals.
Hitler's right hand man in the early days of Naziism, Ernst Roehm, believed that homosexuals were needed in the SA because they were "... a proud and arrogant lot who could brawl, carouse, smash windows, kill and slaughter for the h*** of it. Straights, in [Roehm's] eyes, were not as adept in such behavior as practicing homosexuals."
Less than 1% of the homosexuals in Europe died at the hands of the Nazis.
85% of Europe's Jews were killed in the gas chambers.
His "bottom line" is a reference to the DADT policy in the American military:
"Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it's time for Congress to learn a lesson from history." 6
The accuracy of these statements is highly suspect:
About 2.9 million Jews died in the Nazi death camps out of the total 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. This represents about 31% of the total number of Jews in the areas of Europe that were controlled by the Nazis. Some fraction of that 31% -- perhaps less than 25% would have been executed in gas chambers; the rest died from disease and overwork caused by the dreadful living conditions in the camps. If one were to include all of the Jews in Europe -- and not just those who lived in the areas controlled by the Nazis -- this figure would be further reduced. The 85% estimate used by Fisher is totally unreasonable. 7
Fisher's article was based on Scott Lively's book, "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." A leading anti-hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, comments that:
"The book makes a series of claims that virtually no serious historian agrees with: that Hitler was gay, that 'the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic homosexuals,' and that gays were especially selected for the SS because of their innate brutality. The claims are entirely false; in fact, the Nazis murdered significant numbers of gays and made homosexuality a death penalty offense in 1942.
In the foreword, Abrams adds that homosexuality is 'primarily a predatory addiction striving to take the weak and unsuspecting down with it. ‚¶ They have no idea of how to act in the best interests of their country‚¶ . Their intention is to serve none but themselves'." 8
According to Wikipedia: "Partly as a result of Fischer's remarks, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced that it would officially include the AFA on its 2011 list of homophobic hate groups. 8,9 Along with the AFA they will be listing Scott Lively's group Abiding Truth Ministries, another conservative Christian group.
They will also list other hate groups, all or almost all of which are fundamentalist or other evangelical Christian organizations: Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, American Vision, Chalcedon Foundation, Dove World Outreach Center, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Family Research Council, Family Research Institute, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, Illinois Family Institute, MassResistance, and the Traditional Values Coalition.
Scanning the media about the military's DADT policy
shows that agencies that are opposed to equality for LGBT persons as well as those who support equality are heavily biased. Each group reports only part of the news. Few if any report elements that contradict their position on human rights. Some publish untruths that any person familiar with sexual orientation and the LGBT communities would recognize as lies.
We deserve better from these agencies. In the meantime, it is important for the public to carefully monitor a range of media outlets in order to piece together a balanced picture.
Alternately, of course, they could wait until this website gets around to reporting the news. ;-)