Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Last night, NPR aired an interview with Representative Duncan Hunter (Republican, California) in which he expressed his view that the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should not be repealed. My blood pressure rose with every arguement he made, until I was so angry that I found myself screaming at my car radio.

There are few things in life that get me worked up like the ongoing--and absolutely ludicrious--"debate" over gay rights. How is it possible that in a society that supposedly values freedom and equal rights for all that, we still have to "debate" whether or not gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders should be afforded the same basic rights as everyone else.

I swear, our society is only about one step away from burning people at the stake and forced genital mutilation.

When Rep. Hunter was asked why he believed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should stand, here's what he had to say:
...No, because I think that its bad for the cohesiveness and the unity of the military units, especially those that are in close combat, that are in close quarters in country right now. Its not the time to do it. I think its - the military is not civilian life. And I think the folks who have been in the military that have been in these very close situations with each other, there has to be a special bond there....I think that the majority of people in the military are they're young kids. They usually have more conservative families, more conservative backgrounds and I think that it would go against their principles and it would frankly make everybody a little bit uneasy to be in these close situations...
So...What you're saying Rep. Hunter is that the military is full of young, little rednecks and bigots?  Or maybe you're saying that straight, gay, bi, and transgender people can't share close bonds?
In the United States we pride ourselves on allowing equal rights for all people, yet here is a congressman who seems to believe that discriminatory policies are OK, who believes that homophobia is a valid "principle" that should be protected.
...Its like if you want to work for NPR, you don't go to work and on the first day say, hey, I want everybody to know that I'm gay.
If I remember correctly, we called this a "straw man" argument in my college debate class. No, there is no reason for a person to parade in to their place of employment with a marching band, wrapped in a feather boah, and carrying balloons and a big "I'm gay" sign, but GLBT people should not have to hide who they are. They should be able to openly refer to their "partners," just as straight men/women talk about their families with their coworkers. 
...You probably don't care one way or the other as long as they, you know, get their particular job done. I think the military is the same way. That's why don't ask, don't tell works...
Ok, I see. It's OK to be gay, just so long as you get your work done and don't tell anyone that you're gay.

(In response to a statement that other countries allow GLBTs to serve openly in the military)...The U.S. is not Canada and were not Great Britain and I would argue that we have a superior military and a much larger military than any other country. Thats why were kind of the world's security force.
GLBTs serve in the military now!!!!! They just aren't allowed to be open about it, and if they do, there are consequneces. Openly gay or not, these men and women who currently have to hide their sexual orientation are some of the very same trained soldiers that make our military "superior."


  1. I listened to this too and had some boiling blood!

    "...You probably don't care one way or the other as long as they, you know, get their particular job done. I think the military is the same way. That's why don't ask, don't tell works..." To my thinking that's why it would seem okay to let them be out.

    Can we all just grow up?

  2. This is a hot topic for me too. I'm in complete agreement with you on this one!

  3. Thing is, in the military, the men and women do form close bonds with their groups...they know who is gay and who is straight. The biggest concern isn't who you chose to love, it is if they trust each other when it counts.

  4. GREAT post, MJ!

    And thank you for sharing your passionate and compassionate feelings on this topic.

    I think Haley summed my feelings up perfectly...

    ...The military's biggest concern shouldn't be who someone chooses to love, it should be whether or not they trust each other when it counts.

    I've never understood why should it even BE a "gay/lesbian right issue." Excuse me, but why do gays and lesbians have to be granted have the RIGHT to serve and protect their country?

  5. Exactly, it's all about trust. And as far as I'm concerned, anyone who is brave enough to put their life on the line for this country day in and day out SHOULD NOT have to worry about being critiqued for their color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or anything like that. They should be respected and honored for what they do for us. Period.

  6. Man, that makes my blood boil too! I'm a big advocate of gay rights and have been ever since I was in high school. It's amazing that we live in such a progressive society with so many people that are incredibly short sighted, I just can't wrap my head around it.

  7. UGH! I wish all of the homosexuals in the military would just walk out. "Oops, sorry, I just don't belong here." I imagine it would be a much less powerful force.

    I can't wrap my mind around the "debate for human rights." America's shadow side is very third world and provincial.

  8. It just seems like a ridiculous middle. I think the old men in the military haven't actually talked much with those of our generation currently serving. Did you read this NYTimes blog? http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/dont-ask-dont-tell-dont-keep/

  9. I'm so glad you posted about this. Thank you for fighting the good fight.