So the new study is out on DADT and yet there is still opposition to overturning the out-dated policy.  Senator McCain is quoted as saying "We send these young people into combat.  We think they're mature enough to fight and die. I think they're mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness."  Sorry Mr. McCain, but by your own argument I think they’re mature enough to deal with it if the guy fighting next to them has a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend.  It’s not like they’re suddenly going to have pink camo.  For the great majority of the military population, it’s not going to make a difference. 

And more power to Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen when he said that "You do not have to agree with me on this issue, but don't think for one moment that I haven't carefully considered the impact of the advice I give on those who will have to live with the decisions that advice informs."  The military leaders who have been looking into it aren’t closeted guys looking for a way to come out themselves.  They’re looking for the best policies to serve their troops with as much inclusion as realistically allows.  (I phrased it that way since there are many willing to serve that can’t because of physical reasons, not because of sexual orientation ones).

I understand the basis behind the argument that it will hurt unit morale and cohesion, but what about the fact that none of current military personnel were asked how they felt about going for a 3rd deployment and being over there for 15 months and away from their families?  I think there are some decisions that you’re never going to get 100% agreement on, but if you can get a supermajority, then why not try to implement it.  They’re even willing to phase it in regarding combat units – much like they did with ethnic and gender minorities.

92 percent of troops in the survey who believed they had served with a gay person said they never saw an impact on their units' morale or effectiveness.  That’s a nine followed by a two.  How is 92 percent not a proper representation of the military population as a whole?

If the Joint Chiefs of Staff thinks it will work for his troops, why can't we trust his opinion
 
 
(Apologies for the delay in posting this one.  I had it all written out and then couldn't access my blog server to get it posted!)

I’m a little perplexed by the arguments that are being given for the ruling regarding gays to serve openly in the US military.  The judge ruled that it’s not okay for the military to discriminate based on sexual orientation, so the military told its recruiters to allow openly gay people to enlist.  Fair enough in merits, but then others are telling already enlisted service members to not come out yet since there’s still a chance that this might be overturned and DADT would be back in place.  Also fair enough, but that puts the new recruits in a tough position if it is.  I can see that there’s a little confusion for now, but this is a law being overturned, so it always takes a little while to figure out how things will all shake out.

Opponents are saying that there’s too much confusion, so everything should be put on hold.  If I agreed with DADT I would probably say the same thing, but the only reason it’s confusing is because there are people out there that are going to appeal the judge’s ruling.  It would be much less confusing if the military had seen this coming like three YEARS ago and started getting ready for the eventuality.  How hard is it to say “everyone can and will be a part of the team and treat each other with respect”?  Maybe the gay service members can teach the others a thing or two about being tortured since we all know they have gone through their (un)fair share of teasing and bullying.

Why in the world should the military be turning away and discharging the VOLUNTEERS that make up its ranks when we’re in a war?  I realize it takes time to assimilate new groups of people into the rank-and-file, but this isn’t like adding women into the mix where there is a distinctive physical difference.  This is much simpler – no new barracks or bathrooms required!  Let qualified and willing people serve.  Period.  I’m eternally grateful to those soldiers who have been willing to enlist to serve our country.  It is something that I was not personally cut out for, but am fully supportive of those who are.  I don’t draw the line at people who look, act, or feel differently than I do.

I laughed when I read that Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said that “overturning this law will be enormously disruptive for the men and women who defend our country.”  Just like adding black servicemen or women was?  Does that mean we should have not allowed those things to happen?  Isn’t it disruptive to keep trying to “out” fellow soldiers?  Isn’t it disruptive to keep having this conversation about people who have already shown their ability to serve in combat and otherwise?  Let them serve and get over yourself already.

As an aside: Since we aren’t going the way of Israel yet and having everyone at a certain age go through Basic Training (i.e. we’re a 100% volunteer army), I can see this coming back to bite the military if they ever need to use a draft again.  How many people who don’t agree with the war would engage in just enough gay activities as to be either denied entry into the military or kicked out?  Fastest way to get out of a draft without getting in legal trouble?  It’s just something to ponder since I really have no idea what the answer to that would be.  If we’re in a draft situation and desperate for enough bodies in the military, why would you exclude that portion of the population?  If you need able bodies, don’t turn away the willing and able.  And if your answer is different for 100% volunteer versus a draft, maybe you should think about your volunteer answer a little more.