Wednesday, March 08, 2006

USA Today: Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

USA Today editorializes in support of repealing the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, which allows the military to discharge soldiers who openly admit to being gay. Commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this week, which upholds another federal law barring law schools from denying the military on-campus recruiting if they want to receive federal funds, the paper wrote:

The law schools happen to be right about the absurdity of "don't ask, don't tell," but, as the liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court agreed, they don't have a constitutional leg to stand on . . . Even so, the schools have every right to vigorously protest the ban on gays — and they should. There's opportunity in their defeat at the Supreme Court to raise awareness about the costs of "don't ask, don't tell" and intensify efforts to overturn this wrongheaded law.

In support of the repeal, the USA Today observes that nearly 10,000 soldiers have been discharged for being gay since President Clinton signed the anti-gay measure into law in 1993. At the same time, the military is spending hundreds of millions to recruit and retain soldiers to replace those being forced out because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The paper concludes, "The U.S. ban on openly gay servicemembers is an archaic and hurtful assault on people who want only to serve their country. The Supreme Court did what it had to do. Now, it's Congress' turn to do what it ought to do and repeal the ban."


Anonymous said...

A.I. said, “…since President Clinton signed the anti-gay measure into law in 1993.”

I would certainly hope that your aside string of words were not meant to suggest that President Clinton acted with any anti-gay intent in signing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In fact, Clinton initiated the effort to abolish the longstanding ban on homosexuals serving in the military. The eventual compromise policy, crafted by Colin Powell, at least did away with two devastating practices: the section 8 dishonorable discharge and lesbian baiting-- a tactic aimed at women where a man would demand sexual relations with women, and if she did not comply, then turn her in as a lesbian. Certainly, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was not the uncompromised policy Clinton and others wanted but neither was it foolhardy or an anti-gay measure…rather, a step in the right direction.

Now thinking of real anti-gay initiatives, do you know if there has ever been any Indiana legislation -- proposed or enacted – authored by a Democrat?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anonymous--if you feel strongly about it--I wish you wouldn't remain anonymous. I should have mentioned that Bill Clinton also signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and his wife Hillary is the only statewide candidate on the Democrat side this year in New York who opposes the legalization of gay marriages. Clinton's agreeing to Don't Ask Don't Tell has made matters much worse for gays serving in the military--the number of discharges has soared since it became law. Clinton is in fact the first president in the history of the United States to sign a law discriminating against gays and he did it twice. That's a fact regardless of what you wish to think.

As to whether any Indiana Democrat has sponsored an anti-gay measure, I'm sure the answer is yes--most of them did in fact support SJR-7--the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in Indiana. The vast majority of them supported Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act. The better question is whether any Indiana Democratic legislator has ever sponsored legislation to amend Indiana's civil rights law to include "sexual orientation"--the answer is yes. Has a Republican? No.

Anonymous said...

Psss…your irrational fear and loathing of the Clinton’s is showing again!

Too, another reminder seems in order here concerning your wish (how sweet) for me: not only did you choose for your readers the option of posting anonymously, you also choose the forum – I believe it has called the World Wide Web. Which, for the most part, makes every commenter anonymous.

You said, “I’m sure,” an IN Democrat has sponsored (which I understand to mean proposed) an anti-gay measure; however, failed to list one single piece of Democratic initiated or proposed legislation that was anti-gay. Instead, you talked of democratic votes that, in fact, are forced by political manipulation—by anti-gay Republican proposed legislation such as SJR-7 and Indiana’s DOMA.

My support for this position; it is the Republican Party whose core constituency includes folks/organizations such as Eric Miller, Advance America, Dobson, Focus on the Family… on and on and on…

The Democratic Party has NO such controlling factions…regardless of how much you may wish to think there are or convince others that there are!