Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bayh And Lugar Split On Repeal Of DADT

The historic vote to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law first signed into law by former President Bill Clinton found Indiana's two senators on opposite sides. Sen. Evan Bayh voted to repeal the law barring openly gay and lesbian persons from serving in the military, while Sen. Richard Lugar, a Navy veteran, voted against the law's repeal. Lugar explained his vote:

Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar was among the Republicans who opposed the measure, saying: "I am concerned about the impact of lifting 'don't ask, don't tell' on unit cohesion and combat effectiveness, particularly at a time when so many U.S. military personnel are engaged in combat-intensive missions in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Eight Republicans joined 55 Democratic senators and 2 independents in passing the law's repeal by a 65-31 vote. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Ensign of Nevada, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, George Voinovich of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine were the eight Republican votes. Burr was the surprising vote. He had strenuously objected to the timing of the vote during a lame duck session of Congress. “It's just that we’ve had a generational change and I have vehemently objected to making a policy change of this magnitude at this time. When cloture was passed, that settled that,” Burr said. “It’s not accepted practice anywhere in our society, and it only makes sense. But again, I was vehemently opposed to the timing of this.” Illinois' newly-elected Republican senator had been undecided on his vote as recently as this past week. Kirk was plagued during his Senate campaign by rumors he was a closeted gay man. I've never understood the argument proponents of this law have forwarded that allowing gays to openly serve in the military would somehow compromise the effectiveness of our military. Most countries, including Canada, Great Britain and Israel, have long permitted gays to serve in the military, and many have and are serving in the U.S. military despite the ban.

7 comments:

Indy Student said...

What I found surprising was the results of the DADT survey among Marines. They seemed to be the one segment of the military that was against repeal. But if you look closer at the numbers, there's a section that discusses marines who have served with gay or lesbian soldiers. And of that segment, over 70% said it had no effect or a positive effect on unit cohesion.

As for Lugar's vote, I think it was pandering to fend off possible primary challengers. Or more precisely, people who would donate to primary challengers. That said, it doesn't explain his vote for the Dream Act (though votes for legislation that fail often don't seem to matter)

Paul K. Ogden said...

IS,

I disagree. I think Lugar wasn't voting the way he did because of some purported political attempt to fend off a rival but because he truly believed in his vote.

If you look at the polling on this issue there is a stark difference depending on the age of the person polled. Lugar is about 80 and from the old school. His views are outdated.

artfuggins said...

There is no logic or reasoning. It is plain GOP homophobia. I think the Marine survey reflects the views of the top Marine. Our military are trained to follow their leadership and once he voiced his opposition, they fell in line. IndyStudent is right. Their responses of 70% saying it no effect on uit cohesion probably better reflects their views.

Ellen said...

Lugar's vote is homophobia in action, and from a senator about whom the gossip is ambivalent re his sexual preference -- wife and kiddies not withstanding.

dcrutch said...

"Homophobia" of the GOP is as apt as labeling all Tea Party protesters as racist, all Democrats as Socialist/Marxists, and alleging that all Black/African-Americans eat fried chicken.

By no means do I want to see Senator Lugar re-elected. I also think it's right to permit gay or lesbian soldiers to serve. But, if Lugar sees a problem with implementation of this policy during wartime, maybe he has a point. He is a veteran, while many of us don't have that experience (myself included).

spooknp said...

Well, if you don't want to be forced to shower with someone of the same sex who might find your appearance sexually arousing, don't join the military.

Indy Student said...

spook, I think some of those people who always bring up " what about the showers" in hushed tones are seriously overestimating their sexual appeal. Just because a gay man is attracted to other men doesn't mean he's attracted to all men.