Monday, February 1, 2010

End in Sight for DADT?

According to the NY Times, Congressional hearings begin tomorrow on DADT for the first time in 17 years. Obama apparently has had several meetings with the military brass about ending the policy. He seems to be getting little if any resistance to the change, but a lot of questions about the timing (two wars and all that). It looks like the change will take place incrementally in true centrist Democrat fashion. Activists warn that this might provide opponents with an opportunity to create the unit fracturing they bang on about.

I know some people who are largely indifferent to military matters, who are usually pacifists and object to anything military. Maybe, but the military is a fact of life that will probably be around in one form or another until the Eschaton. In this country, changes in military policy reverberate into the rest of society. Truman's decision to desegregate the military encouraged movements to desegregate schools and cities. The increasing integration of women into the military cued businesses into integrating women more and more into the professions and trades. The end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" will be a huge step forward for LGBTs, and for straight folk; an end to uncertainty and the risk of being caught up in anti-gay dragnets.

Here's a reminder of how high a price was paid to get to this point,




Private First Class Barry Winchell.




This is in addition to the thousands of careers ended to accommodate conventional bigotry.

6 comments:

BillyD said...

Looking back at my extremely brief time in the Navy, I am grateful that the chaplain I worked for got me off of my ship the day that I admitted to being gay; we were due to get underway the next day for an extended cruise, and I think I would have been in physical danger had I stayed on board. As it was, he pulled some strings and got me transferred to Detention Barracks in Yokosuka that afternoon. When I look at RM3 Schindler's photo and read the story of his murder, I find myself thinking, "There but for the grace of God..."

motheramelia said...

It's been too long in coming. Why can't Obama just sign an executive order and make it happen immediately?

Ciss B said...

I'm with motheramelia, This is something that needs an executive order!

Counterlight said...

"Why can't Obama just sign an executive order and make it happen immediately?"

I could be wrong, I believe the Times article says that Obama will sign an executive order ending enforcement of the current policy.

As always, seeing is believing.

Grandmère Mimi said...

On Tuesday, in the first Congressional hearing on the issue in 17 years, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen will unveil the Pentagon’s initial plans for carrying out a repeal, which requires an act of Congress.

From the article. Am I missing something?

Whatever it takes! I just hope it happens. It's way past time.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Other nations have ended their DADT. Why not the USA! It serves no purpose whatsoever.