UPDATED 9/20/11: DADT is officially over. Openly gay service men and women can serve in the US Armed Forces.
UPDATED 12/17/10: Final vote on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” passed (65-31) today.
Original post 11/30/10: The results are in. The Department of Defense’s long awaited study on how repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would affect the military has been revealed. The assessment included military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting retention and family readiness. So, has the nation gone through an “attitude adjustment?” Seemingly, a majority of Americans, active soldiers and even religious groups have shifted their attitudes about gay soldiers serving openly in the military – the numbers speak for themselves.
Seventy percent of soldiers surveyed said that its repeal would have a positive, mixed or no effect and 30% said it would have a negative effect. It concludes that gay troops can serve openly without jeopardizing our military’s ability to fight. “The findings suggest that, for large segments of the military, repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’…would not be the traumatic change that many had feared and predicted, “ said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He and Admiral Mike Mullen – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – both support repealing the law and will be questioned about the policy by the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. So, that’s that, right?
Wrong. There are those who think that DADT’s repeal would negatively influence the armed forces “unit cohesion.” Specifically, the all male combat arms and specialist units did not react positively on this measure. 58% of Marines in combat and 48% of Army combat troops responded “negatively” to the question: “If DADT is repealed and you are working with a service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect how service members in your immediate unit work together to get the job done?” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is leading the charge against the repeal and says that it is nothing but a “political promise made by and inexperienced President or candidate for presidency of the United States.”
If you belive that the “truth will set you free,” maybe it’s time we stop asking our soldiers to lie about who they are when they come to work every day protecting our nation’s freedom – who’s protecting theirs? What’s your opinion, MAMAs?