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And end to Don't Ask Don't Tell


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#1 Hambil

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:34 AM

link

It looks like this has a lot of support, and Obama plans to do it in a way that can't easily be undone, rather than just repeal the law. This will be one of many, many great things I believe this administration will accomplish.

#2 Christopher

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:21 AM

I'm glad the article included this paragraph:

Quote

"Don't ask-don't tell" was made law in 1993 after opposition ballooned to newly elected President Bill Clinton's plan to lift the military's complete ban on gay service members. The new policy stopped the practice of asking potential service members if they are gay but still required the dismissal of openly gay service members.

A lot of people see "Don't ask, don't tell" as Clinton's policy, and that's a shame.  What tends to be forgotten is that the first thing -- literally the very first piece of business that Clinton performed after his inauguration in 1992 -- was to sign an executive order that completely prohibited sexual-orientation discrimination in the military.  But Congress at the time was Republican-dominated and mounted an aggressive retaliation, drafting legislation that would've made matters even worse for gays in the military.  So "don't ask, don't tell" was a compromise Clinton was forced to settle for.  It was a powerful reminder that the president is not a monarch and can only do so much without the support of the popular will.

At the time, I saw "don't ask, don't tell" as an incremental step forward which I hoped Clinton would follow up with further gradual steps in the years ahead.  Trying to force the issue all at once triggered a strong reaction, but maybe a gentler set of nudges could move things in the right direction.  I believe that's how Clinton himself presented the compromise, as a first step he hoped to build on.  But it's been 16 years since that tentative first step and we're still waiting for the second.
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#3 Balderdash

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:29 AM

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The center points out that Larson, a four-star admiral who supported the measure in 1993, has changed his view on the policy. "There were a lot of witch hunts and a lot of people were turned out on that basis," he is quoted as saying in a Palm Center release.

It will be nice to see an end to the witch hunts.  It will be wonderful to see gays able to serve their country with the honor that they deserve.

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#4 BklnScott

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:42 AM

View PostChristopher, on Nov 18 2008, 09:21 AM, said:

I'm glad the article included this paragraph:

Quote

"Don't ask-don't tell" was made law in 1993 after opposition ballooned to newly elected President Bill Clinton's plan to lift the military's complete ban on gay service members. The new policy stopped the practice of asking potential service members if they are gay but still required the dismissal of openly gay service members.

A lot of people see "Don't ask, don't tell" as Clinton's policy, and that's a shame.  What tends to be forgotten is that the first thing -- literally the very first piece of business that Clinton performed after his inauguration in 1992 -- was to sign an executive order that completely prohibited sexual-orientation discrimination in the military.  But Congress at the time was Republican-dominated and mounted an aggressive retaliation, drafting legislation that would've made matters even worse for gays in the military.  So "don't ask, don't tell" was a compromise Clinton was forced to settle for.  It was a powerful reminder that the president is not a monarch and can only do so much without the support of the popular will.

At the time, I saw "don't ask, don't tell" as an incremental step forward which I hoped Clinton would follow up with further gradual steps in the years ahead.  Trying to force the issue all at once triggered a strong reaction, but maybe a gentler set of nudges could move things in the right direction.  I believe that's how Clinton himself presented the compromise, as a first step he hoped to build on.  But it's been 16 years since that tentative first step and we're still waiting for the second.

We'll need 10 or 20 steps to get back to 0, Chris.  Don't Ask Don't Tell (which is a myth -- they ask all the time) precipitated a purge.

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#5 G1223

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:25 AM

View PostChristopher, on Nov 18 2008, 09:21 AM, said:

I'm glad the article included this paragraph:

Quote

"Don't ask-don't tell" was made law in 1993 after opposition ballooned to newly elected President Bill Clinton's plan to lift the military's complete ban on gay service members. The new policy stopped the practice of asking potential service members if they are gay but still required the dismissal of openly gay service members.

A lot of people see "Don't ask, don't tell" as Clinton's policy, and that's a shame.  What tends to be forgotten is that the first thing -- literally the very first piece of business that Clinton performed after his inauguration in 1992 -- was to sign an executive order that completely prohibited sexual-orientation discrimination in the military.  But Congress at the time was Republican-dominated and mounted an aggressive retaliation, drafting legislation that would've made matters even worse for gays in the military.  So "don't ask, don't tell" was a compromise Clinton was forced to settle for.  It was a powerful reminder that the president is not a monarch and can only do so much without the support of the popular will.

At the time, I saw "don't ask, don't tell" as an incremental step forward which I hoped Clinton would follow up with further gradual steps in the years ahead.  Trying to force the issue all at once triggered a strong reaction, but maybe a gentler set of nudges could move things in the right direction.  I believe that's how Clinton himself presented the compromise, as a first step he hoped to build on.  But it's been 16 years since that tentative first step and we're still waiting for the second.


Ah try again in 1992 it was a democratic controlled congress. It only changed in 1994 with the mid terms.

But I do think dropping the clause if for the best. I see no problem with anyone who can leagally serve being allowed to do just that.

Edited by G1223, 18 November 2008 - 11:26 AM.

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#6 sierraleone

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:22 PM

As it is currently, what problems does this pose for gay people in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions for gays? If someone is either already in a legally recognized relationship with someone of the same sex, and wants to join the military.... Or is in the military and wants to get married/unionized to someone of the same sex?
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#7 BklnScott

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:31 PM

According to George Stephanopoulos' book, All Too Human, Sam Nunn (a congressional democrat) and Colin Powell, who at the time was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, share the lion's share of responsibility for blocking Clinton's attempt to let gays serve openly.

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#8 Bobby

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:33 PM

View Postsierraleone, on Nov 18 2008, 11:22 AM, said:

As it is currently, what problems does this pose for gay people in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions for gays? If someone is either already in a legally recognized relationship with someone of the same sex, and wants to join the military.... Or is in the military and wants to get married/unionized to someone of the same sex?


That would fall under telling.

#9 silverwind

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:23 PM

Call me a cynic, but I think this has a hell of a lot more to do with recruitment goals than any actual realization of how morally reprehensible it is to descriminate based on orientation.

#10 Nonny

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:13 PM

View Postsilverwind, on Nov 18 2008, 10:23 AM, said:

Call me a cynic, but I think this has a hell of a lot more to do with recruitment goals than any actual realization of how morally reprehensible it is to descriminate based on orientation.
I wouldn't dare, because I agree with you.
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#11 QueenTiye

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:55 PM

No worries - the military also got integrated because of military needs, and not any sense of moral rectitude.  Progress happens how it does.

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#12 Christopher

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 03:55 PM

The truth is, progress rarely happens based solely on moral ideals.  More often, it happens when you give people an incentive to change, or take away their incentive to resist change.  The American South didn't keep slavery around longer than the North because Southerners were less moral, but because their plantation economy was more dependent on slave labor.  The North gave up slavery when it became industrialized and had an incentive to switch to a different economic model.

So don't knock the value of pragmatic goals as a tool for bringing about improved ethics.  In general, you can improve people's morals more easily by giving them a practical reason for changing than you ever can with speeches and abstract ideals.  And once they see the practical benefits to doing the right thing, they'll be more easily convinced that it's right.  QT's right -- as long as the change happens, that's all that matters.
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#13 sierraleone

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:08 PM

^ the problem with waiting for the situation to change, besides not necessarily knowing ahead of time what is going to change things, or knowing when, is people abusing the current situation. Not to say people won't abuse the new situation, but when you're talking about equal rights, before equal rights exist *and* enforced, there is a power imbalance and those with more power have more ability to abuse the situation. Basically, when the power is imbalanced only an in-power group has the greater ability to subject others to abuse. People will carry on with the abuse after things change, but either in more secretive ways.... or at least on a more equal standing and opportunities as others ;) Checks and balances are a wonderous thing not just in governments, I figure equal rights are checks and balances for the people, all of them :)
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#14 Cheile

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:49 PM

good...one more step to ending the bigotry.

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#15 BklnScott

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

One more campaign promise in the step to equality. . . :whistle:

I'll dare to believe it when I see him actually take steps toward doing it.  

As the explainer in chief, Obama should be able to make the case for why, in the middle of two wars, we, as a country, don't have any business turning away otherwise qualified recruits because we think they're icky.  

Gays are ready, willing and able to fight -- and we don't just forbid them from doing so openly, we purge anyone in the service who is perceived to be gay.

It's actually insane.

Edited by BklnScott, 18 November 2008 - 05:48 PM.

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#16 SparkyCola

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:50 PM

^ Well Said Scott. It is insane. It's definitely in the category filed under "WTF FAIL" in my view...

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#17 Bobby

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:05 PM

What I don't get is they are brave enough to go out into a hail of bullets but the idea of another man seeing them naked in the shower is somehow worse.   I'm glad I didn't join the Navy when I talked to the recruiters when I was twenty.   I would have liked to have traveled around the world but I couldn't image the strain of being guarded 24/7.   They were hot though...

#18 BklnScott

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:11 PM

View PostLiberalBob, on Nov 18 2008, 06:05 PM, said:

What I don't get is they are brave enough to go out into a hail of bullets but the idea of another man seeing them naked in the shower is somehow worse.

Hahahaha.  

Sounds like a typical male of the species to me. . .  :whistle:

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#19 silverwind

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:26 PM

View PostChristopher, on Nov 18 2008, 02:55 PM, said:

So don't knock the value of pragmatic goals as a tool for bringing about improved ethics.
Oh, I'm all for any progress on the issue, no matter how it's acheived.  (So long as it's legal, obviously.)

My problem is with the inherent dishonesty of the media (or the think-tank) pretending this is some noble departure from policy on principles.


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