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2/2/10 Defense officials say lift military ban on gays

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  • 2/2/10 Defense officials say lift military ban on gays

    http://www.comcast.net/articles/news...Military.Gays/



    WASHINGTON It's time to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and allow gay troops to serve openly for the first time in history, the nation's top defense officials declared Tuesday, with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proclaiming that service members should not be forced to "lie about who they are."

    However, both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen asked for a year to study the impact before Congress would lift the controversial policy.

    Reversing the Pentagon's 17-year-old policy toward gays "comes down to integrity," for the military as an institution as well as the service members themselves, Mullen told a Senate hearing. Unpersuaded, several Republican senators said they would oppose any congressional effort to repeal the policy.

    The Pentagon announced an 11-month review of how the ban could be lifted, as President Barack Obama has said he will work to do. But there is no deadline for ending the policy that dates to President Bill Clinton's tenure and that gay rights advocates are pressing to overturn.

    In the meantime, Gates announced plans to loosen enforcement rules for the policy, which says, in essence, that gays may serve so long as they keep their sexuality private.

    Obama has called for repeal but has done little in his first year in office to advance that goal. If he succeeds, it would mark the biggest shake-up to military personnel policies since President Harry S. Truman's 1948 executive order integrating the services.

    Homosexuality has never been openly tolerated in the American military, and the 1993 policy was intended to be a compromise that let gay men and women serve so long as they stayed silent about their sexuality. Clinton had wanted to repeal the ban entirely, but the military and many in Congress argued that doing so would dangerously disrupt order.

    Repealing the ban would take an act of Congress, something that does not appear close to happening.

    Since 'don't ask, don't tell" was established, much has changed. Five states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws permitting marriage of gay couples, while nine other states have granted similar rights to gay domestic partners.

    The public's attitude toward gays and lesbians also has undergone a significant shift. A Pew poll last year indicated that 59 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, up from 52 percent in 1994.

    On Tuesday, several Democratic senators praised Mullen and Gates for what they said was courageous stance, but a number of Republicans spoke strongly against the idea of a repeal.

    Gates drew unusually pointed criticism from Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee for saying the review would examine how, not whether, to repeal the ban. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the panel, icily told Gates he was disappointed in his position and suggested the Pentagon was usurping Congress' job.

    "Has this policy been ideal? No, it has not," McCain said. "But it has been effective."

    Mullen looked pained when Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., suggested that the Joint Chiefs chairman had preordained the outcome of any study by signaling his own opposition to the ban.

    "This is about leadership, and I take that very, very seriously," Mullen replied, tightlipped.

    Tuesday's session gave Obama high-level cover on a divisive social issue complicated by the strains on an all-volunteer military force fighting two wars.

    Gates, who says he is a Republican, is the only member of former President George W. Bush's Cabinet whom Obama asked to stay on. He has gained a reputation for both candor and caution. Mullen's words were a forceful endorsement from a careful man, and his very appearance, starched uniform and four stars on view, made a statement as well.

    Gates said change was inevitable and called for a yearlong internal study into how it would occur.

    He told the senators he understood that any change in the law was up to them. But he made it clear he believes it is time to do away with the 1993 policy, and by implication the outright ban on gay service that preceded it. Alongside Mullen, that put the Pentagon's top leadership at odds with uniformed leaders a rung or two below, as well as with and also with senior members of Congress.

    "No matter how I look at the issue," Mullen said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Noting that he was speaking for himself and not for the other service chiefs, Mullen added: "For me, it comes down to integrity theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

    Gates has appointed a four-star Army general, Carter Ham, and his own chief legal counsel, Jeh Johnson, to conduct the assessment. He also has requested legal advice on how the military can relax enforcement standards of the current policy.

    McCain, the ranking Republican on the panel, bristled at the Pentagon decision to pursue the study, saying he was "deeply disappointed" and calling the assessment "clearly biased" in presuming the law should be changed.

    For their part, Democrats hailed the internal review but suggested they wouldn't wait too long. Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's chairman and a Michigan Democrat who has long opposed the ban, said he was considering legislation this year that would temporarily suspend dismissals of gays under the current policy until a full repeal could be passed.

    Democrat Mark Udall said his Colorado constituents pride themselves on allowing others to live and let live.

    "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight," said Udall, quoting longtime Arizona Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater.

    The tenor of the hearings could change significantly when lawmakers hear from other senior military officials. Each of the service chiefs is expected to testify this month on his 2011 budget, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway is said to have serious concerns about the upheaval that a change to "don't ask, don't tell" could cause.

    Rep. Ike Skelton, a conservative Democrat from Missouri who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, says he thinks it would be ill-advised to pursue such a major shake-up at a time when forces are consumed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Mullen said it was his sense that rank-and-file troops would support the change.

    "I have served with homosexuals since 1968," Mullen said in response to questions from Republican Sen. Sessions. "There are a number of things cumulatively that get me to this position."

    Commenting on the issue, Jason Jonas, a 28-year-old former Army staff sergeant from Tempe, Ariz., said he knew of openly gay soldiers in his intelligence unit at Fort Bragg, but their lifestyle never affected unit morale.

    "I don't think it is anybody's right to say who can and who can't fight for their country," said Jonas, who served in Afghanistan before being hurt. He is no longer in the Army. "Nobody cares. Don't ask, don't tell is kind of a joke."

    As for the leaders of the study:

    _ Ham is a former enlisted infantryman who rose through the ranks to eventually command troops in northern Iraq in 2004 and hold senior positions within the Joint Staff. Recently, he helped conduct an investigation into the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas.

    _ Johnson, as the Pentagon's top legal counsel, has played an integral role into the effort to try to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    ___
    04
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  • #2
    I think this will do a lot more harm than good.
    disappear here

    Comment


    • #3
      Its a horrible move .. these guys are gunna get destroyed .. most marines who are friends of mine always talk shit about gays ..
      SAIGON AND BISHOP LAMONT

      ARMY OF THE PHARAOHS

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      iLL BiLL NECRO ViNNiE PAZ

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      • #4
        whats next they're gonna allow JEWS??
        Originally posted by FunkySuicideGirl
        Ima sucker when some suck my lip or bite in it
        Originally posted by Syko Squidge
        ^
        fuck off you gay piece of cunt
        Originally posted by Otto
        That shit is fuck,

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by iTALiAN EM CuZ View Post
          Its a horrible move .. these guys are gunna get destroyed .. most marines who are friends of mine always talk shit about gays ..
          And? Lots of white people used to talk shit about black people, doesn't mean we should've kept them segregated. Not sure how anyone could suggest we should continue discriminating just to appease the homophobes of the world. It's laughable that in a time of war we're turning away troops because of what genitalia they prefer....
          Originally posted by SteWonYou
          sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and that might involve sucking dick
          Originally posted by Temerity
          understood that you don't fuck with Swizz
          Originally posted by Nianco
          Swizz...*Sighs*..I really hate you so much. I just want you to know that.

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          • #6
            send as many gays to war as you wanna


            Manchester United 34-12-4
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            so stoned but leave no stone unturned

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Swizz View Post
              And? Lots of white people used to talk shit about black people, doesn't mean we should've kept them segregated. Not sure how anyone could suggest we should continue discriminating just to appease the homophobes of the world. It's laughable that in a time of war we're turning away troops because of what genitalia they prefer....
              Couldn't of said it better myself

              People on this board need to grow the fuck up already...
              "Saying Jumpoff don't sound right, it's blasphemous, downright, I astound mics, music is just what feelings sound like"- Joe Budden

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              • #8
                It doesnt really matter if they allow gays or not. The point I see in this is, that they are trying to let ANYBODY join the military. They seem desperate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  yes, as long as my ass doesn't go to war...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vos View Post
                    Couldn't of said it better myself
                    People on this board need to grow the fuck up already...
                    Originally posted by Swizz View Post
                    And? Lots of white people used to talk shit about black people, doesn't mean we should've kept them segregated. Not sure how anyone could suggest we should continue discriminating just to appease the homophobes of the world. It's laughable that in a time of war we're turning away troops because of what genitalia they prefer....

                    I rather have Mushamahed ALAH kill us all before i know some penis absorber is "protecting us"...real talk.. If we stand for gays..we will fall for everything..
                    http://www.intellitechslv.com Computer Repair Las Vegas

                    Intellitechs Computer Repair
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sam View Post
                      send as many gays to war as you wanna
                      > Invasion Productions <

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Swizz View Post
                        And? Lots of white people used to talk shit about black people, doesn't mean we should've kept them segregated. Not sure how anyone could suggest we should continue discriminating just to appease the homophobes of the world. It's laughable that in a time of war we're turning away troops because of what genitalia they prefer....
                        Exactly
                        GO CUBS


                        I make rappers cry, onions
                        You can't walk in my shoes, bunions

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by justalfe View Post
                          I rather have Mushamahed ALAH kill us all before i know some penis absorber is "protecting us"...real talk.. If we stand for gays..we will fall for everything..
                          "Penis absorber"? That's original, I'll give you that. But your logic is completely wrong. There already are gays in the military, they're just forced to lie about it. I don't get why allowing gays in the military is so earth-shattering. I mean, the U.S. would only be joining a tiny group of 25+ other countries (Britain, Canada, Israel) by allowing them. The whole sexual harassment argument is old: straight guys would be in less danger of being hit on by gays than would straight women by straight men, for example. And yet women are allowed to serve in the military. The military doesn't discriminate against people based on their race or gender, so why is it OK to discriminate against them based on their sexual orientation?
                          Originally posted by Derty JaSoN
                          my spelling is HORRIBLE
                          Originally posted by Sleep
                          i lost my virginity at home listening to rock but i sodomized my 1st ass in college with rap

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                          • #14
                            they shouldnt HAVE to serve openly. its no ones business if someones gay or not. i cant believe in the year 2010 "civilization" is still concerned with something as trivial as sexual preference. so get rid of "dont ask dont tell" but the shit shouldnt matter in the first place. dont even ask about it.
                            I think it should be done to you
                            Kill furriers, rip off their heads
                            Grate their skin, eat their flesh
                            Break into a scientists lab
                            Vivisect the fucker, stab em to death

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                            • #15
                              Not just Guantanamo Bay, but other torture chambers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been accused of raping men and boys...I guess gay shit isn't as taboo in some parts of the military..


                              Originally posted by Swizz View Post
                              Not sure how anyone could suggest we should continue discriminating just to appease the homophobes of the world.
                              word.

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