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‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and progress

By | 2010-12-23T09:00:00-05:00 December 23rd, 2010|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

“Yesterday’s win isn’t just about DADT. Consider what repeal means: Even in a situation where people are, and should be, the most concerned about any changes (because of the dangers involved), in the end this (vote) was close to a consensus. Popular opinion, the views of the troops and of most of the top military brass, and even the strangled U.S. Senate add up to a resounding statement of this principle: Gay and lesbian troops can and will soon be as valued a part of the military as anyone else. And we’re reminded that discrimination by government is indefensible, a message that resounds loudly in the marriage equality debate.”
– John Culhane, in his column titled “Five Observations on the Repeal of DADT,”, Dec. 19

“Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction. Even if the Senate had voted 100 to 0 to legalize sin, they could not remove God from His throne of Judgment. I hereby call upon the new Congress to never certify that the military is ready to implement repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and instead pass strong laws protecting the rights of Christian troops – especially chaplains – to openly speak their opinions about what the Bible calls sin. If free speech and free religion rights of Christian chaplains and troops are not protected, then the military will quickly begin to persecute good people of Christian conscience.”
– Gordon Klingenschmitt, former U.S. Navy Chaplain, in a press release about the Senate’s repeal of DADT,, Dec. 19. Klingenschmitt, a far-right Christian fundamentalist, was discharged from the Navy in 2006 for disobeying a direct order, a violation of military regulations.

“I hope that the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will help persuade the collective conscience of the United States that gay people are just the same as anybody else. We shouldn’t have to die in the closet. The irony is, as mayor, I marry people, but I can’t marry Peter, my longtime partner.”
– Sam Adams, mayor, Portland, Oregon, quoted in a column titled “A Gay Commander in Chief: Ready or Not?,”, Dec. 18.

“I think the entire population of America has come tremendous strides forward in dealing with the issue of gays. And I would say that the answer is yes. I don’t know about the next election, but I think in the near future. Because step-by-step we have realized that this issue of homosexuality has the same adverse and progressive elements as when we dealt with the race issue 50 or 40 years ago. So I would say that the country is getting acclimated to a president who might be female, who might obviously, now be black and who might be as well, a gay person.”
Former President Jimmy Carter, in a video interview, when asked if the country is ready for a gay president,, Dec. 14.

“In the end, Marines in combat will treat sexual orientation the same way they treat race, religion and one’s stance on the likelihood of the Patriots winning another Super Bowl. I do not believe the intense desire we all feel as Marines to accomplish the mission and protect each other will be affected in the slightest by knowing the sexual orientation of the man or woman next to us. I believe the reluctance many Marines feel about repeal is based on the false stereotype, borne out of ignorance, that homosexuals don’t do things like pull other Marines from burning vehicles. The truth is, they do it all the time. We simply don’t know it because they can’t tell us.”
– Nathan Cox, Marine Corps infantry captain, in his column titled “Sexuality doesn’t matter on the battlefield,”, Dec. 16.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.