A little history lesson:
On July 26, 1948, [President Harry Truman, against the threat of a filibuster by racist white Southern U.S. senators] issued an executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services.
Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”
The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.
Now, I’m no lawyer, although I probably should have become one, but it seems to me that President Barack “Where Are My Balls? Has Anyone Seen My Balls?” Obama could, if he so desired, issue an executive order to stop discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the U.S. armed forces.
I don’t buy the Repugnican “argument” that the homophobes in the U.S. armed forces need “time” to get used to the idea that it’s not OK to discriminate against someone because of his or her sexual orientation.
What the fuck does it say about the character and integrity of those in the armed forces that they need “time” to stop fearing and hating a whole class of people whom they have no rational reason to fear and hate?
This is from The Associated Press today:
Washington – The United States should not rush into a change as large as repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military without making sure the people it affects are on board, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said [today].
Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said an 11-month study into the effects of lifting the ban will examine practical questions such as how the change would affect the numbers of people who decide to remain in the service when their terms expire.
“There is very little objective data on this. It is filled as you know with emotion and strongly held opinions and beliefs,” Mullen said a day after announcing his own opposition to the ban as unfair to gay troops.
“That’s the work we have to do over the course of this year. We need to understand that in terms of what the senior military leadership’s principal concern is, which is the readiness and military effectiveness of the force,” he said.
The study is seen by advocates of a quick repeal as an unnecessary delay, or a political convenience designed to stretch any real action to lift the ban until after congressional elections this fall….
Gates told the House Armed Services Committee … [that] he learned that imposing change from on high does not work….
“Stupid was trying to impose a policy from the top without any regard for the views of the people who were going to be affected or the people who would have to effect the policy change,” Gates said.
Gates has commissioned two reviews, one by the outside consultant Rand Corp. and one to be led by a four-star Army general and the Pentagon’s top lawyer. The reviews will look at attitudes about openly gay service among the armed forces, with particular emphasis on those in combat.
The reviews are supposed to look at the effect that lifting the ban could have on soldiers’ trust and reliance on one another, as well as practical and legal issues, military officials said.
Mullen is the president’s senior military adviser, but he said he does not speak for all the Pentagon top brass. Several of the top uniformed leaders in the military services have deep reservations about repealing the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and Mullen was unable to unite them behind his view before [yesterday], when he became the first sitting chairman of the Joint Chiefs to say the policy should be changed.
The attitudes of troops under fire, the ramifications for recruiting, family benefits and other considerations are likely to get a fuller examination later this month, when leaders of the Army, Marine Corps and other services testify separately on Capitol Hill….
President Barack Obama pledged to work this year to repeal the 17-year-old policy that says gays may serve in the armed forces only if they keep their sexuality private. In the decades before that, the Pentagon expelled gay troops but the policy was not written into law.
Congress enacted the ban in 1993 as a compromise short of fully allowing openly gay military service, as then-President Bill Clinton had said he wanted.
What the fuck?
First off, Obama never should have kept on Gates, who was defense secretary under George W. Bush. Obama probably did that to look “bipartisan” and/or not “soft on terror” or the like, but it was a mistake.
Secondly, they’re going to issue a survey to the members of the U.S. military?
Maybe the survey questions will look something like this:
Do you want your male comrades to try to fuck you up the ass when you drop your soap in the shower?
___ Yes ___ No
Do you want to have to learn to sleep with one eye open, lest one of your comrades try to get Brokeback with you?
___ Yes ___ No
I kid, but it does dangerously seem to be the case that the “review” is going to consist of something like a fucking poll.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Equal human and civil rights are not up for a vote. Equal human and civil rights are what our founders called inalienable rights — rights that are inherent and rights that cannot be taken away, not rights that we take a vote on.
Further, isn’t the U.S. military supposed to be a top-down organization? Um, you take orders in the military, don’t you?
Before the unelected Bush regime in March 2003 launched its bogus Vietraq War for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton and for the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, they didn’t ask the troops what the troops thought about that, did they? They didn’t conduct a “review.” They gave marching orders.
This 11-month “review” on whether or not to end discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the U.S. military is what you call BULLFUCKINGSHIT.
Whether it’s because of the November 2010 elections or whether it’s just to buy the retrogressive homophobes some more time, there’s no excuse for it.
So after 11 months, then what?
We find out that indeed, the majority of troops are homophobic?
What excuse will we be given then?
“Well, we reviewed it, and now just isn’t the time.”
No — now is the time. There is no other time than right fucking now.
Fuck the stupid old white men like John McCainosaurus. He’s half-dead already. He is history. He represents the old dead hand of the past. This is about the future. This is about what is right.
There was resistance among the racists in the U.S. military when President Truman issued his executive order to desegregate the troops. And it was just too damned fucking bad.
Now, we take a desegregated military for granted.
One day, we will take for granted a military that doesn’t discriminate based upon sexual orientation.
Click here to sign on to the Courage Campaign’s letter to Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to include a repeal of the unconstitutional, unAmerican “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the defense budget bill.