Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We Are Dumb, We Need Another Study on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Illustration courtesy of www.dannymiller.typepad.com

Apparently the Obama administration, according to one newspaper article , will be impaneling a commission to conduct a study of this longstanding policy on gays in the armed services. No doubt, there will be much more hand wringing before we get any kind of resolution to this dilemma. Not to mention more of the taxpayers' money going down the drain in a time of economic recession. Just what we need--more talk and less action.

Another article in the Huffington Post commenting on this proposed commission offers the following cogent comments:

"What we don't welcome -- what we strongly oppose -- is yet another "study," which is Washington-speak for saying "let's just kick this down the road a ways." Out of sight, out of mind. You see, we're for repeal but don't really want to take a public stand right now (or we're bigots but don't have the guts to say so, outright bigotry being pretty unfashionable these days). So let's appropriate money for a commission or a study, maybe both. We'll have to appoint some members. That alone could take months. Of course the commission will need a staff. And offices. It could easily take a year before they get down to actually studying the issue (that's already been studied to death). Eventually -- and it could be a very long "eventually" -- we may see a report, the most recent in a long line of reports that began in 1988. That's 21 years ago!

Let's be clear: a commission or a study group is not about change. That's business as usual. We do not need another report to tell us what we already know and what earlier reports have long since concluded: the sexual orientation of a service member is irrelevant. What is relevant is how well he or she does the job."

Until the administration lays down a new law and forces all military personnel to abide by a policy of integration, some quarters in the military will continue to protest. That is as certain as the sun rising in the east each day. For sure, attitudes sometimes are hard to change, but a good leader must lead, not follow.

Either this president has to have the guts to make a move that is in line with all of the major allies' policy of integration of GLBT people into the services, or he has none. Stop pussy footing. Stop dishonoring the services of gay personnel. Give them the respect they deserve. They are, after all, citizens of the US.

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