90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repealed: What Happens Next?

President Obama has signed a law repealing the policy. How will the military make it all work? We look at implementing the future.

U.S. Army partrol in Afghanistan. (AP)

U.S. Army patrol in Afghanistan. (AP)

The House has passed it. The Senate has passed it. And today, President Obama signed legislation formally repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that has governed gay service in the U.S. military. 

From today onward, the American military – like the militaries of many other nations – is on a new path: open gay and lesbian military service will be the law of the land. 

But it’s not military policy – yet. That will take a little time, by this law, to implement. And how will it be implemented, exactly? 

We look at implementing open, gay military service in America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Anna Mulrine, defense correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. Read her article “Beyond ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

Seth Moulton, Marine and former platoon officer in Iraq. He served as serserved as a liaison to senior Iraqi military and political leaders south of Baghdad for General Petraeus.

Godmund Schick, former Army staff sergeant who is openly gay. He wrote a post for the New York Times‘ “At War” blog about why he left the military.

Peter Mansoor, retired colonel in the U.S. Army and graduate of  West Point. He is professor of military history at Ohio State University.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.beccar.wordpress.com Eugenia Renskoff, Brooklyn, NY

    Tom, People should just be people, whether in the military or another field. If they are gay, they are gay. That’s all there is to it and that doesn’t mean that they can’t be good soldiers and/or defend our country. Eugeniaa Renskoff

  • madnomad

    As a military veteran, Army infantry, I feel this should have been left up to those serving in the military.

    Active duty, Reserves and National Guard could have voted on this.

    Why should this be the decision of some member of Congress making $1 million per year, who never served in any military branch.

    They should have put voting booths on every military reservation and let those wearing the boots decide this matter.

    madnomad, everywhere, usa

  • michaell

    Only cost an 700 Billion dollar bribe for (some) republicans to do the right thing. around 87.5 Billion dollar for every Republican senator who voted for it.

    I yet to hear from Onpoint on how the republicans are blocking the 9-11 responser bill that was passed in the house but still as of yet in the senate.

    Sad the daily show has to point this out and not the media.

    senate Republicans filibuster the Zadroga bill but pass tax cuts for the wealthy, which is great news for firefighters who make over $200,000 a year.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-16-2010/worst-responders

    9/11 first responders express their thoughts on Mitch McConnell’s tearful sendoff of a retiring friend and Jon Kyl’s reasons for why the Senate can’t work after Christmas.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-16-2010/9-11-first-responders-react-to-the-senate-filibuster

  • michaell

    Sad NPR is still promoting homophobia

    Talk of Nation has a right-wing gay baser on Matthew Franck who also writes for the Highly Partisan and often bigoted National Review( Which NPR host as well)

    npr.org/2010/12/21/132235150/the-word-hate-ends-debate-on-gay-marriage?plckFindCommentKey=CommentKey:bbf5b5ee-f747-4287-a4da-27a62f00525a

    By Matthew Frank
    .csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/0410/p09s01-coop.html

    When the Iowa Supreme Court proclaimed last Friday that gays have a right to marry, it insisted that its groundbreaking decision rested squarely on the state constitution’s equal protection clause.

    In reality, the court’s bland overturning of foundational moral principles and many centuries of civilization shows what happens when judicial arrogance becomes second nature: It transforms into smug self-deception.

    Matthew Franck:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-respected civil rights organization, publishes a “report” identifying a dozen or so “anti-gay hate groups,” some for no apparent reason other than their vocal opposition to same-sex marriage.

    This. Is. A. Lie.

    Not one of these groups – not one – appeared on the hate-group list merely for opposing marriage equality. The SPLC specifies why it added each one. You’ll find more details at the end of this post, but in short, the organizations were guilty of offenses like:

    * Distorting scientific research to demonize gays, even over the original authors objections.
    * Calling for the criminalization of homosexuality
    * Advocating the death penalty for gays.#
    Accusing gay men of recruiting children and being more likely to molest them than straights.
    # Holding gays responsible for Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

    a link to the SPLC report containing this information

    http://www.equalityontrial.org/blog/was-stupid-lie-easy-expose-not-worthy-you

    Abiding Truth Ministries

    Its founder, Scott Lively, blames gays for the Holocaust and claims the Nazi SS recruited gays because of our “innate brutality.”

    American Family Association

    Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of analysis for government and policy, has written, “[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” Further, he wants to criminalize homosexuality.

    mericans for Truth About Homosexuality

    ATAH’s founder Peter LaBarbera has helped perpetuate the myth of gays running the German Nazi Party. He’s called homosexuality a “lethal behavior addiction,” and has claimed “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” in the gay population.

    American Vision

    Leader Gary DeMar believes in the death penalty for practicing gays.

    Chalcedon Foundation

    The organization wants the US to adopt Old Testament law, including the execution of gays.

    These are also some of the saem folks against DADT would Seth Moulton be apart of such groups?

  • michaell

    As for Anna Mulrine link about how much trouble it’s going to be to repeal it, one only has to ask the UK and the many other countries that allow such, take your pick.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_orientation_and_military_service
    1 Countries that allow gay people to serve

    * 1.1 Albania
    * 1.2 Argentina
    * 1.3 Australia
    * 1.4 Austria
    * 1.5 Belgium
    * 1.6 Canada
    * 1.7 Republic of China
    * 1.8 Colombia
    * 1.9 Czech Republic
    * 1.10 Denmark
    * 1.11 Estonia
    * 1.12 Finland
    * 1.13 France
    * 1.14 Germany
    * 1.15 Greece
    * 1.16 Republic of Ireland
    * 1.17 Israel
    * 1.18 Italy
    * 1.19 Japan
    * 1.20 Lithuania
    * 1.21 Luxembourg
    * 1.22 Malta
    * 1.23 The Netherlands
    * 1.24 New Zealand
    * 1.25 Norway
    * 1.26 Peru
    * 1.27 Philippines
    * 1.28 Poland
    * 1.29 Romania
    * 1.30 Russia
    * 1.31 Serbia
    * 1.32 Slovenia
    * 1.33 South Africa
    * 1.34 Spain
    * 1.35 Sweden
    * 1.36 Switzerland
    * 1.37 United Kingdom
    o 1.37.1 Bermuda

  • Matty N.

    Just as in any workplace, this is a non-issue. It was “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t care.” In practice in the military, if people want to come out, fine, though they probably won’t. It’s their business. If anything, the repeal extends a level of privacy in the military that the rest of us have.

  • Nick from Massachusetts

    I HOPE THERE IS A SHOW ABOUT THE REPUBLICANS BLOCKING THE FUNDING FOR THOSE FIRST RESPONDERS AT 9/11 WHO ARE NOW SICK AND DYING FROM THE SITE.

    I can not believe that the news outlets are not carrying this. NPR is not carrying it either. You can find it on Al-Arabya !

    AND I ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE NOT PICKED UP THIS BALL AND TOSSED – IT IS TOTALLY BEYOND ME ! ARE THEY TOTALLY ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL OR JUST SO LAZY THAT…..

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    can we move on and tackle other more important issues that are relevant to the rest of the population and not to a population that is about one percent and really who cares about the sexual preference of the guy next to you in a fox hole as long as he is watching out for your sorry ass, as an old Marine I only care if you can perform your function in an honorable way Hooraw

  • Beverly

    MADNOMAD,

    They were all asked, &, (except for those in combat), are overwhlmingly in favor of the repeal.

    God news, indeed, considering the story I heard just yesterday. It seems that many high school graduates aren’t qualified to be in the Military. They couldn’t pass the most simple general knowledge test! (Yet they WERE able to graduate high school. If the Army rejects them, how will they ever be able to find a job anywhere . . . unless it’s one where they aren’t required to fill out a job application? Thank goodness, the Obama administration is changing all that.)

    As if that wasn’t enough, many wouldn’t be able to pass the physical, even if they WERE somehow motivated to leave their comfy chairs, to fight for their country, or to do anything else. 

  • Beverly

    MICHAELL,

    (The President has just signed the repeal. Hooray!)

    Truly astounding! As most of the human race continues to evolve, & learn from science, a certain group are rapidly regressing, & seem to be proud of their ignorance. (Genetic?)

    As they age, they become ever more primitive, suspicious, & superstitous. With every passing generation, their brains get smaller, & their tails get longer.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Beverly: Perhaps there are young people who never learned to respect their parents — maybe (probably) for excellent reasons, and so they grow up not wanting to be wanted or needed, so as you say, they learn some interesting personality traits.
    I heard the president finish the signing and say to the homosexual population, “You are wanted, you are needed,” and welcome to the greatest military in the world (something like that). Then a young voice from the back of the room called out, “Enlist us NOW!” and another, “I’m READY!” The president smiled.
    If decades of anger and hurt haven’t wrung them out of you already, that was a moment of tears. Imagine what it is like NOT to be wanted, not to be needed, not to be welcomed. Imagine how the hush-hush surrounding that warps the social web, creating — well, if you haven’t seen that in action, you just don’t know.
    I’m ready to move on to the bill about the Ground Zero workers now, however.

  • ThresherK

    Republicans are blocking healthcare for 9/11 first responders.

    All those people who didn’t know how to spell NPR before Juan Williams embarrassed himself are gone. It’s now safe for NPR to start talking about how Republicans are blocking healthcare for 9/11 first responders.

  • Rob (in NY)

    I agree with the repeal of DADT for many reasons, including:

    1) Sexual orientation has nothing to do with a person’s ability to serve in the military
    2) Cultural attitudes towards gays and lesbians have changed enough (e.g. particularly among younger Americans) over the past 20 years to the point where the clear majority of current and former military leaders, including those charged with implementing with repeal of DADT, do not believe there will be any negative impact on military performance, morale, etc…When I briefly served in the military during my youth (and this was about 15 years ago), nobody really cared about serving with gays and cultural attitudes have generally become more accepting since this time.
    3) There is an inherent inconsistency between preaching military values, such as duty, service to others, chain of command, honesty, etc…and asking a gay or lesbian soldier to lie about something as basic as his or her sexual orientation.

    Regarding DADT, my larger fear was that military leaders would be charged with implementing this change through a court order and would not have any control over the timeline, which could result in a sloppy implementation. Tom, I would interested in hearing your guests explore specific implementation issues regarding the repeal DADT as this topic is more complex that it might initially appear. For example, how will the military deal with gay couples within living barracks? I believe (someone correct me if I am wrong) that military policy is to only allow spouses. Will this policy be changed to allow domestic partners? There are a host of other similar issues. Although most of the militaries posted by Michaell do not compare to the US in either size or complexity, t our military leaders may be able to consult with their British colleagues regarding their experience (although British culture has generally been less hostile towards gays in my opinion.

  • Joe G (Somerville, MA)

    Are there changes planned for Uniform Code of Military Justice? Currently, sodomy (in all forms, not just male/male or female/female) is expressly prohibited. Though it isn’t enforced against consensual male/female behavior, I could see some arguing that the behavior is prohibited, therefore the military can’t allow same sex relationships.

    Reference: Article 125, UCMJ http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/ucmj/blart-125.htm

  • Mary Sheehan

    That the President has signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is wonderful news. I am a heterosexual Christian woman married 35 years who celebrates this moment as a fulfillment of God’s plan for all human life to reflect His/Her Holy truth, honesty, love, and complassion (“and justice shall roll down like thunder.” The Holy Spirit has once again moved through history in this very moment. I now hope all gays and lesbians who want to marry are allowed to do so. Full rights for all citizens. Liberty and justice for all. And next we need to work to do away with the need for military service and the end to all wars. Peace on Earth, good will to all! Great job, Mr. President.

  • Rob (in NY)

    Tom, I would interested in hearing your guests explore specific implementation issues regarding the repeal DADT. While I support the repeal of DADT, the implementation of this changeis more complex that it might initially appear. For example,

    1) How will the military deal with gay couples within living barracks? I believe (someone correct me if I am wrong) that military policy is to only allow spouses. Will this policy be changed to allow domestic partners?

    2) I would also assume that military rules governing fraternization and sexual harrassment might need to be modified as well.

    3) Will the miltary grant benefits to same sex couples (as most larger corporations and government entities generally do)?

    There are a host of other similar issues. It would be interesting to hear your guests explore some of these issues.

  • Craig Reisser

    Two of the men I served with in my USAF NATO unit in Italy (1971-1973) were closet homosexuals. They performed their tasks well, and didn’t bother any of the straight men in the unit.

    The biggest problem that I see in implementing DADT is in the military’s chaplin corps, as fundamentalist Protestant churches have been packing this important service during the past two decades. During my service, most chaplins were Catholic priests or ministers from mainstream Protestant denominations.

    Craig in Omaha

  • Rob (in NY)

    Just an observation (and not a scientific poll), but it appears that most people who have actually served in the military (at least on this page) are confident that the repeal of DADT will not undermine our military in any way.

  • Martine from MA

    If I were a women serving in the military, I would very much rather serve with gay men than with heterosexual men. So if there are any issues, just match the gay men up with the heterosexual women, and the lesbian women with the heterosexual women.

    and wy is no one is addressing the issue of the women in our military being sexually harassed and assaulted by their fellow soldiers?

  • David

    I hope that repeal does what the opponents hope, cause bigots and racists not to join our military. Under Bush the right wing christians were trying to take over the military. Hopefully this will tell them they are not welcome.

  • ThresherK

    John McCain on DADT repeal:

    I don’t want to permit that opportunity [gays and lesbians to serve] to happen and I’ll tell you why. You go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marines are up there with no legs, none. You’ve got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs.

    I don’t the actual, hilariously embarrassing language of his flip-flopping to be mentioned on this show. But if you all want to discover what a bullet we dodged in 2008, look it up for yourselves. After the worse and least popular president in a century, we actually considered this guy as a successor.

  • Bob Hirsch

    There has been much talked about evangelism and other expressions of religious orthodoxy in the ranks of the military lately. How will these forces factor into the practical mplementation of the new policy?

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    How does the military deal with bullying, or attitudes of hatred/dislike/scorn that are NOT related to gender, race, sexual preference?
    (There’s got to be a right to be critical, to have aversions, fears, to dislike, without having to closet such. You’d think it would make the problem worse not to be allowed to air those things.)

  • Amanda Takemoto

    Can someone please explain why it has been legal to discriminate against gays?

  • Michael Thompson

    The debate should focus not only on implementation and unit cohesion of existing personnel. As this unfolds, will straight people continue to re-enlist at the same rate and join in the same numbers? If not, the Armed Forces will become smaller, and perhaps more gay, over time. My concern is not with whether gays serve or serve openly – it is whether or not our country continues an all-volunteer force to defend our nation. The unintended consequence of repeal of DADT may be the reinstatement of the draft.

    Charlotte NC WFAE

    Details and text below at
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130704687
    Retired Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis – If you look demographically at who fills the armed forces today, they typically are out of the South and the mountain west. They typically are religious conservative and they also come from families with a history of military service. That’s a very, very miniscule minority in this country. You alienate the very people that make up the all-volunteer force, then Congress has a much larger problem, that is, going back to conscription.
    I had no idea how many people would leave if you repeal the law, however, that’s a risk that we take if we move forward on this.

  • ThresherK

    Re: Race riots on Navy warships and also sexual harrassment against servicewomen.

    I don’t want to say “Yes, that’ll happen”, but let’s remember how this plays out everywhere–military, private, government, any institution with rules. This is not something to start clutching pearls over the idea of.

    The first thing which happens is that a tiny bit of power is wrested from a group, and they don’t give it up willingly.

    The last thing that happens is that that same group papers over everything and makes believe that it was ceded willingly and there was never any strife.

    See Haley Barbour.

  • Skunk at Garden Party

    As someone who served in a combat arms unit (enlisted soldier in field artillery, currently a PhD candidate at a major university) in the early 90s I am surprised by the recent survey. I would have expected a far higher opposition to gays among combat units. So I’ve had to re-think some things and admit that the new generation is different than mine. Nevertheless, the numbers among combat arms soldiers do indicate a continued strong animosity towards homosexuals. I think people who have never been in this environment simply do not understand the problem. Combat units are different. In part this has been exaggerated by non-combat units being “pussified” (this is the nicest term used – if you don’t like it then you probably do not actually like the people who serve at the tip of the spear defending you in spite of whatever claims you make) by allowing women to join their basic training and deployed units. I’m digressing a bit but it’s the beginning of the shift in cultures between combat units and what we call the rear echelon mortar forkers (REMFs except we don’t say mortar forkers here). Here’s the main point: in a combat unit some 10-20 percent of the soldiers are basically socio-paths. I’m sorry to say that but for those of us who served next to these folks (and were very glad they were on our side and not after us) it is a reality. For the officer corps it was a difficult management issue. To say these folks are “homophobic” fundamentally misunderstands the situation. Recall that just as the Greeks had three types of attraction (sexual love, paternal love, and friendship) they also had three aversions (fear, hate and disgust). “Phobia” signifies fear but the feelings are more like disgust and hate for gay people among this sub-cohort. This is a management and training issue: on top of everything else you do to direct the energy of these soldiers towards killing and blowing up the enemy you now have to fundamentally change the worldview of these the most recalcitrant among us. So while things, as I said, are changing, this management problem is still a substantial challenge. Bottom line: if those gung-ho combat soldiers leave units (decide not to join or re-enlist) even at a 1-2 percent rate we will lose more as a nation in terms of having an important albeit difficult subcomponent of our killing machine it won’t matter if we get a 5-10 percent increase in gay enlistees since most of those will go into non-combat units and will not have the psychological bent that makes those others so effective. Our overall ability to bring death to the enemy will be weakened. Acceptance of gays has changed but the people who still hate them remain an important part of our strength. It is a fact even if no one will say it publicly. Death before dishonor!

  • Terry

    Okay, Let me start by saying that one of my brothers is gay, and I have no problem with that.

    However,I don’t know how it works in the military, but my concern is living quarters/ showers/ restrooms.

    I presume you wouldn’t allow a man in with women that he may be attracted to(or want to look at) / “gawk at” naked (or close to it), or similar circumstances.Why would it be okay to put man in with men that he may “enjoy” looking at.

    Did I phrase that correctly?

    Simply put..If people like “looking” at, or are attracted to at a particular sex, they should not be living in the same quarters.

    As far as fighting next to one another on the front lines..by all means..if thats how it is for men and women now.

    T.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    I agree that it makes sense that most serving homosexuals will continue not to make their sexual preference common knowledge. If they are in a unit where it is commonly done to make fun of homosexuals, they are definitely not likely to do so.

    People do keep things private if they think it best. There are far far less possibly difficult things to reveal that people have kept secret in jobs of all sorts as long as humans can remember.

  • Vince Murfreesboro TN

    The Marines are not exempt, and therefore WILL follow orders. If a Marine doesn’t want to follow orders, he is not suitable for combat duty or representing the country while carrying a firearm. We don’t want intolerant, ignorant, people carrying guns who feel their hate is a trump card.

  • Ronald Maine

    South Kinstown, Rhode Island

    I think it would be useful if people could review the actual religious beliefs of our founding fathers and relize that many of the most influential leaders were Deists, rather than Christians.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Terry, I don’t think a gay guy is attracted to a non-gay guy. I have experienced lesbians trying to figure out if I am lesbian, and that definitely precedes their deciding to come on to me. Ruling out rape, you know.

  • Robert

    Tom is soo happy with this show – if only he also could have had Tom Friedman on to further discuss the end of the American empire, he would have been ecastic!

  • Ryan

    It’s quite sad to listen to all of the people calling into the program making up ridiculous rationalities to justify their homophobic, religious ideals.

    Stop lying to yourself and everyone else, it’s easy to see right through your ignorant rational.

  • Curious

    Did everyone just hear that Marine’s comments about the job being to find people and kill them three times? And then a white space, and missing the response from the Marine on the air?

    What happened? Just a little eerie to hear those words three times in a row.

  • John

    Why do the anti-gay bigots have so little faith in the professionalism of our military and their ability to follow orders?

  • James

    The repeal of DADT was not done to benefit the military but rather because Congress once again caved in to a vocal special interst group. Most of the Senators who voted for this thing are not even veterans. Letting them have several hours of candid talks with senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) might have enlightened them a bit. But sadly most of them do not really put the operational needs of the military before special interests.

  • http://www.mikelerauch.com mikele

    This is a historic day, long time coming. We rejoice, and yet, hope that the military can step up its sensitivities and education in the culture, so that enlisted men and women who serve so bravely will not be reabused by coming out.

  • John

    Equal rights are not a special interest.

  • David Knurd

    On the appropriateness of a soldier saying “hey gay guy/woman, (or other epithet), can you come over here and help me” I think the answer lies with the manor it was expressed. If said with a smile, and the gay man/woman approaches to help, the two high five, or similar recognition, the intension very is clear, as a friendly, one, that exemplifies mutual support and unit cohesion.

  • geffe

    The same arguments were used when Truman desegregated the military in the 50′s. That it would create problems and that the level of professionalism would go down.

    Funny how it’s the same type of conservatives who are against it.

  • Beverly

    ELLEN DIBBLE,

    Very well put. No matter how we try to imagine what it’s like to be black, gay, or any other victim of prejudice, the reality is always much worse than anything we could have imagined.

    This is a great day in America’s history. I couldn’t be more grateful to those Republicans who did the right thing, or more proud of EVERY person, (*gay, straight, bi, indifferent, black, white, cerise, plaid, man, woman, hermaphrodite, Catholic, Episcopalian, Anglican, Unitarian, Jew, Baptist, Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Scientologist, Mormon, Santerian, Ammonite, Hindu, Sikh, Bhudist, Shinto, Omoton, Zulu, Wikki, carrot-worshipper, Vodounist, U.S.citizen, or illegal alien), who has made the decision to give up everything, so the rest of us can be comfortable, & safe.

    

    We’re extremely proud of them & wish they could all be home with their loved ones for the holidays. They have our undying admiration, respect, thanks, & support.

    May *God/Allah/Bhudda/Ishvara/Lord Ayyappa/Nezha/Fu-Hsing/Kuklikimoku/India/Ganesh/Ukulunkulu/Danbhala-Wedo bless & protect you.

    *My apologies for all omissions.

  • david

    A very sad day for America. Instead of going in the direction that makes nations great, we are headed in a direction of defeat. History has proven this so.
    “Special rights and privileges” for people who have unnatural sexual habits. What a badge of honor for Pres. Obama. Be forewarned!! This nation has dishonored a Holy God and do not think for one minute He has not taken notice of this.

  • Beverly

    Just heard that members of Congress have come to a SCALED-DOWN agreement, which will help a few of the 911 First Responders.

    SCALED-DOWN?

    SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! Call yourselves Americans?

    Ask yourselves WW*RD?

    After the next terrorist attack, (the epicenter could very well be the main homes of everyone who thinks that national security isn’t important, that emergency responders are expendable, & not necessary – could happen Christmas Eve), good luck to anyone who needs help. Knowing what we now know, it would be foolish for you to hope for help of any kind.

    Okay, you selfish, heartless, ruthless REPUBLICANS, YOU & your family members, may be the next victims of terrorist bombs, planes, etc.. Don’t expect any help from anyone else, because you certainly won’t get it. You & your family can lie bleeding, for all we care. You’re on your own. We all know who you are, & what you’re like.

    JUST REMEMBER, WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. When this all comes full circle, (& IT WILL), you’ll rue the day you were born.

    “WHATSOEVER YOU DO TO THE LEAST OF THESE, MY BRETHEREN, YOU DO ALSO TO ME.” (Jesus has an exceptionally good memory.)

    *Rudy Giuliani

  • millard_fillmore

    “I think it would be useful if people could review the actual religious beliefs of our founding fathers and relize that many of the most influential leaders were Deists, rather than Christians.

    Posted by Ronald Maine”
    __

    Many of them were also slave-owneres. And your point is?

    BTW, Deism and Christian belief are not mutually exclusive. I just fail to understand what exactly is the point in trying to downplay any Christian beliefs the founding fathers had, and how exactly is that relevant to us today. No one who is against repeal of DADT is arguing on the basis of the beliefs of founding fathers. So I find your argument somewhat of a non sequitur and thus, irrelevant.

  • Jim in Omaha

    People have died because gays with certain integral skills were kicked out of the military. No one has ever died because they had to sleep or shower in the same room as a gay person of the same sex. It’s really that simple.

    Would you rather have a more effective military or a weaker one with more comfortable homophobes?

  • http://None Brian C. Russo

    Dear Mr. Ashbrook,

    I was wondering if you might consider doing a show about the looming “crisis” of the dollar being replaced as the world’s reserve currency. According to an article I recently read, if this happens (and the article gives plenty of evidence it will) the effect of this will be drastic in a social/economic sense. I am not one to believe doomsday predictions, but I would love to hear an airing of this issue to understand if this is a real pending problem, or something that can be ignored. I will happily send you the article if you wish. Thank you.

    Brian C. Russo

  • Paul

    Why are we freaking out about this? The brass isn’t going to say, “here combat brigade, we’re giving you a couple of Homosexuals. Play nice.”

    The only thing that is changing is that you can’t be discharged for it. That’s it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.zapen David Zapen in Miami FL (WLRN)

    First, please call it Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Don’t Pursue; John McCain ignored the third phrase when he was muttering about “that’s not the policy.” Second, what happens when outed gays come up against high-ranking proselytizers of fundamental Protestant Christianity such as those found in the Air Force? Third, the military will regain or keep thousands of service members; what percentage is that in high-demand fields like linguists? Maybe SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE will play back their Clinton-era sketch imagining brave gay soldiers in the Civil War. Republicans wanted these unwise wars and overstretched the military; Democrats have now put back some of the service members needed badly after the U.S. occupied Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union. If gays are immoral because of the Bible, is shellfish likewise? Is genocide acceptable because of King Saul’s sin of sparing King Agog the Amalekite, ancestor of Haman the foe of Queen Esther?

  • http://hocusfocusstudio@hotmail.com Mike Cummings

    Why isn’t the hazzing practice of “teabagging” (hanging one’s testicles in another soldier’s face) between “straight” soldiers talked about here. I would call that sexual assault. It seems to me that if soldiers are afraid of gay men checking out their asses in the shower, they might want to reconsider this rather bizarre practice.

  • http://hocusfocusstudio.net Mike Cummings

    @millard_fillmore, The reason it is apropos to mention the founding fathers’ belief system is that the Right (Cons) constantly use it to justify arguments that cannot be substantiated by fact. As in, “The founding fathers were Christians therefore we are a Christian nation and must follow the dictates of the Bible.”

    I don’t see the problem in unraveling this bit of fiction.

  • Robert Hagedorn

    Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

  • Mikey

    I’m anticipating that rents in NY’s Chelsea and West Village and San Francisco’s Castro District will fall precipitously as young gays surge to enlist in the military and these fashionable neighborhoods will become affordable for heterosexual people.

  • Pancake in McAdenville, NC

    I’m not one to follow orders unquestioningly. Anyone who has such standards or aspires to them should not join the military, regardless of sexual orientation or habit.
    Finding oneself LGBT is hard enough to work through without having to become a killing machine. War is obsolete except as a profit center for the Oligarchy. The budgetary drag on our society confirms it. Without the need to prepare boys (and girls) for war I imagine sports, video games and formal education would be very different. WE still suffer civil perversions lingering from the Cold War. We need not remain the hierarchical sadistic culture we are today. Survival needs dictate we co-operate, not compete for the Hell of it and generate more hate. It is as much a shame when a gay soldier kills needlessly as when a straight soldier does it. (Sometimes “Thank you for your service” actually means “Thank you for murdering those lesser ones, those foreigners, who are not like us.”)
    Anyway, good riddance to DADT because Silence Equals Death.

  • JP

    I just caught your show regarding homosexuals in the military.

    2 points.

    1) we as a country need to stop classifying people. Look at how far out of wack it’s gone with people’s ethnic descendants – African-American, Asian-American, etc. etc. Keep it simple and focus on important things. If they are born here, THEY ARE AMERICANS, don’t dilute someone’s privilege of being part of the greatest nation on the planet by hy-phen-a-ting their ci-ti-zen-ship!

    2) Your “wicken” caller that said America is not a Christian country??? What??? I was surprised by the caller but even more surprised that didn’t jump all over her. You really should have stood up on that garbage and set her straight! America IS a CHRISTIAN country – go back and check out the founding fathers…

  • Ron Marsh

    In ancient Greece there was a contingent of soldiers who were know as “The Invincibles.”

    This group of one-hundred soldiers was unlike any other in that it was made up of fifty homosexual couples. They were the elite force of the day. When an enemy was engaged, each soldier fought side by-side next to his own. Apparently that emotional alliance made them the force to beat.

    It would be interesting if our nation investigated this principle. Could we have at our hands a tactical advantage, using gay adult male soldiers in bonded couples, to overwhelm an enemy that was less enlightened?

  • Don A.

    For equality, if gays can room with gays, won’t men be allowed to room with women?

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Aren’t any guys going to step up and say what the Governor of Massachusetts said when this issue came up last, which is that he and his wife and two grown daughters (one being lesbian) have “managed” to share bathroom facilities, and haven’t other families?
    By the way, it seems to me the most critical of the same-sex butts would be those who are competing with. That is, a dorm full of adolescent girls, anyway (my own experience, will have endless appraising of how did X have the luck to draw such an intoxicating feature and how can I acquire that. Men compete too. Not by ignoring each other.
    If we thought of ourselves as unregulated animals, we wouldn’t have such scripted comings-of-age, with such huge amounts of literature, soap operas, movies, etc., telling us how behavior happens. If even so, you are confused, the military might be an option. They probably even have behavior manuals.

  • Jack reacher

    Im worried about living with the gays, not combat. Sleeping in the barracks and showering is goin to be weird

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Jack, don’t you think you’ve been sleeping and showering with gays all along? And don’t you suppose they’ll continue to keep their sexual preferences to themselves? People tend to figure out “these things” about their comrades “when they’re ready,” and unless a bunch of people are determined to make someone miserable and uncomfortable and sacrifice the cohesion of the unit, then they’re not going to force awareness where it doesn’t need to go. There are plenty of (other) things that people DO need to be aware of, without delay.

  • DF

    Amanda, thank you for your succinct and frighteningly overlooked (dismissed) inquiry. I am compelled to reiterate it: Why is this even an issue? Why is discrimination legal (in a land where the population in question is considered a fellow human-being…as opposed to 3/4 human, let’s say)?

  • Jane

    I just have to say that hearing people discuss ideas of separate bathrooms and or living facilities gives me, a white lesbian, just the tiniest hint of how dehumanizing our country has been to African Americans.

    Is our country really at this level? We are human beings, before race, before gender, before orientation, and we should treat each other as fellow human beings.

  • Slipstream

    Bring on the lawyers.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 22, 2014
Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II heroism.

 
Jul 22, 2014
Smoke rises after an Israeli shelling at the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014. The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signaled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, while Israel's defense minister pledged to keep fighting "as long as necessary," raising new doubt about the highest-level mediation mission in two weeks. (AP)

The escalated Gaza offensive. We’ll get the views from both sides and the latest developments.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

More »
Comment
 
Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

More »
Comment
 
Future Radio Interns Of America: On Point Wants YOU!
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

On Point needs interns for the fall. Could YOU be one of them?

More »
2 Comments