Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DADT-repeal report has recommendations—and fuzzy math
News update Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2010-12-08

This article shared 4928 times since Wed Dec 8, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent mixed signals Nov. 30, in releasing the Pentagon's long-awaited study about how to implement repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) . He said repeal "can and should be done," but he urged Congress to consider the views of all-male combat units who expressed concern about negative consequences. He said the concerns of those combat units were "not an insurmountable barrier" to repealing the ban on openly gay people in the military, but said the military should be given "sufficient time" to exercise "an abundance of care and preparation" in rolling out that repeal. And neither he nor any other top Pentagon official were willing to give even a vague estimate of how much time would be sufficient.

But in a statement released Nov. 30, President Obama urged the Senate to act "as soon as possible," saying he is "absolutely confident" troops "will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known."

The president reportedly spoke to Republican and Democratic leaders about DADT during a meeting at the White House Nov. 29 to discuss a number of issues. Details of those discussions were not available.

Gates' remarks and the report released by the Pentagon Nov. 30 on how best to implement the repeal of DADT will provide both advocates and opponents of repeal plenty of political ammunition once the Senate takes up the issue sometime this month.

The 256-page study is called the Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The report includes 20 pages of recommendations, presented in essay form, and 112 pages discussing and illustrating the results of surveys conducted of servicemembers and their families. Most media reports focused on the survey results, but the recommendations have, perhaps, the greatest importance for the LGBT community. The most significant of the recommendations include:

—issuing "an extensive set of new or revised standards of conduct" for servicemembers while in uniform, including for such matters as "public displays of affection," dress and appearance, and harassment, and that those standards "apply to all Service members, regardless of sexual orientation;"

—that military law not add sexual orientation "alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin as a class eligible for various diversity programs or complaint resolution processes." Instead, the report recommends the Department of Defense "make clear that sexual orientation may not, in and of itself, be a factor in accession, promotion, or other personnel decision-making." Complaints regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation would be addressed through "mechanisms" available for complaints other than those involving race, color, sex, religion, or national origin—" namely, the chain of command…and other means as may be determined by the Services."

—repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to the extent it prohibits consensual sodomy, regardless of whether same-sex or heterosexual;

—amend the code to "ensure sexual orientation-neutral application" with regards to sexual offenses. For instance Article 134, prohibiting adultery, would be rewritten to include a married female servicemember having sex with another woman who was not her spouse;

—no separate housing or bathroom facilities for gay or lesbian servicemembers and no assignments of sleeping or housing facilities based on sexual orientation "except that commanders should retain the authority to alter… assignments on an individualized, case-by-case basis, in the interest of maintaining morale, good order, and discipline, and consistent with performance of mission;

—no revision "at this time" of regulations to add same-sex committed relationships to the current definition of "family members" or "dependents" in regards to military benefits, such as housing, but to revisit the issue at a later date

—review benefits "that may, where justified from a policy, fiscal, and feasibility standpoint," be revised to enable a servicemember to designate "whomever he or she wants as a beneficiary;"

—evaluate requests for re-entry into the military from those servicemembers discharged under DADT "according to the same criteria as other former Service members seeking re-entry;" and

—no release from obligations of service for military personnel who oppose serving alongside gay and lesbian service members.

The survey part of the report indicates:

—69 percent of servicemembers believed they had already served with someone they knew to be gay;

—70 percent to 76 percent said repeal would have "a positive, a mixed, or no effect" on task cohesion; and 67 percent to 78 percent said it would have positive, mixed or no effect on "social cohesion;"

—92 percent of those servicemembers who said they served alongside a gay person said they did not consider the gay servicemember's presence to have created any problems for unit cohesion; and

—26 percent said they would take a shower at a different time than a gay servicemember.

The report noted that the responses of Marines Combat Arms units ( fighting forces on the ground ) were "more negative" than the forces overall concerning how gay servicemembers would affect unit cohesion. Overall, 21 percent said gays in the unit would negatively affect their unit's readiness, but while 43.5 percent of Marine Combat Arms said so.

Both Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen also underscored a need to move slowly and carefully to implement repeal, should Congress approve it. In doing so, Gates highlighted a finding that between 40 percent and 60 percent of all-male combat arms and special operations units predicted a negative effect of repeal on unit cohesion. He said this finding was a concern for him and for the Chiefs of the various branches of service. And he urged Congress to consider this in its deliberations.

But Gates said he did not consider that finding to be an "insurmountable barrier" and said he does believe repeal "can and should be done without posing a serious threat to military readiness."

Even before the report was officially released at 2:15 Tuesday, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said it expected the report to be "overwhelmingly positive" and "one of the best tools that repeal advocates can use" in the lame duck Congress.

The report will be the subject of two days of hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3. Republican opponents of repeal, led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are expected to challenge the legitimacy of the study and to tweak out information within it to support their position against repealing the law.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had been considered a potential vote for repeal, surprised many over the weekend when he began to parrot a criticism of the study that McCain raised in recent days —that the Pentagon studied "how" to repeal DADT, not "whether" to repeal it.

Gates rebuffed this criticism previously and again during today's press conference.

"This report does provide a sound basis for making decisions on this law," said Gates. "It's hard for me to imagine you could come up with a more comprehensive approach." More than 400,000 servicemembers responded to a survey, as did thousands of family members. And Mullen said data "is very compelling."

But Graham also told Fox News Sunday Nov. 28 that he does not believe there is "anywhere near [ the necessary number of ] votes" to repeal DADT "on the Republican side."

Democrats do not really need Republican votes to repeal DADT; it takes only 51 and, with independents, they have 58. But many took Graham's remarks to suggest that Republicans would stand together as a party to block the Senate from even considering the Defense Authorization bill that contains the DADT repeal language.

"I think we'll be united in the lame duck," said Graham of Republican senators. "… So I think in a lame-duck setting, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is not going anywhere."

And that's where the uncertainty lies: Will Democrats have 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster in order to begin deliberation on the FY 2011 Defense Authorization bill?

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said he expects McCain and others to try and thwart repeal. He said he was hopeful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be able to reach an agreement with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on some number of amendments either party could offer on the annual Defense Authorization bill which contains the repeal language. Among those amendments, said Sarvis, will almost certainly be one to strip the repeal language from the bill, but Sarvis said he does not believe there are enough votes to do that.

Sarvis also made clear during a telephone press conference with reporters Nov. 30 that his group is not going to put all its eggs in the lame-duck basket.

Sarvis said his organization would—"early next week"—file at least one lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco to continue pressure for eliminating the ban on openly gay people in the military. He said the group would likely file two more lawsuits soon after that. Each lawsuit, he said, would represent the interests of different groups affected by the law—those on active duty; those who have been discharged and seek reinstatement; and those who would like to join the service.

Gates and Obama have both spoken out against lawsuits currently pending in the 9th Circuit seeking to challenge DADT: one from the Log Cabin Republicans ( challenging the law on its face ) and one from Air Force nurse Margaret Witt ( challenging the law as applied ) . Both have been successful, thus far.

In an interview with ABC News, released Nov. 9, Gates said he thinks the end of DADT was "inevitable."

"My hope, frankly," he said, "is that…if we can make the case that having this struck down by the courts is the worst outcome, because it gives us no flexibility, that people will think I'm called a realist, a pragmatist. I'm looking at this realistically. This thing is gonna go, one way or the other."

In the end, it may take more than just one showdown vote in the Senate. In addition to needing 60 votes to begin debate on the defense spending bill, SLDN's Sarvis said Tuesday he expects Senate Democrats will need 60 votes to force a vote an end to debate as well. Then a final version of the bill must be hammered out in a House-Senate conference committee and returned to both chambers for a final vote.

�2010 Keen News Service


This article shared 4928 times since Wed Dec 8, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Chuck Schumer, anti-marriage bill, drag event back on, military doctor 2024-02-23
- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)—and, as a result, several LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations dropped their opposition to it, The Hill ...


Gay News

Col. Jennifer Pritzker comments on military museum move 2024-02-13
- Local transgender philanthropist Col. Jennifer Pritzker commented to Windy City Times about the impending move of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library (PMML), which she founded in 2003, to Wisconsin. "At the end of the day, ...


Gay News

Pritzker Military Library to close in July, move to Wisconsin 2024-02-08
- On Feb. 7, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library announced that it is closing its downtown Chicago location on July 27 and moving to an archives center in Wisconsin later this year, according to The Chicago ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Paris Johnson 2023-12-29
- Paris Johnson, 29, of Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, passed away unexpectedly Nov. 28. He would have celebrated his 30th birthday Dec. 20. Born into a military family in Sacramento, California, Paris moved often in his youth, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Women's college, banned books, military initiative, Oregon 2023-12-29
- After backlash regarding a decision to update its anti-discrimination policy and open enrollment to some transgender applicants, a Catholic women's college in Indiana will return to its previous admission policy, per The National Catholic Reporter. In ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music awards, military film, Tom of Finland, Yo-Yo Ma, 'Harley Quinn' 2023-11-17
Video below - Brothers Osborne—a duo that includes gay brother TJ Osborne—won Vocal Duo of the Year for the sixth time at the recent CMA Awards, per a media release. Backstage, TJ told reporters, "I did not expect us ...


Gay News

AVER celebrates LGBTQ+ veterans at annual Veterans Day dinner 2023-11-12
- Writer and historian Owen Keehnen was keynote speaker at the the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) Chicago Chapter's 32nd annual LGBTQ Veterans Day Banquet held on Veterans Day at Ann Sather restaurant on Belmont. Keehnen ...


Gay News

South Korean court upholds military 'sodomy law' 2023-10-28
- For the fourth time, South Korea's constitutional court has upheld two anti-LGBTQ+ laws—including the country's notorious military "sodomy law," The Guardian reported. By a vote of five to four, the court confirmed the constitutionality of ar ...


Gay News

WORLD Couple's win, attack in Beirut, German military, gay ski week 2023-09-08
- In Strasbourg, France, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Bulgaria violated the rights of a same-sex couple (Darina Koilova and Lili Babulkova) by not recognizing their marriage abroad, RFE/RL reported. Rights groups lauded the ...


Gay News

'We've had a ball': Prominent activists Jim Darby and Patrick Bova celebrate 60th anniversary 2023-09-07
- One of the first couples to be legally married in Illinois is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Jim Darby and Patrick Bova fell in love decades before they became the lead plaintiffs in Lambda Legal's ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Military drama, Janelle Monae, Conan Gray, Dylan Mulvaney, Whoopi 2023-08-31
- The LGBTQ+ military drama Eismayer (from Dark Star Pictures and Golden Girls Film) will be out in theaters on Oct. 6, and on DVD and Digital on Oct. 10, per a press release. The plot is ...


Gay News

FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act would undercut equality, Modern Military Assoc of America comments 2023-07-14
--From a press release - Washington D.C. - Anti-equality House members are using the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act to pass dangerous amendments targeting healthcare, gender-affirming care, education, and LGBTQ+ friendly services and resources. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Pride celebrations, puberty blockers, British military, killer sentenced 2023-06-16
- Gay Pride Buenos Aires is slated to take place Oct. 27-Nov. 4, according to GayTravel4U.com. More than 30 organizations and groups host activities that will begin a week before the parade (which is on Nov. 4). ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT War in the 21st Century: mercenaries, private military companies, private armies 2023-05-20
- In 2022, $407 billion of the Pentagon budget—representing half of that year's funding —were obligated to private contractors, of which a significant number were Private Military Companies (PMCs) involved in ...


Gay News

Modern Military Association of America appoints interim Executive Director 2023-05-18
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, (May 17, 2023) — LGBTQ+ military nonprofit Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) announced today that nonprofit management expert Rachel Branaman, will step into the role of interim executive ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.