Thursday, December 23, 2010

DADT, Ten Years Ago

Now that the offensive and moronic DADT policy has been repealed, it's time to revisit a Salon panel discussion held ten years ago.

Charles Moskos, the late Northwestern sociologist, tried to defend DADT by saying things like "That's just asking for trouble. How do we do it with men and women? It doesn't work there. We're having all kinds of cases, including as the women say, too many false accusations. Let's just muddle through the way we are with "don't ask, don't tell." It's much easier. I think the gender stuff is hard enough to deal with and to replicate that with sexual orientation just makes life too much trouble."

He also said, in Lingua Franca, that "I should not be forced to shower with a woman. I should not be forced to shower with a gay."

Here is the comment I left ten years ago, which is still visible:

Your panel discussion on gays in the military was remarkable in that it did not even mention the experiences of other countries. Canada, for example, successfully integrated gays in the military some years ago, and the UK is now slated to follow the same path. Brigadier General Daniel E. Munro, the director general for personnel policy in the Canadian Forces, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, "We would not have been able to prove that [homosexuality] had that deleterious effect on cohesion and morale that everyone talked about. Basically, we realized that we didn't have the evidentiary foundation ... It just wasn't there, I mean, you can't use the old cohesion and morale arguments just based on folklore. You have to be able to prove this stuff." If only U.S. military officials could speak with such honesty!


James Cranch said...

I agree that the DADT policy was utterly reprehensible.

Call me a hippy, but I can't help wondering whether the ideal way to bring about equality would be to ban everyone alike from serving in the armed forces.

Barry said...

Long overdue.

It always seemed perfectly clear to me that the only constitutional and ethical policy was WGS ("Who Gives a S...".

Corey said...

It is amazing read comments against the decision to repeal DADT and blame Obama for it when the American Congress and Senate were the ones who voted on it.

crf said...

Corey: what you observed is why it took so long to repeal ...