Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brody's Notes... Reactions To DADT Report

"Today's report confirms that a strong majority of our military men and women and their families-more than two thirds-are prepared to serve alongside Americans who are openly gay and lesbian. This report also confirms that, by every measure-from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness-we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security. And for the first time since this law was enacted 17 years ago today, both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have publicly endorsed ending this policy.
With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all. The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation. Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally. Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known."
"This thorough and comprehensive report makes clear to lawmakers and the American people once and for all that the U.S. military is capable of handling the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The questions are now answered and the debate is now settled," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "It's now up to the Senate to bring the defense authorization bill back to the floor, allow 10 to 20 amendments to be debated on each side, and get this bill passed. We have the votes now if the process is fair."
"This report definitely answers the question of the impact of DADT repeal on the military. Specifically, knowing a soldier is gay has no negative impact on readiness," said Jonathan Hopkins, former Army Captain and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We've known this for a long time. Among military members who know they've served with someone gay, 92% said that repeal would have little or no negative effect on military readiness. 69% of servicemembers who responded to the survey said they served with someone they knew or suspected was gay. "This study gets to the facts, and exposes the invented argument of 'unit cohesion' as a myth," said Hopkins. "Those who've served with gay or lesbian soldiers, Marines, or servicemembers of any stripe recognize that gay troops have – as the Pentagon report says – a 'patriotic desire to serve' as well as a 'desire to fit in, coexist, and succeed in the military environment.'""I don't want any special treatment. I just want them to take the knife out of my back so I can serve," said an anonymous gay Marine on the OutServe network.
“This issue has been studied for fifty years, including by the military itself, and the results from over twenty-two studies are uniform: open service does not harm effectiveness,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The small handful of Senators blocking repeal no longer have any fig leaves behind which to hide. The time for repeal is now.” “America’s men and women in uniform are professionals who already serve with gays and lesbians and repeal will do nothing to change their dedication to protecting our nation,” said Solmonese. “Senators who said they want to hear from military leaders and troops now have their answers. Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will allow every qualified man and woman to serve without sacrificing the high standards that have made our military great.”
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's Commentary: