No one asked, but I’m going to tell you it’s bullshit.

21 May

I read an article in the paper this morning, and I’m enraged.

“Though she has long wanted to be an Army doctor, Sara Isaacson says she also wants to live an honest life. So on Jan. 25, the UNC-Chapel Hill ROTC cadet handed her commander a written statement revealing that she is a lesbian. Doing so ended her military career and will likely cost her more than $79,000. That’s what she owes the federal government, which was paying for her UNC-CH schooling.”

The policy was originally known as the 1982 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, but was replaced by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under Bill Clinton in 1993. Apparently, the government has dismissed 13,500 people under this policy since 1994.Β  (Raleigh News & Observer)

I am absolutely appalled. I’ve been doing research on this policy, trying to figure out the reasoning behind it. The original Separation Policy is supposed to help “maintain the high standards of conduct and performance” by giving an “orderly means” to dismiss people under the circumstances that they don’t meet the standards. It is also supposed to “maintain standards of performance and conduct through characterization of service in a system that emphasizes the importance of honorable service,” but it gives no specific idea as to why this relates to homosexuality.Β  (1982 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14)

Bill Clinton tried to repeal this Defense Directive in 1993, but was met by strong opposition, which is why he introduced the compromise of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. However, it doesn’t seem like much of a compromise. This is the reasoning it gives for the government’s right to dismiss homosexual members:

THE PRESENCE IN THE ARMED FORCES OF PERSONS WHO DEMONSTRATE A PROPENSITY OR INTENT TO ENGAGE IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTS WOULD CREATE AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE HIGH STANDARDS OF MORALE, GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE, AND UNIT COHESION THAT ARE THE ESSENCE OF MILITARY CAPABILITY. (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/dontasklaw.html.)

I’m not sure how you could characterize kicking people out of serving their country on the grounds of their sexual orientation as part of a system that “emphasizes the importance of honorable service.” There’s nothing honorable about that. Who decided that homosexuality is opposed to good order and discipline? I would argue that by causing people to lie about their lives and preventing them from listing their partners as their first of kin, the military itself disturbs the “Unit Cohesion” (which, if you’re wondering, is defined as “the bonds of trust between individual service members that makes the combat effectiveness of a military unit greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness of the individual unit members.”). How can you expect men and women to give their lives and possibly die for an institution that doesn’t recognize them as “orderly and disciplined” people? And how do the military units establish bonds of trust, when some members aren’t allowed to reveal their true identities?

Before they even join, the military defines homosexuals (& bisexuals, FYI) as an “unnacceptable risk,” yet says, “but if you don’t tell us, what we don’t know won’t hurt us.” Is that not a contradiction? If you don’t know that a person is gay, they are perfectly acceptable, and are capable of meeting all the requirements for military service. But the second they come out, they are unfit?

This is preposterous. Something must be done. I’m looking into ways to get involved. I don’t support this kind of bullshit.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “No one asked, but I’m going to tell you it’s bullshit.”

  1. Meredith May 23, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    You worded this so well.. So glad you put it out here because you are right– this is appalling. I hope this story gets a lot of exposure, forcing people in power to do something.

  2. margaretwooten May 25, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    amen. i agree with you wholeheartedly, dear friend. and you did word this beautifully.

  3. Todd June 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Just one of the many reasons why I love you. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: