Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Joint Chiefs chair says gays and lesbians should serve military openly

As reported in today's L.A. Times:
Reporting from Washington - The nation's top military officer said Tuesday that he supported allowing gays to openly serve -- adding a powerful voice to the deeply controversial issue as the Pentagon announced steps to prepare for possibly ending its 17-year ban on homosexuality.

Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military would follow the 1993 law known as "don't ask, don't tell." Nonetheless, he said, his personal views were firm.

"Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do," Mullen said.

His views are particularly important in the debate. It was one of his predecessors, Gen. Colin L. Powell, who played a major role in derailing then- President Clinton's failed bid to allow gays to serve openly in the military. In 1993, Powell called the policy a "healthy compromise." But in December 2008, he said the ban should be reviewed.


Malcolm+ said...

The Canadian military removed all restrictions on gays and lesbians in the early 1990s. Our version of "don't ask, don't tell" might best be rendered as "tell me if you want, I don't give a rat's backside."

My military occupation included a significant number of gay men and (especially) lesbians - even before the policy change in the 1990s. That includes some of the finest officers I know.

Among the very best staff officers I ever had work for me was a transgendered (M-F) woman.

The restriction of gays and lesbians in the military is boneheaded stupidity, pure and simple.

Jim said...

Yeah as anyone who ever conquered Sparta knows, only heterosexuals can fight. Oh wait, no one ever did...

Most of NATO abandoned the silly exclusion rules years ago. The still function. Time for us to catch up!


Athanasian said...

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an executive order from the Commander-in-Chief, and provides command guidance on how investigations into alleged homosexual activity should be conducted, among other things.

Repealing DADT, however, will not result in a change to military's general prohibition against homosexual acts. Sodomy will remain a punishable offense under Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which can only be amended by an act of Congress.

Have you heard of anyone lobbying for Congress to amend the UCMJ on this issue? I haven't.

Just wondering if maybe you'd heard of something that I'd missed. I'm puzzled that the folks who are advocating for change on this issue are focusing their attention on the Executive branch, rather than on Congress.



It's a both/and.

HRC has info on the pending legislation:


pasadenapio said...

Smart man.