Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby RaharuAharu » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:10 pm

@,@

And from Faux News no less!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12 ... y-gay-ban/

Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly, Sends Bill to Obama's Desk
WASHINGTON -- In a landmark vote, the Senate on Saturday ended the Clinton-era ban on gays serving openly in the military, marking a major triumph for President Obama, liberals and the gay community.

The final vote to end the Pentagon's 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy was 65-31, drawing support from eight Republicans.

The bill now goes to the White House for Obama's signature. He is expected to sign the bill into law next week, a senior White House aide told Fox News.

Once the law is repealed, gays will be openly accepted by the military for the first time in U.S. history, and can acknowledge their sexual orientation without fear of being kicked out. More than 13,500 service members have been dismissed under the 1993 law.

After two failed attempts this year to repeal the policy, the third time proved to be the charm for Congress. The bill passed the House this week in a 250-175 vote, and cleared a final Senate hurdle earlier Saturday in a 63-33 vote, clearing the way for final passage.


Obama praised the Senate, saying the policy undermines U.S. national security and violates "the very ideals" that members of the armed services risk their lives to defend.

Ending the ban will mean that "thousands of patriotic Americans" won't be forced to leave the military "despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay," Obama said.

Many thousands more won't be "asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love," he said.

The eight Republicans who joined Democrats in passing the repeal were: Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, John Ensign of Nevada and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Voinovich said in a statement that he had vowed to keep an open mind until the release earlier this month of the Pentagon's report on the impact of overturning the ban.

"Having reviewed the report, I accept its findings and Secertary Gates' recommendation and reassurance that the repeal will be implemented when the battle effectiveness of our forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed," he said.

Supporters of repealing the ban applauded the repeal.

"Today's vote is the critical strike against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and toward creating a path that could end in lesbian, gay and bisexual people being able to serve openly, honestly, and to great benefit of our country," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We celebrate this important victory and thank all the senators who supported fairness today. We are on the brink of making history."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote "closes the door on a fundamental unfairness in our nation."

"When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will begin opening the doors of our armed forces to all patriotic Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation," she said.

The passage delivers a resounding victory to Obama, who made repeal of the 17-year-old law a campaign promise in 2008.

It also is a win for congressional Democrats who have struggled in the final hours of the lame-duck session to overcome Republican objections, and for gay rights groups who said Saturday's vote was their best shot at changing the law because a new GOP-dominated Congress will take control in January.

Under the bill, the president and his top military advisers -- the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- are required to certify to Congress that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' ability to fight. After that, 60 days must pass before any changes go into effect.

A small but vocal group of Republicans led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona said the law shouldn't be changed during wartime.

"We send these young people into combat," said McCain. "We think they're mature enough to fight and die. I think they're mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness."

But the Democratic push for repeal was strengthened by the release of a major Pentagon study that concluded gays could serve openly without affecting combat effectiveness. The assessment found that two-thirds of troops predicted little impact if the law is repealed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Nick » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:24 am

IT JUST GOT BETTER
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P.S.: What is with senators having funny names? Olympia Snowe of Maine? That just sounds completely unreal. John Ensign? Is he Dick Armey's understudy?
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Idiot Glee » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:31 am

Important!

This was not overturned by the courts, this was repealed by the legislature. This is much better than just declaring it unconstitutional (and the Roberts Court might not...), this means that it's not the courts finding a law untenable, but the peoples direct representative in Washington.

Discrimination is not over, or even close, but this is better than just having it declared wrong; this is as though instead of a court finding against segregation in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Board just stopped segregation on it's own.

Plainly, this is AWESOME! ^v^
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Nick » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:16 am

Idiot Glee wrote:Important!

This was not overturned by the courts, this was repealed by the legislature.


Yes! Although it was great to see the supreme court performing one of their key functions, this is a much larger change. Simply by involving more people voting it's a much larger change. At the very least, 65 powerful politicians have decided that gays are human enough to have the honor of defending our country, although we can all hope that they truly do represent their states in becoming more accepting.

On top of that Obama did something I voted for him for! He didn't almost do it. He didn't do it half-way or even mostly do it. He did it! This changes how I feel about voting for him in 2012. I'm sure other people are rethinking it too. He needed this. He rode into office on a wave of support from people who believe that America is, or should be, the land of diversity and equality.

Oddly enough, I was just thinking that if he also manages to repeal DOMA before 2012 then I might not vote for him again. Of course it depends on who he is running against in the primaries. If Clinton wants to take another stab at running for president, then I might vote for her instead.

If Obama doesn't repeal DOMA then I might vote him back into office in 2012 just to give him more time to do that. I hope he doesn't realize this. He doesn't seem like savvy enough in the political game to delay repealing DOMA* just to get himself re-elected, but there's always a chance that that's an act to make him seem more appealing than the bickering childish senators and congress-people.

This all makes his compromise on the tax cuts seem less stupid in retrospect. Maybe it gave him just enough Republican good-will to get DADT repealed. Is he steadfastly standing by his principles of compromise, acceptance, and equality? Or has he compromised his principles in a last-ditch effort to appease our new Tea-Publican overlords? Or was this all an attempt to appear to be the compromising moderate reach-across-the-isle political outsider he things the public wants (and which the public might actually want)?

Don't ask me. I dropped out of my A.P. Politics class in highschool.

*Not as if repealing DOMA would be so easy in the first place.
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby draque » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:51 am

As predicted, the army is now ruined. Now that all members of the army are required by law to be gay, sequin supplies are dangerously low, enemy combatants feel vaguely uncomfortable about us killing them, planes are spontaneously falling from the sky, etc. You were warned, people! In all seriousness though, I am really looking forward to hearing some of the hyper-conservative responses to this decision. I always have a perverse taste for them in terms of humor. :3
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby strange_person » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:02 pm

draque wrote:In all seriousness though, I am really looking forward to hearing some of the hyper-conservative responses to this decision.

McCain's quote up there is just a vague appeal to the emotional maturity of the soldiers in question. If anybody else said the same thing, it'd be an argument in favor of the repeal.
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:48 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... tions_news

Congress has repealed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but the task of lifting the ban against gays serving openly in the military would likely take months, officials said.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in a statement after the Senate voted Saturday to end the policy that he would "approach this process deliberately."

Once the change becomes law with President Barack Obama's signature, the military will need to revise policies and regulations that govern everything from leadership training to standards of conduct. And before the policy officially ends, the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must sign a letter certifying that the changes wouldn't affect military readiness.

Full repeal would take effect 60 days after that certification letter is transmitted to the congressional armed-services committees.

Mr. Gates has appointed Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, a retired Marine Corps general, to lead the Pentagon's planning effort.

A Pentagon report on the potential impact of repeal issued in late November said successful implementation would hinge in large part on leadership by commanders, who would be responsible for communicating a clear message to the ranks about the changes in policy.

The military will still have to work through a raft of changes to personnel policy. In particular, it will have to make provisions to allow for the reinstatement of those discharged under the policy.

Michelle McCluer, executive director of the National Institute of Military Justice at American University Washington College of Law, said it was rare for a person to be involuntarily discharged from the military and then be allowed to rejoin. "Making it into a process that doesn't take months and months and months, that's going to be a challenge," she said.

Some service members discharged under the policy said they planned to rejoin once the ban is fully lifted.

Anthony Bustos, an Army medic who was discharged under "don't ask" in early December, said he would seek to re-enter the military after he completes graduate study. Saturday's vote, he said, had given him an "overwhelming sense of validation."

Mr. Bustos said he started contemplating coming out after two of his friends were killed in a roadside bomb attack during his first tour in Iraq. "They were two of my best friends and they didn't know that part of my life, and I didn't tell them about it," he said. "It was a big turning point to me."

Jason Knight, a Navy linguist, is currently seeking reinstatement in the military. He has a unique insight into serving openly: He was discharged in 2005 because of his sexual orientation, but due to a paperwork snafu, he wasn't processed out under "don't ask" regulations and was placed in inactive reserve. When he was subsequently recalled to duty a year later, he decided to serve openly. The experience, he said, was positive.

"It was completely different," he said. "I wasn't lying to my superiors. I wasn't evading or misleading my superiors. It was an incredible experience."

Mr. Knight was discharged a second time after the military newspaper Stars and Stripes wrote an article about him.

Openly gay service members may face skepticism within the ranks. A major Pentagon survey of attitudes within the military found a significant minority—around 30% overall—expressed negative views about the impact of repeal. Within some branches of service, that percentage was higher. Around 45% of Marines who responded to the survey viewed the repeal as having a potentially negative effect; an even higher percentage of combat-arms Marines—around 56%—voiced negative concerns.

In a floor speech before the historic vote, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said, "I've heard from thousands— thousands—of active-duty and retired military personnel. I've heard from them, and they are saying, 'Sen. McCain, it isn't broke, don't fix it.' "

In a statement issued Sunday night, Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said, "As stated during my testimony before Congress in September and again during hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, the Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy."
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Monocheres » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:48 am

Effect on non-combat positions: zero. When it's just a job like any other job, I think most people are cool with it these days.

Effect on battlefield combat positions: remains to be seen. I'm assuming the chain of command can exert enough discipline to stop any overt acts of childish hazing or malicious harassment. The real question, as always, is morale. You absolutely need to be able to count on your buddies when it's life-and-death. The last thing you want is for sexual tensions or romantic involvements, or even the potential for that, to make you doubt each others' judgment. It's why they don't mix males and females in combat infantry.

The key is training, and how they go about the training. When they break you down in boot camp, level out all your differences, turn you all into grunts together, the drill sergeants are going to need to stomp on not just race, ethnicity, religion, economic status, etc., but now sexual orientation too. The goal is to get the straights and gays in the platoon to be able to laugh about it over a beer, but absolutely know they can trust each other with their lives under fire.

If they blow it and turn it into "sensitivity training", it'll be a cluster fuck. And not in a good way.
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Monocheres » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:20 am

Nick wrote:... our new Tea-Publican overlords ...


As opposed to the Starbucks Hegemony? ;-)
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Re: Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly

Postby Nick » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:58 pm

Monocheres wrote:
Nick wrote:... our new Tea-Publican overlords ...


As opposed to the Starbucks Hegemony? ;-)

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