Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

Pentagon: Segregation of Gay Troops 'Absolutely Off the Table'

Igor Volsky at The Wonk Room spoke with Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell to further clarify some elements of the working group survey on DADT sent out to 400,000 troops yesterday.

Morrell  On "facilities adjustments" and claims by others that this means segregation:

"...we’re asking these questions because in our engagements with the force thus far, this has been an area of some concern. Now we need to test it to see if that holds for—if it really reflects the concerns of the force, and which members of the force. Is it older members? Is it younger members? Are they, you know—which ones? And, and then along with this information, the working group will make some recommendations about how to deal with those concerns. It could be, as I said, who knows? This could be dealt with through education programs, through training programs, or it may require 'facilities adjustments.' But no one, no one is considering 'separate but equal' bathing or living facilities for you know, gay and straight troops. That’s just not ever a consideration. Absolutely off the table."

Morrell told CBS yesterday that by "facilities adjustments" he meant things like shower curtains.

On what happens if the survey turns up a lot of people who don't like gays:

"Well we’re gonna have to figure out how we overcome that. Whether it’s through additional training or education or recruiting techniques – I can’t tell you what the working group may or may not come up with. This is not in any way intended for us to find potential landmines that would cause us not to proceed with a repeal, but rather is to edify us about the kinds of challenges associated with repeal that would need to be dealt with post-repeal. I guess what I don’t understand here is why you and some of these others who are writing on this issue can’t take what we say at face value."

More at The Wonk Room.

My larger round-up on reaction to the troop surveys HERE.

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  1. "I guess what I don’t understand here is why you and some of these others who are writing on this issue can’t take what we say at face value."

    Because you and the government that funds you have systematically discriminated against us in the most remarkably heinous ways imaginable for decades. That's why.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jul 13, 2010 1:56:26 PM

  2. Morrell is the poor sap, often sent out with few facts, but the worm ever willing to turn in whatever direction his masters order him to.

    MORRELL May 19, 2009: Nope, no talks going on about ending the ban between the White House and Pentagon. Nada. Zilch.

    MORRELL May 21, 2009: Girlfriend! OF COURSE, they're talking! And playing dress up, and listening to Justin Bieber CDs, and doing each other's hair and....

    IF they are ABSOLUTELY not considering ANY type of segregation why ask 400,000 troops if they believe they could only succeed in combat with an ALL HETEROSEXUAL unit?

    IF they're NOT even CONSIDERING facility changes, why did Chair of the Joint Chiefs ADM Mike Mullen say to the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 2nd that:

    "even infrastructure changes to be made certainly seem plausible"?

    IF Morrell is telling the truth and it's just a matter of the Great American Shower Curtain Gap then it is time for every gay American to show their patriotism and enlist in my campaign to PUT A CURTAIN IN EVERY SHOWER from the "Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli; we'll be there, followed by more; farewell to college joys; for where’er we go, you will always know that a shower curtain is waiting for you!"

    Share with some of OUR people some of those millions of taxpayer dollars they're spending! Nate Berkus has his own line of shower curtains! GIVE HIM THE CONTRACT and Obama First Fan Oprah could dedicate a week to "Military Makeover" shows featuring Nate. And everyone in the audience could go home with their own Nate Curtain. WIN-WIN!

    For the record, overall they're just trying to fan the flames of homophobia with such questions in the survey. 200,000 of them are being sent to people in the reserves and National Guard who might not know that even in hell holes like Iraq and Afghanistan most troops use showers that are slickly set up in mobile trailers built just for those purposes ...not "open bay showers" but ONE-person shower stalls WITH curtains. Urinals in these trailers have the usual side "modesty panels" separating them, and the doors on the toilet stalls are almost floor-to-ceiling.

    In addition, some RETIRED military were picked for the survey. Why the fuck are they being asked about situations that they will never be in again.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 13, 2010 2:28:38 PM

  3. Not to be snarky, but isn't spelling Jeff "Geoff" kind of gay?

    Posted by: Chad | Jul 13, 2010 2:39:31 PM

  4. This whole thing is ludicrous and childish, and it reflects the irrational prejudice against homosexuals of our military and society.

    These men are in the military. They can't handle the possibility of being checked out by other men without a shower curtain. What are they going to do if a bullet is coming towards their head. Call their mommy?

    As a country, we need to grow out of this immaturity fast, or our real problems will get worse.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jul 13, 2010 2:46:08 PM

  5. I was in the military, Navy to be exact, and we always had shower curtains, except in boot camp, where the showers were group showers vice individual stalls. I also laugh at some of these politicians and others, who were never in the military who think that all barracks are 1940's style 'open air' type, when in all actuality, they are like dorm rooms with 2 or 3 to a room (with a shower and curtain).

    Posted by: CB | Jul 13, 2010 2:50:30 PM

  6. The whole issue is of course absurd, since gays are already there. I guess you need a shower curtain and a private room if you know who's gay, but not if you don't know.

    And the $4.5 M poll is a homophobic unscientific mess, no matter who gets it.

    As a lot of posts have already said, wonder what a racist unscientific poll about blacks in the military would have come up with in 1950?

    The whole thing is appalling in every way. Obama's feet should be held to the fire over all of it, particularly the survey.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jul 13, 2010 5:01:24 PM

  7. When I was in the Air Force in 1971 to 78 for the first year once you reached your duty station you were required to take race relations over the course of a few sessions, where it was made clear any negative attitude toward blacks was unacceptable. I see no reason the same can't be done.

    Posted by: James PoppingaJ | Jul 13, 2010 6:34:36 PM

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