'DADT' Repeal Day Extras
Unfriendly Fire author Nathaniel Frank on the end of 'DADT':
"One of the marks of equal citizenship is the ability not just to enjoy the benefits of one's country but to give back to it. As in any relationship, citizenship means give and take. But one of the most insidious -- and effective -- dimensions of the gay ban was that it deprived the world of witnessing gay people giving back, serving their country, exhibiting the same valor and self-sacrifice as their peers. That's why the right wing fixated on gays in the military -- because if the world could see that gay men and women were proud, effective warriors, and were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, it would shatter the careful apparatus of myths they'd spent generations creating, the fiction that said gay people were only interested in their own pleasure and not, in equal parts to everyone else, in the noble effort to serve the greater good. It would shatter the myth that gay people are incapable of self-sacrifice and unworthy of first-class citizenship.
The image of two gay soldiers who -- like straight soldiers -- may even form a happy, healthy couple, striding confidently across the grounds of a U.S. military base, causing no harm but no longer needing to hide, is bound to further retire that myth, to help bring the U.S. military and our society at-large, more fully into the twenty-first century. Two hundred and thirty-three years of having to hide who they are in order to serve ends today.
Anti-gay military activist Elaine Donnelly of the "Center for Military Readiness" is still trying to keep her day job: "It’s hard to know what the raison d’être for Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Effectiveness could possibly be except to hang around for a possible GOP president in 2013 who can reimpose 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' via executive order. Maybe that’s why she’s still pounding the pavement defending dead DADT."
Military academies shrug at the end of 'DADT':
In interviews at all three academies, midshipmen and cadets tell The Associated Press that the once-thorny issue of homosexuality just doesn't create the controversy it once did. Students who weren't even in their teens at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have grown up in a nation at war. They say competence and character are what matter to them — not sexual orientation.
"The United States has been ready for a long time for them to be able to serve openly, and they deserve to serve openly," said Naval Midshipman Lorenzo Santos, of King George, Va., interviewed recently in Annapolis. "They're going to do the job, the same job, just as well as anybody else, and they're going to risk their lives besides everyone else. I mean, they should be allowed to serve honorably and have no discrimination."
SLDN's Aubrey Sarvis on the end of 'DADT' and the HBO documentary:
"The repeal would not have happened without President Obama. He was determined to not repeat the mistakes of the Clinton Administration. He knew he would need a plan in place, and he knew he needed military buy-in....Most of the (2012 GOP) candidates say they would repeal the repeal. A new president could force the military to change the regulations, and we would go back to a post-Don't Ask, Don't Tell (when gays and lesbian were outright banned from the armed services.)"
The Good Men Project on the end of 'DADT' and the tangible impact on soldiers serving overseas: “'When you are unable to tell people who is important in your life, it prevents you from building the necessary bonds with people around you. You’re closing off this incredibly important part of your life. How are you expected to be a whole person, and wholly there, when you have to cut off an arm?' The guys on the base were supposed to rely on each other unconditionally in moments of extreme danger, but John felt like the pressure caused by hiding their relationship jeopardized Ben’s well-being. 'It’s stressful to begin with, let’s be honest, but I think it would have been a lot less stressful if we could have been open, if there was less bigotry around him.'“