Like almost every discussion on earth at present, the topic of gays serving in the military is convoluted. The level of false information surrounding this debate is staggering and people have to decide if it is due to mass gross ignorance or intentional misdirection on the related facts. In short, “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” bars military command from “asking about sexual orientation” absent any evidence of wrongdoing associated with military code – and bars gay service members from “telling their sexual orientation,” or serving in the open.
The policy does not make openly serving in the military legal for gays.
However, CNN Washington Bureau is reporting this morning – “Failing to repeal the law (DADT) prohibiting openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military leaves the services vulnerable to the possibility the courts will order an immediate and likely chaotic end to the policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters Friday.”
This is the opening paragraph in the CNN report and the premise upon which the discussion is being held. Gates, speaking aboard an aircraft as he traveled in the Middle East, said that "my greatest worry will be that we are at the mercy of the courts and all of the lack of predictability that that entails." Gates premise is factually incorrect from the start, on the following basis:
- Serving openly in the military as a gay individual was illegal before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
- DADT did not make open service in the military legal for gays, it made it legal to serve in the closet, not in the open.
- Repealing DADT will not make serving openly in the military legal for gays, quite the opposite - it returns the issue to long-standing military code on the matter.
- Contrary to popular belief, the civilian courts have NO constitutional authority or power over the military or military policy. Civilian judges have no authority to dictate military code.
So, the push to repeal DADT for the reasons stated makes no sense whatsoever. On this basis, one must ask, why the big push for repeal? Why is Gates worried about courts which have no such authority?
To a gay person serving or hoping to serve in the US Military, I’m sure that Gay Rights is a huge issue. But in the grander scheme of things, as a nation at war and one with many internal challenges as well, threatening the safety, security, sovereignty and stability of the USA , I’m not sure it’s our highest priority of the day.
Current national threat assessments place the risk of a terror strike on US soil over the next 30-90 days at 100%... Yet this news is missing from the CNN headlines and instead, Gay Rights take priority above the fold.
If DADT were to be repealed, long-standing military code denying gays the right to serve in the military in or out of the closet would return as the law of the land on the matter. DADT did not alter military code. It stopped the aggressive pursuit and prosecution of gays in the military, by military command. The code reads as follows:
“(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished, as a court-martial may direct.”
In other words - NO gays in the military, in the open or otherwise. Repealing DADT will NOT make openly serving in the military legal for gays. So, why are gays so anxious to repeal the Clinton era mandate, Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell?
The civilian courts have no authority over the US Military or military code. So, why is DOD Secretary Gates worried about what some judge might say on the matter?
Last but not least, how could CNN and so many others get their facts so wrong on the issue?
Do they all really want to return to open pursuit and prosecution of gays currently serving, and restrict new recruiting efforts to only heterosexual applicants? This would be the result of repealing DADT.
This thing doesn’t add up…
Congress is the only branch of government that has the constitutional authority of military oversight and Congress did not pass DADT and is refusing to review or repeal DADT at present. Neither the judicial or executive branch has any constitutional authority on the subject.
Gates is not subject to the whims of a federal judge somewhere, who hopes to press Gay Rights from the bench. Is Gates seeking the power to once again pursue and prosecute homosexual members of the military?
Why is CNN not asking any of these questions?
The decision concerning whether or not gays should be allowed to openly serve in the military must be left to experts in that specialized field who must lead young men and women in battle. Nobody else is qualified to answer the question, nor do they even have a dog in the fight.
But the discussion must take place on factual grounds and I am deeply troubled that the discussion is clearly taking place on false premises…
I’m even more concerned that our Secretary of Defense, charged with protecting and preserving the US Constitution, doesn’t seem to know what the Constitution says on the matter. How about you?
Copyright ©2010 J.B. Williams