The Pentagon has concluded that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the United States armed forces presents a low risk to the military’s effectiveness, even at a time of war, and that 70 percent of service members believe that the impact of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law would be either positive, mixed or of no consequence at all.
In an exhaustive nine-month study on the effects of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year-old policy that requires gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret or face discharge, the authors concluded that while in the short run a repeal would most likely bring about “some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention,” it could be mitigated by effective leadership.
The report, by Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s chief counsel, and Gen. Carter F. Ham, the commander of the United States Army in Europe, also found that much of the concern in the armed forces about openly gay service members was driven by misperceptions and stereotypes. Leaving aside those with moral and religious objections to homosexuality, the authors said that the concerns were “exaggerated and not consistent with the reported experiences of many service members.”
So, the objections are driven by misperceptions and stereotypes. That sound about right — except it is really anti-gay propaganda deliberately designed to scare people.
With the release of this report, is it the beginning of the end for the miserable and pernicious DADT policy? Or, will Republicans find a way to stall until the lame duck session of Congress is over, essentially sinking repeal?
I’d be curious to get your thoughts.