Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Specifics of Study Recommending that DADT be Repealed

I posted yesterday about the new study that was conducted into whether or not Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be retained. The study conclusion in summary was that gays serving openly in the military do NOT impair unit cohesion or raise any of the invented issues/problems cited by the Christianists who seek its retention. A full copy of the study report is here. In short, DADT does not help the military and actually probably hurts it and can only be justified if a policy is desired that will help foster a perception that gays are inferior and/or immoral based on one set of religious views. Here are highlights from the executive summary of the report which list the findings of the study group and lists recommendations:
A bipartisan study group of senior retired military officers, representing different branches of the service, has conducted an in-depth assessment of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by examining the key academic and social science literature on the subject and interviewing a range of experts on leadership, unit cohesion and military law, including those who are training our nation’s future military leaders at the service academies. The Study Group emphasized that any changes to existing personnel policy must not create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
The Study Group has made ten findings , including :
Finding one: The law locks the military’s position into stasis and does not accord any trust to the Pentagon to adapt policy to changing circumstances
Finding two: Existing military laws and regulations provide commanders with sufficient means to discipline inappropriate conduct
Finding three: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has forced some commanders to choose between breaking the law and undermining the cohesion of their units
Finding four: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has prevented some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from obtaining psychological and medical care as well as religious counseling
Finding five: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has caused the military to lose some talented service members
Finding six: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has compelled some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to lie about their identity
Finding seven: Many gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are serving openly
Finding eight:“Don’t ask, don’t tell” has made it harder for some gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to perform their duties
Finding nine: Military attitudes towards gays and lesbians are changing
Finding ten: Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline, or cohesion

On the basis of these findings, the Study Group offers the following four recommendations :
Recommendation 1. Congress should repeal 10 USC § 654 and return authority for personnel policy under this law to the Department of Defense.
Recommendation 2.
The Department of Defense should eliminate “don’t tell” while maintaining current authority under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and service regulations to preclude misconduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and unit cohesion. The prerogative to disclose sexual orientation should be considered a personal and private matter.
Recommendation 3. Remove from Department of Defense directives all references to “bisexual,” “homosexual,” “homosexual conduct,” “homosexual acts,” and “propensity.” Establish in their place uniform standards that are neutral with respect to sexual orientation, such as prohibitions against any inappropriate public bodily contact for the purpose of satisfying sexual desires.
Recommendation 4. Immediately establish and reinforce safeguards for the confidentiality of all conversations between service members and chaplains, doctors, and mental health professionals.
Obviously, Elaine Donnelly, Daddy Dobson, Tony Perkins and other Christianist homophobes and hate merchants will be having apoplexy over these finds and recommendations. Pressure should now be put on John McCain as to why he still supports DADT in light of these conclusions. A desire to pander to the religious sensibilities of the Christianists obviously should not be an acceptable answer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael - I saw the link to this on your HROC message. THANK YOU for posting this. As 1/2 of a lesbian couple (my wife is Military), I deeply appreciate this. We pray for the end of DADT!!