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Don't have a lot of information, but MSNBC just reported that a decision came down against the policy of dismissing military personnel simply because they are gay.  Here's a link

It was just a handful of sentences on a morning news update, but the anchor said the decision didn't overturn don't ask don't tell.  The ruling apparently told the military to actually prove why gays are an institutional detriment to the military.

I'll leave it to you to read the link, but apparently the dissenting judge in the 2-1 decision thought the decision didn't go far enough.  Also, the air woman in the case is a nurse who was given a citation from President Bush in 2003 for her service in Oman supporting OEF and was suspended without pay after eighteen years of service, leaving her two years short of eligibility for retirement benefits.

From my personal experience, we had an obvious homosexual in our hodgepodge reserve unit when I was mobilized two years ago.  He was a supply specialist and despite his obvious homosexuality he was accepted by some of the most conservative members in the enlisted ranks.  He eventually came out to his first sergeant before we were deployed because he couldn't live with the lie and helped us finish up our training and mobilization while his discharge went through.  Beyond the fact that I thought Clinton's don't ask don't tell policy was bullshit when I was twelve, seeing the discriminatory policy in action was a disappointing reminder of the ground we still need to cover in to fight for equality in this country.

this was previously posted here by maxomai

Originally posted to slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 02:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips? (35+ / 0-)

    I'm not even getting any comments. Did someone already write a diary on this?

    "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

    by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 02:40:36 AM PDT

  •  Not to many people up yet. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, shiobhan, pico, luckylizard

    Looks promising. And yes there still is a long way to go on this issue.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Thu May 22, 2008 at 02:46:23 AM PDT

  •  This is an Air Force story. (6+ / 0-)

    So I found it hereyesterday when I was doing a random check.
    Nice to see it's being picked up by MSNBC.  The courts seem to be finally catching on that the state may only prohibit behavior that's actually harmful to others; not impose punishments for a failure to behave as desired.

    Now, one can envision that the principle of equality is ipso facto in conflict with the military's need to run a hierarchical organization.  That would expose the nub of the problem.  Whether they can prove that hierarchy is absolutely essential would then be in question.  To a certain extent, the judgments at Nuremberg have already negated the validity of obedience as the primary standard of behavior.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:04:38 AM PDT

    •  I'm surprised I only heard about it now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, shiobhan, sbdenmon

      All I did yesterday was watch Law and Order, news, and read DKos and I didn't hear the story until 6am today.  This is a pretty big reversal of military policy and I expect it to be a big story for today's news cycle.

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:25:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "other" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, fritzrth, shiobhan, pico

    We are in a period where people are "other-izing" anyone who is different, courtesy of the politics of fear. Even in a more liberal time, this issue would be difficult for the military to confront.  In the atmosphere we have now, it's nearly impossible.  Look, if the defense and intel communities will dismiss Arabists (at a time when that skill is so critical to everything we are doing) solely for being gay, they are not about to retreat from their fears of gays and investment in maintaining the illusion of a gay-free military.  

    It's too bad you had to lose a member of your unit to this policy.  It does seem odd in these days of stop-loss and lowering of recruitment standards that they would allow anyone to get away when they have them there, trained and ready, but defying logic seems to be a favorite indoor sport of many lately....

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:06:30 AM PDT

    •  The British military made the leap (8+ / 0-)

      And from what I've read it was a rapid transition.  The brass was making the same argument ours make, but soon after the government made the policy change the military dropped its opposition.  This isn't as big of a problem as some people think.  Like I allude to in the diary, the rank and file is not necessarily opposed to a change.

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:30:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're probably correct (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, shiobhan

        but to get the policy makers to approve is another matter entirely.  This is not simply a military issue, at least in the U.S.  It has been made a wedge issue in the whole country and that is why it will be more difficult here.  I'm not saying it should be this way or that it might not work the way you say but the whole issue is different here.  Personally, I don't care who is in the military as long as they have the motivation, strength, and integrity to do the job.  It takes a unique kind of person to do it and we should value them, not leave a significant proportion of the population out of the mix for silly reasons.

        -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

        by luckylizard on Thu May 22, 2008 at 04:05:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it would be that hard (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, fritzrth, shiobhan, luckylizard

          Someone upthread said Dole forced the compromise, but from what I understand it is an executive decision.  Even if Congress needs to be involved, we'll have both houses and the WH so Obama should just make the move as soon as he is sworn in and we'll get over it before the midterms.

          "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

          by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 04:11:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It wasn't Clinton's Idea or Policy... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fritzrth, shiobhan, sbdenmon, bushondrugs

    it was the compromise got forced into by Bob Dole who had more than enough votes in the Senate to overturn his attempt to end military discrimination.

    •  He didn't fight very hard against it, though. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It may not have been his idea, but he latched on to it with nary a complaint. Like most of his compromises (viz. capitulations) he would make a move toward real change, but when he got the slightest whiff that he would be challenged, that he might have to actually fight for something he said he believed in and get his nose bloodied, he promptly threw in the towel.

      Much like our current Democratic leadership in the House and Senate.

      noli, amabo, verberare lapidem ne perdas manum -- Plautus

      by fritzrth on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:32:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FYI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, slothlax

    I'm sure the diarist didn't mean it, but the use of Flaming to describe a gay man is often considered a pejorative.

    "vote for me or the Children will die" HRC

    by Feliks on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:14:09 AM PDT

    •  That may be so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, Dallasdoc

      But to me it also means a man who exhibits effeminate mannerisms, in this case having high heel leather boots next to his combat boots, tight shirts and jeans, and a high voice.  I suppose "flaming" to me is more like "obvious".  Since this isn't just me sitting around with my pals I will change the semantic.

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:40:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could affect more than the millitary (7+ / 0-)

    Some time back I extensively covered the issue of Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (HSPD12), an attempt to
    make the ID badge process consistent within the Federal goverment that has turned into a civil liberties nightmare. This directive affects my wife who is a Columbia University grad student, but who works in a NASA facility and is therefore included in the directive.

    During my research on HSPD12 I uncovered an aspect of Federal employment that is worrisome: the "Suitibility Matrix." This is a list of "offenses" ranked by "severity" that can be strikes against you when applying for Federal employment or getting your ID badge. Most of the offenses make sense (e.g. felony convictions, treason...). But among them is "sodomy." Sodomy laws these days are largely moot because at the state level they have been declared unConstitutional by a Supreme Court case. But sodomy can still be considered illegal on a Federal level. I could find one and only one application of a Federal sodomy law: the ban on gays in the military. This is the context in which to consider the listing of sodomy as an offence in the Suitibility Matrix. This means legally and with full precedent because of the ban on gays in the military, gays could be excluded from Federal employment. As far as I know this is not being done, but it is the only extant legal interpretation of "sodomy" at the Federal level.

    •  In basic training... (4+ / 0-)

      we were told that getting a blow job was a violation of UCMJ and if we were doing such a thing we should make sure the shade was drawn.

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Thu May 22, 2008 at 03:59:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait wait... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Are you implying that when off-base, if you were doing such a thing, say with a girlfriend or wife, that you should make sure your blinds are closed?

        Or are you saying that if you and your colleagues on-base are doing such a thing with each other that you should close the blinds?

        "We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

        by TX Unmuzzled on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:04:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Critical difference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          THe ban on gays in the military is blanket. It isn't that you can't engage in gay behavior on base. It stipulates that if you are gay you are out (no pun intended...perhaps I should have said "if you're out, you're out.")

          Banning of specific activities on base but not off base could have other problems, but it wouldn't be a blanket condemnation of an entire group of people.

    •  How do they define sodomy? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The sodomy statute in the state of Georgia was a list of behaviors and did not take the gender of the persons engaged into account. These actually included touching the genitals of your partner with any part of your body other than your own genitals, if I remember correctly.

      Of course, there were only rare cases of the statute being used against heterosexuals; although the number of those cases did begin to increase toward the end when uneven enforcement was being used in the challenges to the law.

      noli, amabo, verberare lapidem ne perdas manum -- Plautus

      by fritzrth on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:25:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fritzrth, sbdenmon, wayoutinthestix

    ...for the shout-out. :)

  •  from AP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "When the government attempts to intrude upon the personal and private lives of homosexuals, the government must advance an important governmental interest ... and the intrusion must be necessary to further that interest," Judge Ronald M. Gould wrote.

    One of the judges, William C. Canby Jr., issued a partial dissent, saying that the ruling didn't go far enough. He argued that the Air Force should have to show that the policy itself "is necessary to serve a compelling governmental interest and that it sweeps no more broadly than necessary."

    "I suppose it's never any surprise that a sham, when it falls apart, falls apart so quickly and thoroughly." - from Sea of Tranquillity by Paul Russell

    by wayoutinthestix on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:34:08 AM PDT

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