Main | Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DADT Survey Reactions

Senators Gillibrand, Udall, and Liebermann
"The Pentagon report makes it unambiguously clear that the risk of repeal on military effectiveness is minimal, that any risks can be addressed by implementing the report’s recommendations, and that a clear majority of active duty servicemen and women have no problem with repeal. The military has spoken and now is the time to repeal this policy that is damaging to our national security. The report is the product of one of the most, if not the most, extensive studies on a military personnel issue that has ever been conducted and its findings demonstrate that we can proceed with repeal of this discriminatory policy in a way that ensures that the U.S. military continues to be the best fighting force in the world. Men and women, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation, who are willing to fight and defend our country should be allowed to do so without fear of discrimination."
Servicemembers United
"This thorough and comprehensive report makes clear to lawmakers and the American people once and for all that the U.S. military is capable of handling the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The questions are now answered and the debate is now settled," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "It's now up to the Senate to bring the defense authorization bill back to the floor, allow 10 to 20 amendments to be debated on each side, and get this bill passed. We have the votes now if the process is fair."
People For The American Way
“For years, the Right has fought to preserve the discriminatory, ineffective Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, claiming that allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country would put American troops in harm’s way. The Defense Department’s comprehensive study exposes this ugly, dishonest fear-mongering for what it is. The vast majority of U.S. troops do not feel threatened by serving alongside gays and lesbians, and our military leaders say repealing the policy won’t put national security at risk—in fact, the opposite is true. Allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly makes all of us safer. The arguments for keeping Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have come up empty. It’s time for the Senate to listen to our troops, to the courts, to the majority of Americans, and to their own common sense, and end this failed experiment in discrimination once and for all.”
Stonewall Democrats
"Recent statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and even Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) that more study needs to take place before repeal are just stall tactics, especially given the thorough, year-long process that the Defense Department undertook to study the issue of repeal. We also find it ironic that the Senators said that the upper chamber should be talking about jobs and not ‘political’ issues like DADT repeal. We remind the Senators that DADT is about jobs: the jobs of thousands of soldiers, some of them mission critical and irreplaceable, who were discharged from the military because of the discriminatory DADT. DADT repeal is not some fringe issue being pushed by a small minority; it is an issue supported by a large majority of Americans and now, we find with the official release of the study, by an equally large majority of the military."
"This report definitely answers the question of the impact of DADT repeal on the military. Specifically, knowing a soldier is gay has no negative impact on readiness," said Jonathan Hopkins, former Army Captain and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We've known this for a long time. Among military members who know they've served with someone gay, 92% said that repeal would have little or no negative effect on military readiness. 69% of servicemembers who responded to the survey said they served with someone they knew or suspected was gay. "This study gets to the facts, and exposes the invented argument of 'unit cohesion' as a myth," said Hopkins. "Those who've served with gay or lesbian soldiers, Marines, or servicemembers of any stripe recognize that gay troops have – as the Pentagon report says – a 'patriotic desire to serve' as well as a 'desire to fit in, coexist, and succeed in the military environment.'""I don't want any special treatment. I just want them to take the knife out of my back so I can serve," said an anonymous gay Marine on the OutServe network.
Human Rights Campaign
“This issue has been studied for fifty years, including by the military itself, and the results from over twenty-two studies are uniform: open service does not harm effectiveness,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The small handful of Senators blocking repeal no longer have any fig leaves behind which to hide. The time for repeal is now.” “America’s men and women in uniform are professionals who already serve with gays and lesbians and repeal will do nothing to change their dedication to protecting our nation,” said Solmonese. “Senators who said they want to hear from military leaders and troops now have their answers. Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will allow every qualified man and woman to serve without sacrificing the high standards that have made our military great.”

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