[Marxism] Gay Republicans' closing argument for repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 23 17:53:36 MDT 2010
David Thorstad wrote:
> I don't disagree with this rather obvious and low-level argument.
> Although I think hoping that same-sexers living openly in the military
> is going to somehow lead to organizing AGAINST imperialism from within
> the military is dreaming with your eyes open. Hell, I haven't even heard
> of GIs in Iraq or Afghanistan fragging their officers.
That's because there is not a draft, but there was a significant antiwar
contingent among Iraq war veterans. Less so now, since the casualties
> There's nothing
> even close to the Fort Jackson Eight (used to be Nine, but one turned
> out to be an agent) involved in the patriotic efforts by gays to get
> into the military and repeal DADT. You are conflating two different
> issues. And your position coincides with that of the gay Republicans,
> who, in their brief (redolent of repugnant patriotism, as indeed the
> whole campaign to repeal DADT is), focus on how repeal with help U.S.
> imperialism--which it will, as I said.
I don't care if neo-Nazis are opposed to DADT. I don't make my political
decisions based on putting a minus where some rightwing shit puts a
plus. Furthermore, opposing repressive rules against gay people in the
military is a democratic demand parallel to opposing racially segregated
units during Jim Crow. Even if the US military is the number one
enforcer of capitalist rule in the world, we opposed efforts to keep
Black troops in their own units, just as we oppose discriminatory
treatment of gay people.
> We should
> explain what is wrong with wanting to join the military, to participate
> in its criminal enterprise.
Of course, but we have to fight to end this type of treatment as well:
Gay soldier discharged for being beaten
By David Hoskins
Published Jan 22, 2006 11:15 AM
A 19-year-old Army private, Kyle Lawson, was physically assaulted and
threatened for being gay at the Fort Huachuca Army Base in Arizona. The
Army discharged Lawson after a fellow soldier violently beat him.
Lawson suffered a broken nose in the attack. His attacker—Pvt. Zacharias
Pierre—reportedly used an anti-gay epithet during the attack. Lawson was
later threatened at knifepoint by another soldier. Lawson’s sexual
orientation had been revealed by an acquaintance at an October 2005
Fearful for his life, Pvt. Lawson began to sleep on a cot in his drill
sergeant’s office. Local police originally charged Pierre with felony
assault. Police reports confirm that the attack on Lawson was
unprovoked. Fort Huachuca officials used military regulations to take
control of the case away from the Sierra Vista police. The officials
promptly dropped the felony assault charges after the case was
successfully transferred to military jurisdiction.
Media reports indicate that Pierre has received little more than a slap
on the wrist for attacking Lawson. Officials have refused to comment on
why the initial charges were dropped or what actions were taken. The
army claims that the knife threat is “unsubstantiated” and has refused
to further investigate the incident.
Patricia Kutteles, the mother of a soldier killed by other members of
the military in 1999 for dating a transsexual woman, has spoken out
against the Army’s foot-dragging. She criticized military policy
regulating service members’ sexual orientation, saying, “‘Don’t ask,
don’t tell’ impacts every service member—gay and straight alike—by
creating a weapon to end careers and endanger service members through
accusations, finger-pointing and rumor.”
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is the 1993 law that prevents lesbian, gay and
bisexual GIs from being open about their sexuality. The law punishes
those whose sexual orientation is revealed with the threat of discharge.
Proponents of the law insist that it also protects service members who
are harassed because of their perceived sexual orientation. The events
at Fort Huachuca prove that claims of harassment prevention are mere
lip-service as violent intimidation is still condoned by military
officials and fueled by the Pentagon’s anti-gay policies.
The brutal death of Kutteles’ son, Army Pvt. Barry Winchell, prompted
the Pentagon to outline more concrete proposals supposedly aimed at
curbing harassment based on sexual orientation. In 2000 the Pentagon
released its so-called anti-harassment plan. Almost five years later
violent harassment still occurs with impunity.
Openly gay Massachusetts Congress person Barney Frank wrote to Army
Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Shoomaker demanding answers for why Lawson’s
attacker has gone unpunished.
Military officials have failed to offer a full account and justification
of their actions. Pvt. Lawson’s story indicates that homophobic and
anti-trans violence is still condoned and tolerated. The military
remains an unsafe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans GIs
who live in constant fear of ridicule, discharge, assault and even murder.
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