Thursday, October 18, 2007

DADT: Military services accidentally advertise on gay website

The military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy now has led to a major media embarrassment as the services had to withdraw over 8000 ads for military jobs on GLEE, a networking site for gay and lesbian professionals. Some of the jobs were for civilian jobs, however, which legally are not supposed to be covered by the DADT policy. The advertising came about as the military desperately looks for linguists and medical personnel to serve in uniform.

The story is by Andrea Stone on page 1 of the Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007 USA Today.

Even though the policy, as written in the 1993 law, is supposed to cover “jobs” in the uniformed Armed Forces (in theory this might include the Public Health Service), there is a psychological and perhaps indirect legal fallout into other areas. In the past it was difficult even for civilian gays to get security clearances (at least above Secret), and this started to improve substantially around 1990 (during the first Bush administration), as Dr. Frank Kameny told radio talk show host Scott Peck in a Sunday night broadcast in 1993. I transferred away from a division of a company that dealt with the military to one that did not (directly) in 1997 to avoid a "conflict of interest" when working on my book. Fire departments used to object to gays (because of the “intimacy”), as did police departments in states with sodomy laws (which were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003, Lawrence v. Texas). There have been attempts to ban gay teachers (California in 1978 with the Briggs Initiative, and again with a less known initiative in Oregon in 1986). Even now, the DADT law, in my opinion (because of arguments centered on the “forced intimacy” concept), could create legal questions if open gays give custodial care to same sex incapacitated people (such as severely disable kids in school systems) without consent; this became an issue when I was a substitute teacher.

Update: Oct. 24, 2007

Oprah Winfrey did a show today called "Gays Around the World," review here.

Update: Oct. 26, 2007

See The Washington Post editorial today, p A20, "Don't Ask: The military cruises a gay Internet site for employees, albeit briefly," here.

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