Saturday, March 07, 2009

Metro Weekly interviews new SLDN director, features cover story on prospects for repeal of DADT

The current (March 5, 2009) issue of Metro Weekly (Washington DC area) has a cover story on the military ban. The cover reads “Don’t ask don’t tell weakens our military: It destroys lives and careers; Seventy percent of Americans oppose it: Is the wait for repeal over?”

The feature story is by Sean Bugg (and Will O’Bryan), and is titled, “The Time Has Come: A new president, a new Congress and increased public support means ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' is near the end. Right?” link here . Well, not so fast. The article discusses the work of the Palm Center’s Nathaniel Frank, and his book, published in early March 2009 by Thomas Dunne, “Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America” (website). The article also discusses the recent bill introduced by Ellen Tauscher (D-CA).

The Metro article includes an embedded YouTube interview with Rep. Tauscher from “Think Progress.”.

The hearings for the 2010 Defense Department Authorization Bill later this year will also provide an “opportunity” to raise the issue. Some people fear that “conservatives” will use that bill as an attempt to polarize sides on the issue, as happened in 1993.

Bugg says that the old “unit cohesion” argument is now a red herring, because in combat nobody worries about sexual orientation (even if there are a few racy lines in HBO’s “Generation Kill”).

The article also discusses that even with a Democratic president and Democratic president, overturning the policy can be a difficult sell.

The Metro also has an interview (by Sean Bugg) with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s new director Aubrey Sarvis. The interview indicates that the gay community as a whole has not paid as much attention to this issue as it should.

One issue that will clearly come up is how servicemember Internet behavior could be regulated following repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”.

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