Saturday, September 20, 2008

SLDN offers link to send question about "don't ask don't tell" for presidential debate soon

SLDN reports that Barack Obama and John McCain will debate at 8 PM on Friday September 26, 2008. SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) is providing a link for visitors to send a question to debate moderator Jim Lehrer about “don’t ask don’t tell.”

The link is here.

The script contains a suggested letter but then suggests use of your own words and experiences.

The talking points (quoted from the link, and I am going to say this is “fair use”, in order to make the point about “firing” uniformed servicemembers in the Armed Forces of the United States) included:

(1) Over 12,500 service members who have risked their lives for our country have been fired because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
(2) Among those fired were nearly 60 Arabic linguists, at a time when our military is already stretched far too thin.
(3)As moderator of the 1st presidential debate, please ask Senator Obama and Senator McCain to go on the record about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The question I sent (through the link and the web page that follows, to Mr. Lehrer) is as follows:

For Mr. McCain:

“Doesn’t the “don’t ask don’t tell” (as well as the earlier policy of “asking” and excluding gays) slander gay people and imply to the public that GLBT are not “morally” worthy of participating in defending freedom and perhaps not fit in other sensitive areas, like caring for children? I ran into this concern as a substitute teacher. Does the ban affect GLBT in civilian areas? Isn’t this a good reason to lift the ban?”

The title of the question is “Effect on gay civilians”.

I hope someone else will ask what would happen to “don’t ask don’t tell” if there ever were a military draft. Remember that all young men (but not women) within a certain age range must still register with Selective Service.

Picture: The Amistad (a slave ship from the 19th Century) on display at National Harbor on the Potomac River near Washington DC.

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