February 2nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How would repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' affect military?


Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen (R) participate in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. The committee is reviewing the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It could be the biggest shake-up to the military since the integration of the armed services under Pres. Truman back in 1948.

Pres. Obama is calling for a repeal of the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy - which bars gays from serving openly... and prevents the military from asking them about it. Congress would need to approve Pres. obama's request.

And just hours ago - the military's top uniformed officer appeared before Congress to support openly gay members serving. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says it's a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

The military is set to begin a year-long study into how "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" can be repealed without causing major problems in the service.

But Critics say it's a bad idea to change this policy while the U.S. is engaged in two wars and faces the ongoing threat of terrorism. Republican Sen. John McCain says he's quote "deeply disappointed"... and while the policy hasn't been ideal, it has been "effective."

Meanwhile - a poll from late 2008 suggests more than 80 percent of Americans believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve.

It's estimated that more than 13,000 people have been discharged from the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" since it was implemented in 1993 - this includes dozens service members who can speak Arabic - a highly-prized skill with the U.S. fighting wars in the middle east.

Here’s my question to you: How would the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" affect the military?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Loren from Chicago writes:
In the long run, it's not going to make a difference. Gays are tolerated in society at large for the most-part. And for all the macho posturing that can go on in the military, it is ultimately a brotherhood of belief in protecting our country. Some may question the inclusion, but ultimately, they will understand that the flag is the same.

Bill from Arizona writes:
Hello Jack. I don't believe that they should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military. I'm a former Sgt. in the Marine Corps and I have found that some, not all, use the uniform to hide behind. "Look at me, I'm a macho Marine" … when all the time they are gay. I don't want my grandsons sharing a foxhole with someone who is gay.

George writes:
I served 27 years in the Army and at that time would never support gays in the military. I believe that the public support of gays is much higher than it was back in 1993 when the ban was put in place. The stigma associated with being gay is not as big a problem with the men and women in uniform today as it was in the distant past.

Albert from Los Angeles writes:
Jack, Ending "don't ask, don't tell" will have the same impact as every other growing pain our nation has survived; positive! At first, only white landowning males could vote, and the road to today’s integrated combat force has been an uphill battle all the way, but every time our troops became more integrated, they became a stronger diplomatic symbol to the world of America’s commitment to defend the natural rights of mankind.

Ed from Georgia writes:
The real problem will be the homophobic bullies who will not confirm to social norms, not the gay service members who have spent their lives striving to conform.

Bruce from Washington writes:
Remember how the U.S. was worried about Harry Truman's integration of the military in the early '50s? There were all kinds of excuses. Still, we all survived. Now, we have another step to make so that our military can join the 21st century. Just do it! As a decorated veteran of Vietnam, I served with men I knew were gay, and I trusted them with my life.

Filed under: U.S. Army • US Military
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    The military that don't like gay people would become alot more whiny.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  2. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    If given a chance,it may make it better. These people are willing to put their lives on the line to defend this country and I believe their sexual preference should be respected. When Truman integrated the services in the late 40's people just had to get used to it. I'm involved in womens sports as an official. I have been around many openly gay people and my hederosexuality has always been respected by the gays. Not once hit on. Give it a chance,it just may work!

    February 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  3. Layne Alleman

    Jack, As you said in your lead-in to the question, a lot of valuable Arabic-speaking people were discharged. These are people who could have meant enormous changes in the out-comes of battles, saving possibly countless lives. The military has had women in both combat and support positions for awhile now, and although there have been some problems, they are the same ones we experience as a society as a whole. With ours being an all volunteer military, I think we had better take the best, brightest, and most qualified, and get over our archaic hang-ups. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  4. Jasmine in Germany

    The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" will affect the military positively. Discrimination should be something of the past . Finally the victims hopefully will be treated as equal human beings. And to those who object: this is a discrimination issue, not a religious issue, so go pray. Thank God we have a military where sexuality does not play a role in defending our nation.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  5. birddog in Mississippi

    It won't affect the military at all. The only difference is that the brave young men and woman who are willing to risk their lives to protect our nation won't be forced lie to do so. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We should simply end this absurdity right now. And while we're at it, we should stop yapping about 'curing' the gay, and start talking about curing the insidious sickness of bigotry.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    It will affect the military tremendously at first. But the Military will adapt to having gays serve as they did when Blacks joined the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  7. Chaney. Louisiana

    Jack .... they need to repeal "dont ask, dont tell" immediately,it is a plus,plus for the MIlitary. Our soldiers will be able to enlist and serve without fear of being exposed and discharged.... and you knew what a Republican was going to say before he said it..... Did;nt you?...NO,

    February 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  8. Stan Ward

    Eventually not at all negatively, Jack. More gays might be encouraged to enlist without fear. Besides, all I want from my "brother" is to cover my back in time of trouble.

    Stan in Hungary.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  9. Bertina

    Not at all.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  10. Katie

    Forcing gays in the military to keep their sexuality hidden puts extra stress on them and prevents their significant others from being notified in case of an emergency. If being around gay people makes straight military personnel uncomfortable, they should consider how uncomfortable all of the closeted gay military personnel have been for the past 15 years. Gays in the military aren't going to try to hit on or take advantage of their straight counterparts all of a sudden just because DADT is repealed.

    Katie, NC

    February 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  11. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Maybe the military will be able to recover some of the 322 soldiers skilled in important foreign languages who have been discharged simply because they are gay. I'd sleep better at night.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  12. Gigi

    I don' give a d- what they do. We have much more URGENT PROBLEMS facing this once great ntion, such as the UNQUALIFIED Marxist in the White House and the THIEVES in congress on a spending spree with money we DON'T HAVE .
    I believe gays should have the same rights as the rest of us but for God's sake, let's set priorities!

    February 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  13. Joshua

    The only ones it would affect, are the ones that aren't sure of their own sexuality

    February 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  14. Karen - Missouri

    I can't see any problem in repealing this policy. And discharging someone just over this issue is ridiculous. They lay their lives on the line for U.S. so we shouldn't be judging them on their sexual preferences.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  15. Linda in Arizona

    I don't have a clue.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  16. Kelby in Houston

    Other than the fact that...nothing

    February 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  17. Pete

    I have been serving in the military for over 18 years and currently still am. I have served honorably in multiple wars, and yet what I get is the constant fear of being kicked out for who I love. Everyone in the military knows that its taboo to make jokes or to outright condemn African Americans, Latino’s, Women or other minorities. But that’s blatantly not the case in the Military for gays. Gay jokes and associated hatred are an underlying “constant” that is widely accepted. It’s the last great, and unfortunate, taboo that most in the military feel is ok to throw out there. Thank god I have thick skin and a sense of purpose and mission. I’m tired of sitting at the back of this tragically symbolic US military bus. It’s time to abolish this law and military policy around that law. The military is forced to go into uncomfortable and difficult situations all the time. Why cant that same “tough it out” concept be applied to this change in the interest of honoring our own Constitution and Bill of Rights? After all gays in the military have had to brave the mission, and “tough it out” when it comes to the inequalities and homophobic climate that has ensued for years.


    February 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Charles in ohio

    Jack: The repeal will make the military just like main street. Do you know how many gay people you are around every day?

    February 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  19. chewy

    Let's just let the military deal with the issue. There is no doubt that gay people can be patriotic as well as anyone. Those of us that have been in the milittary know that the training is rigorous. If the individual can handle the training they should be able to serve. If they can't they should be dismissed as anyone else would. It sounds like they just want to do their part. At any rate there should be no special treatment for a gay individual. My ownly fears are that they may be somehow isolated from the rest of the military, and there is always the chance off abuse, be it by fellow soldiers or the immediate leaders. Since the military has been groomed to the "don't ask, don't tell" and the previous policy, or the lack there in, this may be a tough road ahead. We should give them the oppurtunity and let them decide if it is for them or not.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  20. Melanie K.

    As a former Arabic Linguist of the US armed forces, I watched as some of the best linguists I knew fell victim to this policy. More often than not, their sexual orientation was not news to their coworkers. Tolerance of differences is taught and required in every other situation in the military, so why not this one? When a service member is in battle they are more concerned about the abilities of the person next to them, not whom they choose to date. For the safety of our country and troops and the propagation of tolerance of diversity, this bad policy needs to go.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  21. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    If they are willing to serve like everyone else, why not allow them in the military? I am sure there are gays now in the service who are serving our country very well. If a straight persons sexuality is not in question, why should a gay person have to openly admit their sexuality? This is double standard and should be eliminated.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  22. Eric - Houston

    While it may not be easy and will probably cause concern among and even some losses of members the military, I expect that they will handle it in stride as they always do and make us both proud and ashamed of our parochialism. Just like they did with the integration of the military so many years before the rest of us grew up.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  23. David M.


    I don't know how the repeal of "don't ask, dont tell" will affect the millitary but that's not the question that should be asked here. The question is: With two wars raging overseas; an economy that is still shaky; and record high unemployment. How does President Obama allow himself to be distracted by these comparatively insignifcant issues.

    Makes one wonder who his advisors are.

    Statesboro, Ga.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  24. Mike in New Orleans

    Gays in the military should have to follow the same rules as straights with regard to sexual relations during tour of duty, sexual harrassment, and other common sense policies.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  25. Paul McKinne, Texas

    In reality it will matter very little, there were gay people serving openly in the military before this repeal and their will be afterwards. I don't think the number of gays in the military will change or the opinions of them by those members serving. If you choose to hate gays now you will hate gays when it is repealed. That is just the way it is. The only thing that might change is that gays that choose to come out of the closet might become an easer target for bay bashers. It does not mater if the military says it excepts gays or not, there will still be those that do not except them and always will be. Same with racists.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  26. J.Johnson

    Please. You already have gays in the military. Why should the military be any different from the rest of society's institutions. Now, you won't have anyone using "sexual preferences" as a way to get out of the military. Anyone who is willing to serve the country in its military has my admiration, and should not be denied the right.

    I disagree with McCain but at least he served. There are many who will criticize this act but have not and will not serve themselves!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  27. Ken in Pinon Hills California

    Your commentary says " A poll from late 2008 suggests more than 80 percent of Americans believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve". I doubt only a few of them polled served in the military. Better they poll those who intend to enlist. Those that do serve are pretty macho, and living, sleeping, showering, with those who may desire them doesn't seem like a good idea. Isn't that the reason the ladies are separated from the boys, amour?

    February 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  28. JW Atlanta

    My military time was spent aboard a nuclear submarine. If you can tell me why there was not a single female on that boat the entire time I was aboard, I will give you a definite answer to your question.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  29. mark foster texas

    jack, repealing dont-ask-dont -tell, will not hurt the military it will only help the military.this country is strong because of its diversity,it grows stronger with the acceptance of this diversity.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  30. Carla

    I would say it's a healthy thing - however, Klinger (of MASH fame) couldn't use his feminine garb to get discharged.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  31. Mike Bowers (Clinton, SC)

    I think repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" won't be a problem for most people in the military. However, I worry about the group who may have some serious aversions to this. If this policy is going to be repealed, the government better make sure they have some disciplinary measures in place if officers or fellow soldiers harass openly gay soldiers.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  32. Steven, in Georgia

    Dear Jack
    First and foremost, it would end the 'technically legal' discrimination shamlessly practiced and sanctioned against men and women who happen to be Gay, whether in the military or society in general.
    Lets not forget that reasonable estimates of how many citizens of the entire world who are in fact Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual, whether openly or not, well excedes 5%.
    We are your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers. We are your children; no less patriotic sincere or talented than any other citizen, of any persuasion. As far as the "Let's not forget that We are at War!" argument goes, there have been few periods in the history of our nation during which the United States hasn't been at war, with someone, somewhere on this planet; the bloodiest of all being our own civil war, in which we fought for freedom for all. This ban is an afront to the equality we preach daily, and it must be repealed! The notion that we are sex-crazed perverts intent to corupt the bathrooms, dormitories, and showers in our military is quite simply, preposterous! We've been here all along!

    February 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  33. David in San Diego

    It would be honest; it would express the best of American values; it would partially negate the growing trend toward theocracy; it would acknowledge the reality of who is now in our military; it would allow the military to retain skilled linguists and others we desperately need; it would be all upside and no downside. And it would remove another mark of shame on the American character.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  34. Curtis Wampler

    The cost of repealing DADT will be measured in dollars... and a lot of them. First there will need to be a commission to determine the new rules – this will be millions of dollars. Then there will be a commission to implement the new rules, then there will be a commission to enforce the new rules – more millions please. There is little doubt that this will also result in some type of segregation. This segregation will cost more money and will not enhance the effectiveness of our military – and shouldn't that be the ultimate goal of any change that we make?

    Curtis Wampler
    Wichita, KS

    February 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  35. Gail, Plano,Texas

    A repeal of don't ask, don't tell in the military would be a good thing. Those who are homophobic like old John McCain, will moan and groan about it, and oppose it just because the President is for it. England, France & Israel seem to have no problems in their military and they do not have a don't ask, don't tell policy. Time to leave the dark ages and join the world!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  36. Ronald Holst

    That Depends On who you Ask if You ask the Average solder i am willing To bet not at all, but if you ask some of these homophobic politicians of course will say it will be disastrous after all they do not want to loose the red neck vote you the kind I am talking about the kind that still see gays as the bad guy in Deliverance

    February 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  37. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Don't think it will affect it at all. These folks have been serving all along. The military have a strict code of conduct regardless of the type of infraction. If the code is violated ... handle it as is always done.
    There are enough open military examples throughout the world that do not have issues with this and their integrity is just fine.
    If we are to be Americans then we have to believe in equal rights for all.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  38. S. Kate in Louisiana

    For America to pride itself on being a forward thinking country, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" screams a cave man mentality. You aren't supposed to have sex in a combat zone so why should it be anyone's business who you're having sex with outside of one? America is a diverse country with diverse troops– each of which should be able to serve their country openly, honestly and with pride.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  39. Denis Duffy

    Ask The Marines. If they say OK, I'll agree.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  40. Dolores Surprise AZ

    I think it should be repealed immediately. I believe it was Barry Goldwater that said "I don't care if they are straight, as long as they can shoot straight. As long as they do their job, it shouldn't matter. If they do something not acceptable by the military they should be held responsible for their actions the same as THE STRAIGHT MILITARY MEMBER SHOULD BE. Let's put this discrimination behind us and catch up with the rest of the world

    February 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  41. Leighann Tobia

    Jack, I feel that work and sexuality should not be mixed. Besides that, DADT has been in place for a while now, and I think it would wait just a little longer, seeing as there are more pressing issues facing our nation at the moment than it's repeal.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  42. david doherty

    Jack if it's not repealed and this country finds it's self in need of implementing the draft you'll sudenly find that most of the draft age young adults in this country have turned gay.

    Dave from Peterborough, NH.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  43. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    Jack, repealing this policy would bring out into the open all of those who are absolutely creeped out by the idea that someone next to them of the same gender might be interested in them. This would be silly, as that possibility exists today for heterosexuals who may find a person of the opposite gender attractive. True dedicated military personnel do not have time for, nor do they even want to fraternize while on the job. They might want to go out for a beer afterwards, or when on leave, but they are there to do the job they swore an oath to do. The rest can be drummed out ASAP, and the military will be that much stronger as a result.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  44. Scott Stodden

    Speaking as an openly gay man from Illinois I don't feel its right for a person to hide who and what they are at all. People if they feel its neccesary should have the right to be open and honest with themselves and that includes there sexual preference. I encourage each and every Congress persons and Senators should support repealling this Don't Ask Don't Tell policy so all of us gay Americans have no reason to hide. I don't feel this would affect the military at all because most people in today's world are accepting of gays in this country! Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, Its the right thing to do!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  45. santa clause

    well it should not change it all who cares what ones sexual prefreance is as long as a gay man dont flirt or hit on me all is good I have some gay friends and they know my stand point

    February 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  46. E Alan (Milwaukee)

    Its funny that politicians opposed to repealing DADT go on about how much money it would cost to overturn the policy. Does that mean that marginalizing a segment of their constituency is money well spent? There is something fundamentally WRONG in a military that so heartily espouses values like honesty, honor and integrity, all the while forcing servicemembers to be dishonest in order to serve.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  47. Carlos from Bethesda, MD

    We decorate men and women for killing others, but we crucify them for loving others...very strange.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  48. Sue From Idaho

    It would give us a fighting chance, no pun intended

    February 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  49. Jason Knight

    It wouldn't affect the military at all, in fact it will make it better. Forcing military members to lie goes against everything the military stands for. Mullen had it right, it comes down to integrity, and integrity is getting rid of this law.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  50. Chris - Denver

    Maybe someone would finally do something about those drab olive-green uniforms. Just kidding. I think the effect would be so remarkably muted that in short order people would wonder what all the fuss was about.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Peter

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been a stain on the military for to long.
    The repeal of it would make the military, plain and simple, better.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Since gay people are already serving, what's the big deal. I don't think any guy is going to waltz through the barracks in a tutu.
    If every gay person were to come out today, then try to see if the military can fight two wars.
    Banning gays is just good old fashioned bigotry like it was when the military had so much trouble bringing blacks into the mainstream services.
    Just end it. You will find a few homophobes , but they will be in the minority. I'll just bet that everyone in the military already knows someone who is gay and serving proudly.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Jon Whitaker

    Homosexuals should not be allowed to serve in the military period. If they allow this then there will be a break down that will destroy the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  54. Kevin Benson

    The decision to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve “openly” in the military is not akin to the integration decision taken by President Truman. I am certain that gays and lesbians have served honorably. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Don’t Pursue” is the law of the land. The purpose of military law is to maintain good order and discipline.
    Joining the Service means following the laws of the Service. If this is too hard, then don’t join. The voices that must be heard though belong to company commanders/first sergeants. These young men and women bear the privilege and burden of command at the lowest echelons. In the service the commander is responsible for all the unit does or fail to do.
    I am a retired officer so again the people whose voices need to be heard are those we charge with command authority at the lowest level. We ask a great deal of these men and women, adding another burden, especially when Soldiers are dying in combat, really should be a decision taken with as much deliberation as whether or not to reinforce Afghanistan.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  55. Lilarose in Oregon

    Well, the military won't have to worry, as they don't now, about babies being born as the result of any changes to "don't ask, don't tell."

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  56. Tammy

    How about letting all ACTIVE members of the military take a confidential, majority-rules vote and be done with it.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  57. RJ

    As long as they follow orders, don't create distractions and don't run under fire, I'm ok with it.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  58. Bianca

    The British military went through the same process of integrating openly gay soldiers into their units, and it was reported that there was no adverse effect on morale or troop effectiveness. So would the British be all that different from us? Besides, most of the people signing up for the military are young people, and young people are far more accepting of gays than older people, according to every poll ever taken on this subject.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  59. Jorge

    Simple: It will make it an institution consistent with the values of the country it protects and represents.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  60. Laura

    The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would allow the US to build our armed forces of strong willed individuals ready to fight for our country. It would decrease the bigotry and ignorance perpetuated by our government.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  61. Joshua

    Honorable men and women would not be discharged for one of the last forms of legal discrimination. Honorable men and women would not have to lie in order to serve their country.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  62. Michael


    As an active duty service member I can tell you that for the most part this is a non-issue. If you approached my chain of command and said, "I"m gay" or "He's gay", they'd immediately tell you to go back to work because we have too much to do.

    Greensboro, NC

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  63. Ken in NC

    It would reduce the number of soldiers being discharged each year, put an end to a long standing issue in the military and it would cause Senator McCain to change his mind about wanting to go back into the Navy.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  64. B.T. Mendelsohn

    Why is Congress involved in what should just be a military directive and an executive branch decision? Did Truman ask for Congressional approval to integrate blacks into the military?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  65. Ed Hansen

    The real problem will be the homophobic bullies who will not confirm to social norms, not the gay service members who have spent their lives striving to conform.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  66. James Easton

    Don't ask don't tell was a means to cover the truth. If 80 percent of folks agree that it isn't required, well majority rules. If there are downsides to this, look to other countries who are more wide awake on this issue. Sounds to me like the top brass agree it is time to wake up. Go with the people who know, not the politicians.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  67. Kim

    Wow this reminds me of when African Americans were banned from the military. The key is these are Gay Americans. Not Gay Terroist.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  68. Bob Yeatts

    Who cares?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  69. Bruce Alperstein

    Remember how the US was worried about Harry Truman's integration of the military in the early '50's??? There were all kinds of excuses. Still, we all survived.

    Now, we have another step to make so that our military can join the 21st century. Just do it!!!

    As a decorated veteran of VietNam, I served with men I knew were gay, and I trusted them with my life.

    Discrimination based on sexual orientation is no reason to keep qualified people from serving their country. Remember, the foundation of this country is based on separation of church and state.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  70. Bill Waters

    Barry Goldwater said it best. He said,
    "Soldiers don't have to be straight, they just have to shoot straight."

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  71. Ryan K.

    Repealing the DADT policy would have little to no effect on the overall ability of our military to do the outstanding job they have done all along defending their country. What it does affect is our ability to retain and allow our brave homesexual soldiers to live honest and open lives as they are allowed to in the US. To discharge a soldier based strictly on the DADT policy after all of the money we the taxpayers have paid to train them is very wasteful spending.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  72. Rob Cohen

    I find it interesting that some comment this issue is a distraction. It wouldn't be if we just did it and moved on.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  73. Michael & Diane M Phoenix AZ

    Maybe the "rednecks" in the military should get out if they don't like someone because of their sexual preference. I don't think it really matters anyway as the "gays" aren't really interested in a "straight" person....and as long as they will protect each others backs from the enemy who cares.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  74. Johnathan

    I think that this is the thing to do. People are who they are and we as a civilized society should be able to deal with that. This is not an issue that is going to go away. Sweeping it under the carpet does not make it go away. Most of the military already know who is gay. Their rights should, however, be protected.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  75. Gordon- Raleigh NC

    Its irrelevent what the military thinks...we should define what our
    policy is, and 80% of Americans want an inclusive military. Have
    we gotten now to the point where 20% of the people can overrule
    80% ?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Linda

    It changes nothing. Come on, we ALL work together will all kinds of people in the workplace including gay people. The military already works with gay military members and they know who they are. I do not see this as a problem or issue at all. It is no one's business what your sexual preferences are. No, not even the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  77. Bill


    How can this matter at all? Anyone who is willing to go an fight for our freedom should be welcome. If they speak Arabic so much the better. I am from Montana and I know a guys who is gay that is one heck of a shot. I think we should have bigger fish to fry like how to get out of these messes that we find ourselves in all over the world.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  78. Thomas

    jack it would be a real shame and it would give the military more trouble than they need right now!! Imagine two inlisted men showing affection to each other in uniform on a military base how disrespectful to the uniform and to the fellow soliders who are not gay!! If they want to fight fine go ahead just keep you sexuall preference to yourself !! How hard is it!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Bobby

    If we are going to increase the population of gays in the military, then we should stop segregating male and female soldier in barracks, restroom and showers. Once a soldier makes it clear they would rather bed down with a member of their own sex what's the difference?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Jackson Brock

    Why do Americans spend so much time in other people's bedrooms? Don't ask, don't care.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  81. Seth

    It is absolutely the right thing to do, appealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". If these men and women are able to serve and fight wars, they can deal with LGBT's in the military. I would simply repeal the policy. It should be up to the individual soldier whether or not to come out to fellow soldiers. Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" does not mean instituting a "Ask and Tell" policy. Repealing this policy would simply mean that LGBTs could not be discharged due to sexual orientation. Repealing this would not affect military life.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Joe Curtis

    I would have done it 6 months ago. The present policy does not work. And our guy said he would. Lets get it done.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Alex

    It is time for the military to join the 21st Century and end this officially sanctioned bigotry towards gay service members. We Americans always want to do the right thing and this is the right thing to do. Those service members that might be initially uncomfortable will grow to accept the change. Let our professional military show the rest of us just how professionally they can serve - and I believe they will.

    Alex (Boston, MA)

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  84. Karl from SF, CA

    Jack, based on what friends have told me, just about everyone in the military knows who is who and what is what. I don’t see it making much of any change. I do have gay friends that served without incident. They just had to remember to lie about it at the induction center. I’d ask John McCain what it has been effective at doing, getting rid of vital personnel in a time of war when their skills are most needed. How asinine. Wake up, Johnny, it’s the 21st Century.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  85. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    As a 29 year senior field grade officer, I have served my country with Einsteins to idiots. In combat and the heat of battle never once did it cross my mind what a gay soldier's thoughts were of what I looked like in the shower. My only concern was the mission and my men, and making sure that we all came home alive.....gay and straight. I want a soldier who can't think on his feet...his personal sexual preference means nothing.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  86. Patricia/Georgia

    It is about time we repealled this stupid law. No one should have to lie about themselves to get into the military and with two wars we need all the men we can get and they fight as well as anyone else. Why do you continue to ask Mc Cain....he lost and his opinions on things are not relevent. He is wrong in this case just like he was wrong in many others. For anyone to be kicked out of a military academy because of his sexual orientation is so behind the times as as progressive as America thinks it is ....it is not. Other countries pay no attention to ones sexual preference and it is time we do the same.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  87. Kevin

    I served, in the "closet". About time this country gets in synch with the 15 others that allow openness. As they say if you can shoot straight, who cares if you are or not!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  88. Ed from Amherst

    If they don't repeal it no Gay or Lesbian will ever be able to be President and Commander in Chief.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  89. Jim H

    This is precisely the time to act on DADT. In a down economy, only the dumbest, most dedicated, most bigotted (and probably xenobhobic) people will leavve and they will be relatively easy to replace. Bigots with guns are not useful in fighting a largely hearts and minds battle. Those who say this is not the time do not think it will ever be the time. As for a year long military study, that is bull. This has been coming for years and if they are not ready to implement now, they are incompetent and should be relieved.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  90. Ian

    From what I understand, women are not allowed to serve in the Infantry because they're considered a distraction in combat situations due to many reasons. Will gays that openly admit their sexuality be forced to follow this policy and not be allowed to serve in infantry units as well?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  91. Joan in Wisconsin

    I don't see how a person's sexual preference factors in on how they would perform their duties in the milatary. What does it matter? As long as they perform their duties who really cares if they like men or women? I don't.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  92. John Martin

    The lift of the policy should be a non-issue. If it exists in the first place, people know that they are in the military. I don't think that with it being lifted that there would be any change in ability. People should think about the fact that they are indeed fighting for all freedom. Not just the ones they find convenient.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  93. George

    I served 27 years in the Army and at that time would never support gays in the military. I believe that the public support of gays is much higher than it was back in 1993 when the ban was put in place. The stigma associated with being gay is not as big a problem with the men and women in uniform today as it was in the distant past.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  94. Seth in Raleigh

    Hey Jack!

    It is absolutely the right thing to do, appealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". If these men and women are able to serve and fight wars, they can deal with LGBT's in the military. I would simply repeal the policy. It should be up to the individual soldier whether or not to come out to fellow soldiers. Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" does not mean instituting a "Ask and Tell" policy. Repealing this policy would simply mean that LGBTs could not be discharged due to sexual orientation. Repealing this would not affect military life.

    Seth in Raleigh, NC

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  95. Mary E

    What is the big shakeup? Homosexuals are and have always served in the military. Having a ban and having "Don't ask, Don't tell" are both ridiculous, discriminatory and stupid. Heterosexuals pertending they don't know and homosexuals pretending they are not is no way to run the military. Get real!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  96. Paul Cardin

    The gay soldier conundrum: Any man who is willing to wear my country's uniform, in order to fight for my freedom to say that he ought not to wear that uniform, deserves to wear that uniform.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  97. Tammy Hilderbrand

    Jack....Don't Ask Don't Tell just plain no longer holds water. The argument against gays in the military is that it will cause "morale" problems and make some people "uncomfortable". Well...if we're going to use that logic, what about people that are "uncomfortable" working alongside Jews, Muslims, African-Americans and even women? Professional soldiers should be professional enough to get over their own prejudices and do their job....which is defending America and working for the principles of democracy....which include "All men are created equal". Enough trying to justify prejudices.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  98. Bill Giles, Acworth GA

    Jack, I retired after 20 years in the army, including two tours in VN. Whether you are in a firefight, or scrubbing toilets, you have a job to do, and you hope like Hell the guy next to you doing his his part.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  99. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Our country is in a state of falling apart and our elected officials are worried more about gay people and global warming and health care more then they are about saving our butt's go figure .

    February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  100. Gary

    I'm a redneck from southern illinois, but i respect any man or woman that is willing to give their life for our country. End of that story.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  101. jim Blevins

    It would simply move the military into the 21st century. While your at it, get rid of the crime of adultery. Queen Victoria lived in the 19th century - it is high time to stop living by her rules.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  102. John from Orange County Ca

    It should have no effect at all, if we are talking about professional soldiers. The same group of whiners who say it shouldn't be lifted, are the same group of people that said they wouldn't sleep or fight next to a black man. They probably still feel that way today, but can't get away with such discrimination openly. There will always be prejudice, but at least the laws and rules can change to not protect such behavior.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  103. Mary Jo

    Once everybody calms down from the initial horror of a change, I believe that men and women of all sexual persuasions will work side by side to get the job done in the military just like they do in every other walk of society and in every other job site. There are going to be individuals that you trust, that you want to work with, that you want to bunk next to and there will be others that you do not want to. The military, unlike other work sites, will turn your group into a machine that works together or you will wash out. Just that simple, and it will have absolutely nothing to do with sexual preference but with character and ability to adapt to military life.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  104. Chris Young

    Don't ask don't tell should be decided by the military and it's staff. If the military is looked at as a separate entity as far as the law goes, aka it has its own laws and courts anyhow, solve it this way:

    Have an election in just the military on the issue and it's simple, Either you want it or you don't.

    To bad its too simple to work – I guess.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  105. Homeless D in Atlanta


    "Way back when" in the early 60s I personally knew SEVERAL people (male and female) who served proudly in the military. Most of them were what used to be termed "gung-ho" and were very proud to serve.

    The rationale at that time for the way gays were treated if "found out" was that they were a security risk, that is, they could be blackmailed into giving out secrets to keep their true sexuality a secret.

    With "don't ask, don;t tell" we came maybe a step further. However, I find this policy to be chameful in a nation that prides itself on FREEDON. And, under this policy isn't there also the fear that some gay person who does not wish to be known would still be a threat?

    So, I believe that a person's sexuality should NEVER be a criteria for their willingness and ability to serve their country in the military! And, a repeal of this policy would totally eliminate the threat of someone being blackmailed for being gay, and would only leave a gay person open to blackmail on the same basis as any other person.

    Please Congress, lets get into the 21st Century and repeal this policy!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |

    It's too bad Congress has to be permitted to consider this issue. Most of them are homophobes who will try to stop the military from permitting gays in the military. They will trot out every trumped up argument they can make up against repealing the don't-ask-don't-tell rule while never admiting their bias and hatred of gays. Congress hasn't the sense to pound sand in a rat hole – why permit them to decide this question?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  107. Joseph Cohn

    I would let the men and women in the service vote for repeal of this sick law. Even let the public cast their vote directly on the National Census which is about to begin.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  108. bob

    After the last eight years of Neanderthal government we are so far behind the enlightened policies of leading nations in the social arena it is laughable. As the straight and proud father of a gay daughter who has experienced discrmination in the education sector I would like to ask my fellow Americans what is it that makes them so insecure? Why does someone else being different than them scare them so much? Gay people are good and evil, brave and cowardly, patriotic and unpatriotic just like everyone else. For God's sake let the good, brave and patriotic ones who are willing to fight for this country do so alongside their straight brothers and sisters without having to pretend they are someone they are not!
    Bob in South Carolina
    South Carolina

    February 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  109. Chris

    First of all, I think open gays in the military will make other service members uncomfortable. They will be targets of hazing and violent abuse. I don't think sexual preference should ever be an open topic in the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  110. carl

    It is easy to say repeal the ban but the problem is the same that you now have with woman that includes , housing , training , sexual relationships during deployment and polices all have to be rewritten. then the problem is discrimination when you house specific man from other man because of their sexual preference.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  111. Keith

    Living a closeted life in the military is a lie. A lie to oneself. a lie to oyur fellow soldiers and a lie to all those who have fought for gay rights. Allowing all Americans to serve openly and freely in the service of our country will restore a significant amount of duty, hnoor and respect to the US military. We cannot afford to lose a single soldier to the antiquated policies of the US military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  112. Andrea

    "Don't ask, don't tell" has been about as "effective" as McCain's presidential campaign. This policy was a response to a homophobic America and needs to end. Patriotic Americans who want to serve their country should be allowed to do so.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  113. Duane

    The repeal would be a great asset to the military. After serving 11 years in submarine duty, I was faced with a situation where I had to take care of my partner who had multiple sclerosis, an aggressive form. The military wasn't going to give me the same rights as a married heterosexual couple, where they could have been issued a new set of orders for a period of time to take care of thier loved ones.

    Being gay, I knew I couldn't come forward and say I was gay and I needed to take care of my partner. Instead, I had to be creative in getting out so I wouldn't get a dishonorable discharge.

    The paper work showing that less than 1% gays being discharged does not match the facts. The hard facts are that gays and lesbians know if they come forward, they will be dishonorably discharged, so there has to be more cases, who like me, gays and lesbians are creative in getting discharged.

    The government is blind to the amount of gays and lesbians getting discharged. Allow gays to serve and the number of discharges will diseminate.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  114. Active duty soldier - name withheld for obvious reasons.

    As a gay in the military, i can completely sympathize with all who oppose this repeal. HOWEVER, just because I am gay, doesn't guarantee that I (or other gays in the military) will be any more open about it. I don't want to be ostracized, and a repeal of the law is not going to change people's opinions of this sexual orientation, so I'm not going to come out to any but my closest friends who would love me either way. Of course, they're probably going to have sensitivity training ... but I digress.

    I'm a pretty reserved person anyway, so just because a law is passed I'm not gonna go flaming about. You would be surprised how homo erotic the military is anyway; guys saying to each other 'Hey sexy," and "Hey, good looking!" – particularly Caucasian males anyway. Maybe this is deemed OK at this point because of DADT so people can act gay without actually fear of being gay (sorry, this is a really hard concept to illustrate).

    Anyway, Things will not change for me either way. Sure it would be nice to be able to be open about my sexuality, but it's not entirely who I am. I'm smart, intelligent, caring, funny, talented – my sexuality is only a tiny percentage of who I am, and those that know I'm gay love me for who I am.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  115. dennis doyle

    Allowing gays in the military period is a bad idea. Never mind don't ask, don't tell. Anyone who has served in the military will understand my point of view. Adm Mullen is a big disappointment on this issue and is obviously bowing to polical pressure. Consider the living conditions, sleeping, bathing, toileting, etc, that all services experience. It ain't about privacy, believe me. It is difficult enough to keep men and women relationships from becoming a problem. Wait till you see the men-men and women-women problems.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  116. Matt Runte


    Just to answer your question one should be required to present their DD-214 (the official "I served in the military" card). Admiral Mullen is right; a service member's integrity is violated when they lie, and for gay men and women to served they are forced to live a lie. I joined the Army under President Clinton and fought wars under President Bush. During that time I served with many patriots, some of whom I knew were gay, others that I'm sure wouldn't tell a soul. It's time to let any proud American serve their country in uniform without fear of discrimination or reprisal. How will this affect our military? It will make us stronger, more unified, better able to accomplish our mission.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Jack. You're alright in my book.

    3rd Infantry Div. Vet

    February 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  117. Chris, NY

    It will keep more of, and add to the pool of soldiers in the Armed Forces. This is long overdue...... Too bad this will bring out the fear mongers, and gay bashers, as this gets debated..........Though if the military is ready for this change (i.e. the Pentagon), there should be no debate.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  118. CantankRUs

    Candidates are still being kept out of our military because of "Don't ask; don't tell", which means someone is asking and someone is ackknowledging. It's understood talking about sex in the workplace is inappropriate. Apparently, the military is opposed to that notion.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  119. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This gay thing is definitly something that requires the back burner .

    February 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  120. bill rogers

    we should be paying people that can speak arabic a bonus to stay not kick them out because of sexual preference, and while we are at it lets stop age-discrimination in the armed services,there are a hell of a lot of older people that were very good at there jobs that would jump at the opportunity to help protect our country and make a paycheck

    February 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  121. MIke - Santa Barbara, CA.

    Honesty and integrity are paramount to the military's objective of protecting our homeland. All soldiers should be provided the opportunity to serve their country honorably, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  122. Andrea in Raleigh, NC


    Short answer: Nothing will happen. Long answer: The only reason there is a debate going on is because a decent percentage of men and women are homophobic. The more our armed forces spend time with people that they KNOW are gay or lesbian, the more they will be able to see how it really wouldn't/doesn't effect their service. In fact, they'll probably find that that their fellow soldiers [who are gay] are just as cool, just as strong, and just as capable as anyone else. It's time that we stop treating the gay community like they're not real people, like they're some how less human than those who prefer heterosexual relationships. This isn't rocket science...

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  123. Marshall Todd

    I served 2 years in the Navy and 20 years in the army, retiring as a First Sergeant in 1985.
    This entire subject is a tempest in a teapot!
    Gays have served in our armed forces forever. The only people that object to their serving are homophobes.
    The chairman of the joint chiefs is right. It is long past time to allow people to serve their country without having to hide who they really are.
    It is a horrible waste to have allowed trained linguists and other skilled people go in time of war because they are gay.
    For the homophobes I can only tell them to get some counseling and deal with their obvious latent homosexual tendencies!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  124. Wayne

    I served with distinction throughout my military service, but had to lie to get in. I was at the top of my class in every endeavor and received the highest honors and commendations to be had. I could not pretend to be something I was not, and yet had to walk on eggshells constantly for fear of being identified as the one unfit to serve. How was I a threat to the military or our country? My record would not have been any different had I been truthful from the start! Is prejudice parading as policy?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  125. Chris Young

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Don't ask don't tell should be decided by the military and it's staff. If the military is looked at as a separate entity as far as the law goes, aka it has its own laws and courts anyhow, solve it this way:

    Have an election in just the military on the issue and it's simple, Either you want it or you don't.

    To bad its too simple to work – I guess.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  126. Dave Jordan (Milpitas, CA)

    This is a media-manufactured non-problem. I spent 4 years in the US Army (Korean War – 1951-1954) in many different assignments living among thousands of different men (some Gay some not) and I never saw a problem. After that service I spent nearly 50 years working in corporate America thro a number of different companies and assignments and I never saw a problem.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  127. patrick

    If they don't repeal the law they should implement the draft for both men and women and congress would be surprised to find out that all their sons and daughters are gay.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  128. Dustin

    What's the problem with that? We have gay marrige becomming legalized in more and more states each year. I don't see why people have to hide who they really are.

    Las Vegas, NV.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  129. Michael

    It wouldn't, I don't understand this debate to begin with. Somehow we're ok to defend the country as long as we lie about who we are? but when the military finds out our sexual preference, we're no longer worthy of helping defend our country?

    This is ridiculous, what do these people think? The gay microwaves are going to penetrate the other servicemen? This is long overdue!

    Mililani, HI

    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  130. RBB

    It won't affect the military at all.

    They're using the same arguments now as they did 60 years ago, when they opposed the racial integration of the military; and 30 years ago when they opposed giving women greater roles in the military.

    It's amazing that many who voice oppsition have never served in the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  131. GI Jay


    As an officer in the military I can tell you that a change in policy would have very little overall impact. We are given the mission and drive on.

    Initially, there may be a few ripples that would make big news for the folks in your AO, but the military would face those challenges head-on.

    We want individuals willing to serve their country – part of that commitment is selflessness. Anyone that is willing to do that should be allowed on the team.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  132. Renald N. (Bahamas)

    Jack, the very same argument being made by critics now were the very same being made when Truman tried to integrate blacks into the military! How'd that work out?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  133. ER in Chicago

    The only reason this issue is being studied at this time of national turmoil is the desire to reinstate the draft. Heads up!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  134. ls400s

    I think everyone who dosent want to serve and go to war, should just say they are gay. The tone would make a quick turn a round than. It absurd who you sleep with should have any bearing on serving your country.. Did they not pass basic training the same why straight people did?...This country is becoming a joke

    February 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  135. Bendan

    Personally, I say KEEP DADT – but make it apply to EVERYONE, without prejudice. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, ‘tri-sexuals’, bi-sexuals, twinkie-sexuals…who cares! Across the board; I can’t ask you and you can’t tell me. If sexual orientation plays no role in mission fulfillment, then ANY sexual orientation should play no role, have no part and not be recognized in any form or fashion. Such a slight adjustment would appease all sides. The problem seems to exist amongst those who want to shout their orientation/or dislike of a particular orientation from the rooftops…well, while on that rooftop, keep your mouth shut and engage the damn target 🙂

    February 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  136. Lilarose in Oregon

    The reason there are "rules" for gay people is that there are too many homophobics in our government.

    Often people who are homophobic are actually homosexual. They are so terrified of being found out that they trash homosexuals just to keep questioners off their tracks.

    I have seen this several times right here in Oregon with city officials.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  137. Elise Lee

    The US government, particularly the military, ought to take initiative by insistings gays not be discriminated against, period. If gays are living in fear of state repeals as to their rights, what more perfect and non-closeted way to instill confidence than by supporting the right of all sexual orientations. For God's sake, we are talking about people in combat, people laying down their lives for our country. We are not talking about redesigning uniforms with sequins and crystals.

    Don't Ask Don't Tell might still work however for small suburban communities where frightened gay men sport photos of their children while talking about their latest female conquests!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  138. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    You will not loose soldiers and you might even see more people join the forces and the U.S. will join other countries that does not discriminate from this selective enrollment!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  139. boltsfan

    I am a heterosexual Vietnam War Veteran who served in the US Navy, & the father of a son in the US Navy, and I fully support President Obama for pushing for this change NOW! I know from firsthand experience that the members of the military always have been and always will be capable of overcoming far bigger challenges than serving alongside gays.

    Senator McCain's objection to repealing this law is both hypocritical and a clear reflection of his ignorance. He abandoned the veterans prior to last year's election when they asked for his support for increasing benefits to veterans returning from Iraq "because it might impact troop levels" because those benefits would be too attractive!

    The ONLY thing effective about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is that it has effectively kept our heads in the sand. It's OK if McCain prefers sand in his ears, but 80% of us would rather we include gays in our military the same way we include them in our workplace, schools, and communities.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  140. whybs on twitter (CA)

    Gates summed it up well, "For me, personally, it comes down to integrity." Undoubtedly this also likely implies that Gates thinks very highly of Obama! He doesn't settle for less.

    Thank you Sec. Gates for serving our country.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  141. Ryan

    I am in the military and I don't see a problem with gay men or gay women in it. Having a gay friend or co-worker is almost a norm in the world we live in today. As long as they do there job affectively it shouldn't matter what a persons sexual preference is.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  142. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I recall in the late 60's when I went through basic training at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego the beating that one man took by both the members of his platoon and the Drill Instructors because he was suspected of being homosexual. I never saw this person again after his beating.

    I never forgot this, he was up until that time of the suspicion one of the outstanding recruits in the platoon. And I would have been honored to have served my eventual time in Vietnam with him in the same foxhole.

    This proved to me how our archaic, absolute ideologies, and false justifications have hindered America's soul. It is time to stop our idiocy and let these brave men and women serve without prejudice, and without shame. It is our differences that in the end make us stronger.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  143. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Repeal would mean that honorable Patriotic men and women could continue (and/or perhaps resume) careers in the military without fear of being removed, and without having to lie about themselves. Keep in mind, that many of these people serve/served in positions that are under manned. I could never understand how forcing them out "HELPED" the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  144. Donna, Atlanta, GA

    Gays are willing to fight for our country. What else do you need to know? Let anyone fight who is willing to fight. Some people being gay didn't cause a problem in the college dorms. It is time to stop looking at everyone's "differences". So what if someone is gay or straight or bisexual? What everyone in the military has in common: patriotism, protecting each other and defending our country. I'm a straight person who doesn't have the guts to do it.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  145. david

    This should not be an issue of trying to mimic the make-up of our current society. Military members must abide by additional rules in order to maintain order and discipline among its members.

    There is already regulations that discourage public displays of affection while in uniform and/or on duty for whatever sexual orientation someone may decide to have.

    For the sake of allowing open identification of those with homosexual desires, it would seem that we would have to take on the additional expenses of adding additional space for dressing rooms and showering, where there is currently often an open bay with mutliple showerheads for large groups to get through and take care of business. The living quarters are definitely not like what we might see in an average American home; but maybe at a local gym that has limited facilities. Men and women in the military have separate dressing and showering areas for a reason. Do we really need to create more separation?

    A woman who is attracted to men does not necessarily want to be ogled by men while she is washing of changing (no staring, no commenting, no whistling, etc.). In the same way, a man (whether heterosexual or homosexual) would not necessarily want to be ogled in similar situations. This is where concerns of maintaining order and discipline can be problematic. There are more.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  146. Jake

    I'm gay, and I know plenty of gay individuals in our military. I served in the military as a counter terrorism intelligence analyst and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. During my time in the service many of the guys in my unit knew I was gay. I'm now a DoD civilian intelligence analyst and continue to deploy to the combat zone, and I can say no one cares! If every gay individual decided to "tell" we would loose half our linguist and intelligence analyst. I can fight and identify trends and link analysis just as good as the next guy.


    February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  147. Katja in Florida

    It would bring the military into the 21st century. If someone wants to serve this country, who they sleep with shouldn't matter.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  148. Paul McKinney, Texas

    Soldiers who are not afraid of guns, bombs, capture, torture or death say they are afraid of homosexuals. Clearly we should gays should not be used as soldiers; they should be used as weapons.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  149. Joe CE

    Sex is strong distraction under any circumstances and especially in the military. Gay should be able to serve – they are. They are not allwed to advertise and there should be no change in this. Sexual prefernce is a private matter. The directive shold be changed to state that NOONE may discuss sexual preerence. This remove any discrimination from Gays but prevents advertising whch would be a serious dstraction i n the military.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  150. Larry, San Francisco

    While I fully support the repeal and know it's a matter of when not if, I'm dubious. Is this a "Change We Need" or simply a distraction?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  151. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Is their don"t ask don"t tell in the F.B.I ? Does God have a gender ?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  152. grayhead

    If I were in the military I would not want to have a gay guy around. I think it would distract from my ability to do my job to have a known gay guy by my side. Do we put woman and men in the same barracks. Not a good idea. Why? Because there would be crap going on that shouldn’t be. Woman would feel(and be) harassed and even rapped. So how do you handle gays in the military? You can’t put all gays in the same barracks. They would love it but it wouldn’t work to take sex out of the military sleeping quarters. I'm sorry but it is NOT a good idea.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  153. Greg, Ontario

    Look at it this way if you are in a fire fight do you really care about the sexual preference of the guy next to you? Of coarse not. You tell the military to stop considering it any differently than you would for straight people. Orientation is no longer a factor in dismissals. A one page, one sentence law. How cool would that be Jack?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  154. Janelle

    Nobody is questioning the ability of homosexuals to do their duty. The military needs to find a way to address the living quarters situation on bases. This isn't meant to sound trite, but imagine the outrage if the military demanded men and women live together in close quarters, dressing, showering, sleeping, etc, with no privacy? Gay or straight, I don't want my 20 year old daughter having to dress and shower in a room full of men. How is housing homosexuals and hetrosexuals together any different?

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  155. Bill Funk

    Who cares? The Spartans were defeated by a completely gay army. The negative would be that now 'they will ask'and my guess is 'no one will want to tell'I believe it will open a pandoras box that will lead to marriage demands, benefits, separate quarters, etc, etc. What is in place suffices

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  156. whybs on twitter (CA)

    McCain, you are a good man but an old fart! Get with the time, will you? DADT promotes nothing but lies! It was how you lost my votes!

    Gates summed it up well, "For me, personally, it comes down to integrity." Undoubtedly this also likely implies that Gates thinks very highly of Obama! He doesn't settle for less.

    Thank you Sec. Gates for serving our country.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  157. Chris


    Let me get this straight. Sending people to fight and die in a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (i.e. Iraq), face IED's in Afghanistan with inadequate body armor, confront terrorists that will torture and kill at the first chance they get, and then come home to under funded VA hospitals...all this is not enough to make the Brass or Republicans overly concerned about troop moral? Yet, having someone next to them that is gay IS going to "undermine moral?" It is a real disservice to all our troops to think they are strong enough to fight two brutal wars, but are too delicate to deal with a gay person. A repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will not effect the military, it will only effect the religious right. It will prove that the world will not collapse if gays are given equal rights under the law.

    Boston, MA

    February 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  158. whybs on twitter (CA)

    The GOP demands smaller, more efficient government. Yet, they pushed for this stupid DADT policy. And you can bet your life that everyone of them touches him/herself – the ultimate homosexual act. It's disgusting, if you ask me (yes, I'm guilty: ). So, why stone others and waste our tax dollars.

    - whybs on twitter (yes, whybs?)

    February 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  159. B A McMillen

    The effect would be a big zip. Any unit of 100 men and women probably has at least a few gays and everybody in the unit knows who they are. The question is can they do the job that is expected of them? It doesn't matter what sex, color, religion or sexual orientation, only can they do the job. That we have kicked over 1,000 talented men and women out of the services who were willing to risk their lives for you and me is shameful. While driving home an hour ago, NPR had a GOP Congressman on who was arguing against repeal. I had to clean the manure off of my shoes when I got of my car.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  160. Vietnam combat vet George

    The "don't ask; don't tell" policy has ruined the live of thousands of decent Americans, just to keep comfortable a vocal narrow minded minority who are still in the dark ages. Where is the justice, let alone so-called morality, in that? Show some guts and end it!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  161. Dave , Munhall , Pa.

    Jack , In Vietnam Iknew guys that were gay and they died there , and I know guys that pretended to be gay to aviod the service and going to Vietnam. it really shouldn't affect a thing ,except some bigots !!!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  162. Thomas - Baton Rouge, LA

    If the soldiers/sailors are as 'professional' as advertised, it won't make a difference. Gays have been in the military forever, now they just won't have to lie.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  163. dave p -upstate new york [milford]

    as an ex navy person from 1964-1968 on a small ship of 185 personnel, i had no problems with gay people. we had three on board our ship that i knew off and to my knowledge they never bothered any of us on board. so why are they making such a big deal of it now. i dont think it is because they now have women serving on board with men. maybe the polititions needed it seem like they were accomplishing something to look good to their constituants. thats all they seem to do anymore. that and take money from cororations. keep up the good work, jack.you really keep things interesting on CNN.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  164. bill

    It erases a viable compromise. I assume they will now be asked and they know they should not tell. Now they are punished for violations of military law which is clear both for homosexuals and heterosexuals, so anyone leaving the military over this issue has either violated law or they decided to "tell".Accepting homosexuality would only be a first step to expensive benefits such as marriage, special quarters, etc.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  165. whybs on twitter (CA)

    Professional sports, colleges & universities don't have separate living quarters, showers, etc. for homosexuals.

    Bigots are bigots! They can't be reformed or educated but, in the military, they follow orders.

    Let's stop all the BS & eliminate "all" discrimination, now!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  166. James Easton

    Jack, what you read were far more worthy than what I said

    February 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  167. Nell Croissant

    I spent 35 years working for the military, mostly the Air Force. There have always been gays in the military. All the ones I knew were accepted by everyone, straights and gays alike. What earthly difference will changing the policy make? Nothing will change. It will go on as it does now; some openly gay, others keeping it a secret. I see no point in making an issue of it, as nothing is really going to change. The only change would be if the military high mucky-mucks decided to prosecute for it. And that would be stupid...talk about a lose/lose situation.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm |