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Unlikely Allies Support DADT Repeal

Ian S. Thompson,
Senior Legislative Advocate,
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May 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow had two guests on her show last night expressing their support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) this year. You may be asking yourself what is so surprising about Rachel Maddow having guests on her show who support repealing DADT. I mean, she’s gay!

Well, both Jim Hanson and J.D. Johannes are former members of the armed forces and are now prominent military bloggers. They joined with more than a dozen other military bloggers in signing a joint statement supporting efforts to repeal DADT. The statement reads in part:

Today, it appears inevitable to us that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and law restricting those displaying open homosexual behavior from serving will be changed. And yet, very little will actually change. Homosexuals have always served in the US Military, and there have been no real problems caused by that…The US Military is professional and ready to adapt to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell without compromising its mission. Echoing Sec. Def. Gates and ADM Mullen, we welcome open and honorable service, regardless of sexual orientation.

The statement, which is available on, is a powerful recognition of the fact that those who are gay and lesbian are already serving in the military, as has always been the case.

Hanson sums up the nonissue of open service by succinctly stating:

If I am lying by the road bleeding, I don’t care if the medic coming to save me is gay. I just hope he is one of those buff gay guys who are always in the gym so he can throw me over his shoulder and get me out of there.

As Congress approaches votes in both the House and Senate on repealing DADT, the statement by these prominent military bloggers offers further evidence that ending this counterproductive and discriminatory policy will not cause the sky to fall. What it will do is make for a stronger military and a fairer, more just nation.

UPDATE: The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the Lieberman Amendment, which will add language repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to the National Defense Authorization Act in the Senate, by a vote of 16-12. Debate has begun on the Murphy Amendment, which would do the same in the House. Contact your Representatives NOW and tell them you want them to vote YES on the Murphy Amendment.