Friday, May 15, 2009

It's time for Obama to step up to the plate

I'm absolutely disgusted to hear about the firing of Lt. Dan Choi. In March, the West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show and openly admitted that he's gay. As a result, on April 23rd he received a letter from the Army discharging him from service due to a violation of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Thus far, Obama has refused requests to intervene on Choi's behalf. This clip from Jon Stewart's Daily Show shows the ridiculous nature of this policy.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Dan Choi Is Gay
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The U.S. government is willing to make all kinds of compromises in the interest of national security: torture, warrantless wire tapping, the surveillance of individuals' use of public libraries, etc. All of these other things are permissible because they, supposedly, stand to help improve national security. However, the government is not willing to "compromise" the nation by allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military. What makes this decision even more egregious is the fact that Choi is a much-sought-after Arabic translator. Choi's is only the latest in a lone line of such firings. Let's hope he will be the last member of the military to receive such a letter under the Obama administration.

The Courage Campaign has started a petition asking President Obama to stand behind the promise he made while on the campaign trail: to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Please sign the petition urging the President to follow through on that promise. This policy of federally endorsed homophobia must end both for the sake of equality AND national security.


Anonymous said...

Is the idea that keeping the Republicans on our good side will ensure their helpful cooperation on "big" issues like health care? If so, then we're in trouble. First of all, the Right has made it perfectly clear that they perceive themselves to be battling a culture war - against progressive Democratic policies. More important are the fundamental rights at stake here. How can Obama, a constitutional scholar, justify discrimination based on . . . anything?

I'm ready to send a message to the Right that fucking around with civil rights will get you nowhere - certainly not a place at the negotiating table. We don't need to pacify these fascists. For god's sake, we probably won't have a Democratic majority for another 20 years - can we PLEASE stand up for what we believe?

Aviva DV said...

How can Obama, a constitutional scholar, justify discrimination based on . . . anything?That's what gets to me more than anything. I mean, I just don't understand how firing someone from the military because they're gay (or, more significantly, allowing that sort of discrimination continued credibility) makes any sense whatsoever for a supposedly progressive government. This doesn't seem like it should even be remotely controversial, regardless of one's thoughts on gay marriage, etc., blatant discrimination in the workplace based on something that has nothing to do with the work environment shouldn't be tolerated, regardless of what that 'something' is. It's not that hard a concept to grasp, even from a fairly conservative perspective.

Renee said...

Considering how desperate they are for troops the fact that DADT is still standard operating procedure just shows how homophobic the military still is. How is a gay man in the unit a distraction? It assumes that gay men are so desperate that they don't actually have a type and fall for anything with a penis therefore making all men in the unit vulnerable....ooooh the threat of the gay man. How ridiculous can you get. It further assumes that gay men are not professional enough to get their job down without falling prey to lust. Give me a break. If straight men can manage to do it without stopping every two seconds to think about sex then so can gay men.

Aviva DV said...

I'm with you, Renee. Like many laws/regulation, especially in the military, DADT is one of those restrictions that I cannot understand why any person with half a brain cell would think makes sense. I really wish someone who thinks DADT is a good idea would explain it to me. Not that I'd agree, but I'd like to know the reasoning behind it...