The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pa. Congressman Seeks to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Yesterday, Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) announced a new campaign to repeal the controversial military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," at the National Press Club in Washington.

Murphy announced that he would spearhead the effort to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283), overturning the controversial 1993 policy banning openly gay individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

To read Murphy's official statement on the issue, Click Here.

Murphy, an Army veteran of the war in Iraq who was recently highlighted in the winter issue of American Veteran, said that the policy prohibited the military from recruiting and retaining the best an brightest individuals, and cited how more than 13,000 service members have been discharged under the policy since it was enacted.

In recent months, the Obama Administration has backed away from its campaign promise to overturn the policy, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has voiced his willingness to investigate a "more humane" way to enforce the regulation.

Proponents of upholding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" have voiced concerns over a breakdown of discipline and unit cohesion, should the policy be overturned. In April, the Washington Post published an op-ed by four retired generals who sought to explain how repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would only serve to weaken the military.

American Veteran will follow this story closely as it develops. In the meantime, we are eager to hear what you have to say on this controversial issue.

(Photo: Rep. Murphy sits down with American Veteran magazine to discuss veterans' issues in December 2008. Photo by Jay Agg.)


  1. When will the military adopt co-ed showers and rooms? If mixing males and females in a shower room is prohibited, how can mixing heterosexual males with homosexual males be OK? Same question about females.

    This is not good policy.

  2. Hmmmm haha I think that the Don`t ask Don`t tell policy is a such a joke...really I mean like thats like saying oh your skin is black so you cant be in the military...well sexism and homophobia is just like racism this too shall pass... gay people should be able to come out about their beliefs as well...Glad that I could share my thoughts on that...I believe that this policy is a joke

  3. I feel it is time to repeal this policy. Gays and Lesbians should be able to serve our country and be open and honest about who they are. Or country is one of the few that does not let gay and lesbians serve openly it's time for that to change.

  4. So many of our allies that we work closely with allow openly gay members. I cannot believe that our forces are so delicate that we cannot handle working with a military with openly gay people.
    We are suppossed to be the best in the world and able to overcome adversity.
    So why are people talking like our troops need to be shielded from reality?
    Not allowing gays in the military is counter-productive to our strength level and shows the world we have ridiculous fears.

  5. Having served 28 years in the Army with 5 tours in Vietnam, Grenada, and the 1st Pershian Gulf War, I can tell you that I would not have a problem serving with a gay soldier. I have been on loan to our Allies, that allowed openly gay members and I never saw a problem.

    I agree that not allowing gays to service is counter-productive to our mission and strenth levels in a time of war.

    Having served as a Sqd Ldr, Plt Sgt, 1SG, and CSM, mostly in a Special Operations Environment, I can assure you that a gay soldier would have had no impact on the mission or morale of any unit that I served, just the opposite, losing a soldier that was found to be gay, usually effected the mission and morale of the unit.

  6. When I went to Basic training at Ft. Lost in the Woods in 1971, I met a couple of folks who said they were gay just so they could get out of the Army.

    Different war, different era, but I don't believe that having an openly gay person in a unit would have a detrimental effect on a unit as long as that person or persons did their jobs.

    MSG (RET) Army

  7. Don't ask don't tell is the biggest farce. Some of the greatest soldiers and military leaders of our time and in times past have been gay or lesbian. Look at the Alexander the Great or the Romans or Great Britains Elite forces. None had problems with this. We fight for the freedoms of our great country even the freedoms for those to say they hate us. Our allegiance is to the United States. Oh and just because a gay male is in the barracks with a straight male does not mean they are lusting after that guy. We know how to keep our hands to ourselves. What about all the military scandals of rape towards women at some of our elite military academies??? HUH. It's time to abolish this foolish policy and accept the gay men and women who have served our nation ever since there was a military in this nation. God bless America.

  8. I am really glad to see that at least 6 out of the last 7 posts are promoting tolerance about gays and lesbians. It's a shame that homophobes and bigots like person in the first post on here are the one's who have made the policies up until now. I believe that serving in the military is about putting our awesome country first and not about what your personal life entails. Oh and like the last post said, don't flatter yourself if you think that a gay or lesbian is lusting after you in the baracks or that they can't concentrate on the mission at hand because they can't help themselves-give me a break already. I love this country and the people that serve it, no matter what their sexual preference is...I fully support this bill and its about time for it.

  9. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy seems to be the accepted politically correct means of avoiding estabishing a responsible policy on the rare yet possible instances of same-sex sexual assaults. It is rare and openly gay men have been more open to weeding out sexual preditors. I think allowing openly gay men serving would make it easier for the victims of assualt to come forward, but the public would be more aware when this does happen. I don't think such a rare and individual action should stain the traditions of any of the Armed Services. I was only a PFC and I only served 6 years in the Army, but while I was working on a Master's degree in counseling I became aware of this issue. I don't see a problem with having openly gay Americans in service to their country, but it will make these rare assaults big news. I don't know what to say on the issue, it is a lose lose situation plain and simple.

  10. i believe that a person is born gay and cannot change what they are any more than me. i have no desire what so ever to know what anyone does in their own bedroom. so you either want to fight for your country or you don't. one thing has nothing to do with the other. the government better get over it, or they may have to go back to the draft!

  11. While serving, I knew of a few gays and lesbians. They were fine examples of American service personel. But they were VERY low key about it. My thought is, I don't talk about what I do in my bedroom and I don't want to hear about what anyone else does in their's. I beleive the fear is that we would have mincing-prancing folks pushing for pink camo. Get real, anyone willing to put their lives on the line for our country is ok by me and more power to them!

  12. Let's face it, if you've served in the military for any substantial amount of time, you've served with a gay and/or lesbian. The policy should be tossed. Instead, our sexual activities should be a personal issue, only shared with our closest friends and/or comrades. Like to use toys? Keep it to yourself. Like the smokin' hot sergeant in the other office? Keep it to yourself. Have respect for others and consider their sensitivities: that should be the policy.

  13. I myself never have served in the Military.
    My Father,a Paratrooper and My Husband,Navy Submarine, Silent Service and many friends both male and female have.
    I respect and thank anyone who serves, it should not make any differences, Blacks, Whites, Males, Females, Gay Men, or Lesbien, Religion,ANYONE who serves should have the rights to be who they are, and be proud of what they are,Soilders defending Our Country for not only Our freedoms but for all freedoms.
    My husband is a Commander of an AMVETS Post and I am President of The Posts Auxiliary.
    Each time we visit our local Veterans V A Hospitals we do not judge who they are by what they are, they are Veterans and Soilders,some just back from Iraq and most so mentally disturbed by the wars we now incounter.
    We help support and get what they need.
    I hope that this ruleling changes it is long due.
    Thank you to all Veterans and Bless all of you!
    Christine Peacey,Massachsuetts

  14. After serving 11 years in the US Army I have seen Operations in Iraq and Africa and have looked at each of those that have served by me, all as equals. That is reqardless of rank, race, color, religion or Sexual orientation. I served with HEROS.

    I want to remember those in exactly that way and if they want to Tell me, That is their choice!

  15. I served for 6 years active duty and 2 years reserve and never questioned anyone that served with me about their private life unless their job performance lacked and there was a need to find out what was causing this slide. I think it needs to stay that way. We fight for freedom of choice as adults. Our decisions are our decisions and the only time they need to be questioned is when they cause a problem which could result in injury or death to those around them. Let us as adults be responsible for our actions and the consequences that go with them.

  16. chiefralphsonar@yahoo.comSaturday, July 18, 2009 12:29:00 AM

    Having served on Submarines, I knew a few who were gay, but never really cared about it. It was there business and as long as they left me alone it was fine, but during the height of the cold war, we use to say, "lets go chase some commie pinko faggots." Guess USN will now discharge me for being insensitive to gays....

  17. It's obvious that some gay dude is posting over and over again to make sure that it looks like the military is pro "tolerance". Lumping gays into the same group with "Black, white, religous etc..." is non-sense. This country and the military is OVERWHELMINGLY against homosexuality and sees it as abberant behavior. We the people (the vast majority) will not be shouted down or intimidated by the radical left or the politically correct police.
    We will be heard and we will vote to make sure the majority view is the rule of law. If you want European ways, move to Europe. This is the United States.

  18. These posts have been infiltrated by some Gay Activist poser, PERIOD.

    I DID serve 25 years on active duty and we had enough problems with male/female issues along with married women soldiers striking up one if not numerous relationships while on deployment. This cause me as a supervisor to spend considerable time counseling, moving soldiers to different billeting, work relationship issues, supervisor/subordinate issues and so on. To throw one more ball on the court will just make the matter worse. Not to mention that MOST of our soldiers are of high moral fiber (that is beyond doubt a TRUE statement, PERIOD) and would have considerable moral objections to knowingly have to billet and share hygiene facilities with those that will be practicing or at least flaunting immoral behavior right in front of them.

    Those that want to practice such behavior must do so outside of the special circumstances of military life.

    Just say NO to using our military to carry forward political social agendas. We are here to defend our nation and should not be subjected to such leftist social experiments.