Monday, November 28, 2005

The Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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I don't really know how many people are aware that currently there is legilstion sitting in a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee which would repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" gay ban in all branches of the U.S. Military. For myself, I had heard something or another about it, but not much. I don't think there was ever much attention given to it by anybody, including the government and the media. I found a great article in Q-Notes about it though. According to the article:
One hundred Members of Congress now support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1059), a Congressional bill that would repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel. The bill, introduced in March by Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA), is co-sponsored by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, including nine members of the House Armed Services Committee. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) recently became the 100th co-sponsor.
I took the liberty of going to the House website and looking up H.R. 1059 myself. H.R. 1059, which being called the Military Readiness Enhanement Act of 2005, now has 104 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. It has been stuck within the House Committee on Armed Forces' subcommittee on military personnel. And I'll give you one good guess as to why this particular piece of legislation is being bottled up. The current leadership within the House, the Senate and the Administration just do not want to see this legislation proceed any further. If it passes then all hope of "saving America" from the "evils" of homosexuality will be lost forever. The scope of this piece of legislation and the effect it will have on America is a great one. The Act (H.R. 1059)not only repeals the ban on letting gays serve openly it also creates a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation:
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN THE ARMED FORCES.
    (a) Establishment of Policy- (1) Chapter 37 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`Sec. 656. Policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation
    `(a) Policy- The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the armed forces or against any person seeking to become a member of the armed forces.
    `(b) Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation- For purposes of this section, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is--
      `(1) in the case of a member of the armed forces, the taking of any personnel or administrative action (including any action relating to promotion, demotion, evaluation, selection for an award, selection for a duty assignment, transfer, or separation) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation; and
      `(2) in the case of a person seeking to become a member of the armed forces, denial of accession into the armed forces in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.
    `(c) Personnel and Administrative Policies and Action- The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may not establish, implement, or apply any personnel or administrative policy, or take any personnel or administrative action (including any policy or action relating to promotions, demotions, evaluations, selections for awards, selections for duty assignments, transfers, or separations) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.
    `(d) Rules and Policies Regarding Conduct- Nothing in this section prohibits the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, from prescribing or enforcing regulations governing the conduct of members of the armed forces if the regulations are designed and applied without regard to sexual orientation.
    `(e) Re-Accession of Otherwise Qualified Persons Permitted- Any person separated from the armed forces for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct in accordance with laws and regulations in effect before the date of the enactment of this section, if otherwise qualified for re-accession into the armed forces, shall not be prohibited from re-accession into the armed forces on the sole basis of such separation.
    `(f) Sexual Orientation- In this section, the term `sexual orientation' means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived, and includes statements and consensual sexual conduct manifesting heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.'.
The reason why the anti-gay bigots of America don't want this legislation to pass is very simple: If the military can't discriminate against the "fags and the queers" then neither can the total entirety of the American government, which means... sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) would become a federally protected class just like race, religion, sex, etc. I hope that more co-sponsors will come on board to help push H.R. 1059 out of committee. I hope that it passes. I hope that America can one day reach the ideals which were laid down for her more than 200 years ago: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and that all men (and women, too) are created equal. The text of H.R. 1059 can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.1059:

2 Comments:

This is actually in reference to some of your other posts...

But I'm still unsure of how you define "anti-gay"....essentially you label someone (or a group) as anti-gay if they don't "Affirm" the homosexuality in the Church?

Not that I support what the NC Baptist Convention did (I was not surprised since the SBC and its affiliated state conventions have been jerking right since the "takeover" in 79)....but is not "homosexuality" a theological issue? Should the NCBC be inclusive of Baptist Churches that do not accept their brand of theology? A HUGE HUGE difference between Churches that Welcome gays and Churches that AFFIRM gays...

Is it wrong of the NCBC to oust those Churches that they feel are out-of-step with "traditional" North Carolina Baptists? I'm sure they argue that those Churches that "affirm" homosexuality support an out of control version of liberal individualism...

I don't think the NCBC is saying that because you're gay you're going straight to hell....I think the NCBC is saying that they won't tolerate Churches that affirm a lifestyle which they perceive to be sinful...which at the end of the day is their theological position.

I'm not thrilled with the NCBC decision, but I understand it. I think moderate Baptists must separate themselves from their fundamentalist brothers and sisters (as far as participating in the same state Convention).

Anti-gay is just not a fair term. Not if you're branding a person or a group anti-gay due to their theological beliefs. That attitude leads to a form of liberal fundamentalism.

I think many of the theological stances of the SBC are wrong. But I have a handful of SBC friends who are sincere about their theological beliefs. They might not affirm women in the ministry or homosexuality in the Church but they are sincere about their beliefs. And because of their sincerity and their soul freedom, I respect them. I think they are misguided, but they're not anti-gay bigots....
A person who or group which is unwilling to accept homosexuals as equally as any other person is anti-gay. Homosexuals are people and deserve to be treated no differently than any other person.

In a newscast by WXII Newschannel 12 (Winston-Salem, NC) a member of the NC Baptist State Convention said something to the effect of: You don't see us passing any major policy statements on other sins. Why are we singling out one sin over the others?

He had a good point. Homosexuals are not being treated as equally as other persons. That is my definition of "anti-gay."

Also... you speak of affirming "homosexuality" within the Church. I'm not asking for the Church to affirm any sort of sexuality, for that is a private matter. What I am asking is that the Church affirm ALL Christians as members of the Christ's Body and sons and daughters of the Father. The Church, to this point and in my opinion and personal experience, has not done this. Ultimately the sins of each individual is between the Father, the Son and that individual... not the Father, the Son, the NC Baptist State Convention or any other church body and that individual. All persons professing faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and who live to bring the love and hope of Christ to others, no matter their sexuality, should be fully welcomed, without question, within the earthly Body of Christ.