Friday, June 10, 2005

Gays OK in Swedish Military (Now if only in America...)

Welcome all. "Common Sense New Yorkism" has changed in that it is now a blog dedicated solely for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) news. We had a wide readership base on our former xanga blog, however we are pretty much starting from scratch on this website.
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Well I guess I should a quick little introduction of who I am. My name is Kevin and I am a gay high school age New Yorker. I have been an activist in the LGBT movement for a good year now, and I am now beginning to experiment in setting up a blog to promote the LGBT movement. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my blog, and be sure to visit again and again.
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This week I found a story which should be a breath of fresh air for all opponents of the military's "
Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy." This policy has found new ways to piss us off here at "Common Sense New Yorkism" every week. The policy basically allows LGBT people to serve in the military, as long as they conceal their sexual orientation. What kind of crap is that? As if LGBT people need to hide their sexual orientation? Would it make the terrorists hate us more?
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Gays OK in Swedish Military (Now if only in America...)
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The actual story was about a delegation of LGBT Swedish soldiers who paid a recent visit to the White House to discuss the importance of allowing LGBT people to serve in the military.
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Sweden lifted its ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers in 1979. Together, with almost all of our closest allies- Great Britain, Australia, Israel, Germany, Japan, and Canada and 123 other countries- the movement for LGBT people to serve in militaries all over the world has progressed. Even in America, where conservatism is the dominant political thought on K Street, public support for allowing LGBT people to serve openly has grown.
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For instance, American public acceptance of gays in the military grew from 51% in a 1977 Gallup Poll to a 2003
poll which found that 78% of Americans believe that gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military.
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Given such strong public support for a repealment of Don't ask Don't Tell, why has it not already been repealed?
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Is it because that there aren't that many gays in the military, so it really doesn't matter?
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Hardly so, since there are an estimated
50,000+ gay soldiers currently serving in the American military.
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Is military recruitment doing so well that they do not need LGBT people to apply?
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Over the past 4 months, the military has consistantly
missed its recruitment goals, causing the greatest military recruitment crisis since the draft was repealed in 1973. Even with this crisis, the military has had no problem dismissing 10,000 gay service members- three to four every day- since the enactment of Don't Ask Don't Tell in 1994.
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A core argument for Don't Ask Don't Tell is that having LGBT people out in combat with straight servicemembers would hurt troop morale. These proponents fail to point out that American soldiers have been serving side by side with gay British, Canadian, Australian, Spanish, and German soldiers in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, all with no detrimental effect to combat performance noted.
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The rationale for keeping Don't Ask Don't Tell simply does not exist, especially when our military is facing its worst recruitment problem in 33 years. Don't Ask Don't Tell is a policy that hurts America in its War Against Terrorism, by denying our military thousands of patriotic LGBT gay citizens who would be honored and proud to serve in our military.
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The time is long overdue for a repealment of Don't Ask Don't Tell.


3 Comments:

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Kareen said...

Hey Kevin!

I am terribly sad that you left us on xanga, but very happy you are still keeping a website. Are only those with diffrent sexual preferance in the LTBT (sorry if I got that wrong) movement? I seem to get that beacuse I am straight I shouldn't be part of the push for gay rights. That's frustrating to me sometimes. Any advice? Hit the xanga.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger The Educated Eclectic said...

To respond to Kareen - the LGBT community DEFINITELY needs the support of the straight community - all are welcome!!

To respond to the "gays in the military" post - I definitely agree, but...think about this - a gay person goes to the military and gets killed - their "spouse" of 20 years (example) will get NO benefits as would a heterosexual couple surviving spouse.

Why would any LGBT want to leave his/her partner or vice verse if they don't even get the same rights - and "their" (example) children would not even get the child surviving benefits if the "parent" was not the biological one - federal gov't does not recognize same-sex adoptions.

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At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the American government is full of so much crap. With them missing their quotas in recruitment repeatedly, they should just repeal the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Beggers can't be choosers. From a military perspective it makes no sense for them to deny the gay community the right to openly serve in the United States Military.
This poor judgement and lack of leadership is percisely why things are going so badly in Iraq. We are lacking the numbers in soldiers to actually have them watching each others back. If I were serving in the military I would rather five gay people be watching my back than one straight person. It's a game of numbers and the Americans are getting their asses kicked.

 

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