Steve Ralls

Fact Check: Elaine Donnelly in The Washington Times

Filed By Steve Ralls | January 21, 2008 7:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Center for Military Readiness, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Elaine Donnelly, SLDN, Washington Times

This morning's Washington Times includes an article about the decline in dismissals under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," pointing to a 50% drop in firings under the law since 2001.

Right-wing pundit Elaine Donnelly, of the Center for Military Readiness, tries to spin the facts (and invent a few of her own) to distort the truth about what's happening under the gay ban.

Elaine says: Fewer gay Americans are joining the military.

The fact is: There is no evidence to substantiate Elaine's claim, and plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. First, there is the group of former service members, fired under the law, who are fighting in court to return to the military. And, in the days after September 11, 2001, SLDN was innundated with calls from LGBT Americans wanting to know if they could enlist, and how. And finally, SLDN clients will tell you, by and large, that if they were able to go back to the military and serve openly, they'd gladly do so. (Consider, too, the case of gay Army medic Darren Manzella, who continues to serve today, and is proud to do so.) Elaine is just spinning unfounded theories to make the LGBT community seem unpatriotic.

Elaine says: "[A]necdotal evidence shows that the military allows personnel to leave service rather than pursuing a homosexual-driven discharge" (a quote from the reporter, summarizing Elaine's thoughts).

The fact is: There is, again, no evidence to support Elaine's claim. One would think, after 14 years of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," that at least one of these service members would have come forward to say "I was dismissed for being gay, but not considered a gay dismissal." That hasn't happened, as far as we know. In fact, military discharge paperwork is stamped with the word "HOMOSEXUAL," and those who are dismissed under the law continue to receive that mark on their paperwork.

Elaine says: There's no evidence to support the theory that gay dismissals fall during wartime.

The fact is: In his book Conduct Unbecoming, researcher Randy Shilts found that the number of gays drummed out of the service always falls during wartime, including during WWII, the Vietnam War, Korean War and the first Gulf War. Contrary to Elaine's claim, there is ample research that such a trend exists.

So let's look at "just the facts, ma'am." The evidence does point to a decline in dismissals during wartime, and there's plenty of evidence to conclude that, indeed, gays are serving in the armed forces, continue to enlist and are, often, valued members of their unit.

To read the full Washington Times article, click here.

Originally posted at Frontlines.


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Ahh yes those pesky facts they do get in the way dont they?But realy anyone who is medicaly fit and mentaly should be allowed to join no matter what there sexual preference.I know many vets who are gay and lesbain and served honorably but could only admit there sex prefrence after they were out of the service.I almost joined the Coast Guard till they discoverd I had a bad back and not once did they ask if I was gay when I went for my medical but that was back in 1979.

In all fairness to Elaine. Maybe she was just doing her job and had to present these facts to keep it. With downsizing and all. It is scary to know that reports like this get published. I wonder where Transgender fits in "Don't ask Don't Tell".

Well, yeah, Elaine had to make up facts like that to keep her job - she's a professional homophobe!

homosexual-driven discharge

Hahahahaha, that sounds like fun.

Steve Ralls Steve Ralls | January 22, 2008 8:29 AM

Robin,

You can find information on regulations impacting transgender personnel on SLDN's website, here.

- Steve .

Elaine is simply another one of those right wing nutjobs that has her panties in a bunch over something she can't find the facts to prove. It's no different than Focus on the Family's "You'll have cross-dressers ogling women in the ladies locker room!" schtick.

She's a fool and deluded. Sad, really.