Please circle one: Do you find queers to be icky? a) Yes b) No
What ridiculous bullshit. The military started sending out surveys to servicemembers yesterday to find out their feelings about ending the discriminatory "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. Think about that for a moment, will you?
Our military and political leadership are so reluctant to treat gays and lesbians like the average citizen, they have to resorted to polling teenagers, rapists, convicted criminals, and gang members about whether or not we're entitled to the freedom they're supposedly fighting for. What's worse? They won't commit that any queer soldiers who fill out the survey honestly won't get discharge for revealing their sexual orientation.
Cynthia Smith, a Pentagon spokesperson, told the Denver Post, "The law is still in effect, and if someone were to out themselves, we would have to begin the discharge process."
SLDN is recommending that gay and lesbian soldiers not participate in the survey for fear of being discharged. Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis's warning and more are after the jump.
While Congressional repeal is pending, the military and White House have confirmed that discharges would continue unabated - even after the President signs the repeal into law - until the Pentagon completes the survey and subsequent study.
Sarvis said today:
"A number of service members have contacted SLDN to seek guidance on surveys concerning the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- the discriminatory law barring gay and lesbian service members from serving with integrity. At this time SLDN cannot recommend that lesbian, gay, or bisexual service members participate in any survey being administered by the Department of Defense, the Pentagon Working Group, or any third-party contractors. While the surveys are apparently designed to protect the individual's privacy, there is no guarantee of privacy and DOD has not agreed to provide immunity to service members whose privacy may be inadvertently violated or who inadvertently outs himself or herself. If a service member still wishes to participate, he or she should only do so in a manner that does not reveal sexual orientation."
Maybe SLDN should start a petition drive to have the military poll the troops on whether or not they think the war in Afghanistan is winnable. Maybe a poll on whether or not they think we should withdraw immediately from occupying Iraq? Maybe we could poll them on nuclear proliferation treaties too since they're the ones who'd have to fight if we went to war with Russia.
Or maybe, just maybe, our Commander-In-Chief, our "fierce advocate," could show some cojones and take charge of the military instead of abdicating his authority to a popularity contest.
But I doubt it.
(I didn't link the Denver Post story purposefully. Read this post from ColoradoPols.com to find out why.)