Jarrod Chlapowski

Why a Pentagon Meeting with LGBT Spouses Matters

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | August 27, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, pentagon, Servicemembers United, spouse survey

This is pretty dang cool: Yesterday, the Pentagon has agreed to meet with LGBT military spouses during SU's Military Partner Forum on DADT on September 16. Context:

spouse2.jpgSo, over the weekend the DOD sent out 150K surveys to ask military spouses their respective opinions on the impact of the repeal of DADT on the very vague concept of "family readiness." This survey - like the last survey - is pretty horrendous, designed for an audience expected to have issue with DADT repeal, only varying by degree. Expect a larger return rate here than on the last survey, as military spouses tend to have more time on their hands and will likely jump on the rare opportunity to voice their opinion on military policy.

Due to the nature of DADT (and to some extent, DOMA), the survey was only sent to straight spouses, meaning LGBT folks won't be quietly included among those surveyed like they were in the previous survey. This is one part of the review process in which the LGBT community was not included.

What this means is that - through the survey, its methodology, and inherent bias - survey results will mostly provide opportunity to discuss a hypothetical negative impact of repeal as it relates to military spouses, and not likely positive impacts of repeal, such as reduced repeat deployments due to increases in force, and the decreased stress on LGBT military spouses who for the most part are forced to suffer in silence. The meeting on September 16th will be a means to counteract the survey, providing input otherwise unavailable.


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But will meeting a few spouses be the same as the potentially hundreds of survey responses? Won't more people see the survey results than meet the LGBT spouses?

Yep. Which is why we need to be diligent in discrediting the spouse survey now, before it's too late. This can be seen as a very necessry portion of the response.

lol, "potentially hundreds." We know that's where the response rate is going to be.

Maybe a few bisexual spouses will respond, but by and large it's just weird to ask them about this. Conservatives can't even make the "It's the showers and bunk beds!" argument with the spouses, so they're asking if they'd make good neighbors. So important.