So That’s Why Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Still Exists

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Homophobia in the highest ranks of the military, of course! General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that he supports the Clinton era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” program because homosexual acts “are immoral.” Pace analogized being gay to having an affair, and finished by saying — I think — he’d prosecute both homosexuality and adultery.

“As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.”

You’re already thinking this, but I think it’s self-evident that anyone who had vocal and unrepentantly anti-Semitic or racist views would be immediately disqualified from being one of the nation’s top military servicemen. If Pace had said, “I would prosecute black people, because I was raised not to approve of them as people,” the calls for his dismissal would come flying from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

This was spotted in the Chicago Tribune, which elaborated on why the military needs gay servicemen and women now:

A 2005 government audit showed that about 10,000 troops have been discharged because of the policy. Among those discharged were more than 322 linguists, including 54 Arabic specialists, according to the Government Accountability Office report. The U.S. military, like the nation’s foreign service and intelligence community, faces shortages of foreign-language specialists.

“The real question is: What is moral about discharging qualified linguists during a time of war simply for being gay or lesbian?” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group.

Over half the country thinks gay people should be allowed to serve openly in the military. If you’re in that half, don’t get too angry about this — the Pentagon might start monitoring your emails.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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