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Note: I am referring to the event as a “talk show” in the interests of factual accuracy, not as a criticism. There are specific reasons that I will detail in a future posting as to why this was the best format for this event.

Link to Transcript

Hillary Clinton, in my mind, showed how untrustworthy she is for queer voters when she made the following statement:

I think we have moved a long way on this and other issues, but I think it's important to recall how much of an advance "Don't ask; don't tell" was at the time.
However, it was not implemented appropriately.

We should certainly hope that Ms. Clinton was lying when she said that DADT, a different version of the military ban, was “an advance.” The two main impacts of the policy have been the following:
  1. Replacing a policy which was at the level of an executive order with a federal law, which is much more difficult to overturn.

  2. Dramatically increasing the numbers of people being discharged from the military on the basis of sexual orientation.

Discharges increased by 106% from 1994 to 2001. Discharges have gone down since the second US/Iraq war started, despite the Bush Regime's bizarre focus on firing Arabic translators. However, this should not be taken as an encouraging sign. They are following the policy of the elected Bush Administration during the first US/Iraq war: postponing homophobic discharges until after the war was over. (Queers can fight and die in combat, but are not considered good enough to serve after the war is over.)

Chart from Service Members Legal Defense Network

Out gay soldiers sent to Iraq (Washington Blade)

Clinton's claims that the persecution of queers in the military is due to inappropriate implementation is absolute nonsense. DADT was specifically intended to perpetuate and intensify the discrimination. It has succeeded in this far too well.

Clinton made another statement on the military ban which was highly misleading.
It was a transitional action that was taken back at the beginning of my husband's administration, because at the time there was such a witch hunt going on.

An uninformed person might think that the DADT has stopped the witch hunts, upon hearing what Ms. Clinton said. I remember a few years back when I lived in DC, the military was sending undercover MPs into gay bars to find closeted lgbt people serving in the armed forces.

The situation is so bad that the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has prepared a survival guide for people subject to these witch hunts.

Inside a Lesbian Witch Hunt (another interesting article on the subject)

One of the things that facilitates the witch hunts is that a queer in the military does not have to tell anyone in the military that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual in order to be thrown out. They can tell people outside of the military and get thrown out. If they have sex with someone of the same gender and the military finds out, they will be thrown out. “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” itself is a misleading name for a devastating policy.

Even a personal ad can get someone kicked out of the military.

Opponents of the military ban at Georgetown University have an excellent article on the ban from a legal perspective.

The military ban is terribly important to a queer movement that is ground in inclusion and social justice. The military is disproportionately made up of people of color. Queers face economic discrimination that ads to the potency of the “economic draft,” the financial pressures that push people to enlist in the military. That is one of many reasons that Hillary Clinton's dishonesty about DADT, a more egregious form of the military ban than the one that existed before, is so frustrating and disappointing.



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