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Resource Center Dallas Happy, For the Most Part, With "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Report

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The Department of Defense today released its 247-page Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which you can read in its entirety here should you have the spare time. But long story short, says the report, there's a "widespread attitude among a solid majority of Service members that repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell will not have a negative impact on their ability to conduct their military mission." So there.

Which is why Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate today: Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year. That news prompted a statement from Resource Center Dallas, which follows in full. In summation: The report's good news. Except: "A homophobic sub-text lurks in the report." Where? Read on.

Resource Center Dallas statement on Pentagon study into "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal

Dallas--The following statement is from Lee Taft, J.D., M.Div., associate executive director for GLBT programs and strategic partnerships at Resource Center Dallas, on today's (Nov. 30) release of the Department of Defense study into the military's "don't ask, don't" (DADT) policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military:

"As leaders in the LGBT community, we are pleased to read that the authors correctly conclude that 'don't ask, don't tell' needs to be shelved. It correctly notes that countries worldwide have adopted policies that permit military service by openly gay men and lesbians, even when pre-transition surveys suggested high levels of resistance. From a historical perspective, the document is both forward-thinking and timely, and Resource Center Dallas is pleased the time has arrived to get rid of this atrocious policy.

Yet, a homophobic sub-text lurks in the report. We are repeatedly referred to as 'homosexuals' instead of the more accurate gays and lesbians, and bigotry is re-cast as stereotyping. Some survey respondents fear under a policy allowing openness, gay service members will become predators--a baseless assertion grounded in pure prejudice. Similarly, the authors note that 'gay men and lesbians still tend to be discrete about their personal lives, and guarded about people with whom they share information about their sexual orientation.' This is a wrong-headed and tragic use of a strategy developed by the community to keep ourselves safe.

Make no mistake. We are pleased with the findings of the report. We are committed to doing our part to rid the world of policies and practices that oppress LGBT people, wherever and whenever. This report should help that happen. But, we still have a long way to go."

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