“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Misconstrued by Media

Media articles and reports continue to highlight the common misunderstanding about the policies, rules, and perspectives about homosexuality in the military.

For example, in discussing the history of homosexual policy in the military, an Associated Press report recently said

In the end, Congress agreed to let gays serve only if their sexual orientation remained secret.

While it is a common belief, the statement is flatly wrong.

The law Congress passed banned homosexuals from military service without qualification.  The “secret” part, more commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was the Executive Branch’s response to Congress’ law.  Military policy, not Congress, prohibited military recruiters from asking applicants their sexual orientation, something they had done for decades prior, in order to “allow” homosexuals to “secretly” serve.

This misunderstanding is why some who oppose service by open homosexuals have actually agreed with activists that the military policy of DADT should be repealed.  If only DADT is repealed, the US law banning homosexuals from service would remain, regardless of whether someone asked or told.  (The recent ruling in California that DADT was “unConstitutional” included both the US law and the military policy.)

Another potential misconception, or even misrepresentation, is the citation that a majority of military members are “ok” with a repeal of DADT.  Those quotations, citing the as-yet-unreleased survey, reportedly include those who cited “mixed” results to a DADT repeal.  Given the “leak” depended on that inclusion, one must assume that the “majority” requires including those who had “mixed” inputs to the survey; thus, speculatively, those who truly felt “positive” or “no” results would occur are actually a minority, not a majority.

Finally, many have missed the fact that the survey reportedly ignored a slew of potential issues because the military is obligated to abide by the Defense of Marriage Act, making many issues in the military regarding homosexuality and marriage moot — until DADT is repealed and someone files a complaint or lawsuit.

When the survey results are released on Tuesday, it will apparently all be known (or not, depending on how one interprets statistics and survey results).

Senator John McCain reportedly has no problem with DADT as it stands, while Senator Lindsey Graham reportedly doesn’t foresee a “quick end” to DADT in the lame duck Congress.

Also at FoxNews.