In the previous post, John wrote:
If Dick Cheney really cared about homosexuals, they would have done something during the last eight years to stop the discharge of qualified persons while we fought two wars.
I would argue (following Kathleen Parker of all people) that the case for lifting DADT is as much about the effectiveness of our military as it is about rights for gay people. Firing qualified Arab linguists because of their sexual orientation simply makes no sense as a military decision. And it’s no coincidence these firings happen so often among linguists — for whatever reason, a high proportion of people who go into the sort of linguistics that involves learning to speak other languages (as opposed to the more theoretical stuff) are gay men. Ask any linguist and they’ll tell you this.
I don’t want to veer into “what if we needed a crack team of fashion designer special forces” but it’s simply a fact that hiring from as broad a pool of talent as possible is advantageous for any organization. This is part of why so many large companies have voluntary affirmative action policies in effect. And all the talk about “unit cohesion” isn’t so different from some of the rhetoric that was used to argue against integrating sports teams in the 50s and 60s. How many people would argue that we’d be better off with an all-white Olympic basketball team now?
Any policy that replaces evaluation of job performance with arbitrary rules about sexual orientation gets in the way of an efficient operation.
Update. A perspective from a former defense linguist:
It wasn’t a secret (that there were lots of gay linguists)
12:47 PM Literally the only people who are hysterical about this are Republican politicians and they all know they are beaten
12:49 PM The people who I saw get busted and tossed out were either dumb or playing a game
12:50 PM A) People who got caught in the barracks during surprise “health and welfare” inspections, and
B) People who marched up waving a rainbow flag yelling “Im gay, kick me out!”
12:51 PM Now, people who aren’t supposed to be shacking up in a barracks room shouldn’t be kicked out, but they must be punnished
12:52 PM But DADT was used for too long as a way to weasel out of the military by some people
A repeal will close that loophole
12:53 PM I hate to sound like a Republican, but the proper response is to repeal DADT and enforce the regulations against fraternization, sexual harrassment, sexual assault, etc