Queer: March 2004 Archives

If gays in the military are such a bad thing, why does the number of dismissals fall when we're at war?

As the United States military continues to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan, discharges of lesbian and gay military personnel plummeted 17% in FY2003, according to a new report from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

Conduct Unbecoming, an annual review of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, finds that gay-related discharges fell to 787 last year, down from 906 in 2002. The 2003 figures mark a 39% decrease in discharges since 2001, the year before current conflicts in the Middle East began. The number also represents the fewest gay discharges since 1995.

“Gay discharge numbers have dropped every time America has entered a war,” the report says, “from Korea to Vietnam to the Persian Gulf to present conflicts.” It goes on to note that “more of our allies have dropped their bans, and our American troops are fighting alongside openly lesbian, gay and bisexual allied personnel in the war on terrorism.”

If our military leaders are so concerned about homos serving, they should be consistent and refuse to work with most of our allies. According to SLDN, the United States and Turkey are the only two NATO countries that do not allow openly gay soldiers.

While I'm glad the New York Times is choosing to write about the issues facing transgender people, I am baffled by the placement of the article.

What is an article about transgender college students doing in the Sunday Styles section? No wonder Choire at Gawker refers to his "ritual cleansing" after reading the Sunday Times.

I've set up Jay's web site (jayblotcher.com) with Movable Type and started putting some more information up for him.

For people looking for background information or articles and letters related to the NY Times dismissal, that's the place to look.

This page is an archive of entries in the Queer category from March 2004.

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