Army Won’t Discharge Deploying Gays
Michael Demmons passes on word that the Army apparently has a wartime exception to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The regulation, contained in a 1999 Ã¢€œReserve Component Unit CommanderÃ¢€™s HandbookÃ¢€ and still in effect, states that if a discharge for homosexual conduct is requested Ã¢€œprior to the unitÃ¢€™s receipt of alert notification, discharge isnÃ¢€™t authorized. Member will enter AD [active duty] with the unit.Ã¢€ The 1999 document was obtained by researchers at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM), a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara during research for an ABC Nightline story.
Seems like a good reason to cancel Ã¢€œDonÃ¢€™t Ask. DonÃ¢€™t Tell.Ã¢€ But it wonÃ¢€™t be. DADT makes for good fund raising.
I’d note that DADT was a Clinton policy, although the ban on open homosexuals is longstanding. I’d note, too, that DADT is a policy imposed via Executive Order in compliance with Federal statute, The Uniform Code of Military Conduct.
That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Army was more hesistant to throw out people–for any cause–once deployment orders for a unit were issued. Otherwise, there might be a deluge of people who suddenly “discover” that they’re gay.
Arlo Guthrie suggested such a plan in 1967:
And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And there’s a lot less stigma attached to homosexuality now. Certainly, hippie peace activists wouldn’t call them “faggots.”
Update: In verifying the year of the song, I stumbled across this interesting WaPo piece from last month: Arlo Guthrie’s Storied Career. What particularly struck me was this nugget:
“Alice’s Restaurant” is sometimes construed as an antiwar song, though Guthrie has always said it’s more about the ways in which government works — or doesn’t.
“Most people don’t know we did as well at the PXs [commissaries on Army bases] and that it was hugely popular with the guys in Vietnam,” Guthrie says. “I have photographs and letters from guys who set up little ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ tents, who would get together and quote parts of the song that their superiors would have no knowledge of. I was obviously personally opposed to the war, but the song wasn’t about that, but about the absurdity of the situation that I found myself in, which was not unique to me — it was the same for hundreds of thousands of regular guys.”
Yep. Military folks probably have an especially accute sense of how screwed up bureaucracies can be.
This is also rather amusing:
“Alice’s Restaurant” would dip in and out of Guthrie’s repertoire, first retired after the end of the war in Vietnam, briefly replaced by another fable in which Guthrie talked about Richard Nixon owning a copy of “Alice’s Restaurant” and jokingly suggested that that might explain the famous 18 1/2 -minute gap in the Watergate tapes.