Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made clear to General Benjamin Mixon that his comments concerning gay soldiers were unprofessional and indicated lack of comprehension as to how an officer should conduct himself while in the military service. Mixon, who head Army forces for the Pacific command, urged those who serve under him to protest lifting the ban on gays serving and even told them to get family members to fight to end any changes in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. As Admiral Mullen put it to Mixon, if you don’t approve changes in the law, then “vote with your feet” and get the hell out of the armed forces!
Those who serve in leadership positions within the American military should understand they are subject to civilian authority and they can not challenge the president of the United States.
President Barack Obama promised if elected to change the law which forbids gays and lesbians to serve in their nation’s armed forces. Since the notorious, “don’t ask, don’t tell” law passed under the Clinton administration, over 12,000 gays and lesbians have been forced to resign from the armed forces including dozens of trained linguists in Arabic, a skill desperately needed in wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel lifted restrictions on gays and lesbians in 1992, and a recent cover of an Army magazine portrayed two gay soldiers kissing. Australia has lifted restrictions and the United Kingdom was compelled in 1999 by the European Court of Human Rights to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces.
Representative Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq war veteran to be elected to Congress expressed his anger at the current restrictions against gays and lesbians. “I take it as a personal affront to our warriors. To say that other countries’ soldiers are professional enough to handle this and Americans are not, is really a slap in the face.”
Of course, there is no evidence that those fighting in actual battle object to having gays and lesbians in their ranks.
Posted in Australia, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Israel, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Politics, Republicans, UK
Tagged Australia, gays-lesbians, Israel, UK, US
A recent poll of Lithuanians indicate a significant number of them would accept the presnce of Romas in their wokplace but would prefer not having much social interaction with them. Seven out of ten Lithuanians would not mind having Romas working beside them and they would also welcome those with different sexual orientations in the workplace. Apparently, the Lithuanians have come to accept the necessity of working with people from diverse backgrounds but they simply don’t want them as neighbors or would welcome them in their social interactions. There was an interesting split between attitudes of employers and workers. About 75% of bosses believe Romas lack the skills to perform job tasks as contrasted with 26% of employees having such views.
What do the polls tell us that we don’t know? There apparently is a slight shift in attitudes among many Lithuanians from great hostility to Romas and lesbians or gays to a more relaxed approach as long as interations take place at work. Change takes time, but for those living today, your time is taking place at the expense of their time.