OutServe is an underground network of gay and lesbian actively serving military members. The group responded today to the release of the long-awaited Pentagon report on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
“This report definitely answers the question of the impact of DADT repeal on the military. Specifically, knowing a soldier is gay has no negative impact on readiness,” said Jonathan Hopkins, former Army Captain and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We’ve known this for a long time.
Among military members who know they’ve served with someone gay, 92% said that repeal would have little or no negative effect on military readiness. 69% of servicemembers who responded to the survey said they served with someone they knew or suspected was gay.
“This study gets to the facts, and exposes the invented argument of ‘unit cohesion’ as a myth,” said Hopkins. “Those who’ve served with gay or lesbian soldiers, Marines, or servicemembers of any stripe recognize that gay troops have – as the Pentagon report says – a ‘patriotic desire to serve’ as well as a ‘desire to fit in, coexist, and succeed in the military environment.’ ”
“I don’t want any special treatment. I just want them to take the knife out of my back so I can serve,” said an anonymous gay Marine on the OutServe network.
Actively serving co-director JD Smith shared, “What is important about this report is that it definitively shows that gay soldiers currently serving have a strong desire to fit in and serve their country patriotically. Sec. Gates has clearly called on the Senate to pass the repeal legislation, and our elected officials should heed him.”
“The Pentagon has spoken. Now the only thing keeping this policy in place is politics,” concluded Hopkins.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding hearings on the report later this week.