Steve Ralls

Elaine Donnelly is Confused

Filed By Steve Ralls | July 26, 2007 8:35 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Elaine Donnelly, military, sldn, steve ralls

Right-wing activist Elaine Donnelly has never met a woman or a gay man she liked. Donnelly, who has spent much of her adult life trying to roll back opportunities for both groups in the United States military, now proclaims the American people to be "confused" about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and she's advocating a name change. The truth, of course, is that no one is more confused about the facts, or the law, than Donnelly herself.

In Monday's Washington Times, Donnelly went on a full-fledged rant about the gall of gay Americans who believe they might have something to offer our armed forces . . . and the people who support them. Donnelly is furious with Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher for pushing for an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and she's even going so far as proposing a new name for the ban on open service: The Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993. That new name, Donnelly's twisted logic has convinced her, would make clear, once and for all, that there is a "Gays Not Welcome" sign on the Pentagon door. But what she fails to understand is that the American people do not want to continue the ban, no matter what name it is sold to them under.

In fact, there's virtually no one who believes in Donnelly's outdated antics anymore.

Poll after poll shows, consistently, that 8 out of 10 Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, and that 73% of military personnel are comfortable around gays. The line-up of those inside the military who are opposed to the ban reads like a Who's-Who of national security leaders: General John Shalikashvili, General Wesley Clark, Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy . . . and the list goes on and on.

The American people are tired of undermining national security just to placate homophobes like Donnelly. Our country has lost dozens of Arabic translators, countless doctors and nurses and numerous other highly-skilled professionals because of the ban on open service. Donnelly may think the campaign to lift that ban is “propaganda,” but the overwhelming majority of voters believe it’s just common sense.

There are more than 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans on duty in our armed forces today, and another 1 million gay Americans are military veterans. They stood up, answered the call to duty and served with distinction while Elaine Donnelly sat on her ass in Michigan and tried to belittle their contributions. So the next time a gay linguist intercepts a terrorist message about a possible strike on the U.S., let's not tell Elaine.

Apparently, she'd rather be under attack than under the protection of someone who is gay.

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Sadly though, she's probably on to something. The American government and the Ministry of Magic have some peculiar similarities when it comes to re-naming and re-dubbing dubious bits of law and propaganda to make it more palatable to the public. I wouldn't be surprised at all for Rove to offer her a job with a suggestion like that!

Cyndi Richards | July 31, 2007 6:24 PM

I would strongly concur with the insightful perspective of this article, and would also like to point out a not-so-minor point with seems to have been overlooked.
In addition to the substantial number of gay men and lesbians who serve in all branches of the United States military, there is also a significant percentage of transgendered personnel that must either remain "in the closet" or else bear the burden of intolerance and discrimination from other service members, sexual orientation not withstanding. This injustice continues even after their committment to active duty is satisfied.
When highly decorated combat veteran, retired colonel David Schroer, told his prospective supervisor at the Library of Congress last December that he was transitioning from male to female and would be starting his new job as a research specialist not as David but as Diane, he was told he was no longer a "good fit" for the job. Now the distinguished 25-year military veteran, who is living full-time as a Diane, is suing in federal court.
Why should transgendered service members and veterans be excluded from the much-needed dialog concerning the service of the nation that we ALL love? I trust this oversight was inadvertent and hope it will not happen again.

>>> (all respect, no restraint) Cynthia Richards, vice-chair, Illinois Gender Advocates