Steve Ralls

Same Pearls, No Wisdom

Filed By Steve Ralls | May 05, 2008 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Elaine Donnelly, Family Research Council, gays in the military, PFLAG

PFLAG broke the story last week about right-wing activist Elaine Donnelly's latest attack on the military. Her new website, disparaging the service of LGBT elaine.jpgAmericans and petitioning Congress to continue firing those who bravely sign up for duty, called for an "online Army" to prop up the tired and counter-productive "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. It seemed outrageous. Out of step. And indicative of a desperate attack that was running out of steam.

As usual, however, Elaine one ups the ante. Now, in a purposefully combative comparison that should surprise absolutely no one, Donnelly is trying to align homophobia in the military with the national debate over stem cell research.

Join us after the jump, as Donnelly rants on the YouTube with her friends at the Family Research Council.

In a new video interview released by FRC, Donnelly again tries to confuse the public debate about just what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means, noting that she is "paraphrasing" her interpretation of the law and the intent of a 15-years gone Congress that put it in place - while drawing her own decades' old conclusions. But saying that Donnelly's interpretation is "paraphrasing" Congress is putting it lightly. In truth, she is making unfounded proclamations on behalf of lawmakers without pointing to a single statement by a single elected official about what they felt then or, more importantly, how they feel now.

Perhaps Donnelly errs on the side of "paraphrasing" because so few lawmakers, when asked today, want to defend the military's ban. After all, when the inconvenient truth of the moment doesn't prop up the prejudice to prop up your law, a creative turn of phrase may be necessary to keep the train running.

In fact, Donnelly's attack on our patriotic LGBT family members who report for duty every day - 65,000 and counting - is, for the most part, recycled rhetoric that falls flat again and again. She's still there . . . still wearing the same pearls we saw her don on YouTube last week . . . but woefully without any helpful wisdom to keep our military strong or our families safe.

Donnelly even goes so far as to take one giant leap over the line of good taste by adding, for dramatic effect, that "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is to same-sex marriage what embryonic stem cell research is to pro-life; it's that close; it's that serious."

Lest you think Elaine and her entourage will feel the patriotic duty to leave our LGBT loved ones who serve out of their increasingly incomprehensible 'culture war,' take note: Even our sons and daughters who go off to Iraq are subject to Donnelly's attacks and disrespect.

Yet what's more un-American than belittling those who bravely go to battle for our country? In the rush for her pearls, did Elaine leave her patriotism at home? In her push for prejudice, did she lose all pride in our troops?

"If you understand 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' you're probably doing better than the rest of us," FRC talking head Stuart Shephard says as he kicks off Elaine's propoganda machine.

The truth, however, is that most Americans understand the law too well. Our families have seen LGBT sons and daughters go off to war . . . sacrifice for our freedom . . . and get booted from military service because of who they are. Mothers and fathers, partners and parents have all paid the price for a law that undercuts our security and sidelines some in our families who answer our nation's call.

No, it is Elaine who remains confused. And it is her words, and her websites that demean our troops and distort the truth about one of the most anti-family, anti-American laws of all.

(See the whole fuss, online here.)

Originally posted on the PFLAG National Blog.

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failure to support the troops - regardless of their sexual orientation - is plain old un-american. actually, DADT is a national disgrace, similar to the racial and ethnic prejudice that our troops have dealt with in years gone by. elaine should watch the history channel. and hang her head in shame.

Thank you for keeping a close watch on this extreme right-wingnut.

Steve, you'll be very interested to see the results of the TAVA Transgender Veterans Survey, once it's analyzed. Many people will be surpried to see how many were kicked out under DADT, and how many actually took the survey while in a combat zone.

Maybe she has a yellow ribbon on her SUV.

Steve, thanks for a great post. But do we really want to "rally the troops," so to speak? I've never understood the great desire to join up for the military. Obviously, this is a civil rights issue and I support equality. But it would be better, in my opinion, to abandon militarism altogether.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 6, 2008 1:27 AM

My concern would be for the openly gay soldier serving in the military. Someone, somehow, would get him or her unless complete retraining is done prior to the start of the program.

Even then, how many female cadets are raped by our fine young men that we do not even hear about? Serena, I agree with you. It is time to trim both our military and our overseas commitments.