Mike Rogers

Let's fire the gays...

Filed By Mike Rogers | June 09, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, bloggers, Don't Ask Don't Tell, election 2008, gays in the military, Nunn Bush, Sam Nunn, Steve Clemons, vice president

Steve Clemons of The Washington Note is a rarity. Steve is an out gay man operating in the world of intelligence and high intrigue international diplomacy. He's an expert in all things military and one of the go-to experts on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Last week I heard about Sam Nunn being on a list of possible Obama running mates. Nunn was one of the architects behind the military policy and fired gays from his staff in 1992. Not 1952 or 1962, not even 1972 or 1982, but 1992!

Here's a bit of history from December '92.

The Transition: Nunn under fire from gay groups:

Senator Sam Nunn removed two aides a decade ago for being gay, and gay rights groups are now contending that his action disqualifies him from a post in a Clinton Administration.

Mr. Nunn, the Georgia Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has confirmed that he asked the two aides to leave because of their homosexuality.

Clemons reacts to Nunn being a possible VP:

So despite my sincere respect for many of the good things Sam Nunn has done, I also think it is important for those whispering about the possibility of putting Nunn in the VP slot on the Obama ticket -- or in Obama's cabinet -- to realize that this blog and many others will not stand for someone who still harbors long standing, institutionalized discriminatory views against gay men and women, particularly in the arena of national security when we should be applauding any who want to serve this country.

It's time for us to be asking Sam Nunn what his views on gays in the military now are -- and he should tell us.

Let's move to "Ask and Tell."

When Steve Clemons says he won't stand for something, people in DC pay attention. After all, Steve was the guy who sank the confirmation of UN Ambassador John Bolton.

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Apparently Sam Nunn is already starting a backpedaling song and dance routine so that he doesn't get hammered about DADT if he has any chance at VP.

[h/t to Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, 6/06/08.]

Even so, Nunn has a lot to answer for. By the time of Nunn's staff purge in 1992, it was already known that g/l soldiers had served without problem during Desert Storm. Then in the early years of DADT, g/l soldiers who came out after being placed in combat areas (aftermath of Desert Storm) found that their discharge hearings were being put off until after their tours of duty were completed.

Effectively the military was saying, "Your presence isn't causing any serious problems like we said it would, so you can complete your service, successfully and honorably, and then we'll kick you out dishonorably on a technicality."

Hundreds of g/l soldiers got screwed out of full veteran's benefits this way, I hear. DADT was "the right policy for the right time" indeed!

Wow - thanks for sharing this, Mike. And AJ, you have a really good argument.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 9, 2008 8:16 PM

The Democratic Party is a swamp of bigotry. Its policies regarding GLBT equality are virtually indistinguishable from those of the Republican Party. The difference is that Democrats smile a lot more when they’re screwing us. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

ask and tell? What about "just don't care"?

Personally, I'll just wait for the VP nominee to be announced to say anything. There's too much speculation going on at this point.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 10, 2008 9:04 AM

Someone wants to "balance a ticket" on our backs? I had no idea we had become so important.

Nunn's done.