We have learned now how our senate feels when it comes to appealing the ban on openly gay members of the military. But we are still learning how our potential new senators stand when it comes to “don’t ask don’t tell.”
However, Colorado GOP senate nominee Ken Buck has no issues telling you gays should stay in the closet if they want to be in the military. According to him, the military needs to be “homogeneous.”
Via Talking Points Memo:
Before a rowdy crowd on Friday, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck squared off in a debate that touched on the economy, health care, abortion, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and other issues.
One of the moments of starkest contrast occurred after the candidates were asked about gays in the military. Bennet said he thought ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should be repealed, and said the policy was based on “outdated views of our society.”
Buck argued for maintaining the status quo. “I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense,” he said.
It’s not whether an individual who is gay can serve in the military, the question is whether that individual can be openly gay in the military. It’s one thing to deny someone access to the military and to a career in the military, it’s another thing to — for morale purposes and other purposes — make sure that we are as homogeneous as possible in the military in moving towards the common goal of the security and military actions, as opposed to the distractions that are caused by allowing lifestyle choices to become part of the discussion.
As The Colorado Independent reports, Colorado senator Mark Udall has been a key force behind trying to repeal DADT, despite the misgivings of Republicans like Ken Buck.
Some Republicans have suggested the repeal of DADT smacks of social engineering and for that reason has no place in vital national security legislation. Others simply object to the politics Democrats are playing by attaching these controversial provisions to the normally uncontroversial defense bill.
Gay soldiers serve openly in many other countries. The military is currently conducting a study on how best to repeal DADT but there is no time line attached to that effort.
“More than 14,000 service members have been discharged in the last decade,” Udall said about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this spring. “These are jet pilots, translators of Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun– languages so important in the War on Terror. All the skill sets needed in the military are met by gay Americans.”
Government accountants have estimated that the policy has cost the country more than $200 million since its implementation in legal fees, investigations and discharges.
“We train these men and women and prepare them for duty,” Udall said. “It’s a major investment in time and energy and money. Then we spend all this time and energy and money discharging them.”
Still, Buck believes that a “homogeneous” military is best for security and moral? Does that mean that women should be removed, or perhaps soldiers of different ethnicity? Exactly how far would Buck be willing to go in an effort to make the people serving in the military the same?