HRC Joins Coalition in Debunking DADT Lies
February 24, 2010
Media Matters has published a report this morning debunking the myths and falsehoods being propagated in the media about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. HRC is proud to join with other organizations and individuals working on DADT repeal -- including AMERICAblog, Lt. Dan Choi, Courage Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Security Network, Servicemembers United, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Truman National Security Project, VoteVets and West Point Knights Out -- to stand up to the misinformation being spread. Among the issues the report takes on:
- MYTH: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is working
- REALITY: Over 13,500 service members reportedly fired under law, including decorated officers and those in "critical occupations."
- MYTH: Repeal would undermine morale and unit cohesion
- REALITY: Unit cohesion argument "not supported by any scientific studies."
- MYTH: Military experts oppose the repeal of DADT
- REALITY: More than 100 retired generals and admirals have called for DADT's repeal.
- MYTH: The public does not support repeal of DADT
- REALITY: Numerous polls find broad support for gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military
- MYTH: Right-wing attacks on DADT repeal are not anti-gay
- REALITY: Prominent right-wing figures opposing repeal have a history of anti-gay rhetoric.
- MYTH: DADT repeal would adversely affect retention
- REALITY: Myth defies experiences of several other countries that have allowed gay men and lesbians to serve openly.
- MYTH: Experience of other nations aren’t relevant because “nobody counts on” their armies
- REALITY: Several nations have fought in wars after allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly.
- MYTH: Only progressives support the repeal of DADT
- REALITY: Polls show support for repeal of DADT among many Republicans, conservatives.
- MYTH: DADT repeal would expose servicemembers to greater HIV risk
- REALITY: Military regulations and procedures already exist to prevent the spread of HIV.
Aside from debunking these myths, it's critical that your elected leaders hear from you in order for us to finally repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Visit our repeal campaign site and take action now! The coalition letter concerning the report follows the jump...
Interested Parties: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has announced he will be the chief sponsor of legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. The proposed repeal signifies a crucial step forward in the long-overdue process of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve honestly and proudly in the United States armed services. Since its inception, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law has resulted in the firing of at least 13,500 servicemembers and has reportedly cost the military an estimated $555.2 million. Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly has proven successful for many of our closest allies and enjoys broad support in the United States among the public and top military leaders alike, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and former Joint Chiefs Chairmen Gen. Colin Powell and Gen. John Shalikashvili. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell proponents too often paint a distorted picture of what a repeal would mean. Today, Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review detailing how opinion pages and cable news talk shows have been flooded with falsehoods and anti-gay rhetoric to support the dubious argument that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is working. Myths that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would adversely affect unit cohesion, retention, or the HIV rate among servicemembers are not based in reality. Similarly, the anti-gay rhetoric permeating many of these arguments only serves to cheapen the national discussion on this important issue. Because news outlets continue to repeat these outrageous myths, a coalition of organizations is banding together to combat misinformation about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. As Congress moves forward on this legislation, we will be vigilant in ensuring that news reports are accurate and fair. The public deserves an honest debate -- not one marred by blatant falsehoods and anti-gay attacks.