The Instigator
Yraelz
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
gahbage
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

DADT should be repealed in favor of allowing gay service members to serve openly.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,317 times Debate No: 4050
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (12)

 

Yraelz

Pro

A military debate that I haven't done for quite some time.

DADT is a flawed policy, not only does it fail in practical use but it also fails the purpose that is was created for. Whats more, it hurts our country and our national security far more than it could ever help.

Thus I stand in firm affirmation of the topic: DADT should be repealed in favor of allowing gay service members to serve openly.
gahbage

Con

DADT was, to my knowledge, created so people wouldn't be made fun of, harassed, etc. for being gay in the military. I think protecting people from harassment and protecting their morale and patriotism is more important than being open about your sexuality, at least in the military.

Also, I don't see how it hurts the country and national security in any way.
Debate Round No. 1
Yraelz

Pro

Alright, here goes.

Note: I will be using the word "gay" as a catch all for LGBT for the soul purpose that I don't actually distinguish in my own mind or even care.

DADT, short for "don't ask don't tell", is a public law put into effect in '93 by the Clinton administration. It was supposed to be one step up from the old law -which simply banned gays from serving in the military- by allowing them to serve but to keep their gay identity secret. The law mandates that witch hunts will not be done to seek out gay service members (don't ask) and that service members will not tell anyone that they are gay (don't tell). Should a service member become openly gay he/she will be ejected from the military.

I have a few major points on why this is wrong.

1. On a moral level we as a country are asking our citizens to hide parts of themselves. Specifically citizens that at the very least feel they are risking their lives for us. Whether they are or not is another debate. We are in effect silencing a minority.

2. Government is supposed to be a representation of its people. Telling service members to serve gay in secret is to put across the message that being gay is wrong and shameful. Which to some also carries the message to destroy such service members is okay.

3. One of the founding principles of the United States was such that there would be a division of religion and state. Unless one would like to argue that to be gay is also to be un-human then to have this policy is to draw a direct line between the popular religious view that this is wrong and government.

4. The law was put into effect for the purpose of helping unit-cohesion and moral but in fact does the exact opposite. Before this law was in place gay service members truly had to serve in secret and no one knew that they even existed except when they were found. Now that this law has been passed service members know that there are gays serving among them but not who. While I do not personally believe this should effect anything at all when it comes to unit cohesion, if your best buddy is forced to lie to you under law it certainly will.

5. Having openly gay service members would accomplish many things. For one the people who disagree with this policy and do not serve in the military because of it would now be open to do so. For two, the unit cohesion and moral issue would no longer become a factor. Thirdly, gay units are no lesser at their job Finally this would actually save the military money as hiring and training a service member only to find they are gay and kick them from the military is to waste money.

Please keep in mind that this is a debate about whether or not DADT as a policy is a good idea not military power, the U.S, or Gay rights in general. Thanks.
gahbage

Con

DISCLAIMER: The word "gay" is not meant to be offensive or used as a crude term for the people of said sexuality, but only for lack of a shorter and more accurate word.

1. If it is silencing a minority, it is only for the benefit of everyone in the military. If there are people serving in the military who oppose gay rights, they may openly oppose and verbally or physically abuse their gay peers. This can lead to no good; if reported, it can result in ejection of the offender from the military. If this happens often, many people will start to get ejected. And, reported or not reported, harassment and/or abuse because of your sexuality has a negative effect on morale and performance, possibly for other people who were not open about being gay and for gay rights supporters who cannot stand to see gays treated unfairly, in addition to the person who is being harassed.

2. It does not imply that being gay is bad, it implies just what it states: that it is in the best interest of most, if not all, people in the military to keep quiet about their sexuality. They will not be "destroyed" if their sexuality is revealed; they will be ejected, and not for being gay, but for breaking the rule, which as I showed in point 1, is for everyone's safety/benefit.

3. As I said above, DADT does not imply a wrong. It also does not impose a religious anti-gay view on anyone in the military, as it only asks of a person to keep quiet. They also understand that if they break this rule, they will not be ejected for being gay, but for breaking the rule.

4. "Before this law was in place gay service members truly had to serve in secret and no one knew that they even existed except when they were found."

Since as you just stated, they were found, people knew they existed. Since anyone could lie about their sexuality, there was still no telling whether anyone in your unit was gay. If your statement is true, then it was essentially the same before as it is today: Gay people can still serve, and their sexuality has to be kept secret.

"Now that this law has been passed service members know that there are gays serving among them but not who."

The assumption than in your unit, there are gays among you but you don't know who, should not be made in the first place. There may not even be any gay people in your unit. And the fact that there may be gays among you should not affect your morale.

5. "For one the people who disagree with this policy and do not serve in the military because of it would now be open to do so."

Open to do what, serve in the military? There would still be gay people in the military, so they would not serve.

"For two, the unit cohesion and moral issue would no longer become a factor."

The morale is not an issue for the people who aren't gay. However, by making people targets for insults towards gays, it would decrease THEIR morale.

"Thirdly, gay units are no lesser at their job"

This doesn't mean they will be lesser at their job if their sexuality is kept secret. Being openly gay will not make them any better than they were before, and gay people are still admitted into the military, so excluding is not a problem since they ARE admitted.

"Finally this would actually save the military money as hiring and training a service member only to find they are gay and kick them from the military is to waste money."

Finding out that member is gay will only result in their ejection if they tell.
If you find out that they're gay from that person's family member, or going through their personal belongings, for example, they can't be ejected because the didn't tell.

Therefore, the repeal of DADT will no harm and will not be as effective, safe or beneficial as having DADT in place will. Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
Yraelz

Pro

Alright, I will be covering each contention in turn.

Contention 1: My opponent does not argue that we are or are not silencing a minority thus I will restate that we are. Furthermore I go on to state that this is of no benefit to our military. In fact I have empirical examples from 13 other countries that lifted their version of the gay ban.

"The GAO researchers noted that 13 Western allied countries allow homosexual men and women to serve in the military without restrictions and officials from the domestic departments that had prohibited discrimination of sexual minorities reported, ‘they had not experienced any degradation of mission associated with these policies'" (Evans).

"Before Canada lifted its gay ban in 1992, a survey of 6,500 male soldiers found that 62% said they would refuse to share showers or living quarters with a gay soldier. But when the ban was actually lifted, follow-up studies found no increased difficulty with recruiting, discipline or performance, and few if any
resignations were attributed to the change in policy. A similar scenario unfolded in Britain, where two-thirds of service members indicated that they would not serve with gays if the British ban were eliminated. Following the lifting of the ban, studies found no increased difficulty with recruitment" (Frank)

"Australia, Israel, and Canada also eliminated bans without experiencing any increase in antigay violence" (Belkin)

It should be noted that these countries are some of our closet allies, not to mention that we currently serve beside their openly homosexual service members in Iraq, with no problems.

Contention 2: No, it is quite clearly pushing the mindset that being gay is a bad thing. In fact, I have another piece of evidence for you.

"'In the military,' said the Army JAG officer who deployed to OEF while serving in the Navy, ‘we learn to follow rules, and we promote what we're told to promote.' She said the result was that laws and policies sent clear messages about what was and was not acceptable in the service. ‘The best thing you can do as a soldier or sailor is to stand up for what the military says is right.' If the military said that gays and lesbians were welcome, it would have an enormous impact on attitudes toward them in the service. But
‘when the military is giving the message that there's something wrong and shameful about being gay, then we're also giving the message that to hate gays is acceptable'" (Frank)

Understand my point?

Contention 3: "It also does not impose a religious anti-gay view on anyone in the military, as it only asks of a person to keep quiet."

>>Yes it does. Any heterosexual service member can quite clearly state that they are heterosexual but the moment a gay service member states that they are homosexual they are ejected from the military. Considering the fact that many many other countries have all lifted their gays bans with no harm this is quite simply an outdated religious ideal.

Contention 4: My opponent states,

"The assumption than in your unit, there are gays among you but you don't know who, should not be made in the first place. There may not even be any gay people in your unit. And the fact that there may be gays among you should not affect your morale."

First off whether the assumption should be made or not is irrelevant as the assumption can be made. Secondly this hurts unit cohesion in morale status quo not because service members dislike gays but rather because gay service members cannot be entirely open with their fellow service members, they are always hiding something. Third point, my opponent says that the fact that there are gays among you should not hurt your morale, this is true, and it doesn't, thus there is NO REASON to keep this ban.

Contention 5:

Let me restate my points in a fluid order.

a. People currently do not serve in the military because they are opposed to the militaries current anti-gay policy. Not all these people are gay. I for instance do not like the militaries anti-gay policy, and while I am not gay I do not feel serving a force with such a moral code is in alignment with my morals. Thus the lifting of this ban would allow for myself and other people who disdain the policy to better join the military.

b. Unit Cohesion and Morale would increase because the gay service members that everyone knows are already there would be able to openly admit to their friends that they were gay. This would stop everyone from wondering who is gay and would allow the gay service members to better bond with their peers because they would no longer be guarding secrets from them.

c. Gays are no lesser at their job, thus there is no reason to discriminate against them by forcing them to keep their sexuality a secret.

d. The current policy wastes money. In the status quo we hire service members, spend money to train those service members, spend money to outfit them, spend money to transport them, spend money to feed them. And then, if those service members are discovered to be gay we must then eject them, at which point we lose all the money we just spent and must spend all that money over again to rerecruit, retrain, refeed, and reequip a soldier to fight in the gay soldiers place.

"According to the Pentagon, it has discharged more than 10,000 service members for being gay, including nearly 800 with skills deemed ‘mission critical' by the Department of Defense" (Ralls).
gahbage

Con

I'll address the contentions similarly. I also urge voters to vote on the debate, not on your stance on the issue.

Contention 1: Were the survey results directly from members of the military? If not, there could be unreported harassment.

Contention 2: "when the military is giving the message that there's something wrong and shameful about being gay, then we're also giving the message that to hate gays is acceptable"

But we're not giving the message that being gay is bad, we just don't want to know. It may be for the reasons I stated earlier, or it may just be because it doesn't matter. Either way, the idea of a DADT policy does not say that homosexuality is bad. Now, a "don't tell" policy might imply this, because it puts all the pressure on the soldier to keep it secret. But since there is also a "don't tell" part, it also includes pressure on the other soldiers to not ask, or they will be ejected. This is the military's way of saying, "It doesn't matter if you're gay or not, but don't tell anyone/don't ask anyone, so we don't have any problems".

Contention 3: "Yes it does. Any heterosexual service member can quite clearly state that they are heterosexual but the moment a gay service member states that they are homosexual they are ejected from the military."

Actually, DADT applies to all members of the military. If you are heterosexual but are asked if you are gay, you have no more obligation to respond than a homosexual does. Otherwise, you would automatically know who is gay, and DADT would be pointless. For example, if you are gay and you scream it out, you should be ejected. If you are straight and you scream it out, you too, should be ejected.

DADT stands for "don't ask, don't tell". This translates into "Don't ask about a person's sexuality; don't tell about your sexuality". As you can see it regards sexuality in general. Now look at these examples.

Example 1: Bob is gay. He enlists in the military and serves for one year. A high-ranking officer asks him if he is gay. He replies "yes". He is ejected for telling, along with the officer for asking.

Example 2: Jim is not gay. He enlists in the military and serves for one year. A high-ranking officer asks him if he is gay. He replies "no". He is ejected for telling, along with the officer for asking.

Contention 4: "Secondly this hurts unit cohesion in morale status quo not because service members dislike gays but rather because gay service members cannot be entirely open with their fellow service members, they are always hiding something."

Not exactly. Many people in the military may be hiding something that they feel is embarrassing; it could be anything. The fact that a soldier is gay should not hurt their morale any more than these things would. And if not telling is preferable to other people with [what they feel is] embarrassing, then it should be the same with homosexuality.

Contention 5:

a) "People currently do not serve in the military because they are opposed to the militaries current anti-gay policy."

I don't see it as an anti-gay policy. Nor have I heard of anyone who does. Many people interpret it as a policy to protect private information that may be the target of harassment.

b) "This would stop everyone from wondering who is gay and would allow the gay service members to better bond with their peers because they would no longer be guarding secrets from them."

Like I said before, many people may be guarding other secrets, and they may not want those to be found out. (Otherwise they wouldn't be secrets.) Also, why would you need to be wondering who is gay, unless you plan to do something with that information? I don't expect to have anybody say, "Oh, you're gay? Yeah, I was just wondering". However, I do expect that if you spend so much time trying to find out who's gay, no good will come from it (harassment, talking behind their back, etc.).

c) This is not discriminatory. If it was, then you would be required to provide your sexuality in the questionnaire, and you would be rejected if you were gay. Or there would be a disclaimer stating "If you are gay, you will not be accepted". Those two examples would be sexual discrimination. However, since you are allowed in, just you're not allowed to provide the information, then it is not discriminating. Remember, you still have to follow DADT if you are heterosexual.

d) "And then, if those service members are discovered to be gay we must then eject them, at which point we lose all the money we just spent and must spend all that money over again to rerecruit, retrain, refeed, and reequip a soldier to fight in the gay soldiers place."

Like I said earlier, if there are "discovered", they will most likely not be ejected; only if they tell.

Example 1: John is gay. He enlists in the military and serves for one year. A high-ranking officer asks him if he is gay. He replies "yes". He is ejected for telling, along with the officer for asking.

Example 2: John is gay. He enlists in the military and serves for one year. A high-ranking officer sees a letter fall from his bag. He picks up the letter and reads it; it is a letter from his mom, responding to him telling her he is gay. The officer cannot eject John, because he never told anyone if he is gay or not.

So it is only a waste of money if they break the rule. And we all know that if you break certain rules in the military, you will be ejected.

"According to the Pentagon, it has discharged more than 10,000 service members for being gay, including nearly 800 with skills deemed ‘mission critical' by the Department of Defense" (Ralls)."

They must have told/broke the rule.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by NukeTheJuice 8 years ago
NukeTheJuice
Its wrong for the military to ask your sexual preference.
Its none of their business, the point is who cares if you are or not?
Your still a person, homosexual or heterosexual, and the will to become a soldier has nothing to do with your orientation.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I have to agree with SweetBags, rhetoric doesn't beat emprical evidence.
Posted by Vi_Veri 8 years ago
Vi_Veri
Actually, when I signed up for air force reserve officer training corp, they had us sign a paper that stated we were not gay. I dont think that's asking us to be quite about it... that's telling us to keep out.
Posted by SweetBags 8 years ago
SweetBags
flow:
1: con never really rebutted this. PRO
2: again, con doesn't rebut well. he generally says that "were not doing what he says we are", but pro has evidence backing his point. con doesn't have any to knock it down. PRO
3: cons rebuttal is untrue, so it falls. PRO
4: pros examples of other country's that don't have a ban really made the point, and his stats on the effectiveness after those states removal of said ban stopped cons attack in its tracks. PRO
5: a PRO, the military has a specific anti gay policy. b ~ not a good point, but cons attack wasn't that good either. TIE. c there is such a policy of "gay not accepted" PRO. d if their discovered then they will be ejected, gays are banned from the military PRO.

RFD:
Pros case was well backed (although some cites would of been nice), and cons wasn't. pros logic was also clearer and more factually correct then cons, and his points survived cons attacks, so i have to vote PRO.

comments:
pro: good job, but give a cite and/or link your evidence in the future.

con: use some evidence next time. rhetoric cant beat evidence, and thats what you tried to do. you also didn't use your final round effectively. remember to sum up the debate and explain why you should win (this is done separately from refuting your opponent).

debate in general: both sides largely ignored (although pro eluded to) that being gay in the military is illegal. dadt is a policy Clinton started to allow gays to join without changing the rules (he didn't have enough support on the issue to do that). so if a gay is "discovered" then they would be ejected, and is a straight told people then nothing would happen, because being straight isn't against the rules.
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Sorry if anyone's name here is Bob, Jim, or John. =P
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