The Instigator
Raisor
Pro (for)
Winning
43 Points
The Contender
solo
Con (against)
Losing
37 Points

The United States Federal Government should repeal the current policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,927 times Debate No: 1277
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (21)

 

Raisor

Pro

Under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the military is not allowed to question a service member's sexual orientation. However, if it becomes clear (through actions, confessions, etc.) that a service member is gay, he or she may be discharged due to their orientation. As a policy, DADT fails in all respects. It is a tragic attack on the rights of gays and bisexuals and does little to protect military readiness.

The United States Federal Government should repeal the current policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

While there is no federal protection against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, DADT is the only policy that explicitly encourages such discrimination. Interestingly, the policy seems to be designed to discriminate specifically against people with homosexual identity, i.e. gays and bisexuals as people, rather than homosexual conduct. In U.S. Code Title 10, Section 654 the law states that a service member may be discharged for same-sex relations UNLESS "such conduct is a departure from the member's usual and customary behavior" and is "unlikely to recur." However, the law is also very clear that a simple admission of homosexuality is sufficient ground for discharge. In other words, if you are straight but decide to experiment on a really wild night, you can stay in the military, but if you so much as mention that you consider yourself to be gay, the military has no place for you. The DADT policy is aimed at erasing the gay identity and the gay individual, not at preventing homosexual acts.

This discriminatory policy also severely undermines the military's ability to protect its members from harassment. Suspected homosexuals are sometimes harassed within the military, but this harassment often goes unreported. Members of the military who have been harassed are often afraid that drawing attention to the harassment will result in expulsion from the military, EVEN THOUGH THE HARASSED MAY NOT BE GAY. It is important to note that DADT does not prevent anti-gay harassment and prevents the military from adequately responding to these incidents. A repeal of DADT would allow the military to take an active role in developing policies that prevent and react to (sometimes violent) harassment and working to decrease homophobia. The current policy only reinforces homophobic attitudes by labeling gays as a group that must be erased.

Homosexuals are not the only ones who feel the sting of DADT. The policy works to undermine women of all orientations by reinforcing patriarchal power structures. Women who do not conform to traditional feminine expectations in their military career, such as those who exhibit masculine talents and attributes, may be rumored to be lesbians. Due to the fear of discharge that DADT creates, many women feel compelled to assume traits that are perceived as feminine. DADT also gives sexual assaulters a tool against women. In a practice known as lesbian baiting, women may be sexually assaulted or raped, and then accused of being lesbians if the woman reports the violence. Fear of being labeled a lesbian also causes some women to give in to sexual advances made by male members, Women may feel that if they reject the advances of the men around them, they will be seen as lesbian. In this way, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy undermines the protection of female service members.

DADT undermines the Armed Forces core values of honesty, integrity, and respect. The policy creates an environment of suspicion and hostility where individuals must continually prove their heterosexuality. Those who hope to enforce the policy must look for subtle signs that could give away potential members of the unwanted minority. Everyone is suspect because anyone could be gay. Individuals must continually submit themselves to self-surveillance in order to make sure they do not come off as gay, or in the case of one female enlistee "not feminine enough." This constant suspicion and panopticon of self surveillance may be subtle in military life, but they are ever present and certainly unhealthy.

Morale and cohesion may actually be hurt by the current DADT policy. The atmosphere of suspicion that DADT encourages can work to divide units. The policy also encourages the idea that gay members do not belong and should be expelled. When a team mate is perceived or SUSPECTED of being gay, this idea may help to separate him from the unit. If DADT were repealed, the military could pursue an aggressive stance of inclusion of homosexuals. Furthermore, gays would no longer be viewed as people who do not belong in the military, making full inclusion of all service men much easier. Unfortunately, DADT precludes and possibility for meaningful inclusion.

We have not yet come to the greatest reason to repeal DADT. The purpose of the army is to defend this country and its values. When a policy works to WEAKEN the army, when it serves to ENDANGER our country, it must be repealed. If a policy puts the men and women of America in unnecessary danger, it is a policy that must change.

DADT hurts military readiness.

According to a 2005 GAO report, approximately 10,000 gay service members have been discharged since the creation of the DADT policy in 1993. A significant number of these discharged personnel held specialized positions such as linguistic professionals, translators, and doctors. Many of the fired translators spoke Arabic and other languages crucial to counter-terror tasks. The GAO estimated that the cost of replacing the discharged members is about $96 million, though this estimate has been frequently challenged as too low (the Blue Ribbon Commission claims the cost to be $363 million). The labor Cost DADT puts on the military is intensified by the current overstretch of the U.S. Army.

A policy that targets the gay identity and deems it unfit for service, intensifies homophobic attitudes, and creates and environment that is conducive to sexual abuse, DADT does not protect military readiness. It creates an atmosphere of suspicion, has proved empirically unnecessary, and wastes valuable human and monetary resources. The policy is unjustified. The policy is unfair. The policy is dangerous. The policy must go.
solo

Con

The USFG should AMEND the current policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I agree with many of your points, but not all of them.

When something does work out the way you want it to, you don't always just scrap it. Especially when it can be fixed. The USA doesn't function all that well, nor does it have a history of doing so, but we didn't abolish the US to rebuild a newer and better nation. We did as we always do; we do our best to make things better, little-by-little.

Since most of your argument is based on your own personal opinions, it seems, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me how long you've been a member of the United States Armed Forces. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Raisor

Pro

Con did not address a single issue that I brought up. As of now I am winning the debate hands down.

As for my arguments being "my opinion:"

1)Every stat in my readiness argument was cited. I did relatively uncontroversial analysis. Even if you believe that my other arguments should be ignored because of lack of sources, my readiness argument stands and I hold the readiness argument to be the most important issue in the round. If a military policy makes the army weaker it should be fixed. Once again, you didn't refute my arguments, so in this debate they stand as accepted.

2)The non-readiness arguments were taken from a wide variety of sources, I will list some of them shortly. However, much of it is simply analysis of the facts. It is 100% legit for me to give analytical arguments of facts. You say my arguments are "my opinion." While this is true, "my opinion" happens to be a thought out explanation of problems in the military. You didn't give any argument at all, so I am winning on these points. If you question the factuality of any point I have made, please point it out and I will provide citation.

3)Some of my sources:

On the ineffectiveness of DADT to prevent harassment: Chad C Carter, US Air Force Captain and Antony Barone Kolene, USAF Major, both Assistant Professors in the Department of Law at the USAF Academy. 31 Dayton Law Review 1, 2005

On the harassment of women due to DADT: Christin Damiano, 7 American University Journal of Gender Social Policy and Law 499.

On the same topic: Martha Chamallas, Professor of Law, U of Pittsburgh, 83 Minnesota Law Review 305, 1998

Those were just a few, I have many more, unfortunately I have to do a lot of searching to dig up the sources I used (my R1 speech was from a paper I wrote for a writing competition and did not need to be cited).

Once I again I would like to emphasize that all my arguments have gone unchallenged in this debate.

Now for my opponent's "amendment argument:"

1)My opponent provides no amendment text or description of what this amendment would do. Without these things, it is impossible to compare his "amendment" to my suggestion of a repeal.

2)My opponent provides no reason why an amendment would be better than repealing DADT. I honestly have no idea how it would be beneficial AT ALL because I have no idea what this amendment is supposed to do. There is no reason to prefer an amendment to a repeal.

3)An amendment would not solve as well as a repeal. Only a repeal can stop the loss of skilled soldiers. Anything short of a repeal will still force needed troops out of the Armed Forces. Only a repeal is will solve 100% for the discrimination and abuse intrinsic in the DADT policy. I cannot give much more analysis on this topic, because I don't have an amendment to analyze.

Judges, as we wait for my opponent's second speech, here is how the cards lay:

I have presented a plan to repeal DADT and presented numerous arguments for the plan.

My opponent has not refuted even one of my arguments

My opponent is in favor a mysterious amendment, but doesn't describe what the amendment does or how it would do anything at all.

I have shown that a repeal is preferable to halfway solution like an amendment.

Right now, there isn't a dingle reason to vote for my opponent.
solo

Con

<>

(I appreciated your declaration of victory. It gave me a good laugh, so thank you.) I posted, "I agree with many of your points, but not all of them." I later posted: "Since most of your argument is based on your own personal opinions, it seems, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me how long you've been a member of the United States Armed Forces."

Until you answer this question, your arguments have no validity because you would have us respect your analysis as if you were from an Army Four-Star General.

<< 1)Every stat in my readiness argument was cited. I did relatively uncontroversial analysis. Even if you believe that my other arguments should be ignored because of lack of sources, my readiness argument stands and I hold the readiness argument to be the most important issue in the round.>>

My initial argument still stands, as you indicate in your following sentence.

<>

The USFG should AMEND the current policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." You yourself just used the term "fixed" which is a synonym for "AMEND"; not repeal. This debate is over as you've changed your stance on the issue and now agree with me. Thanks for the debate.

<>

I disagree with this statement and the structure that my opponent would have me conduct my arguments. This is a three-round debate and if/when I choose to address his issues is entirely up to me, which is quite fair as my opponent has the final say in Round 3. As opposed to arguing the debate, he's more focused on the voting. Voters, in fairness, please don't be distracted by this, but critique his skills based on his abilities. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Raisor

Pro

While my opponent did state that he did not agree with all of my points, at no point in time did he REFUTE any of them. As of now, we do not even know which of my points he disagrees with!

In response to his claim that my arguments "have no validity because you would have us respect your analysis as if you were from an Army Four-Star General," I would like to reemphasize my point that my personal status does not affect the "validity" of my arguments. Anyone who knows about formal logic knows that validity is determined by structure of argument alone and has nothing to do with the authority of the speaker.

Also, if you look at the sources I cited, you will see that two of my sources are/were OFFICERS IN THE US AIR FORCE.

Again, I will point out that my military readiness arguments are cited, and if my opponent has any specific questions, I will answer them. Of course, my opponent hasn't made any specific points and this is my last speech.

Judges YOU CANNOT VOTE FOR HIS AMENDMENT ARGUMENT. He has provided us with absolutely no explanation of what this amendment would be! We have no idea if it would solve any of the problems with DADT. He hasn't given any reason why an amendment is better than a repeal. The only thing he has said is "sometimes you need to fix things."

He says I changed my stance because I "used the term "fixed" which is a synonym for "AMEND;" not repeal." Some points:

1)In what dictionary is "fixed" listed as a synonym for repeal?

2)"Fixed" is ambiguous and could mean any number of things. I clearly specified that I meant "repeal," so my position has never changed.

3)At no point in the debate did I offer any analysis support an amendment. It's beyond ridiculous to pick out one word from the 1,000 plus words I have written and say that it is a change in stance.

My opponent mentioned that he could respond to my arguments at any time, including in R3. Judges, please note that my opponent has the last speech and I will have no opportunity to respond. It would be unfair for my opponent to suddenly unload a slew of new arguments in this last round. He had plenty of time to make new arguments in R1 and R2 but he chose not to. Making new arguments in R3 after such a blatant lack of arguments would be extremely unfair and abuse to me. As a judge, you should ignore any new arguments my opponent makes in R3 out of competitive fairness.

My opponent says I am "more focused on voting." My frequent arguments about how judges should vote are simply a competitive technique. I am trying to make the judge's job easier when they decide to vote by pointing out important voting issues in the round. I am trying to make voting easier for the judges by making voting issues clearer.

FINALLY, The reasons why I win this debate:

1)DADT must be repealed for several reasons, all of which were never refuted by my opponent.

2)DADT weakens the military by draining trained soldiers from the army, including doctors and translators crucial to the war on terror

3)DADT allows psychological and physical harassment of homosexuals in the military

4)DADT is a tool for the sexual harassment of women.

5)DADT works to maintain patriarchal power structures and discriminate against women.

6)DADT is discriminatory towards homosexuals

7)Even if you think homosexuality is immoral, DADT must be repealed because of
the damage it does to military readiness.

8)My opponent offers no alternative to the repeal of DADT. He claims it should be "amended," but does not explain the content of the amendment or how it would be better than a repeal.

9)An amendment of DADT would not solve any of the problems as well as a repeal. So long as some form of DADT lingers, the military will still be drained of needed personnel, women will still be sexually assaulted and oppressed, and gays will still be harassed. I would LOVE to put more analysis on why an amendment fails to solve, but my opponent never provided me with any description of what the amendment would do. This is one more reason why his amendment argument fails.

Overall: DADT is a problem. Repeal is a better solution than an Amendment.
solo

Con

Ah... it would seem I have made an error. I do have the final say. Oh well, time to give it my all now. I'm going to prove why DADT should be amended and NOT repealed. Just kidding, Raisor! I will only answer the direct questions you made and correct the errors you have made, out of fairness.

<>

Hearsay. Also, no proof. I could just as easily say that a Four-Star General said that your sources were totally wrong.

<>

I do not need to explain what the amendment would be. It is an option that should be considered, rather than exercising a repeal.

<< 1)In what dictionary is "fixed" listed as a synonym for repeal?>>

I clearly quoted you and made clear that FIXED is the synonym for AMEND. Here, check it out: http://thesaurus.reference.com...

<< 2)"Fixed" is ambiguous and could mean any number of things. I clearly specified that I meant "repeal," so my position has never changed.>>

I'll grant you a misquote, but this point strikes me as "back-peddling".

<>

I agree. I haven't made any new arguments, as I did honestly believe that Raisor had the last argument, which I am very sorry.

<>

This, I don't believe so much. But I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

<>

I don't agree. The foundation is strong and academically it is progressive and adequate for the times. It just needs fine tuning.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
I ran DADT at two tournaments I think. I was in a pretty low quality conference so I dominated with it. Most of these arguments are from a paper I wrote for a writing contest, but I admit they are mostly modded 1AC arguments. The scenerios we ran were sexual abuse, discrimination, and readiness (straight policy, no K).

Later in the season I ran Coast Guard and at the first tourny of the year I ran a lame Med Peac Corps case.
Posted by solo 9 years ago
solo
smilingsoprano, you're entitled to you opinion. As far as my response being violent, I disagree with you. I thank you for voting on this debate and for your comments. Have a great weekend!
Posted by smilingsoprano 9 years ago
smilingsoprano
Raisor, I agree with you completely that your opponent did not bring up valid points. Solo, simply stating that your position is different does not win debates. You need to not only prove that you take the opposite side, but also prove that your side is SUPERIOR. You clearly did not do this.

As to the "whininess" point in earlier posts, I would agree that the reaction was a little violent, but I understand. As a debater, it aggravates me to no end when someone doesn't respect and correctly reply to my arguments. I probably would have thrown something at my computer . . . though perhaps not posted an angry comment.

Raisor, did you run the DADT plan last year? I remember hitting that my first round EVER . . . we had one piece of evidence from Rumsfeld that said the military didn't need more people. It was a train wreck, but we managed to win because they were novices too. Lucky.

Anyway, in my opinion solo did not even come CLOSE to winning this debate, and I am thoroughly surprised anyone would vote for him.

Oh, and asking vague questions does not count as refuting points!
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
As I said below, it isnt a loss that bothers me.

Debate is something that is intensely important to me. I value debate and the skill of argumentation and critical thinking intensely. When I see something I cherish being bastardized, it upsets me.

My "tantrum" is not supposed to sway the votes, its supposed to change the way judges make their decisions.
Posted by solo 9 years ago
solo
You're kind of whiney, Raisor. Please don't take offense. I'm just letting you know how I view some of your comments -- it's just an observation. If you lose, who cares? Take it like a man! Is that online tantrum supposed to sway the votes? Get over it. It's not life or death. Stop degrading yourself.

Have a good weekend!
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
I swear to god, if I lose/tie this debate, Im quitting this site.

I dont mind losing a debate where my opponent makes challenging points, but I do mind losing when my opponent made at most 1 argument and that argument was of the poorest quality.

Shwayze, the points you make might be legit, BUT MY OPPONENT DIDNT MAKE THEM.

YOU CANT VOTE ON ISSUES THAT WERENT BROUGHT UP DURING THE DEBATE. If you could it would make the entire debate pointless, because no matter what is said in round, the judge could always just come up with his own new arguments.

Furthermore, even if DADT isnt discriminatory, there is still my readiness argument to consider!
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
DADT is not discriminatory at all. All it is saying is that you dont ask about one's sexual orientation and that you dont tell about one's sexual orientation. How is that discrimination at all? If anything, DADT is saving these homosexual's asses, because the blunt truth is that an overwhelming majority of the servicemen in the forces are straight and they generally dont want to serve with a known homosexual. That's just reality. Seriously, are gays that prideful that they have to reveal their sexual orientation? DONT ASK, DONT TELL.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
Im sorry Jacob, but Im not sure what you are saying. Could you please rephrase?
Posted by jacobgunter 9 years ago
jacobgunter
Take into account that DADT gives gays the oppourtunity to celebrate their homosexuality outside of a group, the military, that has a solid heterosexual and masculine mindset about it. If Gays want rights, they need to stay out of the military and petition for their culture and society.
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