The following statement just came across from Lee Taft, associate executive director at Resource Center Dallas, in response to the Pentagon report on “don’t ask don’t tell” that was released earlier today:
“As leaders in the LGBT community, we are pleased to read that the authors correctly conclude that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ needs to be shelved. It correctly notes that countries worldwide have adopted policies that permit military service by openly gay men and lesbians, even when pre-transition surveys suggested high levels of resistance. From a historical perspective, the document is both forward-thinking and timely, and Resource Center Dallas is pleased the time has arrived to get rid of this atrocious policy.
“Yet, a homophobic sub-text lurks in the report. We are repeatedly referred to as ‘homosexuals’ instead of the more accurate gays and lesbians, and bigotry is re-cast as stereotyping. Some survey respondents fear under a policy allowing openness, gay service members will become predators—a baseless assertion grounded in pure prejudice. Similarly, the authors note that ‘gay men and lesbians still tend to be discrete about their personal lives, and guarded about people with whom they share information about their sexual orientation.’ This is a wrong-headed and tragic use of a strategy developed by the community to keep ourselves safe.
“Make no mistake. We are pleased with the findings of the report. We are committed to doing our part to rid the world of policies and practices that oppress LGBT people, wherever and whenever. This report should help that happen. But, we still have a long way to go.”