Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway has previously told reporters he would "not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual, if we could possibly avoid it." Thankfully the general is on his way out, because he's still on a rampage about making sure straight soldiers would only live with gays on a "voluntary" basis just in case they have "moral concerns."
The Marine officer, “Gordon,” is a 16-year Marine field grade officer currently assigned within the greater DC Beltway. Alex Nicholson of SU says:
He’s a VERY opinionated striaght-talker (no pun intended), so it should be quite a lively chat this evening – feel free to ask him anything!! If you’re around a computer, please do join us. And for those with blogs, twitter accounts, and hoards of FB followers, please also consider promoting it to your loyal readers and fans.
This is a CoverItLive blog event, so you will be able to see it on the front page of the Blend once it begins, and there is a separate link to a standalone window with the liveblog:
Joining me in the chat room tonight with “Gordon” will be my project partners from SU:
Alex Nicholson, Executive Director; Jarrod Chlapowski, Co-Founder.
The infamous survey is below the fold. The Pentagon commissioned Westat to do the survey, which was distributed to 400,000 active duty and reserve members of the armed forces. The survey is part of the Pentagon Working Group’s 10-month study of the potential impact of repeal of DADT on the force.
Servicemembers United had this reaction to the survey language when it was leaked:
Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, today strongly condemned the biased and derogatory design of the long-awaited Defense Department survey on issues related to the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. The survey, which was created and administered by the research firm Westat in conjunction with the Comprehensive Review Working Group, was sent out to 400,000 non-deployed active duty troops at a cost to taxpayers of .4 million.
“While it remains safe for gay and lesbian troops to participate in this survey, it is simply impossible to imagine a survey with such derogatory and insulting wording, assumptions, and insinuations going out about any other minority group in the military,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “Unfortunately, this expensive survey stokes the fires of homophobia by its very design and will only make the Pentagon’s responsibility to subdue homophobia as part of this inevitable policy change even harder. The Defense Department just shot itself in the foot by releasing such a flawed survey to 400,000 servicemembers, and it did so at an outrageous cost to taxpayers.”
Nicholson added, “Flawed aspects of the survey include the unnecessary use of terms that are known to be inflammatory and bias-inducing in social science research, such as the clinical term ‘homosexual;’ an overwhelming focus on the potential negative aspects of repeal and little or no inclusion of the potential positive aspects of repeal or the negative aspects of the current policy; the repeated and unusual suggestion that a co-worker or leader might need to ‘discuss’ appropriate behavior and conduct with gay and lesbian troops; and more.”
Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq in 2006, sued Fred Phelps after Westboro Baptist “Church” picketed his son’s funeral. A jury awarded the father a $3 million judgment.
Phelps appealed the ruling and on Friday, an appeals court overturned the judgment based on free speech rights. Snyder was ordered to pay Phelps’ court costs of $16,500.
Snyder has said he has no intention of paying Phelps any money and the Supreme Court agreed today to hear this first amendment case. The competing argument that the court will consider is the privacy and religious rights of mourners.