October 13, 2010

Palm Questions Gates’s Claim That Open Service Has “Enormous Consequences”

Santa Barbara, Calif. – In reponse to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates comments regarding yesterday’s injunction of 10 U.S.C. § 654, the following statement was issued by Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin:

Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that a federal court’s injunction of “don’t ask, don’t tell” would have “enormous consequences for our troops.” Secretary Gates added that permitting gay and lesbian troops to serve openly “is an action that requires careful preparation and a lot of training.”

With all due respect Mister Secretary, implementing repeal of DADT is not difficult and you should stop saying that it is. Indeed, there were no reports of enormous consequences for the troops yesterday after the ban was suspended. There were no reports of problems today.

As you well know, gays and lesbians are serving honorably and openly today alongside their straight peers. For this reason, and as the RAND Corporation found in 1993, the lifting of a gay ban is not difficult if leaders insist that troops work together. A protracted process involving “a lot of training” is not needed.