I’ve seen a fair bit of rumbling in the corners of Blogistan about
Robert Stout, a sargeant in the Army who was wounded in Iraq (shrapnel
to the face – try slapping a Purple Heart Band-Aid over your withered
and dessicated hearts over that one, wingnut jackasses) and who says no
one in his unit cared that he was openly gay but has, now that he’s
been wounded and decorated, been kicked out.  What I didn’t know
was that his story was being heard in other places and that there may be momentum building to repeal the ban:

NEW YORK – Critics of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy are
gaining new allies, including a few conservative members of Congress
and a West Point professor, as they press on multiple fronts to
overturn the ban on out-of-the-closet gays and lesbians in the armed

As part of their strategy, opponents of the policy are now highlighting
the ongoing struggles of Army and Marine recruiters. The Servicemembers
Legal Defense Network says in a new report that many highly trained
specialists — including combat engineers and linguists — are being
discharged involuntarily while the Pentagon “is facing extreme
challenges in recruiting and retaining troops.”

“Extreme challenges” ain’t a show on ESPN2, folks – it’s the military
falling short of their own recruitment goals after having slashed those
goals once already to try not to have to admit they’d fallen short of
their goals.  The Boyf pointed out that when the media were
reporting the Army was 25% short on their goals so far this year they
weren’t mentioning that the goals had already been cut once, so really
they’re about 40% short of where they’d sai they’d be by this point in
the year.  Bush’s disastrous war is keeping people away from the

So, ironically, we may end up having BushCo to thank for the end to the
ban.  In his need for more human fuel to feed the war machine, he
may have to suck it up and stop kicking people out for being gay.

I hope that popping noise was James Dobson’s head exploding.

Of course, it’s only sort of good news.  The up-side is that it’s
going to knock down some big cultural barriers.  The down-side is
that even more of our people get to go off and fight a war we shouldn’t
have started in the first place.

In genuinely good news, though, there’s this, from the same article:

In Congress, four Republicans — including stalwart conservatives Wayne
Gilchrest of Maryland and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida — have joined
81 Democrats co-sponsoring a bill to repeal the policy. Gilchrest, a
former supporter of the ban, said he changed his view partly out of
respect for gay Marines he served with in Vietnam and for his brother,
who is gay.

Wow – a wingnut who changes his ways based on experience.  He’s
dangerously close to living in consensual reality, which as we all
know, hates America and God’s President. (more…)