Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Phony expert gets owned!!

Another annoying characteristics of the anti-gay industry is how they characterize their spokespeople as experts on homosexuality.

The anti-gay industry generally don’t recruit unbiased third parties in their information gathering. They create their own experts on the subject of homosexuality. And these phony experts are usually in-house employees or members of affiliated groups who already have anti-gay biases.

They also have no training or background in what they claim to have expert opinions on. It
seems that their titles are dependent on how well they look in the media, or how adept they can apply spin.

Elaine Donnelly is one of these experts. Despite the fact that she has never served in the military, she is president of the Center for Military Readiness.

This is a fancy way of saying that Donnelly's sole responsibility seems to be speaking out against allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

And she was on Capitol Hill today during a Congressional hearing regarding gays in the military.

From what I hear, she got her butt handed to her.

Or a better way of putting it is that she giftwrapped her ass and handed it to the committee:

The live feed from today's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hearing just ended. The curious can watch it here. (Warning, this thing went on forever: 2h35.)

The hearing went better than I expected, insofar as the Democratic witnesses, Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, and Marine Staff Serg. Eric Alva utterly outspoke Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones and Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, both of whom testitified (poorly, and in some places, damn near incoherently) on behalf of Republicans.

Donnelly managed, somehow, to answer every question from both the right and the left with, "Sexual urges would prevent unit cohesion." Jones, when asked whether or not he thought homoesexuality was immoral, replied, "No, but if I'm 6'8" and I want to be a fighter pilot, I can't." Both think a gay-friendly military would bring on the end of the world.

As this hearing evidenced, the social conservative arguments for preserving DADT, letting the Department of Defense write its own policy, or banning gay service, range from paper-thin to non-existent. The only obstacle I see to passage of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act—the bill that would repeal DADT and implement a non-discrimination policy—is good ole' fashion homophobia.

What a difference 15 years make. When hearings about gays in the military began in 1993, we got inudated with Paul Cameronesque rhetoric about sex-crazed gay men and fisting.

Now, folks seemed to have attained a degree of sense and intelligence.

Progress is good.

And Donnelly distorts legitimate work too

Law Review Questions Expertise of Congressional Witness; Misstatements and Sloppy Use of Evidence Subject of New Publication

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., July 23 (AScribe Newswire) -- The Palm Center announced today that a Duke University law review is publishing a critique of a chief Congressional witness who is testifying at today's hearings on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a research organization which studies gays in the military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said the study is to appear in the forthcoming issue of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy.

The article, "The Importance of Objective Analysis: A Response to Elaine Donnelly's Constructing the Co-Ed Military," is a reply to a 2007 article by Elaine Donnelly in the same journal. Donnelly, who is president of the Center for Military Readiness, a traditional values interest group with no military or academic affiliation, is one of two witnesses testifying against the right of gays to serve at today's hearings.

Donnelly's testimony is largely drawn from her 2007 article, also published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. The Palm Center study is a response to her article, which, according to Belkin, is riddled with mistakes and misreadings of both Palm Center work and the "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy that governs gay service.

"It's unclear why Elaine Donnelly has a platform at all on this issue," Belkin said. "She and her organization do no research." Belkin noted, for example, that to bolster her point that the British military has been undermined by allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, her article cites a single footnote which refers to five newspaper and radio stories, none of which have anything to do with gays in the military.

My sentiments exactly, Mr. Belkin. More of the article is here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The one country in this world that can not lose a war, Israel, allows gays/lesbians to serve ..... openly. My sister had a childhood friend who went to the Air Force Academy. She graduated and served her time flying transport aircraft Today she lives with her partner somewhere out in the western part of the country building houses.