People here in Maine were all agog at the visit of Lady Gaga to the Pine Tree State on Monday, September 20, 2010. This wasn’t your typical celeb visit made to promote a new CD or book release. The 24-year old blonde singer and actress was actually on a political mission lobbying Maine senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to vote in favor of repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits gays from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Eschewing her usual flamboyant costumes and dressed in relatively conservative attire, Lady Gaga spoke before a crowd of 2,000 in Deering Oaks Park in Portland. “Doesn’t it seem to you that we should send home the prejudiced straight soldier who hates the gay soldier? I am here today because I want to propose a law called ‘If you don’t like it, you can go home.’ A law that sends home the homophobes, that sends home the prejudiced,” Lady Gaga said.
Senator Collins, a moderate Republican who has previously voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and has publicly stated she favors allowing gays to serve openly in the military, was apparently unimpressed with Lady Gaga’s lobbying efforts. : “I look to (Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman) Admiral Mike Mullen for my advice,” Collins said on Tuesday… shortly before she voted against opening debate in the Senate on a new defense authorization bill that would have repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Maine’s other moderate Republican senator, Olympia Snowe, also voted against opening debate on the measure. This means the bill most likely won’t be taken up for consideration until January 2011, after mid-term elections.
In this moderate independent’s opinion, what we are witnessing here is another classic example of the worst kind of pre-election gamesmanship being played by Republicans and Democrats alike. When he was running for President in 2008, Barack Obama effectively guaranteed that he would see to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” As with many of President Obama’s political promises made during his successful 2008 campaign, this one has yet to be fulfilled. Now, with the mid-term elections right around the corner, and the Democrats lagging far behind in the polls, it appears that “don’t ask, don’t tell” has become a pre-election “political football.” Democrats want the measure repealed before Election Day so that they can claim an Obama promise kept; Republicans want to delay taking action on the measure until after the elections in order to deny President Obama and the Democrats a key political victory…
…Meanwhile, the people most closely affected by all these political shenanigans – gays and lesbians who want nothing more than to openly serve their country – continue to sit on the sidelines, watching…
I think it’s high time our politicians demonstrate some genuine political courage and take a stand in favor of civil rights for all Americans. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a bad policy that was created nearly twenty years ago, when opposition to gays in the military was much stronger than it is now. At the time it was argued that allowing gays to serve openly would be prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale.
Time has proven that tired argument a false one. In my view, what is detrimental to good order, discipline, and morale in the military is a policy that effectively deprives some military members of their fundamental right to express themselves freely.
The way Lady Gaga expressed her argument in Maine on Monday may not have been particularly articulate, but on the basics of this hot-button issue, she is absolutely correct: it’s time now for “don’t Ask, don’t Tell” to go…
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Hits Roadblock – Portland Press Herald online
Don’t differentiate among soldiers on basis of sexuality, urges Gaga- sify.com