I wasn’t able to watch the DADT hearing today, but from what I’ve read, Admiral Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates each made a strong case for repeal, framing the issue correctly as one of integrity. Admiral Mullen had this to say:

“It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do,” Mullen said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals, and ours as institutions,” Mullen added.

Precisely. LGBT people fight and die for the freedoms we hold dear, and under the current policy, they’re asked to lie or face discharge for revealing the same thing that heterosexuals reveal every time they mention their spouses or significant others.

For his part, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said this:

“I fully support the president’ decision,” Gates said. “The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we … best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out accordingly.”

Let’s all remember who appointed Robert Gates Secretary of Defense.

Well, guess who’s just cold losing it in his britches over this? If you read the headline, you know that it’s The Peter! Let’s see what kind of analysis he’s cooking up over there in Wingnuttia:

At a time of recession and a potentially long-lasting jobs crisis, a two-front war and an ongoing national security threat from Islamic radicals who would just love to see a planeload of Americans be bombed into smithereens, I doubt that a top priority in the minds of most Americans is to promote open homosexuality in our military. And yet that is the course that President Barack Obama — and apparently some of his sycophantic military advisers — have chosen.

Yeah, see, because here’s the thing, Peter. If you support people keeping their jobs in a recession (which I assume we both do), it’s probably not a good idea to keep policies around that call for the firing of American citizens based on their sexuality. Especially when those people are fighting and dying for your freedom to write stupid words on the internet, as LGBT citizens are and will continue to. (Yes, Peter. Gays defend your freedom. Deal with it.) Also, since we’re fighting a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as fighting against terrorist networks at home and abroad, it’s probably a good idea to keep as many Arabic and Farsi translators around, and several dozen have been discharged under the policy. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that DADT discharges disproportionately affect highly-skilled servicemen and women overall. (Hello, Daniel Choi!)

The problem for Obama ‚Äî and Gates ‚Äî and every liberal that celebrates the prospect of sexual perversion gaining a stronger foothold in the Armed Forces of the greatest nation on earth– is that the American people have a say in stopping this latest “gay” capitulation.

You’re right, Peter, the American people DO have a say. I’m not sure how that’s a problem though, since as many as 79% of Americans support DADT repeal. (For any who are unclear, 79% is most Americans.) Another poll puts the figure at 69%, including 58% of conservatives and Republicans. Any way you slice it, Peter, you are the minority here. I’m sorry you don’t like them apples, but that’s the only kind we grow.

Let’s look at Peter’s specific arguments (I obviously use the phrase “specific arguments” loosely). He says that allowing gays to openly serve would:

devastate morale in our Armed Forces;

Wrong. As of 2006, 73% of troops are personally comfortable with gays and lesbians. That number is only going up, because all numbers involving support for gays are going up, especially in younger generations.

lead to a drop in enlistment and retention of good soldiers;

Right. Because our best, brightest and strongest troops are just as bedwettingly afraid of gay people as Peter is, I’m sure. But by the way, in case you missed that: If you support gay people and you’re a member of our Armed Forces, Peter LaBarbera thinks you’re a bad soldier. Or if a member of your family supported gay people before he/she died protecting us, Peter thinks your departed loved one was a bad soldier.

discourage moral-minded and religious men and women of high character from seeking military service;

Got that? If you are among the majority of troops who support gay people, you are not morally minded and are of low character, according to Peter LaBarbera.

violate the privacy concerns of sexually normal servicemembers: will new “Gays-Only” showers be constructed at U.S. bases the world over ‚Äî or will there just be special showering hours for men-who-are-sexually-attracted-to-other-men and lesbian-practicing women? And what about the bisexuals? (“Transgenders” have been left off the list for now ‚Äî as even giddy pro-homosexual activists realize that is going too far at this time.);

Actually, Peter, gays are ALREADY in the showers in the Military, and it’s no big deal. As Patrick Murphy said a couple of years ago when he embarrassed Elaine Donnelly up one side and down the other, it’s an insult to our brave troops to think that they can’t handle being around gay people, even in the showers. It’s also puerile that Peter believes that all gay people are somehow always trolling for sex with straight people. Grow up and get over your fears, Peter. Plus, NONE of us want you, so you can rest easy.

subject hundreds of thousands of small-town, traditionally-minded recruits to Orwellian, government-run brainwashing “diversity” propaganda training, as the military becomes officially part of modern man’ effort to erase God’ law and wisdom on this issue. Such pro-homosexuality “diversity” training dulls the mind and corrupts the spirit ‚Äî two results that surely will not find their way onto retooled U.S. military recruitment brochures;

Oh, good lord, people who did not read/did not understand 1984 should not be using the term “Orwellian.” And if being accepting of gays and lesbians “dulls the mind,” why are there so few fundamentalist Christians in our best universities?

further alienate the United States of America from the Muslim world; believe it or not, Mr. Obama, but the celebration of homosexuality that is all too common between our shores is nothing to brag about.

Peter is essentially saying that we need to appease radical Muslims by making sure we don’t offend them.

God, all fundamentalists, whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, are exactly the same.

I think this quote from Glenn Greenwald sums up the LaBarberian opposition to gays in the military quite nicely. He’s talking about Bill Kristol, Michael O’Hanlon, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (wingnut-UT), and other heterosexual men who oppose gays being able to serve in the military, but Peter can be easily added to this quote. In fact, I’ll go ahead and add his name, in italics:

It should go without saying that debates over homosexuality, the military, warriors, masculinity and the like are suffuse with all sorts of complex psychological influences. But one thing is clear: in American culture, there has long been a group of men (typified by Kristol and O’Hanlon [and LaBarbera]) who equate toughness and masculinity with fighting wars, yet who also know that they lack the courage of their own convictions, and thus confine themselves to cheerleading for wars from afar and sending others off to fight but never fighting those wars themselves (Digby wrote the seminal post on that sorry faction back in 2005). It seems that individuals plagued by that affliction are eager to avoid having it rubbed in their faces that there are large numbers of homosexual warriors who possess the courage (the “testosterone-laden tough-guyness”) which the O’Hanlons and Kristols [and LaBarberas], deep down, know they lack. Banning gay people from serving openly in the military as warriors is an excellent way of being able to deny that reality to themselves.

The truth may burn, but it does, indeed, win out.