Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lesbian GI Seeks Asylum in Canada

Nope, you can't beat a headline like that.  From AFP-
A lesbian who deserted the U.S. military has requested asylum in Canada, claiming she faced harassment and death threats from fellow Soldiers over her sexual orientation, media said Wednesday.
Please understand that even in the National Guard, where we drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year, we still have to sit through mandatory briefings on don't ask don't tell, sexual harassment, and sexual discrimination.   Each unit has an (NCO) EEO representative, and each battalion has an officer representative.  Each brigade has a senior commissioned officer in that role, and even if all three of those people could possibly be corrupt, the Army also has an IG, inspector general, which operates outside of the chain of command to resolve issues like this.
Pvt. Bethany Smith, 21, claimed she had asked the U.S. military for a discharge after being outed by another Soldier who spotted her walking hand in hand with a woman at a mall.
But she was denied because her superiors wanted to send her to Afghanistan, she told Canadian media.
In deferring her case until she returned from Afghanistan, the U.S. military broke its so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy of discharging openly gay members, she contends.
First off, current Army policy on DADT is that statements or acts by a soldier that show homosexuality are cause for investigation.  Thus, if a soldier comes to me and says "I'm gay", or if I saw Pvt Smith holding hands with a woman that suggested more than a platonic relationship, I would be honor bound to report it to my chain of command.

Further, DADT was being abused as an excuse to avoid deployment early in the War on Terror, as soldiers who didn't want to deploy to a combat zone simply told their superiors that they were gay, thus triggering them for discharge.  There was a similar problem with soldiers who ensured that they would piss hot on a drug test to be discharged.  In order to discourage these false statements, the Army modified its policy so that soldiers who were found unfit to deploy would nonetheless serve stateside until their units came home from combat.

The Army doesn't take kindly to people who don't want to do their jobs, and in this day and age, deploying to combat is everyone's job.

So, nice try Bethany, and I look forward to what has to be the next move in your career-posing for Playboy.

One very interesting fact from this story-Canada has not been as kind to the current crop of war objectors as they were to the Vietnam era-
Since the start of the war in Iraq, an estimated 200 U.S. war resisters have sought asylum in Canada, and are still living in this country. None of them has yet to secure refugee status.
 Nice to see our neighbors to the north exercising some common sense.


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