December 2nd, 2010
09:47 PM ET

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Fact Vs. Fiction: Join the Live Chat

America's top military leaders tell lawmakers why don't ask don't tell should be repealed. They take on tough questions about why, why now, and why their landmark study didn't ask U.S. troops directly if they want to see the rule lifted. You hear both sides, in their own powerful words. We're keeping them honest. Plus, modern day slavery hiding in plain sight right here in the U.S.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Sharon Hastings

    Doesn't it seem that we have way too many in congress who are guilty of ethics violations? And these are our lawmakers?? Shouldn't they be held to an even higher standard than others?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  2. colin

    the military should just use other studies that apply to them... students shower with gay students and don't care, athletes do and its fine, the military is no different from every other area of society.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  3. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Catherine, Rangel was reelected with 80% of the vote. Standards aren't very high in his district.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  4. sgt parga

    doesent this country have more important issues to worry about then DADT? like the defeciet we are in, or our brothern overseas and the families that have lost loved ones. How bout getting better equipment out there to our brothern to fight the fight. to be honest i think the discussions about DADT are a waist of time. Someone joins the service to be a service member, there are not suppose to be color or gender all you are is a uniform. everyone is an acu uniform so why does it matter if your open or not all you are doing by coming out is trying to seperate yourself from everyone else, you are simply putting yourself out there and saying hey im diffrent treat me diffrent. I just think that it will deffinitly cause more harm then good. i say keep the policy in effect

    December 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  5. Ron

    Hello Anderson,
    If sexual preference has no place in the Military then have someone explain why men and women can not shower together.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  6. John

    Discrimination is not an American value and we should not discriminate people at work. But gays in military is complex because its not just working together, its living together also. We do understand the challenge of sexual attraction and that is why we have military men and women living and bathing separately. How do we accomplish this separation with gays.
    Question for the experts. I do not know the impact.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  7. Sarah

    This should not even be a discussion. If someone can do their job and do it well, it doesn't make any difference whether they are gay or straight. End of story.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  8. Rick

    28yr active duty. Our service members are above this. Time to move out and repeal. Dadt. There's no time like the present. Sen McCain is living in the past. Truly sad AZ residents elected him. I honor his service but he's a dinosaur and out of touch. Really...a referendum on the issue? He should know better than anyone that service members carry out the orders of the president and the officers appointed over us...we don't vote on policy nor should we. Repeal the law and you'll see our American service members continue to make our country proud.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    I hope he did not do what he did because others did it before him.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  10. Chris

    RE: DADT
    USMC 12 years 2 times in Nam.
    Didn't care who got in my bunker, black,white,yellow,male, female or other as long as they could hit what they were aiming at.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  11. Eric in Salt Lake City

    I find it amazing that an elected official can be so openly homophobic. Every time he sets a standard for the military to reach, and they reach it, he moves the standard. It is obvious that he does not intend to agree to lifting DADT. What is the purpose of placing high ranking military officials into leadership positions if they cannot set military policy.
    DADT is an unfair compromise. Why should one set of people be banned from talking about their loved ones, while others can talk openly.
    Obvisously there are already gay and lesbian service members, so changing the law will create a sudden influx of gay soldiers, just create happier ones.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  12. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Rangel is not just guilty of one charge, he is guilty of 11 ethics violations. If exceptions are made for him then they have to be made for everyone.

    What good are rules if they don't apply to everyone.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Terry

    What the military should do is take a survey from troops that have served with a "known" gay service member. All the surveys that are being taken now are "what if" surveys. I think everyone knows that out of thousands and thousands of troops that there will be gay members of the military.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  14. David Bailey

    Let's get real !! I served in the US Air Force from 1955-1959. Gays and lesbians served with me and I knew that they were gay/lesbian and they knew that I knew. This was a now issue 55 years ago and so it is today. They functioned in their specialties as well as I did and their sexuality was never mentioned. Now, Senator McCain wants another study on this matter, even after the SecofDefense and JCS has confirmed what we have known forever. Shame on you Sen McCain and all you hypocrites.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  15. Chad

    Currently in the military- I nor anyone I know has taken part in this so called survey?? I and almost everyone I serve with didn't join to serve nor care to serve with gays. Once you open this door things will get out of hand quickly. What ever happened to the simple fact of what is written in the bible. It saddens me to see what this country is becoming.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  16. George Remias

    I agree that the repeal of the "don't ask don't tell" policy will not affect my military's combat effectiveness, I disagree with having the policy repealed, because our service members actually serving in combat do not need to deal with these issues and their command does not need to deal with these issues. Lets just let our Marines do their job and get home safe.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  17. Catherine La Mirada,CA

    Very sad about Rep. Rangel. He should have know better. Despite everything, he's still reelected.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  18. C.P.L. US Army retired 1971-91

    I find funny that people are so scared. I served with gay and lesbians and didn't have a problem with either one. When your fighting for your life you don't care who is standing next to you.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  19. Jason

    @Trent, McCain is not even close to supporting the repeal of DADT. He's seeking excuses to delay the decision because he likes the status quo.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  20. colin

    if anything hiding sexual orientation will put solders at risk as closeted solders you would think would have that extra element to deal with instead of doing the job

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  21. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Oh no!!!! Not good news for me to hear Charlie Rangel spend his money vacation, now found guilty of charge fraud tax.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  22. John

    This debate is skirting the fact that we ALREADY have homosexuals in the military. As a service member, I can state with the utmost confidence, there are more homosexuals in the military today than can possibly be imagined.

    Are we weaker as a result? Hardly.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  23. Trent - Newfoundland, Canada

    Rangel don't apply by the rules, as it seems, he should be kicked out. Influence peddling is against the law, isn't it?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  24. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Rangel cheated on taxes for decades. How is that NOT corrupt?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  25. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    Rangel claims he did nothing wrong, but the Ethics Committee sure thought so with 11 counts against him. What gives? Yet, I have to laugh over that beach chair picture of him. That's a good one.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  26. Roy

    The unfortunate result is the exposure of McCain's bigotry that has come to light during the debate over DADT

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  27. John

    I am so glad you are talking about this important topic. Thank You for your continued support to repeal DADT.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  28. Rod McNeil

    As a Canadian, I personally don't see what the fuss is. We have gay marraige up here, and we have gays in every aspect of public service includimg the armed forces. I find it sad that homophobia still runs rampant in America.

    I thought "world leaders" were supposed to set a good example with regard to tolerance?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  29. Diana

    Men and women don't share bathing facilities and sleeping quarters in our military or for that matter, most of our society. Public bathrooms, college dorms, a majority are still segregated. If thats not accepted yet in our society or military, how can we expect straight people to be comfortable sharing with homosexuals? I am not a homophobe but I would not live with a man I wasn't dating or live with a lesbian for the same reasons.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  30. Brent

    It should be renamed do ask and do tell!
    Any one individual that put's his/her life on the line for my freedom is worth their weight in gold. Why are the lawmakers dragging their feet on this issue. Obama is also a huge disappointment with regard to this issue.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  31. Jason

    Thank you Senator McCain for shamelessly demonstrating your discriminatory nature.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  32. Mark

    This question is who decides? And We the People have the right to rule. This is our military.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  33. Mitch

    I also believe Congressman Rangle should be in a jail cell !! Thank you !!

    December 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  34. Lori

    Using cheaters and other law-breakers as a standard of measure is not recommended as a guide for one's own actions; furthermore, it is no excuse.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  35. Kaytee

    "Actually Leiberman just made a great point FOR DADT. Keeping their private lives private is the 'don't tell' part of DADT. If people did that they could serve with no problem."

    Because as it is now, if someone is found out, that soldier cannot serve. It doesn't matter who asked or who told.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  36. Jason

    If military men and women are supposed to keep their sex lives to themselves, why do we provide dependent benefits for spouses of straight service members? Why do we pay married servicemen more? How could we know their marriage status without knowing about their private lives?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  37. josh

    as a member of the armed forces and a iraq veteran. all i got to say is i'll be seeing honorable discharge papers soon. and i may GOD have mercy on their soul.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  38. Kenya

    Surely Mr. Rangel saw this coming? No?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  39. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    John McCain in my opinion has sold his "political soul" to the tea party by his irresponsibly unleashing Sarah Palin on the country in 2008 and by going against most of the principles of true bipartisanship that he used to stand for. I think that the John McCain of 2010 is a totally different person than the John McCain of 2000.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  40. Chris

    Some of these politicians need to realize that policies like this are way outdated. If it isn't repealed now, it will only be a few more years before the argument comes up again. There are no words to describe my disappointment in Senator McCain for fighting this so passionately. It's proof that some of these older politicians are losing touch with the current American Society

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  41. Mitch

    I am currently living in FL., however I spent the first 30 of my 33 years living in CT., well living might be strong word but ahh I think what Sen. Joe Lieberman said this evening on your program was right on !! I seldom agree with Mr. Lieberman, espeacially when he's in front of a camera !! 😉 But tonight, in my opinion was right on the $$$ !!

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  42. Mark

    Thank you Senator McCain for once again standing up for what is right.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  43. sgt parga

    hello everyone, needless to say i am in the military and in a combat mos. i too really dont care what prefrence a person has wether straight or gay but why remove the dont ask dont tell policy? why put that target on someones back? combat arms is an all male mos i would not want to be overseas bunked with a homosexual for the simple fact of the tension it would cause. there are no doubt homosexuals already in the service and still living there lives so why the hell does it matter if they are open or not?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  44. Trent - Newfoundland, Canada

    I think McCain is in favor of repealing this represive bill...I really do. He's just saying, do it right and prepare everyone for it, especially fellow military personell. DADT should be repealed ASAP. We are all equal under the civil laws, why not the military?

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  45. Mary - Philadelphia

    his "punishment" is all just words. so much time and drama for just a congressional lecture.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  46. Pete Anzia


    I completely agree with Liebermann. I just have this gut feeling that Sen. McCain just does not like homosexuals. I feel he thinks its a threat to the American condition. In this days us as young Americans are living a totally different life than what Sen. McCain has been raised in. Whomever wants to join our Armed Forces gay or straight should have the right. It's obsurd and kind of sad to know that Sen. McCain is just pushing time and and Conjurditing himself.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  47. Jason

    I'm very disappointed with the American people over this issue. The amount of disdain and hatred directed towards gays and lesbians is absolutely disgusting. Every other country in NATO has no problem with openly serving gays, so surely the United States should be able to handle it. It really boils down to discrimination based on a very poor interpretation of the English Bible, which unfortunately has led to a recent tradition of condemning gays. All scientific evidence indicates orientation is unchangeable, and gays and lesbians have every right to serve their country as their heterosexual counterparts. For those against gays, it's time to grow up.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  48. Shaun, Cleveland Ohio

    I thank Senator Lieberman for his words.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  49. George Lombardi

    Joel Liberman was not making to much sense, He says he wants to look at them as soldiers, Then why do we have to label anyone gay strait or lesbian, Its really wrong, A US Soldier is either male or female, No sexual orientation needs to be shared. And the showering is a violation of strait peoples rights, Why cant a man shower with a female soldier, Its not fair a person gets to shower with their sexual preference, Its gonna cause problems, A soldier is a soldier.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  50. Simone (Canada)

    I was very impressed with Sen. Lieberman's comments. Good for him!

    December 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
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