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Hawaii Rep. Charles Djou on Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

4 years ago
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During an exclusive interview with Politics Daily (video below), Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) discussed his opposition to the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, arguing that some people use the law to work the system:

"I voted in favor of repealing 'Don't ask, don't tell,' simply based on my experience having served as an officer in the United States Army Reserves. I saw too many examples where . . . individuals would take, say, a large re-enlistment bonus when something is offered to stay in the Army. Then, all of a sudden, when the unit would get mobilized to go fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, that very same individual . . . would all of a sudden declare that they're gay, and get out, and be allowed to keep that enlistment bonus. I don't think that's fair. I don't think it works."

He continued, "I believe 'Don't ask, don't tell' is a failed policy. It is not necessary to the protection of our nation or our national security. And that's why I voted . . . in favor of its repeal."

This issue has been front and center in the political debate this autumn. On Wednesday, an appeals court temporarily halted a lower court's decision overturning the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the military.

Earlier this year, a bill to repeal DADT passed in the House with Djou's support, but was blocked in the Senate last month.

Djou won a special election in May to replace Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for governor. Djou's victory came when Democrats split their votes between two other candidates. He thus became the first Republican to win a Hawaii congressional race in decades. Djou represents CD1, the district where President Obama grew up.

Staying in Congress won't be easy. Djou must now fend off state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. Recent polls show Djou leading in the race.

Aside from DADT, Djou also talked with Politics Daily about government spending, saying, "The beauty of our nation does not rest in our government. It doesn't rest in the bureaucracy. The beauty of our nation rests in the American individual, and that's something that's the core of my philosophy."

He also discussed a job fair he organized in Hawaii, as well as his hopes for the TV show "Hawaii Five-0."

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DADT is bad policy because, at it's foundation, it compels straights to share living spaces with those who are GENETICALLY FIXATED to see them as sex objects. No government, not even ours, has the right to impose that on anyone. If we are willing to grant the government THAT kind of power, what power won't we grant them? What power won't the government ASSUME it has...? For obvious reasons, we don't house men and women together; neither should we house straights and GLBTs together. On a more practical level, the US military is going to be downsized substantially due to the protracted economic crisis. One economic and sensible measure from the past (old dog here) which will be revisited is the requirement for junior (1st enlistment troops) to remain single, or at the minimum, obtain their commander's permission to get married. In the old days, it was because pay scales were so low, junior troops could not afford to be married, no mattert how much in heat they were. Today, it's the government that can't afford it. Translation: more junior troops living in the barracks.

November 02 2010 at 6:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rep. Djou is correct. DADT is failed policy, but for more substantial reasons than the instances of fraud and abuse perpetrated by those who would scam the system. (As an aside, during the Vietnam War, when recruits were required to declare their sexual orientation, more than a few straights evaded the draft by proclaiming theselves to be gay). DADT is fundamentally wrong because it compels straights to share living spaces with same-sex individuals who are GENETICALLY FIXATED ON THEIR OWN GENDER. This is unworkable, unacceptable and wrong. We don't house men and women together; neither should we house straights and gays together. It is fundamentally wrong. GLBTs should be barred from military service altogether. There are ample worthy opportunities for national service which do not compel straights to share living spaces with GLBTs. Finally, there is NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to military service.

November 02 2010 at 6:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would like to start off saying this policy from day one has been unconstitutional to the LGBT soldier. Its time that we as Americans take a stand and send a message to The Commander in Chief, Congress and whoever else needs to listen. Get rid of the policy once and for all. I Love my country far too much to lose my job I also Love so such by helping my fellow soldiers getting supplies as they fight a war. I for one will stand up now and forever against this policy to say why posecute me for my personal life. I know that one day this will end but my children would love to see it happen sooner than later.

October 26 2010 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Mr Djou, If I am married to someone of the same sex as I, will he/she get the same benefits as a traditional married couple, ie: man/woman?...or have you even thought that far ahead?..somehow, I dont think so. Never any forethought...just please the special go boy!..I'm sure that is what you were hired to do!

October 26 2010 at 10:02 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
The Undeniable

wow... so straight men have claimed to be gay to get out of fighting a war. now there's a surprise. with all i have heard about how straight men in the military hate gays and don't want to serve with them... yet the cowards claim "gay" to get out of war? very interesting point. and isn't funny and somewhat ironic that there are gays who are willing to fight for our country and they have to lie to stay in and then you got cowardly straight men who lie to get out. heh-heh... now ain't that some b.s.?

October 26 2010 at 7:43 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to The Undeniable's comment

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