Jen Peeples: Convenient Lies about Don't Ask Don't Tell

ACA Lecture Series

Jen Peeples: Convenient Lies about Don't Ask Don't Tell

2011-03-06

Since the push to repeal DADT began in earnest following Obama's election, some people have defended the policy in ways that betray an ignorance of the history of this policy, most particularly the groups most responsible for its existence. This presentation will help clear up why the following are comfortable lies about DADT: It was a reasonable compromise that allows gay people to serve as long as they keep their orientation private. It's better than the previous policy. It was born out of concern for how open service would impact readiness. It protects the privacy of straight people and the safety of gay people. It was driven primarily by secular concerns. The religious right had little impact on it. If you believe any of the above, I'm about to challenge your understanding of this policy.

Jen Peeples started her military career as PV1 - the lowest enlisted rank - in the Army Reserve. She later earned a commission and spent 9 years on active duty, first as a Field Artillery officer, then as an Aviation officer. After a combat tour and a company command, she left active duty to pursue other interests and finished her career in Army Reserve training units. She retired in 2006 at the rank of LTC.

Jen's an out lesbian who came to terms with that reality shortly after joining the military. Her military career is evenly divided between before and after DADT, which gives her a unique perspective on the policy's impact. She currently serves as the Vice President of the ACA and is a rotating co-host of The Atheist Experience.

The ACA Lecture Series is a monthly event in Austin, Texas geared at a non-atheist audience. Lectures are generally free and open to the public. The ACA Lecture Series is produced by the Atheist Community of Austin. The Atheist Community of Austin
is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.

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The Atheist Experience is a weekly cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared at a non-atheist audience. The Atheist Experience is produced by the Atheist Community of Austin. The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals. DVDs of the Atheist Experience can be purchased via atheist-community.org/products. More shows and media types can be found in our archive and our fan page.