The Empty Threat

Gautham Nagesh points out an inconvenient truth for proponents of DADT:

[A] Military Times poll in December 2008 found that 58 percent of U.S. troops do not want gays to serve openly in the armed forces. Ten percent of respondents said they would leave the armed forces if the ban were lifted and 14 percent said they would consider doing so. Polls of soldiers in the United Kingdom similarly found that as many as two-thirds of soldiers said they would consider leaving the service if gays were allowed in, but the British military reported that very few soldiers actually chose to depart when the ban was lifted in 2000.

And just as few gay soldiers actually came out in the ranks. The closet will remain the norm for a while - but without the threat of persecution and the taint of dishonesty as a condition for service.

This, in my view, is the ultimate reality behind all this: when the ban is lifted, it will be the biggest non-event you can imagine.