All three of these assertions are demonstrably false.
The unit cohesion argument is not supported by a single scientific study. In fact, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office said in a 1993 report that allowing gays to openly serve "has not created problems in the military" of other countries. Perhaps most telling, those who helped create the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy have reportedly admitted the argument about cohesion was "based on nothing."
The notion that military retention would be harmed if gay men and lesbians were to serve openly is also a canard. Such claims fly in the face of the experiences many other counties that allow open service have seen. One report noted that Canadian and British officials surveyed service members on the subject and found large majorities saying they would not serve if gay men and lesbians were allowed to serve -- the dramatic findings did not materialize when these nations ultimately lifted their bans.
Perhaps silliest of all is the claim that Americans do not support repealing the ban. Countless polls have found large majorities of Americans -- some as high as 75 percent -- supporting the right of gay men and lesbians to serve openly and honestly in uniform. Of course, those who rely on this false claim seem to suggest that civil rights should be part of some sort of popularity contest. A scary thought to be sure.
Because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," more than 14,000 service members have been discharged -- many of who were specialists with mission critical skills. Each passing day that this policy is allowed to stand our military is made weaker and our country is made less safe.
Fortunately, the president can end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" without the help of Republicans or Democrats for that mater. According to new legal analysis by the Palm Center, Obama's Department of Justice can simply decline appealing a recent Federal Judge's decision that found the policy unconstitutional.
This is an opportunity for President Obama to become the "fierce advocate" the gay community was promised.
Then again, he can always take McCain's lead.