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Batwoman Pulls the Mask off DADT

For those of us who have never read a comic book, it may be a surprise to learn that Batwoman is a lesbian. Her character came out in 2006.

Now, writers of the “Detective Comics” series are using Batwoman to show how DADT makes life harder for our service members.

Eric Grignol over at Change.org writes:

"Written by Greg Rucka and drawn by J.H. Williams III, Batwoman’s alter ego Kate Kane’s origins are explored. Readers find that as a young adult, Batwoman is at the top of her class at the United States Military Academy. When it’s discovered that she’s in a lesbian relationship with another student, she’s asked to deny the allegations or be expelled for violation of the military’s code of conduct. She could stay in the military if she’d just tell her commanding officer ‘what he needed to hear."

Although Batwoman is a fictional character, her story rings true for so many women who have been discharged under DADT. Pentagon statistics continue to show the disproportionate impact of DADT on women.

In the comic, Batwoman ignores requests made by her commanding officer to deny her sexual orientation. She proudly points to the academy’s honor code, which states “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor suffer other to do so.”

This line brought to mind a recent Letter to the Editor in the Army Times by 2nd Lt. Shawn Debarge Goodwin, who suggested that the Army is undermining the seven Army values by embracing DADT:

"The integrity of our Army values remains compromised so long as we tolerate open discrimination against homosexuals. Our failure to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong suggests the Army values are talking points we hope soldiers achieve with time rather than the foundation of character taught in those initial formative months of training."

Who knew a comic book could illustrate so poignantly why ditching DADT would be a good move for our military?