An important post-script

I had planned to leave this topic for a while, but a news story caught my eye and well, I may as well get this out of my system now rather than bringing it up again later.

Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Someone is going to have to explain the benefit of this one to me because I. do. not. understand.

According to the policy, allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

Um. Huh?

Risk to morale. Okay, so we aren’t letting openly gay men and women serve because it might piss some people off? It’s funny, I would imagine that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell itself pisses a lot of people off.

Good order. Oh, well obviously. Those gays are a rowdy bunch. Can’t trust them to follow orders and maintain professionalism.

Discipline. This one is my favorite. Because the undertone of this law is what really gets at me. It’s saying, without really saying, that homosexuals cannot separate their work from their sexual preference/desires. It’s saying that because these people are gay, all they can think about is gay acts, is trying to force others into them or trying to spread their “deviance.”

Being gay does not make you more likely than any straight person to think about sex while working. Have you met a straight man? I would surmise that they think about sex every, oh, 17 seconds? And yet, they pose no risk to morale. No risk to good order. No risk to discipline. It’s weird, because last time I checked men and women were allowed to serve together in the military, yet we don’t worry about heterosexual relationships ruining the safety of our military.

And moreover, how does forcing a gay person to hide their sexual preference change anything? It doesn’t change anything inside them. It doesn’t change what their behavior will be. And last time I checked, no closeted homosexual had caused the demise of a military group. I’m sure that’s only because they kept their sexual orientation a secret. Obviously.

I’ve heard arguments that it’s for the safety of the homosexual military members. This is bullshit. If the heterosexual members of the military cannot act with good order and discipline, they should not be serving this country. If they are a risk to morale, they are the problem. It is unacceptable that we should prohibit gays from serving in the military because of the reaction of heterosexuals, of homophobes.

If these men and women pass the same physical and mental tests, if they are trained to protect their fellow soldiers and the good of this country, then there is no excuse for our country to be legislating homophobia. This law is an embarrassment, this law is a blight on the freedom seeking country history claim to have.

I am embarrassed that we have stood for this as long as we have. And I am saddened that so many seek to keep it in place.

Please. We can do better than this. We have to.

11 Responses to “An important post-script”

  • Never ever have understood this. My conservative roommate tries to explain it to me by the “safety” standpoint and I always call bullshit. Keep your mouth shut if it makes you uncomfortable. Lots of things that people do make me uncomfortable, yet somehow I let them lead their lives. Imagine that!

    [Reply]

  • Beth:

    I think you’re vastly over-estimating the average heterosexual male. 17 seconds? I thought it was more like 7 :).

    Seriously, though, I agree that the time has long since past for this go the way of the dodo. I do not understand what people are so afraid of. I just don’t.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    @Beth, agreed – i’m actually pretty confident there’s a legit study out there that shows how ridiculously often men think of sex. but i can’t remember what the results were … and i’m at work so i’m pretty sure any search words i use for the study will get me fired!

    [Reply]

  • Nikki:

    My husband is in the Army and has been for 9 years now. Neither of us understand this. I think it has something to do with the fact that many times, there are open showers and open sleeping quarters. Or if you are on a mission (while deployed or training) for long periods of time, the only showers you get are with your canteen. Now I’m not saying that these are valid reasons, but I think that’s what it ultimately boils down to. There ARE gay men and women serving in the Armed Forces now, they just aren’t allowed to come forward. So what is the difference? If you have a problem with it, maybe you should choose a different profession.

    [Reply]

  • Yup – agree with you 100%. It’s an absolutely ludicrous law.

    [Reply]

  • I’ve also never understood this one. It sounds like something the Clinton administration came up with while they were at an adult club with a large chested woman was sitting on their laps.

    “Hey, Steve. You know what? I think we should punish them gays, ’cause they don’t appreciate the bounty that God has put before ‘em.” (stripper motorboats the senator)

    End scene.

    Equality for all!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Chelsie, I was researching it a bit yesterday and it is a Clinton law, but it is sadly, a step up from what was going on before. It was originally Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue and it was created because Reagan had refused to let homosexuals serve in any capacity.

    I get the feeling that this was supposed to be a first step to letting homosexuals serve freely that just got stuck in place for way too long. I understand how it came to be, it’s just antiquated this many years later.

    [Reply]

    Chelsie Reply:

    @Katie, It blows me away that this is even an issue. I mean, seriously? What are they afraid of? That openly gay commanders are going to force entire platoons to perform Broadway numbers in the field of battle?

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Chelsie, That would be AWESOME.

  • Mo:

    Like Jess said….Yep. Yep. Yep.

    [Reply]

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Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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