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.”
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.