DADT On The Ropes
A recent court ruling is attempting to do what Congress is apparently dragging their feet on.
Now, I am honestly not well versed on how all the nuances in the policy work, but I was under the impression that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was an executive order signed by President Clinton in the early 1990s. As such, shouldn’t President Obama be able to effectively overturn it with another order?
Well, either way, it appears the policy is on its final days.
In a way, I would say it’s probably time. Now, to be totally honest, I’m as straight as straight can be. I never even liked seeing guys in, um, shall we say, adult film scenes. Not that I would know much about that. Homosexuality is something that I simply don’t understand, and probably never will. That is not to say that I am some sort of fundamentalist about it, though.
As far as I’m concerned, what someone does in their own private life and their own bedroom with another consenting adult, well, I figure its not much of my business. Just don’t try to make it something I must see or accept lest I be considered some sort of bigot. At the same time, I don’t think that a healthy, committed relationship would necessarily compromise your job performance, regardless of whether its a gay or straight relationship. And of course, there can be problems with both.
I know, from experience, that military units tend to foster a sort of locker-room mentality. Guys will brag of their exploits. I suppose women can and will do the same thing, but I got out before women were serving widely in combat units. This will probably happen no matter what.
Maybe it’s the way I was brought up, but I think overall that ones private life is exactly that: Private. I never even liked seeing a straight couple making out in public. A quick kiss hello, or a hug to say goodbye at the airport is one thing, but please!
I think a lot of the issue, aside from a long-time stigma attached to homosexuality, is the stereotypical image many get when picturing “gays.” I think that image is that of the San Francisco Pride parade that always seemed to make the news, or someone like character of Jack McFarland from the long-running Will and Grace television series; flamboyant, and over the top drama queen.
On the other hand, as the ‘lifestyle’ becomes more accepted in open society, we learn that many more are like Will, from the same show. Will was a lawyer, went to work every day, had trials and tribulations much like everyone else. Pretty much ‘normal,’ so to speak, except he just like to date fellow men.
As more of that type of gay person has been seen in many, if not most, of our own lives, we have come to understand that they aren’t some sort of wild deviant who is trying to ‘recruit’ everyone. I think, on the whole, this is good for society. And, I don’t see how some I have come to know, the so-called ‘normal’ ones, would be a problem for the military if the military life is the course they choose to follow. Obviously, though, the same rules concerning eligibility, advancement, and behavior, must apply across the board, and this must never become some sort of quota-based system with regards to recruiting or promotions. That is my big fear in this issue.
There are things that will have to be considered before the policy in the military is fully opened. Berthing assignments, for example, might be one issue that must be addressed. Safety of each member of the military must also be considered, as there are still some very violent anti-homosexual people out there.
All in all, I believe that allowing openness, at least to a degree, will be a large step forward for our society in general.