Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Why are we coddling bigots?

Some people voluntarily decide to go out and risk having to kill someone or get killed themselves by joining the armed services. They risk their physical and mental health for something they believe in, our country. Due to these brave volunteers, America has not seen a draft since 1973. We owe them a lot.

So why do we care who they love or what bits get them aroused? What difference could a person's sexual orientation make in his or her ability to serve as a soldier? Not only that, but gays and lesbians are already serving and already have served in our military with distinction. DADT is a blight on our nation's honor.

A mere mention of a husband, wife, or partner can get a gay person discharged from service. A Facebook mention by the husband, wife, or partner of someone serving in the military can get that soldier discharged. So today, Veterans Day, the loved ones of soldiers serving in harm's way dare not post their messages of support or prayers for safety online for fear of getting that loved one booted out of the service he or she has chosen.

People against repealing DADT tend to focus on sex acts and seem to enjoy talking about them in great detail. But sexual orientation isn't just about sex, it's also about who we fall in love with. Centuries of love stories tell us that we can't flip our emotions on or off with a switch and we can't choose who we fall in love with.

The folks opposing the repeal of DADT are fantasizing about gays running amok and raping hetero soldiers while the rest of us have different images in our minds, perhaps of a man embracing his partner who is going off to war or a woman, child in tow, eagerly watching for her wife and her child's mommy to come out of the gate at the airport. Now which of those things seem perverted? The perversion exists in the minds of the bigots.

I repeat myself - there are already gays and lesbians in the military and they are doing nothing at all bad. DADT is asking them to be isolated and in the closet, as if their personhood and service and sacrifices are meaningless. We'd never think of telling a soldier he can't talk about his wife but some folks, for some perverse reason, think that a soldier ought to never mention his husband.

Folks who oppose repealing DADT also love to quote the Bible to underline their perceived superiority when, in fact, many Christians have no opposition to gays in the military or anywhere else.

Most of the people troubled by the idea of repealing DADT are bigots, bigots with a bunch of perverted ideas. So puzzle me this - why are we coddling bigots?

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