Sunday, 19 December 2010

Don't ask, don't tell, don't be ridiculous

Good to see the repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell', the almost comical rule that tolerated gay personnel in the US military as long as they never openly admitted it. Common sense at last prevails, although not without a chorus of disapproval from the usual sort of voices. One of the most prominent opponents was Senator John McCain who said "I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage.... Today is a very sad day." The Family Research Council, some hideous carbuncle on the backside of the body politic, shaped its response in terms that can only be described as hysterical:
Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose - to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military's ability to fulfill its mission.
Yeah. Or, alternatively, it is merely legitimising the many thousands of gay people that must already be serving in the military who could, in theory, be ejected merely on the basis of what they choose to do with their genitals. Utterly preposterous that it should have taken so long (DADT was enacted in 1993) to ensure full equality for gays in the armed forces. Objection to it is based purely on homophobia and ignorance.

It's impossible for me to talk about this issue without thinking about the following routine by Bill Hicks. I don't share his belief that the US military is nothing more than a thuggish agent of genocide but his key point is spot-on: the idea that personnel could be launching assaults, killing people (occasionally innocent people and bystanders) but would find gay people "offensive" and "bad for their morale" is nothing short of absurd.


3 comments:

ph said...

ALMOST comical? But the complainers once had a point. If society is not comfortable with homosexuality, then the military is not the place to overturn that view. Start with schools, hospitals, universities etc etc. However, having said that, it would seem that now western society is comfortable with homosexuality so the military should no longer have any barriers based upon sexuality.

Citizen Sane said...

Exactly - they were the last remaining outpost of exclusion on the grounds of sexuality. Way behind the times.

13,000 people have been thrown out of the US military since DADT was put in place apparently. 13,000 people prepared to serve their country but forbidden from doing so because of the gender they are attracted to.

Ridiculous!

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