The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, December 20, 2010

DADT fright

President Obama's stock has gone up, as his "promise" to get Don't Ask, Don't Tell repealed on his watch is taking place.

Whenever progress by an oppressed group takes place, those who oppose such actions ramp up their rhetoric, and that is certainly happening now.

American Family Association radio host Bryan Fisher said that other countries that allowed gays to serve openly in their armies only did so because they knew they could depend on the might and the strength and the power of our military. He said they could depend on us to intervene and "wherever necessary to pull their fannies out of the fire and squash the forces of tyranny wherever they raised their ugly heads around the world."

Now, he says, "Those days are now gone. We will no longer be able to bail out these other emasculated armies because ours will now be feminized and neutered beyond repair, and there is no one left to bail us out. We have been permanently weakened as a military and as a nation by these misguided and treasonous Republican senators, and the world is now a more dangerous place for us all."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was just as bad. "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"

The Alliance Defense Fund has released a statement, " "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members."

This is all just hype with a purpose of raising money from those easily frightened.

"Impose homosexual behavior on our military?" Who in their right mind thinks this repeal imposes any sexual behavior on anyone? What it imposes is a sense of fairness, and justice. And it takes away the requirement that someone who swears to integrity must lie in order to serve.

My idea of a (male) Marine is a tough, well disciplined guy, for whom thoughts of sex are far from the front of their mind. I have a friend, gay, who is a former Marine, who is 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds. He is solid muscle, and tough as a rock. He served in Iraq. He was a leader among the men he served with (and they knew he was gay). I would put my money on this man against any straight Marine you can find.

I have another friend, straight, who is a former marine. Oddly enough, he and my other friend share the same first name. He is tough also, not quite as big, but just as tough and disciplined. He also served in Iraq. He told me it makes not an ounce of difference who is next to him in combat, as long as he could shoot straight. He is sure he served with people who are gay, and it doesn't bother him. Every Marine, by definition, should feel this way. If not, maybe he doesn't have any business being a Marine.

The crybabies are concerned about troops in combat, but here is the deal. Since there are already gay men in the military, how does this policy change make any difference? A gay Marine is not going to suddenly declare, "I'm gay," in the foxhole and make advances on his fellow fighters.

And they worry about the showers. Well listen, and listen closely. Straight men have showered with gay men at the gym, in the NFL locker room, at work places, in high school, in coal mines, in the MLB locker room, in the barracks, at the YMCA, in the doctor's lounge, at the pool, at the auto plant, in middle school, in the NBA locker room, and at the Country Club, and while the gay men might take a look at the straight men, in all honesty, the straight men are looking too. And I know this because straight men compare themselves to others. That's just a fact. So if a straight man, military or not, is being looked at by an unknown gay guy, what difference does it make if it is a known gay guy? Grow up.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, my idea of a military man is someone who is disciplined enough, and mature enough, and secure enough, to not be bothered by this. And those who are, maybe they should step back and examine their own sexuality and insecurities, and they might be surprised with what they discover.

And for someone like me, a citizen who depends on the military for my freedom, I am just thankful that we have men, and women, who are willing to step up to the task of serving this way, and I don't mind of they are straight. Or gay.


MGM Innkeeper said...

Well said, Joe! As a veteran of the United States Army and the Alabama National Guard, and blessed to have a partner who has served two tours in Iraq as a Marine, the repeal of DADT should have been a "no-brainer" for those in Congress who can think beyond the confines of their own narrow mindedness. Too bad not a single one of the members of our Congressional Delegation voted for the repeal. No wonder Alabama is the laughing stock of the world with such non-progressive attitudes about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Richard Hanna said...

Great article, Joe! It's about time!