Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who Is It That Supports Gay Equal Rights?

Who Is It That Supports Gay Equal Rights?

Democrats? I was pleased to see that President Obama wasn't as stupid as he seemed--since he seems to have nothing more towards repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" than lip service. This article from the January 15, 2010 The Hill reminds us that what's holding up a change in policy is another Democrat:
The leading House Democrat on military policy said Friday that he opposes repealing the law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military.

Seventeen years ago, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) played a major role in crafting the controversial law known as "Don't ask, don't tell." When President Bill Clinton wanted to lift the ban preventing gay people from joining the military, Skelton opposed the move. The end result was a compromise under which gay service members would conceal their sexual orientation.
As I pointed out last year, I have very mixed feelings about the ban on homosexuals serving in the military:
As I have said, there are doubtless a fair number of homosexuals in the military who are showing their love of country by going into the military--and staying there--even though the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy creates a very difficult situation for them. Those that put service to nation above their understandable personal desire to not have to live a lie deserve praise.
As I also pointed out last year, when linking to a piece by a closeted gay soldier:
I have my objections to allowing homosexuals into the military, but they aren't what you might think. I do not think that homosexuals can't be good soldiers. My guess is that the more bizarrely self-destructive homosexuals who make such a spectacle of themselves in the streets of San Francisco aren't inclined towards the kind of sacrifice and honor-driven behavior that Colorado Patriot describes. It's the same reason that Code Pink members aren't joining up, either.

As I mentioned several years ago, one of my concerns is that in some military settings, with all the requirements to obey orders, and limited opportunity to appeal a decision, it would be very easy to abuse authority--and I gave an example from the end of World War II, when the U.S. Navy had not yet formalized a prohibition on homosexuals in the service, and the nightmare that resulted on one ship. Yes, we have procedures to handle that sort of thing--but for the same reason that women in the military have been sometimes quite reluctant to file charges about rape, the problem will be substantially worse if the victim is a man.

I am concerned that a fair number of current members of the military, if put in a situation like that, might decide not to re-up, and many might decide not to join. How many? It's hard to say for sure, but if even 10% of the current population that is in, or considering going into the military, decided not to do so, it would be catastrophic, since homosexuals are only about 4-4.5% of the male population, and 1-2% of the female population. I don't find a 10% loss rate implausible, considering how traditional much of the population is that joins our military.

What concerns me most of all is this: homosexuals who are currently in the military under DADT are committed to the success of our military--even at some considerable personal sacrifice above and beyond the personal sacrifices that all members of the armed services undergo. They are having to watch what they say (like Colorado Patriot) to be in the service. Dropping DADT would, I fear, encourage a fair number of homosexual activists out to prove a point to enlist--and who would then insist that displays of affection, sex in the barracks, dressing in drag after hours, and other signs of...flamboyance...were part of gay culture. Would any of this set stay in the military, after making their point, and winning their lawsuits? Certainly not. But like the Goodridges, who won the right to marry in Massachusetts in 2003--and are now divorced--they would have done their damage, and gone on to destroy something else.
It's pretty clear that not just Republicans, but even Democrats, such as Rep. Skelton, are concerned about the possible consequences of repealing DADT. Those who insist on seeing homosexuality as a neat partisan divide are not playing straight about this.

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