On Tuesday, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was officially repealed. A new era for our military has been ushered in. The constant refrain has been that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve honorably in the military, just like everyone else does. Of course, gays and lesbians already could serve honorably in the military — they just had to keep their private life private.
Most people don’t have a problem with gays and lesbians actually serving in the military. Honorable service was never an issue; there were plenty of gays and lesbians who did and still do serve their country with honor and courage. It’s the serving openly part. DADT allowed the military to remain neutral on the gay rights question that will inevitably begin to flood the military now that the repeal has taken effect. Gay marriage, benefits for spouses/partners, on-base housing, public displays of affection — these are all issues that the military will have to take a stance on. And while the current status is that gays and lesbians, and their partners, will not be eligible for these benefits, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be satisfied with that. How long will it be before they start campaigning for gay marriages to be recognized as well? For their partners to get benefits? To be able to live in base housing? Right now, transgender Americans are still not allowed to serve in the military. How long until they start fighting for that as well?
There’s also, of course, the issue of unit cohesion. Repealing DADT throws a huge wrinkle into that. Now they have to figure out a way to handle it if a straight service member isn’t comfortable sleeping in a foxhole next to a gay service member, or showering next to them. And will we see people using their sexual orientation as an excuse for why they didn’t get promoted, or why they were “unfairly” disciplined?
Repealing DADT opened all of these floodgates. The claim was that gays and lesbians just wanted to be able to serve honorably like everyone else. But is that really true, or is repealing DADT really about advancing the Left’s agenda to politicize every aspect of public life?
Early on, anyone who didn’t agree with repealing DADT was quickly smeared as a bigot and a homophobe. Any suggested possible problems that could arise from the repeal, such as a negative effect on unit cohesion, were brushed off as excuses to justify hate. The advocates for repeal claimed they wanted tolerance for their lifestyles, but where was the tolerance for opposing viewpoints? It’s interesting how that works out — the people who claim to want tolerance the most usually end up as the least tolerant people out there.
Several days before the repeal this attitude was on display, as the Marine Corps Times, a popular newspaper that is sold on and around Marine Corps bases around the world, ran a cover story titled “We’re Gay, Get Over It.” The entire premise of the story revolves around the supposition that Marines are inherently homophobic, and serving alongside gay Marines is something that straight Marines will need to “get over.” I don’t think the gay Left realize that it has never been about the fact that someone is literally gay (believe it or not, most of the time they already know who in their unit is gay). If it was only about honorable service, then why does everyone need to know who is gay and who isn’t? Not only is everyone apparently required to know who is gay, they’re also required to approve of it — and thus, the thought policing begins. So much for tolerance.
HBO filmed a documentary titled The Strange History Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, claiming to tell the full story about DADT and the journey to repeal.
Of course, that’s not quite the truth. The channel makes no efforts to even pretend to give a balanced perspective on the repeal. On the website, the synopsis made that clear.
A timely and historical look at the legacy of gays and lesbians in the military, THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL illustrates the tumultuous evolution of the controversial policy that fostered hate and intolerance within the military – and undermined the very freedoms American forces defend – by forcing many soldiers to lie and live in secrecy.
They mention that, like the Marine Corps Times, they interviewed gay service members to get their opinions on DADT and the repeal. Apparently, the opinions of straight service members who might oppose the repeal were not wanted. So much for getting the full story.
What would a little agenda advancement be without a public display? At midnight on the day the repeal took effect, a gay sailor married his partner in a ceremony planned to coincide with the repeal:
Just as the formal repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy took effect, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends.
The two men, who’d been together 11 years, decided to marry in Vermont in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone.
That way, they were able to recite their vows at the stroke of midnight – at the first possible moment after the ban ended.
Lt. Ross wore his dress uniform for the ceremony. The Navy is now considering a proposal to allow chaplains to conduct same-sex civil unions.
Here’s the big elephant in the room. If this is solely about honorable service, and nothing else, then why is all of this needed? The in-your-face attitude, the admonishments to get over it, the slurs and accusations of homophobia, the possibilities of same-sex civil unions — none of these things have anything to do with service in the military. When you join the Marine Corps and go to MCRD Parris Island, for example, there isn’t going to be a line for gay recruits and a line for straight recruits. They all go through the same training and they all have the same job to do. We don’t differentiate between races in the military, so why all of the hoopla around sexual orientation?
There seems to be a kind of obsession among the gay Left to constantly celebrate their sexuality. It’s great for someone to be proud of who they are, but it doesn’t fit in with military service. As a service member, it isn’t all about you — it’s about the team, the unit. It’s about everyone as a whole, and if you are constantly preaching about your lifestyle, and tolerance for your beliefs, it isn’t going to make for a strong team. To be a Marine or a soldier in combat, you cannot constantly be thinking about “I” and “me.” The military is all about discipline and conformance; consistently flaunting your homosexuality and demanding that everyone accept it (while never being tolerant of other views) doesn’t fit in.
This is about much more than just honorable military service. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The push for recognizing gay marriage, giving gay spouses benefits, allowing gay partners to live together on base — a cans of worms just got cracked wide open. How long will it take for Lt. Ross, for example, to start demanding benefits for his husband?
Race, gender, sexual orientation: none of these things have anything to do with a career in the military. Most service members don’t care who is gay as long as they aren’t disrupting or endangering the unit. DADT is over, yet those who wanted the repeal are not shutting up. They got what they wanted, and instead of just putting their heads down and doing their jobs, they’re carrying on with the squabbling. All this will do is continue to divide service members and pit them against each other.
I thought ending DADT meant that the controversy was supposed to be over. But of course, that’s assuming that the repeal of DADT was all they were after.