Thursday, July 24, 2008

We want gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military...but it's not like we're interested in extending normal civil rights to them!

I'm listening to Diane Rehm right now, and there are two military-affiliated guests discussing Don't Ask Don't Tell - one just claimed that abolishing DADT "isn't about gay rights." I can't help but think of the famous I'm not a feminist, but... I believe [explicitly feminist idea] to be true.

Given the very poor job the US military has done of integrating women safely into the service, I find my instinct to roll my eyes at the homophobia driving the policy a little thwarted. If the leadership in the US military doesn't expect itself to be mature enough to deal with potential harassment of gay servicepeople, and we have a ready example of the military dealing poorly with social change, I would be inclined to believe the claim that people would be freaked out by openly-serving gays and lesbians in a way that discipline and official policies couldn't guarantee their safety.

This is not to say that I am comfortable letting the rapists and homophobes dictate who can and cannot serve to defend this country. Though, knowing the stats about sexual assault in the military, I would definitely discourage my daughter from entering. It would sure be nice if Americans could grow up already and realize that women and homosexuals (do I need a Venn diagram here?) are currently and have always been contributing to every sector of society.
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