Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" finally hits the trash bin

While I intend this blog to be about how Luiz and I are thriving in Brazil, there are a few occasions wherein I stray from that focus.  Usually it has something to do with US politics, and more specifically, US politics as it affects our lives as gay men.

So I’m sure you’ve heard: the Congress has repealed the punishing and hypocritical “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that our last disappointing Democratic president put into place.  (Nobody disappoints like an ally.)

Credit where it is due: President Obama has made good on a promise and has done so in a politically solid way.  He has beaten the Republicans at their own game – although I’m sure Senator McCain is not finished with his temper tantrums.

But can I work up a lather about allowing LGB people (note: trans folk are not included in this ‘victory’) to serve as pawns for the political elites who would send our armed forces to invade and/or destroy (and die, don’t forget) for invariably political purposes?  Not so much…

I have been walking an anti-war walk since I first understood what that meant.  Fighting to let ‘gays’ serve in the military has never been a top priority for me.

But then – the US military is the LARGEST employer in the United States.  Ending employment discrimination IS a top priority for me.  And for this reason I am glad that the military ban against LGB people has been lifted.

Lots of people have lots of reasons why joining the military makes sense for them.  I will not stand in opposition to all that.  I do, however, look forever with a critical eye on what and why the military is doing what it is doing – and who is telling them to do it.

But today is a day of victory for equal rights in the workplace.  I’ll take it.

1 comment:

Gil and Ray said...


I agree with you, I never looked at serving in the military as a primary target for the progress of civil rights...
However, as I read more and more in recent weeks, it is becoming clear that this is a very strategic move once every other country that has full equal rights to gays started by allowing gays in their militaries.
See, now it's a domino effect with every soldier claiming equal rights with their counter parts for survivor benefits, rights for visiting at Veterans Hospitals etc...
This is actually much bigger than it looks :)