Over the weekend, Congress voted to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. For those not in the know, the rule–put in place under President Clinton–prohibited gay military members from being “out” while serving. After much fighting, screaming, kicking, and gnashing of teeth, the vote over the weekend begins what will be a months-long process to eliminate the provision and allow people to…well, just be themselves.
Of course, there are many who don’t like what has happened. Many of a conservative mindset when it comes to homosexuality (whether Dem or Repub) are unhappy, because this represents the idea that being gay is ok. But the biggest blowup has come from some of the leaders of the branches of the military. No less than the head of the Marines said that the repeal would result in soldiers losing life and limb. Others have said it will be detrimental to morale.
Really? Corporal Joe Doe being gay is going to completely undermine the unit?
Let’s look at reality here (no disrespect to those leaders, who have many years of serving their country under their belts). First, other top notch militaries in the world have allowed gay soldiers to serve openly for years, and they are quoted as saying that allowing that to happen has been a non-event. Second, Joe isn’t going to all of a sudden stop being an accurate shooter, or not want to make sure he has his fellow soldier’s back just because he’s now openly gay; likewise, other soldiers won’t assume that Joe being “out” is going to make them less effective. Finally, one point my barber (ex-Navy) mentioned, the people in the unit probably know ALREADY that Joe is gay.
Furthermore, what people don’t realize is that there isn’t going to be this sudden increase of incidents where gay dudes (lets be real–folks usually think gay men here) start playing grab-butt in the common shower. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is very clear and strict in regards to fraternization and harrassment (example: in civilian life, adultery isn’t a crime. in the military, you could end up in Leavenworth for it). Any gay soldier is going to behave like a true, professional soldier. Just like they were doing before.
In the end, its like this: break it up folks, nothing to see here.