Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why is this even an issue?

There has been so much wringing of hands about the possible repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".  So much fear. So much crazy. Why, I ask you? Why is this an issue? The younger generation (the ones who, you know actually serve in uniform) no longer fear and hate gays the way many of our parents generation did. They're over it. They already work with gays in the service, and their opinion is as long as they do their job and act professionally, they have no problem with gays serving. But policy lags behind society and we've lost valuable service-members from understaffed positions because some small group of people are, get this... afraid of taking a shower with a gay person.

Really. That seems to be the big fucking stumbling block. If you don't believe me, feel free to read the complete report that was just released on the subject. Yes, it's about 267 pages, but the readable portion is about 131 pages (the rest being the appendices).  Or you can just read the Executive Summary at the beginning. Long story short. The biggest fear is getting hit on by some gay guy in the shower. Which is weird, because, as a straight person, I have no interest in hitting on gay men in the shower. The other fear is that openly gay members will act like prancing fairies.Really? The rest of the report basically says that having gays won't destroy the military. Look, the Military can handle it. They're tough. They are trained to follow orders. Other countries have already done it. It did not destroy unit cohesion nor did it affect retention. There are already rules of conduct in place. Letting gays serve won't turn Camp Lejune into a gay pride parade.

And yet somehow we will manage to make this a HUGE fucking fight. Thanks to the media echo chamber it will seem as if this issue is tearing this country apart. Conservatives will bloviate ad nausium to appease their Bible grasping constituents even though they themselves likely don't give a crap or would rather be snorting cocaine of a 19 year olds steely abs. More theater, more spectacle. We will take what is basically a non-issue and make it an issue.

My fear is that we will somehow royally fuck this up. That in the interest of compromise we'll do something mind numbingly stupid like allowing gays and lesbians into the service, but just not have them serve in active fighting units. Like women.  If the recommendations of this committee could be enacted by executive order I'd say go for it. Yes, people would hate Obama for it. People already hate him for helping them get more affordable health care, enacting mild financial reform and helping keep the country from sliding into a depression. Just add it to the list.