Hooplah!

The Department of Justice building in Washingt...

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Why am I ecstatic? Just ask U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips. She’s the darling who just issued an injunction on that little ol’ law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” According to this article from the A.P. the current ruling ends “the U.S. military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.”

Seventeen years… That is my exact age, meaning that for my entire life my minority has been specifically targeted by law to limit our rights. Now, I may be a (almost always) pacifist but if my same-sex loving brethren want to sign up without wanting to hide part of who they are then all the power to them!

One thing in the article gave me pause. The President’s Department of Justice can appeal this ruling within 60 days “but Department of Justice attorneys are not likely to stay mum since Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy.”  Now I’m no political strategist but I really want Obama to let this stand. This doesn’t seem to be the time to be making a political statement by forcing Congress to take action. Of course I might just be saying that because the Mid-Term Elections are coming up and I don’t see Congress repealing DADT before the Democratic hold on Congress really sways.

In the meantime I am going to something a little celebratory and forget politics. Maybe I’ll update my Facebook status.

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11 Comments

Filed under The Soapbox

11 responses to “Hooplah!

  1. David

    Sorry, the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law protects you, at least it did. It meant that you had the right to be identified as a man or a woman, regardless of your sexual orientation. Now, just think of it! Men will know every gay person in their barracks, and ask to be transferred because you’re gay (and that would be their right), without any knowledge of your ability to fight.

  2. If they want to be transfered then that’s their own business, I don’t see how that really applies to openly homosexual military service members.

    And I don’t feel protected by DADT but rather forced to feel ashamed for who I am. If I need to deny my homosexuality why can the military acknowledge heterosexuals?

  3. David

    Why do you identify yourself based on your sexual orientation? DADT applies to all. They don’t ask what your orientation is, be it same-sex, opposite-sex, or neither, maybe attracted to animals. This is how society should be. Today’s society emphasizes the differences in everyone, when we should all be working with our commonality.

    DADT means you’re free to do what you want with your sex life, and nobody has a right to judge one way or another. Your shame is your own business. DADT doesn’t ask you to deny your sexuality, it just asks you to keep it to yourself.

    • nonnie

      Everyone has a different definition of “keep[ing] it to yourself.”

      I read an article in Newsweek on this subject. In it, a former soldier spoke of how she had discussed her homosexuality in a private e-mail, which another soldier read over her shoulder and reported to her superior. She was discharged.

      I agree that a sexually charged environment is inappropriate in a military setting. But sexuality is a large part of human existence, and attempts to eradicate it will only devolve into a witch hunt.

  4. By allowing heterosexual soldiers to publicly declare their sexual orientation but not homosexuals means that DADT does not apply to all. If DADT exemplifies to you how society should be than I take it to mean that society should encourage those who are in the majority to hide their minority status.

    DADT means that I’m free to do what I want with my sex life as long as I keep it completely quiet, that doesn’t seem like I’m exactly free to do what I want.

    Just to avoid any confusion, I’m not ashamed of my sexual orientation but rather feel that DADT should make me feel that I am. It’s a purely emotional point with no facts other than my personal feelings to support it.

    DADT asks me to keep my sexual orientation to myself. Why? Why should I be forced to do that when heterosexuals don’t have to?

  5. David

    “Allowing” heterosexual soldiers to declare…??? I thought we had freedom of speech in this country (which carries with it the responsibility to accept consequences).
    What I feel is that society in general is oversexualized. From game show hosts to politicians, to Dancing With the Stars, to beauty pageants, sex is everywhere. And in most situations, it doesn’t belong. I also think we spend too much time emphasizing our differences, when we should be solidifying with our likenesses.
    DADT does not force anyone to keep their orientation to themselves, because it’s your perogative to be public about it. What DADT does is it stops the military from asking, because it used to be that being same-sex attracted automatically got you out of military service, and discriminating against you.
    FWIW, to Nonnie, in the military, there are many things you can be discharged for, an example is being pregnant in a war zone. Also, fraternization between male and female soldiers, male and male soldiers, or female and female soldiers. It’s at the discretion of the officer in charge, but when I was in the Navy, when there were no females allowed on a war ship, except for in non-combat situations, if a male even breached the corridors of the female quarters, he could be discharged. Military does not like sexuality to enter into anything military. Your sexuality is something you can carry out on your own time.

    • How is sending a private e-mail not on one’s own time?

      • David

        In the military, you really don’t have your own time, other than what the military bestows on you. Did you know that, if the ship hosts a barbecue for the ship’s crew, and a crewmember gets so sunburnt that he cannot work the next day, there’s a strong possibility that he can be courtmartialed for misuse of government property? If you are in the military, you do not own your own time. That’s just the way it is.

    • I thought we had freedom of speech in this country too. Which is why I support the repeal of DADT. I concede that it had its place. It was considered progressive in its heyday, and it is no doubt an improvement over more blatant discrimination against gays. But thousands of perfectly capable soldiers have been discharged under its reign, simply for exercising a right taken for granted by heterosexuals.

      Being openly gay does not equal oversexualized behavior. I do not see how destigmatizing same-sex attraction would initiate any kind of sexual frenzy. There are quite a few steps between acknowledging one’s attraction to the same sex and performing homosexual acts. Straight male and female soldiers are able to work together without devolving into an orgy. Gay soldiers have just the same ability.

      I agree that sexual matters are irrelevant in the military. But there needs to be a universal precedent. Either everyone – gay, straight, trans, or questioning – can talk about their personal lives, or no one can.

      • David

        Oh, so like I said, freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility to live with the reactions to said speech. So you walk up to a recruiter for the Navy and say “Sign me up”. Then you fill out the form, and in the comments you write “I am homosexual”. (Because nowhere on any recruitment form does it ever, or has it ever asked, for your sexual orientation). So now the recruiter has to flag your application so that you get placed in the right recruit company, etc. Great!
        Flip it around. With DADT, the government says “I don’t care about your sexuality as long as you don’t wave it around in my face.” For the record I know openly gay people who served 20 years of military service or more. They just didn’t do it in the barracks, and neither did the heteros. And this was before DADT.
        FWIW, I seldom talked about my personal life with anyone in the military unless I knew I could trust them. That’s just how impersonal the military is. And even though I don’t like the ‘gay lifestyle’, I would never get a fellow sailor in trouble because he was gay. But if he was having sex with someone in the next bunk, I’d talk to him first, and if he didn’t take it somewhere else, I’d send it up the chain, same as if he was hetero (of course, heterosexual males can’t bring a female into their living quarters on a ship, so that issue is moot-yet in a living quarters where 60-70 guys live all together, a man and his gay lover could happily go about living a sexual relationship when others can’t-how equal is that???)
        But why should abnormal behavior not be stigmatized? Do you think that someone who’s schizophrenic shouldn’t be set aside and treated? How about criminally insane? Back to center, how about alcoholics? Do you think dwarves aren’t stigmatized? No matter how you slice it, humans notice when humans are different. And they set them apart. That’s life. Be prepared. I have lived in the Philippines and walked in crowds of little brown people being the only caucasian, and a head and shoulders taller than everyone else. You don’t think anyone noticed? I wasn’t marginalized because I chose not to be.
        Another aspect-it is often said that alcoholics shouldn’t be around alcohol at all-the presence of it is too much temptation and he might fall off the wagon. Same is true with having a ship of 90% males with a contingent of homosexuals-there’s bound to be some ‘falling off the wagon’ while at sea…

  6. If we have complete freedom of speech then homosexuals should be able to as open as heterosexuals.

    DADT may have been set up to protect homosexuals, and while I don’t agree with the manner in which it was done I recognize the compromise and its place in its time, but the fact that at least one soldier was discharged without being directly questioned, as Nonnie pointed out, indicates to me that DADT has become discriminatory, whether or not it was originally intended to, and should be repealed.

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