EVERYONE IS FREAKING OUT about the fact that Obama seems to be delaying or staying silent on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Lt. Dan Choi, founder of knightsout.org, has been dismissed from the military on the grounds that he is a homosexual. Wait, it’s not that he’s gay, it’s just that he’s telling everyone about it. This is the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in action. Along the crest of President Obama’s rise to action, during his 2008 campaign, he had made a promise to repeal this act to ensure equal rights for gay soldiers. In case you still don’t know, DADT is a law banning GLBTs from being out in the military. Before it’s passage, homosexuality was banned all together.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has made claims in interviews that the Obama Administration is still planning to repeal the policy, despite the fact that the Pentagon has clearly stated that there are no plans currently underway.
However, I think there is way too much clamor and attention being pinpointed on President Obama. After all, he’s just a figurehead. He’s got an entire administration to deal with, including Congress.
What’s that, you say? Congress is responsible for PASSING LAWS?
Ya. And it’s a huge part of the problem about DADT. It’s going to take a long time, because damn if legislation ain’t a slow moving process.
Another part of the problem is that there is a huge generational gap between those who are serving, and those who opt for keeping the law intact. In 1993, then-President Clinton had made attempts to repeal the ban on homosexuality completely. In 1993, AIDS was still overblown and sensationalized as “the gay man’s disease.” Instead of repealing the ban, it was transformed into a law that, at the time (aside from it’s blatant discrimination), was thought to accommodate to the safety of heterosexuals and homosexuals; the gays stay in the closet, and neither “side” is harassed, upset, or otherwise confused about the other, leaving unit cohesion intact.
In Congress, men who are products of their culture and religion are yaying and naying legislation based on the perspectives they were raised with. Ever tried to change your conservative grand-pa’s opinions about guns and god? Did you succeed? Didn’t think so. Hopefully, they’ll begin to hear the voice of the people and realize that today’s military generation is not only more multi-cultural, but more open-minded and more understanding that homosexuals, yes, amazingly enough, are people, too.
What this law fails to now recognize is that there isn’t an “us” or a “them.” A military unit is a military unit, and sexual orientation doesn’t change that in the field. How long did it take before women were finally allowed to serve?
What it’s going to take to really get this law repealed is a ton of patience from one side and understanding on the other, from those who support and those who oppose the termination of this law. It’s going to be necessary to establish consensus before it can be repealed, even though, sadly, over 12,500 servicepersons have lost their jobs already.