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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Straight? In My Military? Sure, Why Not?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100223/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_military_gays;_ylt=Aj1bOZFAxjXBJQMrFTzMro.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNoZHRpbHVwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMjIzL3VzX21pbGl0YXJ5X2dheXMEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwMxMARwdANob21lX2Nva2UEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDY2hpZWZzd2FybmFn

After waking up quite late and checking Yahoo News, I found a compelling story to mull over. The gist of the article is that the Chief Officers in the various subgroups of the U.S. Army are less than enthusiastic over the President's goal to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Part of this no doubt has to do with tradition and general army deprogramming of certain interpersonal relationships (such as tolerance of explicitly different people: race, creed, sexuality, etc.) But the primary issue does seem to be practical for the motivation of the chiefs to advocate a slow process of change. With the U.S. in two wars (I thought we were in just one, but two sounds about right) the change of allowing openly gay people or gay people at all in the armed forces would apparently be difficult to implement.

Now, I understand these guys are uncomfortable about the whole idea of having GLBT people in service of the traditionally straight or nonsexual groupings within the army. And I realize they're probably in my parent's generation, who still refer to GLBT with such euphemisms as "a little funny" or "overly feminine" or the lovely one that's still around, "queer". This only makes me realize the idea of change would probably have to wait until they're all replaced or just have a moment of realization that gay people are just like everyone else and should be treated as such.




The implementation of change would no doubt cause even people that are within my own generation that serve in the army some unease. But somehow I doubt that just because there are people serving alongside you that "play for the other team" in a manner of speaking, that you can't swallow your pride, suck it up and stop whining to God about it and do the primary job you signed on for, protecting the country and the ideals it stands for. And isn't one of the primary ideals of the U.S. that oft quoted set of rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? If all the majority of straight men and women in the military can suppress their sexual desires, then what makes you think the GLBT can't do the same thing? Misinformation, superstition and other forms of self deception, that's what!

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