I'm old enough to remember the days when government and citizens firmly believed that homosexuals shouldn't be in government or military service because their perverted lifestyles meant they could be blackmailed and attacked by the nation's enemies.
These being more enlightened, progressive days, we gays and lesbians don't worry so much about our lives becoming political footballs for foreign enemies. Instead, we get to worry about our more hateful, vindictive domestic enemies who find their tools in the ongoing and despicable Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. From the recent case of the Kansas National Guard, which just removed a lesbian servicemember because a civilian co-worker launched a campaign against her:
But last July, everything came to an abrupt halt. A gay guardsman urged her to delete her MySpace page, which included a photograph of Brian with her partner. Someone, the guardsman told her, had a problem with that.
Then in August 2008, a lieutenant told her she was being investigated for homosexual conduct. A civilian co-worker claimed to have seen Brian kissing a woman at a Wal-Mart.
Someone else began sending anonymous e-mails to as many as 12 officers in Brian's chain of command, saying Brian was gay. The e-mails gave the address of a Web site -- not her MySpace page -- showing her photograph and revealing her sexual orientation.
As most people 'round these parts now, I was a huge supporter of Barack Obama for president. And, despite my still-idealistic outlook on his presidency, I'm fully aware that political reality means one of the Big Three gay issues -- DADT, marriage and employment nondiscrimination -- will not be a first-round political fight for Obama right out of the gate.
I'm willing to wait a handful of months -- three, four, five, maybe six -- while some current and pressing economic issues are addressed. Then again, I'm not serving in the military under the constant uncertainty that some random, vindictive and hateful person could legally hold my future in their hands, so whether I'm willing perhaps isn't that relevant.
What is relevant is that more Americans support allowing opening gay and lesbian soldiers to serve -- 75 percent -- than voted for Obama. That's a higher percentage than Obama's approval rating. The idea that the DADT must be considered and studied and paneled and put through the wringer once more in order to placate a pack of retrograde Republicans is ridiculous and cowardly. The main responsibility here lies with Congress -- call your representatives and senators and tell them so. Go to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and learn more about what you can do to move forward.
For good examples -- two of many -- of the great people the military has lost through this awful policy, check out my 2006 interview with former Marine Brian Fricke, and Will O'Bryan's 2007 interview with Bleu Copas (the Arabic linguist bounced out of the military despite our critical shortage of Arabic speakers in the military)
Cross-posted from Buggblog.com.