When President Clinton put in place the don’t ask don’t tell policy years ago, many saw this as a compromise. Openly serving as a “gay” was prohibited, but gone were the policies allowing interrogation of someone suspected of being a homosexual.
But was this a compromise, or simply the solution that was needed, which should become permanent?
Stated another way, don’t ask don’t tell could be called live and let live. So what if you are gay? As long as you do not make it an issue, it is not an issue.
What defines us as humans is not an oxymoronic phrase such as sexual orientation, because your sexual preferences have absolutely no bearing on your ability to accomplish any military job. One’s sex could matter in some cases, or more specifically a physical ability to do certain jobs. But that might apply equally regardless of sex. Where a small woman might not be able to lift a 200 pound man, that 200 pound man could not fit into a small tunnel to pursue the enemy. The lines between the sexes are rapidly disappearing in the military, which makes for a more cohesive unit.
So now, there are those that would draw a line between soldiers and sailors based on sexual behavior. Rather than working to minimize the differences between individuals and concentrate on fitting the job to the person, are we now going to go back to drawing lines between who we are?
Sexual orientation is no more defining of who a person is than a preference for sexual bondage or S&M. Or any of the other sexual preferences people practice. As long as these sexual acts don’t interfere with one’s job, they are entirely irrelevant and should be treated as such.
A number of lefty pundits lament the fact that good soldiers are tossed out of the military because they feel the need to “come out” of the closet. Anyone that believes their preferences towards their own sex is something they just can’t keep in their own bedrooms has a problem. Those attracted to the opposite sex don’t seem to feel the need to “come out” as straight.
But those that are thrown out because they feel the need to be “openly gay” above being a soldier made the choice. And one would suspect that there are a number of Corporal Klingers counted amoung the discharged gays. For those that do not know, Jamie Farr played Corporal Max Klinger on the hit series M*A*S*H dressing in women’s clothes to facilitate his discharge. It did not work.
Do we need to go back to a time when our military men and women were defined by their race, birth place, sex, etc., or do we move forward to allow the military to be defined by the job they do?