A Month of Gratitude, Day 14

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tomorrow morning, the President of the United States will be signing into law the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy that has governed the issue of gay Americans in our military since the Clinton administration.

It's no secret how I feel about equal rights for the LGBT community. It's no secret that I think the Family Research Council and organizations like it are bigoted asshats who earn a grade of FAIL when asked the question "What would Jesus do." It's no secret that I think the repeal of DADT is the right and honorable thing to do. This is a subject on which I have strong opinions, informed by my personal experience, my emotional investment in the LGBT community and my own ethical standards.

But that doesn't mean I'm not a realist about how very hard implementing this new policy is going to be. There are legitimate policy decisions that must be made in light of the new policy, and people of good conscience have wildly divergent opinions. Reaching a compromise everyone can live with is going to be tough.

Sea change is never easy. The integration of our Armed Forces was a bear. The gradual easing of restrictions on women's service is still ongoing, and while the institutionalized sexism that marked my own service is on the run, make no mistake that it's still there. As gay men and lesbian service members come out of the closet and choose to live openly, they will be subject to harassment, discrimination and ostracism. Being "first" sucks, and while the work of these pioneers is absolutely necessary, my heart aches for them as I contemplate what they will face. Once the integration is complete and the culture has changed, it will be worth it, but the road will be long, and painful.

Today, I'm grateful our country has chosen the high road in repealing DADT, rather than the easy road in allowing it to continue. It's the right thing to do.

5 comments:

beatricemdfr said...

Here, here!!

beatricemdfr said...

Or should I say hear, hear! I'm forgetting my English.

Janiece said...

Welcome, beatricemdfr.

Since you apparently speak more than one language, you're already ahead of me, so it's all good.

beatricemdfr said...

But English is my first language. I'm expatriated.
I tend to type fast, make mistakes and then go back and correct them. Being an English teacher, I'm supposed to spell well. Oh well.

Janiece said...

I realized that after I read your profile, which is why I changed my comment. It happens to the best of us, I expect, and you still speak more languages than me. :-)