Hysterics Over DADT Repeal Are An Insult To The Military
posted at 11:15 am on December 21, 2010 by Cassy Fiano
Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:
There have been a lot of different responses to the news that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed. President Obama is planning to sign the bill this week. Supporters are touting it as a victory for civil rights. Before the Senate passed the repeal, critics continued to voice concerns, including the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Some have continued to voice those concerns — others, however, have taken those concerns one step too far. At what point does concern turn into hysterics, and when does it becoming insulting to our honorable men and women in uniform?
My husband is currently serving in Afghanistan in the Marine Corps. He loves his country and the Corps. His MOS — military occupational specialty — is an 0311, an infantry rifleman. This is a combat MOS. Like many Marines, he wasn’t a fan of repealing DADT. The number one concern I have heard from many Marines around Camp Lejeune was how the repeal would affect unit cohesion, although there are many other issues that come into play. The benefit of DADT has been that it allows the military to remain neutral on homosexuality. Now, the military will have to reconcile service with the gay rights agenda. How will the military now be forced to handle a gay soldier in a relationship? Will they be forced to approve of gay public displays of affection? What about those in the military who aren’t comfortable with their children seeing two men kiss while they’re doing their grocery shopping in the commissary? How will the military be forced to handle a gay soldier who gets married in a state that allows gay marriage? Will gay spouses receive military benefits now, too? And what about the gay servicemembers who aren’t married because their state doesn’t allow it, but are in committed relationships — do they qualify for benefits, too? Will gay and straight servicemembers be allowed to sleep in barracks together? What about when a unit is deployed, and the men are forced to sleep in even closer quarters? What will happen to the soldier or Marine who is uncomfortable with sleeping next to a gay man?
There are a lot of questions and concerns about repealing DADT, and no easy answers. The beauty of the system was that it allowed the military to remain neutral on each and every one of these issues. The military didn’t approve or disapprove. Now, the military is forced to take a stance, and in many instances, I fear it will be in favor of gay rights, giving special treatment to gays. I also am not a big fan of politicians using the military to basically conduct a social experiment, especially when we are fighting two wars.
Obviously, I am not a fan of repealing DADT. My feelings on the matter were very close to those of General Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. However, now that the repeal is passed, there is only one thing to do, and that is accept it and move on. Adapt and overcome. While there will be many tough decisions to make, and the adjustment period will undoubtedly be difficult, I have no doubt that our servicemembers can and will adjust. Adapt and overcome.
Today, I logged onto my Facebook, and saw the following in my inbox.
Change your profile picture to black to mourn the death of the United States military as we know it.
How widespread a meme this is on Facebook, I don’t know. But it’s far from a rarity. Joseph Farah, as an example, wrote an article trumpeting the “fact” that servicemembers will be apparently be quitting the service in droves, so upset will they be over the prospect of — gasp!! — serving alongside gay men and women. He’s even urging them to do so. Apparently, there are some people who just can’t fathom that our men and women in uniform might actually be honorable people who will be able to rise above sexual orientation. This infuriates me.
There have been many people expressing a similar opinion, and I find it to be a massive insult to our military. The rhetoric — on both sides of the issue — has been massively overblown.
The question I have for the people who feel this will destroy our military is this: do you think all of the men and women currently serving are so severely homophobic that they cannot continue to serve their country with honor?
If your answer to that question is yes, then shame on you.
General Amos has pledged to support the repeal, doing the honorable thing. (Funny how so many of our servicemen and women tend to do that, huh?)
“Above all else, we are loyal to the Constitution, our Commander in Chief, Congress, our Chain of Command, and the American people,” said Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, in a prepared statement released Sunday.
… “As stated during my testimony before Congress in September and again during hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, the Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy. I, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, will personally lead this effort, thus ensuring the respect and dignity due all Marines.
“On this matter, we look forward to further demonstrating to the American people the discipline and loyalty that have been the hallmark of the United States Marine Corps for over 235 years.”
Gen. Amos disagreed with the repeal and fought it every step of the way. It passed anyways, and so he is putting service before his own objections. Many Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen will likely do the exact same thing. This must be shocking to the people who think so little of our military that they won’t be able to survive serving alongside gay men and women. (Imagine how shocked they would be if they ever found out that many times servicemembers already know who in their unit is gay, and don’t care.)
As of right now, the military will be writing the rules on the new policy. And so far, it looks like many of the concerns I, and many others, have are being addressed.
No public displays of affection. No separate bathrooms. No harassment and no special treatment.
… What if a recruiter refuses to process recruits who say they are gay? What about a sailor who requests a new sleeping area to get away from a gay roommate? Can a service member file a complaint against a chaplain who preaches against homosexuality? And can a gay or lesbian service member get leave to travel home when their partner is ill?
In each case the recommended process is careful and deliberate. The recruiter and the sailor should be counseled about the new rules — but in both cases commanders have the authority to approve a move if they believe it’s necessary in order to maintain unit stability. And, yes, chaplains can still preach what they believe.
The health and social benefits, however, are a murky area that Pentagon officials say they are trying to work through.
In some cases, service members may be able to designate a same-sex partner for benefits. In most cases, however, they are treated much like unmarried heterosexual couples. So, same-sex partners will probably not be able to share on-base housing, and commanders don’t have to make allowances for same-sex couples when making duty assignments around the globe.
Does this mean all the questions are answered and the concerns are addressed? No, but it does look like this is being handled (for now) the best possible way. Perhaps we should wait to go into a rabid panic until there’s actually a reason to panic, and we aren’t quite there yet. Unless, of course, you have no faith in our military.
Why is it so unbelievable that the military would be able to figure out the best way to implement homosexuals serving openly? As the wife of a Marine, I find it deeply insulting to our men and women currently serving with honor to suggest that the mere addition of gay men and women will somehow make our entire military crumble. Understand this: the vast majority of heroes in uniform are better than that. The few that are not won’t last.
The New York Times recently ran an article interviewing a handful of Marines. Most of them, not surprisingly, were just fine with the repeal, although they expressed some reservations about — you guessed it — serving in combat. (Personally, I wouldn’t let the final word on that be several boot Marines who haven’t even graduated yet from the School of Infantry.) My guess on the combat situations? Yes, there will be reservations and the men will be uncomfortable. But if the gay troops prove themselves in combat then I guarantee that those reservations will disappear. When you’re fighting the enemy, you aren’t worried about who the guy next to you is sleeping with. You’re worried about whether or not he’s a good shot and if he’ll have your back in a firefight.
Our troops have been able to defeat some of the worst kinds of evil throughout history. When our country was founded, our military started with a small band of ragtag patriots who were able to overthrow an oppressive empire. Since then, they’ve encountered unspeakable evils and enemies that seemed impossible to defeat, and have come out on top almost every time. We have the greatest military the world has ever seen, yet a small group of people set on hysterics over the DADT repeal would have you believe that this same military can’t overcome gays serving alongside straights.
What an insult to our men and women in uniform, who as I am writing this are fighting thousands of miles away to defend our country and our freedoms from another unimaginably evil enemy. They deserve better.
Our troops have overcome much worse than the repeal of DADT, and given time, they’ll adapt and overcome this too. It’s too bad that we can’t have the faith in them that they have earned, and so richly deserve.