Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t Discriminate!

9 Jun

Generally, I like riding the Metro. I enjoy having the time to think about whatever I want to think about. At work and home there are usually little tasks waiting to be finished, but on the train there are no computers and barely even a cell phone signal. Free-thinking time.

Usually, this is a good thing. For instance, it gave me a chance to read up on the candidates for today’s primary elections before I go off to vote after work. Yes Virginians, there is a primary today. GO VOTE. Polls are open until 7.

Some days, this thinking time is not such a good thing. Those days are usually the ones where something has gone awry and I’m brooding over it because I cannot think of any action to take. Yesterday was such a day. I was reading the news and came across this:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear a legal challenge to the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a decision that allows the Obama administration to continue its slow, back-burner response to liberal activists who want gays to serve openly in the military.

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated that he supported eventually repealing the law, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. The White House has said it won’t stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who admit their sexuality.

Democrats who control Congress also are not in a hurry to end the policy, which was made law in 1993. Easing the outright ban on gays in the military caused political trouble for President Bill Clinton and Democratic lawmakers that year, and Obama and his congressional allies want to avoid an issue that would roil the public just as they are seeking support for health care and other initiatives.

A Democratic aide to the Senate Armed Services Committee called a review of the law “not a high priority” and said the panel will look at the issue sometime before the end of Obama’s term — but would not specify when. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely about the committee’s plans.

It shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. It sickens, disgusts, and enrages me beyond belief to see our government support such a shameful policy. And it made me wonder, “What if Clinton had stood his ground?” By compromising rather than demanding equality at the very start, it’s made it far too easy for the homophobic portion of the population to consider “Don’t ask, don’t tell” a fair and just policy.

At it’s heart, the policy is nothing more than basic discrimination. The fact that reviewing it is “not a high priority” is outrageous when those in power claim the U.S. as a nation to be a celebration of diversity. Using the excuse that repealing it now would distract us from our “objectives” in the middle East, or make it more difficult to pass health care reform, is ludicrous. By requesting that the Supreme Court not hear this case, the Obama administration has effectively slapped the faces of many of its most fervent supporters. I knew there would be decisions I did not agree with, but this was a no-brainer.

It doesn’t take rights away from anyone, it doesn’t take money away from anyone, and it’s a Puritanical policy that was put in place to soothe a group of people who use this logic: It’s okay for you to go and get your head blown off in a foreign country by some grenade wielding maniac, but don’t you dare tell us that you love someone of the same gender! In other words, you’re good enough to be a tool of our military, but not a human being with a full set of civil rights.

Support the troops? Then put your money where your mouth is and support all of them.

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