I’m not a fan of terrible music, but Lady Gaga made a lobbying trip to Maine that makes her worthy of a mention on this blog.
The world’s biggest pop star came to Portland on Monday as part of a last-minute lobbying effort to encourage U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine to vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy that calls on service members who are gay to remain closeted and prohibits recruiters from asking. It also calls for outed soldiers to be discharged.
Of course, Collins voted with the other Republicans to knock down the bill, but she did it out of a desire to be allowed to present other amendments, not because she hates gays; Collins has voiced her opposition to “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
But I’m not mentioning Lady Gaga merely because I agree with what she’s saying. She actually gave a pretty good speech from the account in the local paper:
The pop star, who eschewed her usual outrageous style in favor of a simple black suit and glasses, proposed a new policy to replace “don’t ask, don’t tell” — one that would flip the equation.
“Our new law is called, ‘if you don’t like it, go home,'” she said. “If you are not committing to perform with excellence as a United States soldier because you don’t believe in full equality, go home. If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home. If you are not capable of keeping your oath to the armed forces, to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to do the same, unless there’s a gay soldier in my unit, then go home.”
Her point is a powerful one and should effect anyone not blinded by a hatred of gays. The soldier who cannot fight next to a soldier who may be gay probably isn’t a soldier mature enough to handle his or her responsibilities.