Surprise, surprise: Gays don’t hurt the military

This is about what I expected:

For nearly 17 years, gay and lesbian soldiers of the U.S. military were expected to deny their sexuality under threat of dismissal as part of the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The repeal of the policy on September 20, 2011 stirred controversy, and inspired passionate arguments on both sides of the issue.

Now a year later, the first academic study of the effects of repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” has found the repeal has had “no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.”

In fact, military members have become more aware of their surroundings. Now that many of them actually know a gay person, they aren’t so ready to use derogatory language:

An enlisted soldier at a military university told researchers that when DADT was in effect, his unit mates would use degrading, anti-gay language, “almost absent-mindedly and with little consequence,” but that after repeal, he said, “it was kind of a big deal for two weeks,” as soldiers considered what it would mean for their comrades to be openly gay.

The report says the soldier told researchers that after people wrapped their heads around the idea, their consideration changed, “the new attitude seemed to be, ‘now that I know someone who is [gay], I’m talking about a real person. I’m not just using abstract insults [but words] that actually mean something.’”

This reminds me of the strategy of Harvey Milk: Make sure people know they know a gay person and bigotry and anti-gay measures will decrease.

The repeal of DADT has long been portrayed by the GOP as “social experimentation” and other such nonsense, but it was never anything of the sort. It was an exercise in treating our citizens equally in a way which was not merely neutral in the security of the United States but, indeed, in a way which strengthened our nation. The side benefit is that we’ve done away with a good deal of ignorance in the process.

The mayhem!

It has been complete anarchy in the streets now for nearly 24 hours. Millions have been displaced, thousands injured, hundreds dead. The chaos and destruction would be unimaginable if every American family wasn’t feeling the same exact pain right now. How such terror could happen on American soil is insane, something seemingly only meant for science fiction movies until today. What sort of devil would bring such evil upon us all?

The U.S. military passed a historic milestone Tuesday with the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in uniform, ending a prohibition that President Barack Obama said had forced gay and lesbian service members to “lie about who they are.”

I just wish I had built my bunker earlier.

More abuse of science

It’s a common tactic for anti-gay bigots to distort science. One of their favorites ways to do so is to find studies which are limited in their scope to ‘traditional’ families, but then they take a wrecking ball to the science by pretending that they’re looking at something comparative. I documented one bigot who did just that.

But that isn’t their only tactic. So long as they can distort a scientific study in some way, they will. Take this instance of an anti-gay bigot from the Congressional hearings on the repeal of DADT.

This is common not only of Christians, but much of the conservative movement. So long as a citation is being made, they think they’ve proven their case. Who cares if their source actually contradicts what they have to say?

“I won’t give my approval!”

This post title is increasingly one of the most common lines that anti-gay bigots use. “Why, I didn’t vote for equal rights for gays because that’s like asking for my approval of their ‘behavior’! It’s just absurd!” It’s little more than bigot talk and here’s why.

Imagine 38 states get together with Congress and the President and want to pass a constitutional amendment that says the KKK can no longer have parades or organize or do any of the things they legally do today. We all get an opportunity to vote in favor or against the amendment. If the bigots who hate gays – and come on, that’s all this is about for them – were at all consistent, they would immediately vote in favor of the amendment; I’m sure a few of them actually would. But I think an overwhelming majority would recognize that the question on the ballot isn’t “Do you approve of the KKK?” Only a fucking moron would think that. No, most people would realize that they hate the KKK, but that there are dire consequences when we take away one group’s rights. Most people would have to vote the proposal down.

And they would be right – without approving of the KKK in the least. In fact, most of today’s bigots do actually say they support X group’s right to free speech despite not liking the group. This is really basic, really easy, really obvious logic. It is a lie, a damn convenient lie, when a bigot claims not to have voted for a civil rights measure because he would then be approving of the group facing discrimination.

We have a huge number of states all across the country that still don’t have protections for sexual orientation in housing, education, work, and other areas of daily life. Think about that. Gays can fire straight people for being straight. Straight people can deny gays home loans simply for being gay. It is absurd. And the bigots want us to believe that it’s all because fixing the problem and protecting civil rights would be the same as giving moral approval for a group? Puh-lease.

It would be nice if the bigots of the world could stop lying and just come clean: They hate gays because 1) their religion, not reason or rationality, tells them it’s wrong to be fair, 2) they don’t understand them, 3) they’re ignorant and unwilling to learn, 4) gays are different and they find that yucky, and 5) they are sexually immature little infants.

The moral advancement of Hawaii

Hawaii is about to increase the happiness of many of its citizens. And with no ill consequences.

Hawaii lawmakers gave final approval to civil unions Wednesday and sent the legislation to Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who plans to sign it into law.

Civil unions would begin Jan. 1, 2012, making the state the seventh to grant virtually the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself.

Now we just need these states to adhere to the Supreme Court ruling that said separate can never be equal. (Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if same-sex marriage was federally recognized and sanctioned in every state. At least we would all be on board with the constitution at that point.)

When they say Biden had a gaffe…

…what everyone really means is he said something true that a lot of people don’t want to hear.

Vice President Joe Biden predicted Friday the evolution in thinking that will permit gays to soon serve openly in the military eventually will bring about a national consensus for same-sex marriage.

Changes in attitudes by military leaders, those in the service and the public allowed the repeal by Congress of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Biden noted in a nationally broadcast interview on Christmas eve.

“I think the country’s evolving,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.:” And I think you’re going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). He said he agreed with Obama that his position in gay marriage is “evolving.”

Here are the basic facts that support Biden:

  • The U.S. Constitution does not give the states or feds the ability to discriminate against gays as a group.
  • The U.S. Constitution, in fact, bans such discrimination.
  • The point of marriage as sanctioned by the government is to provide a framework of rights to two individuals.
  • As more and more people come out as gay, more and more people realize that they never had anything to fear.
  • Christianity is losing its grip. I mean, let’s not get crazy and feed into the persecution complex so common among Christians: the religion is still extremely strong and to be a Christian in America is to have an overall advantage in so many ways (sort of like how being white is an overall advantage).
  • But it hasn’t the grip it once did.

  • Old people tend to be bigots at a higher rate than young people. They also tend to die at a much higher rate. And if we add 1 and 1…

Now sit back and wait for the bigot organizations to use Biden’s statements as a source of fear; they’ll use his words to try and thwart lesser efforts than gay marriage, all the while claiming that their concern is to prevent a slippery slope to equality in marriage. Of course, that will be one of their concerns, but their bigger concern will be to prevent gays from enjoying any civil rights whatsoever.

Can I call a bigot a bigot?

Because I’m thinking about writing a letter to the editor in response to this bigot.

In a Dec. 12 column, Richard Connor criticizes Sen. John McCain for opposing repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on homosexuality and writes it “has outlived its usefulness” and that “We need to do away with it.”

To justify his position, Connor writes about “cultural and social changes” and advancing gay marriage. Political correctness run amok.

Social acceptance doesn’t necessarily make something right. Furthermore, a behavior that is socially acceptable in a civilian environment does not necessarily make it right in a military environment.

Can anyone imagine the military maintaining unisex sleeping quarters and unisex bathing facilities with group showers? I cannot.

Similarly, I cannot imagine homosexuals serving openly in the military. A barracks will house 80-plus men and have group bathrooms and showers. As I can’t image a military environment where men and women take group showers because animal instincts may surface, I cannot image the military maintaining group showers where men with a known sexual attraction for men taking group showers with men.

What I write may invite the PC police to charge me with homophobia and intolerance. In my defense, I love the relatives I have who are gay and the gays I know in business.

They know I don’t agree with their lifestyle, but to love someone does not mean you have to agree with them. True love is often tough love and means having to tell those you love the truth.

Failure to practice tough love in our families may have contributed to the growth and social acceptance of homosexuality in society. I don’t believe homosexuality is normal. I believe it is a personal choice from someone who has tasted the proverbial forbidden fruit. Society’s sexual preferences don’t justify overhauling military standards.

Harold Alexander

Augusta

I also find “dolt” to be a fair and accurate label.

Let’s do this one quickly, shall we?

  • Being gay does not mean being obsessed with sex or unable to control sexual desires. Assumptions like that is how we get those horribly bigoted comparisons of gays to pedophiles. And “animal instincts”? How sexually immature is Harold Alexander? While where evolution and taxonomy are concerned I have to agree we absolutely are animals (though I’m not so sure about the instincts part), we have the ability to be rational and critical and thoughtful.
  • Does this guy really think that gay sex in showers is going to be an issue? I don’t really see anyone trying that, much less getting away with it.
  • No, Alexander does not love the gays he knows. If he did, he wouldn’t try to make their lives worse. I’ll grant that he sorta, kinda, maybe loves them. A little.
  • Gays have loving families.
  • No one wakes up and decides one day, “Gee, I think I’m going to start liking people with the same genitalia I have. That will surely make my life better. And probably socially easier…right? Right.”
  • What justifies overhauling military standards is the exhaustive study that found that most service members are fine with the repeal of DADT. And let’s not forget the 13,500 qualified individuals who have been kicked out – only to the detriment of the effectiveness of the U.S. military.