Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Military

by Vince

Linda Hirshman wrote a thoughtful piece about the combo of homosexuality, serving in the military, and marriage in wake of the hearings to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. If you look back to the 1960’s movements for gay rights and anti-war protests, who would of guessed that gays would want to be in the military? On the other hand, many shouldn’t be surprised with the paradoxical GOP:

Conservatives are normally out there urging people to fight and to marry. A conservative president launched two wars, and conservatives tried to impeach the adulterous Bill Clinton. When it comes to gays and lesbians wanting to defend their country or provide a stable, loving union, the right wing is suddenly on the other side.

Why are they fighting?

Gays argue that open service and same sex marriage are matters of simple equality—which sounds good, because everyone agrees that inequality is un-American and bad. But the contest over equality cannot possibly account for the passion on both sides of these issues. Who is against equality, abstractly? The fight is hot because gays are seeking equal access to the very social institutions, marriage and the military, that confer social approval. In America, and in most of western culture, the soldier and the householder are models of social virtue. If gays can marry and serve their country, well, “Gay is Good” as the old movement button says.

Breaking this down shows how many gays are forced to live lives equal to second rate citizens. Whether those who support DADT and are against same-sex marriage intend that outcome or not, this is what is imbued into their realities. In the case of DADT, the government is called to enforce and uphold Judeo-Christian “morals” when last time I checked there was a separation of church and state. No government is to support or trample on any religious institution. The church already calls gays sinners and throws them down into the ranks of being untouchables. Now the church wants to continue having the state enforce their morals in an ambiguous and guised manner.

Many of the hot topic issues today have the ability of being labeled “the civil rights issue” of our time; homosexuality and having openly gay military members serving, both intertwined yet separate, are strikingly resemblant of Plessy v. Ferguson:

The Pentagon noted that some of the resistance it found to open service came from “moral and religious objections to homosexuality.” Without missing a step, the report continued, “aside from that, much of the concern about ‘open’ service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes,” which were “exaggerated” and “inconsistent with” the military’s actual experience, concluding, without another word about peoples’ religious morality, that the policy should be repealed.

Separating the classes, groups, and or those with different sexual orientations divides our country, our humanity, and threatens our national security. Also, Hirshman singles out the unwritten qualifications required for presidency or high office. Just as our presidents have to have a church / religious experience to be considered ripe for our commander and chief position, so do they have to be normal in terms of having a heterosexual marriage and a glowingly unblemished family. Again, we have a separation of church and state but Judeo-Christian morals and ideals are upheld as normal and “the way”. You’ll be damned to not follow them if you want to be president or a “normal” citizen, so goes today’s wind.

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