Funny, the government has never had any issues with letting queers pay taxes...

Obama administration says they can't lift "Don't ask, don't tell" quite yet because they have other things going on. Wouldn't it be in everyone's best interest to lift it? Like, just lift it right now? Then they wouldn't have to spend time and money investigating whether soldiers are queer and spend time and money discharging queer people who wished to serve our country. So why exactly is it that they're so intent on keeping this bill that does nothing but create us-and-thems and waste people's time and money?

While they're at it, how about letting us marry and have passports? I wonder how much money is being wasted by the denial letters and the lawsuits and the meetings to determine which federal agencies are going to use the Denial of Marriage Act as an excuse and which one's aren't (I'm talking about you, IRS).


ericjay said...

I'm not sure this is a good answer in the global sense of right and wrong, but I can think of a reasonable response to the question of Why not right now?

The military isn't exactly the most progressive community, and I think a policy change like that would require a significant amount of forced culture change: specifically a major push in re-training and compliance programs.

Simply lifting a bad policy doesn't mean that the anti-homosexual climate will leave with it.

It would be great if the ideas of honor, discipline, and hierarchy of leadership really meant that a change from the top was accepted throughout... but that's just not the reality.

So, from my POV, wanting to change the policy at a time when more resources can be spent on doing it effectively is at least worthy of discussion.

eeka said...

Oh, yeah, I certainly agree that the military would need some diversity training (from what I've read and been told, this is needed for many marginalized groups, not just the queers).

But the queers in the military are already there. Getting rid of the policy doesn't suddenly make them appear. Getting rid of the policy would, in fact, send a message to many folks that the government is slowly but surely realizing that all people deserve civil rights.

Keep in mind also that there are many allegedly professional fields in which no diversity training is done, and in which homophobia, classism, transphobia, racism, sexism, albeism, etc. are tolerated to about the same extent as in the military. Some of these places are insisting outright that they be allowed to continue these practices (Salvation Army, for one). Others are less aware that there's a need. Some realize there's a need but don't have the money or the resources. But I don't think that the solution for any homophobic workplace is to ban/silence queers and try to tell us it's for our own protection.

As much as I realize that making cross-demographic comparisons carries all sorts of undesirable implications...we've all read about the rampant racism, sexism, machismo, etc. in the U.S military. What if they had a policy that said that members could be Black or Asian or female or wheelchair users, but they needed to make sure no one was aware of it while on the job? It's just ridiculous. Why should queer people have to work harder and get fewer benefits just because the military has a homophobic culture? All the policy does is create one more way that queer military folks are less than equal.