Thursday, October 15, 2009
218 votes in House needed to overturn "don't ask don't tell"
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) now reports that there are 180 cosponsors of legislation to end “don’t ask don’t tell” in the House of Representatives. The desired number is 218, and SLDN has a map “The Road to 218” here. Again, the bill is HR 1283 with govtrack reference web URL here.
Yet, Cal Thomas had an op-ed in The Washington Times on Thursday Oct. 15, “Don’t Ask, Tell or Legitamize: mission is national defense, not experimental psychology”, link here. He says he is sympathetic to Joseph Rocha, the gay sailor who was taunted by fellow sailors for his supposed lack of interest in girls. Then he does a military about face (remember Drill and Ceremonies?) and says that anecdote is the wrong place to start the argument. Ultimately, his whole point is existential. This is about the welfare of the group, not about fairness to or “equality among” individuals, he says.
But “equality” works both ways. If people can’t take equal responsibility or share risks equitably because of supposed “character defects”, then society will expropriate their lives in other ways.