Friday, September 17, 2010

NY Times: don't enforce "don't ask don't tell"; sea change in gay equality?

The New York Times has a major editorial today, “Don’t Enforce ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, discussing the details of the recent opinion from California judge Virginia Phillips in the Log Cabin Republicans case. The link is here.

The Times also recent judicial decisions against Proposition 8, as well as the Clinton era DOMA, or Defense of Marriage Act, which at one time had seemed like a “moderate” law encouraging state experimentation. The editorial poses the question about “sea change” in gay rights.

There’s no question that DADT is superfluous to the real issues of unit cohesion. Militaries like Israel and Britain have done away with the bans without significant problems. It’s true, as some recent documentary films (like “Restrepo”) show, it does take a certain kind of person to function in certain kinds of combat environments. But, as Goldwater once said, “you just have to shoot straight.”

The biggest “threat” to gay equality in the future may be the “natural family” ideology, the idea that everyone needs to have a biological or procreative stake in the future. That’s an old (curiously Vatican) idea that seems to be coming back in some circles. But gay marriage and gay adoption may have arrived just in time, in the courts and sometimes legislatures.

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