Monday, November 15, 2010

Washington Post gets blunt on lifting "don't ask don't tell" during lame duck session

Thanks to the Washington Post Monday morning (Nov. 15) for its editorial saying that the lame duck Congress session re-opening today should immediately act to pass the legislation (embedded in Defense Reauthorization) ending “don’t ask don’t tell”. It’s the lead editorial., just titled “Gays in the military”, link here.

The Post refers to the “last rationale” for keeping "don’t ask don’t tell' (or for “asking” overtly) as the attitude of the troops. More specifically, it’s the lowest common denominator, the issues in the most intimate sections of the military: the Marine Corps, and perhaps Navy submarines, as well as specialized combat groups like special forces and rangers. The problem from my end that ideas about equality move up from these regions into all ideas of society: if a gay person is less equal, his or her interests are vulnerable to expropriation to meet the “needs” of “families”.

The Post talks about Harry M. Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as in control. In fact, it seems that Senator John McCain, generally reasonable on most issues, seems determined to hold it up. I hope someone can convince him not to interfere with passage this time (as with a filibuster – remember, some Senators will say “we don’t have ‘time’ for this now”). His own party, Log Cabin Republicans, has work to do.

I supppose I'm only fueling the Washington Times by citing its "opposing view" today, a Commentary Page op-ed called "Lame-duck quackery; epudiated pols shouldn't impose homosexuality on the military" by Robert Knight, link here.  It seems as though the "repudiation" comes from "The Men" of the Marine Corps. But the Marine Corps had no problem with the presence of openly gay journalist Jason Bellini living with them and reporting for CNN during Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

I suppose if you look on the floor of any gay disco, you'd see a lot of men fit enough to join the Marine Corps, but most would say "no thank you."

Picture: Fort McNair, Washington DC, where President Clinton gave his July 19, 1993 speech proposing “don’t ask don’t tell”.

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