There have been a lot of different responses to the news that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed. President Obama is planning to sign the bill this week. Supporters are touting it as a victory for civil rights. Before the Senate passed the repeal, critics continued to voice concerns, including the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Some have continued to voice those concerns — others, however, have taken those concerns one step too far. At what point does concern turn into hysterics, and when does it becoming insulting to our honorable men and women in uniform?
My husband is currently serving in Afghanistan in the Marine Corps. He loves his country and the Corps. His MOS — military occupational specialty — is an 0311, an infantry rifleman. This is a combat MOS. Like many Marines, he wasn’t a fan of repealing DADT. The number one concern I have heard from many Marines around Camp Lejeune was how the repeal would affect unit cohesion, although there are many other issues that come into play. The benefit of DADT has been that it allows the military to remain neutral on homosexuality. Now, the military will have to reconcile service with the gay rights agenda. How will the military now be forced to handle a gay soldier in a relationship? Will they be forced to approve of gay public displays of affection? What about those in the military who aren’t comfortable with their children seeing two men kiss while they’re doing their grocery shopping in the commissary? How will the military be forced to handle a gay soldier who gets married in a state that allows gay marriage? Will gay spouses receive military benefits now, too? And what about the gay servicemembers who aren’t married because their state doesn’t allow it, but are in committed relationships — do they qualify for benefits, too? Will gay and straight servicemembers be allowed to sleep in barracks together? What about when a unit is deployed, and the men are forced to sleep in even closer quarters? What will happen to the soldier or Marine who is uncomfortable with sleeping next to a gay man?
There are a lot of questions and concerns about repealing DADT, and no easy answers. The beauty of the system was that it allowed the military to remain neutral on each and every one of these issues. The military didn’t approve or disapprove. Now, the military is forced to take a stance, and in many instances, I fear it will be in favor of gay rights, giving special treatment to gays. I also am not a big fan of politicians using the military to basically conduct a social experiment, especially when we are fighting two wars.
Obviously, I am not a fan of repealing DADT. My feelings on the matter were very close to those of General Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. However, now that the repeal is passed, there is only one thing to do, and that is accept it and move on. Adapt and overcome. While there will be many tough decisions to make, and the adjustment period will undoubtedly be difficult, I have no doubt that our servicemembers can and will adjust. Adapt and overcome.
Today, I logged onto my Facebook, and saw the following in my inbox.
Change your profile picture to black to mourn the death of the United States military as we know it.
How widespread a meme this is on Facebook, I don’t know. But it’s far from a rarity. Joseph Farah, as an example, wrote an article trumpeting the “fact” that servicemembers will be apparently be quitting the service in droves, so upset will they be over the prospect of — gasp!! — serving alongside gay men and women. He’s even urging them to do so. Apparently, there are some people who just can’t fathom that our men and women in uniform might actually be honorable people who will be able to rise above sexual orientation. This infuriates me.