By the time you read this, no doubt “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be but a sad blip in our nation’s long and storied antigay history. No doubt Congress will have repealed this arcane and idiotic measure that keeps gays and lesbians out of the military and forces gays and lesbians in the armed forces deep into the closet.
Wait, what’s that you say? Congress hasn’t done a damn thing? How can that be? The majority of the country supports repeal, even Republicans! Repealing “Don’t Ask” is a no-brainer. That is, unless Congress recently received a letter urging them to keep the ban in place. A letter signed by 40-million antigay constituents — or at least the leaders of nearly 90 antigay groups and organizations who claim to represent 40-million members.
A letter from the so-called Freedom Federation, made up of Creeps like Tony Perkins, Lou Sheldon and Don Wildmon, was sent to Congress Dec. 2, urging them to keep the ban.
“We ask that you delay consideration of the bill until January when the new Congress convenes,” the letter reads. Gosh, why ever would the Freedom Federation want Congress to wait until January? I don’t know. Total mystery. (Hint: Republican majority).
The Freedom Federation, a who’s who of the blogosphere, argues that letting gays serve openly “would change our military in ways we cannot yet measure or understand.”
Really, FF? You can’t “measure or understand” what it’s like to be around a gay person, even one with a gun? This isn’t exactly uncharted territory here. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain and a good number of other countries let gays serve and none of their forces shriveled up and died once homos were allowed in.
But the FF folks want to see more proof. “It is a serious risk to national security to repeal DADT without first investigating thoroughly — in public hearings — the effect of the proposed repeal,” the letter reads. “Our troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. This is no time to experiment with social engineering of the military.”
Social engineering? To let people who are already serving our country come out of the closet if they wished is hardly social engineering.
If you’ll recall, the military just released the results of a questionnaire it gave to thousands of servicemembers and their families. The results were that most folks in the military were fine with repealing the ban.
Well, the Freedom Federation knows why: Servicemembers were bullied by big bad gay supporters.
“We are deeply concerned about the methodology of the DOD report and survey. In view of … Admiral Mullen’s and Secretary of Defense Gates’ unseemly cheerleading on this issue, we believe it behooves the next Congress to investigate whether proponents of repeal tried to create a climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon.”
That’s right. FF wants an investigation launched into whether Mullen and Gates were strong-arming support for the gays. This would mean, of course, more delay.
“The rush to repeal DADT by January of 2011 is a slap in the face of the American people who are tired of bully politics,” the letter reads, seemingly oblivious to the irony of sending this message while gay and lesbian servicemembers continue to get thrown out of the armed forces just for being gay.
“Moreover, the consequences of repealing DADT will no doubt result in servicemembers leaving the military or refusing to join,” the letter continues. “We cannot afford attrition or demoralization of our military.” Yes, because it would be so demoralizing to have to look at a homo. Honestly, if military people are going to truly quit or leave in droves, then maybe gay people are not the ones with the problem.
D’Anne Witkowski is a Detroit-based freelance writer.