Sunday, February 07, 2010

It's Time to End Don't Ask - Don't Tell

To hear the voices of those predominately white, Christian-conservative politicians, you’d think the cold-steel discipline of our military barracks was about to be subverted by the degenerate onslaught of chintz curtains and over-stuffed throw pillows should we allow gay and lesbians to serve openly. They would have us believe that introducing homosexuals into the tight, close-quarters of military life would create an atmosphere charged with sexual tension. An atmosphere so heavy that our morally pure sons and daughters would be forced to sleep with eyes open lest their unguarded orifices be violated.

It’s a rehash of the same dark prejudices used to attack gay and lesbian teachers. To these homophobes, to be homosexual is to be unchained from the burdens of sexual propriety at best and, at worst, to be driven solely by lust, unthinking, like an animal in rut. Neither the classroom nor the barracks should be a home for predators regardless of sexual persuasion.

Our deepest quarrel with fundamentalists in this country, then, is not about Iraq, health care, abortion, or gay rights. It’s about the very possibility of trying to be true without needing the truth. It’s about being able to commit to a truth while always remembering that this truth could be partial, incomplete, and provisional—a steppingstone forward, not an edifice of certitude.
Nick Bromell, Scooter and Me,(The American Scholar, Jan 2007)


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