“The [DADT] policy is an absurdity and borderline on being an obscenity. What it does is cause people to ask of themselves that they lie to themselves, that they pretend to be something that they are not. There is no empirical evidence that would indicate that it affects military cohesion. There is a lot of evidence to say that the biases of the past have been layered onto the United States Army.” – Former Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander
“You’re basically asserting that straight men and women in our military aren’t professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while completing their military missions. You know as a former Army officer I can tell you I think that’s an insult to me and to many of the soldiers. To answer your question, Mr. Jones, it was 24 countries that allow military personnel to serve openly without any detrimental impact on unit cohesion.” – Iraq War Veteran and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, challenging a witness during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” hearings in the U.S. House
“We have to correct this. It’s just not right. I can remember being out there in command, and someone would come up to you and start to tell you — and you just want to say, no, I don’t want to lose you, you’re too good.” – Retired United States Navy Vice Admiral and U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak
“When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” – Epitaph of Leonard P. Matlovich, 1988
“It doesn’t matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.” – Daphne Fielding, The Duchess of Jermyn Street
“Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.” – Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, A.D. 524
“My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.” – W. Somerset Maugham
“For me it is enough to know that if you’ve found love, you’ve found something that no law or dogma can take from you.” – Marvin L. C. Hoffman
I am so glad that President Obama signed the repeal of the “don’t ask don’t tell” absurdity. Now will come the most difficult part. I was a young child in the ’60s, so I don’t really remember what it was like during the time after the enactment of 1964 Civil Rights Act. But just because it is legal, ignorance still exists. The first ones who come out I’m sure will receive harassment, but instead of using the UCMJ against them, I hope those brave souls will take the high road. Smothering the ignorant with love and kindness may help assuage the baseless fears. (May not be as satisfying as smothering them with a pillow, but I digress.) I am proud of our country for moving forward.
I served on a submarine, and …. ok, ok… I can hear all the jokes now…. “120 men go to sea… 60 couples come back”, “it’s not gay when you’re underway”. But seriously There was nothing more respected than a man who carried his own weight! If you did your job and supported your shipmates, that was all we wanted. Nobody cared if you were gay. As a matter of fact, one time a couple of shipmates were pub crawling in downtown Norfolk, and happened into a gay bar. While there they recognized a shipmate on the dance floor. So yeah this factoid was aired on rumor control airwaves, but honestly no one cared. He was a great shipmate, no one felt threatened by him (a typical homophobic reaction) and he more than did his job. He was a squared away sailor! And I’m glad he was able to serve.
And don’t worry all you homophobes out there… “it” won’t get on you. You’ll be alright.
As you were.