Discussion about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has once again come about after President Obama’s vow to end it during the State of the Union tonight, and the report by ABC that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of State Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen will testify about what steps they will take before Congress and Obama move to end the law. (H/T Hot Air).
Combing through the Hot Air comments, I’ve noticed one recurring theme amongst those against repealing the policy: That they will be forced to shower with the now openly gay servicemen (it is unclear whether or not this is also a fear among socially conservative women as well). Apparently these commenters are unaware of the fact that straight and gay servicemen are already showering together.
Whatever the case may be, the fear seems to be that, no longer closeted by DADT, gays will now be open to jump their fellow servicemen. When countered with the fact that gays have the ability to restrain their sexual urges in the presence of other men, they say, “Haha, I can certainly restrain my sexuality, too, so maybe showers should be co-ed!”
Besides this only being an attempt to change the subject, this shows is that the problem is not so much with the gay servicemen and women as it is with some people’s discomfort with the idea of gay people being around them. Rather than admit their problem, they try to invent worst-case scenarios that won’t actually happen to help them justify their support for DADT. Meanwhile, more and more Arabic translators are getting kicked out of the military at a time we need them, just because of who they are.
These social conservatives just need to live up to the fact that a non-DADT military doesn’t mean gay people are going to sexually assault their fellow servicemembers. And if a gay person suggests they have feelings for one of their fellows, so what? The latter can just tell the former what straights have been telling each other for centuries: “You’re not my type.”
Update: Commenter Interested asked why President Obama can’t just rescind the Executive Order issued by former President Clinton early in his presidency. Because the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy isn’t just an Executive Order. It actually is law; specifically Title IV, Sec. 524; Subtitle G of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994. So Congress must get involved in order for this policy to be repealed.
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