There’s a lot to choose from when deciding what to reflect upon from the past week. The BP oil disaster is an easy target, as well as the Israeli interception/seizure of a humanitarian aid ship attempting to break Israel’s maritime Gaza blockade. One item of note that was overshadowed by the rest was the approval of a House of Representative’s bill which lays the groundwork for the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
While the prospect of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” may not be cause for much concern by general society, it is causing much ado within the rank and file of this country’s military. As a veteran, I know firsthand the homophobic nature of military culture. So it really doesn’t come as a surprise to me the idea of allowing homosexuals to serve openly is causing some within the military concern.
What I do find interesting about this concern is it is really all for naught. Nothing will change once “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repealed. Homosexuals are already serving in the military. Those that choose to do so are keenly aware of the homophobic mentality within the military which necessitates the need for them to hide their orientation. This need will remain true even when allowed to officially serve openly. Homosexuals know the unofficial retribution they may receive once they reveal their sexual orientation is far worse than any official retribution they may receive. The only difference between now and after the policy is repealed will be service members will no longer be automatically booted when their sexual orientation is revealed.
I truly believe there are some in the military which envision legions of flitty gay men doffed in pink feather boas storming recruiting offices throughout the country once “don’t ask, don’t tell”, is repealed. The reality is that’s not going to happen (however I’d love to be there to see the look on a Marine recruiter’s face if it did)! While I commend our military leaders’ desire to gain feedback from service members regarding the matter, doing only instigates unnecessary cause for concern. In the case of “don’t ask, don’t tell, the military would be better served by highlighting the lack of changes rather than the potential for change.