Now everyone can fight for their country. Last night, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the law that allowed gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they didn’t disclose their sexual orientation, was repealed. And it’s about damn time.
Now before I tell you why, a little background. I come from a military family. My father spent 22 years in the Air Force before retiring; my mother put in more than two decades as well. Both of them served overseas before finally settling down in Sacramento, where my sister and I grew up. We were steeped in the lifestyle, food shopping at the commissary, clothes shopping at the Base Exchange. The military was good to us, good to my family.
One day my dad was showing me photos of one of the places he served overseas when I asked him why he didn’t have any white friends. That’s when he explained something I couldn’t wrap my 7 or 8-year-old head around; the military was segregated at that time. It’s not that he didn’t HAVE any white friends, he just wasn’t allowed to work next to them, fight with them, die with them. The idea that my father, smart, competent, qualified and one of the best airmen I knew could protect his country but only within certain parameters, made no sense to me.
Maybe that’s why I always thought DADT was DUMB. My position on gay and lesbian issues is clear and well-documented; those of you who frequent this site know that. And I’m sure I’ll get angry mail or lose Facebook friends as a result. But I said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s about time. The most important question for new military recruits ought not be, “Who do you sleep with?” rather, “Are you willing to fight for your country?”
Okay that’s my take, what’s yours? Do you think the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a good idea? Do you think gays openly serving in the military will create problems and if so, what? Do you think it will have any effect at all? Let’s debate!