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12/01/2010

The most outrageously annoying thing about DADT repeal...

by Jeremy Hooper

...and the overwrought debate about how it will hurt this or destroy that, is that it's only even a public discussion because the far-right has made it so. Here's what I mean:

They keep saying that cohesion is going to be an issue, Islamic countries are going to look at us unfavorably, and the entire military culture is essentially going to explode if gay soldiers are free to serve without the fear of their sexual orientations threatening their careers. But in a tolerant world without contrived "culture wars," none of this would've ever been at issue to begin with. None of it. LGBT people would be as free to serve in their country's armed forces as they are to serve in elected office, corporate leadership roles, or any other life aspect in which heterosexual people benignly exist without added thought. In such a world, people and groups would surely still oppose homosexuality and still try to "change" gays: Fine! Fair enough! Have a field day! But had the "pro-family values" crowd not kicked and screamed at the idea of tax-paying gays serving their country without persecution, this "soul-saving" could have existed independently from people's military careers. Independently from basic civil equality. Independent from our national security. Now, in December of 2010, we could all be focusing on unemployment writ large rather than unemployment military-specific.

It is not an overstatement to say that it's their own misdeeds for which repeal opponents now wish to hold gay soldiers and allies accountable. They can act like the fears are organic all they want. The anti-gay forces fostered this fallacious flower. Their favorite scapegoats are now paying the price.

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