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Repealing DADT should be Primary Gay Issue

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:54 pm - September 21, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Gays In Military,War On Terror

While we often differ from other gay groups in the language we use and the policies we propose, we stand united with them (as I would assume do most gay people) in our opposition to the military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. Quoting a friend of mind, I have called that policy, “One of the great injustices and follies of our time.” We believe, along with many straight hawks (e.g., milblogger, Uncle Jimbo) that gays should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces.

As we read of gay linguists, particularly those fluent in Arabic, being dismissed at a time when knowledge of that language is key to securing our nation, it becomes increasingly clear how damaging this policy is. It deprives our military of a pool of committed patriots who want to serve and have skills needed to defend our nation.

Today, Glenn Reynolds links an article about four openly gay North Carolina students who staged a sit-in out the Army Recruiting Center in Greensboro, not a sit-in as staged by all too many students at such locales over the past thirty years or so, to protest the military, but instead to protest its DADT policy. These good people are protesting not because they loathe the military, they are protesting because they love it. They want to serve.

As Matt Hill Comer, an openly gay sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro put it, “I knew if the military were to accept me, I’d have a good possibility of going to Iraq or Afghanistan… In the end, I decided I love my country enough to defend it.” He’s willing to risk his life because of his love for his country.

Instead of focusing on “marriage equality,” which the American public does not yet seem ready to embrace, perhaps gay groups should change their focus to press Congress to repeal this great folly of our time. As we frame it in terms of such proud patriots as Matt Hill Comer, we show that, while we differ from the norm in America, we love our country and our proud of its military.

This would show our fellow citizens that gay people no longer see ourselves as part of a counterculture; gay people do not seek to undermine our society’s institutions, instead we wish to be part of the mainstream, willing to defend our great nation and its institutions, including the military. In advocating repeal of DADT, we show our commitment to the War on Terror, that many gay people wish to serve. And if gay people can serve openly, the military will have broader pool from which to draw new recruits.

The campaign alone to repeal the ban — if framed properly — could accomplish much even if we fail to change minds of our federal legislators. And as this campaign would show gay people in a better light, it may cause some social conservatives to reconsider their opposition to state recognition of same-sex unions and even to gay marriage.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

Looking to America’s Past Patriot for Renewed Guidance

PatriotPartner and I have been enjoying The History Channel’s “The Revolution” on our iPods as we travel for work. I have learned a great deal more about one of our Founding Fathers from this History Channel series than my public school education. That man was America’s first patriotic marketer: Thomas Paine.

Paine knew that the American Revolution was so much more a battle of ideas than a battle of military might. As I watched the episode about the dark days as the Year 1776 came to a close, I was struck at how relevant Paine’s words are now as America battles Islamic fascism.

The Crisis – Thomas Paine

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

We could sure use a modern Thomas Paine to help refocus our nation’s soul once more. These are indeed the times that try men’s souls yet again.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): I saw this most wonderful documentary last summer while flying east on Jet Blue, blogging about the experience here. I so enjoyed the series, I bought it on DVD!

The Increasingly Popular Iraq War

Verrry interesting.  (h/t: Instapundit)

One poll last week (Sept. 12-13) found that 51 percent of Americans back “the U.S. war in Iraq.” That’s the first majority for the war since October 2003. A slightly newer (Sept. 15-17) poll showed that, for the first time since last December, less than a majority of Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake.

In other words, our role in the Iraq war is increasingly popular.

Tired phrase. I recalled yesterday that, over the last year or two, news story after news story has referred to the “increasingly unpopular Iraq war.” I asked if now we could expect an endless string of news stories with the phrase “increasingly popular Iraq war.”

But hold it. Were there really all these stories referring to the “increasingly unpopular Iraq war”? Were they only nightmares? Well, no. I checked, and there are tons of stories with that discouraging phrase.

The other recent development is that polls are showing more Americans believe Iraq is part of the Global War on Terror (WWIII) rather than a separate fight.  Um…duh.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)