As much as Republican candidates want to ignore or refuse to deal with this issue, it will not go away. We have example after example of men and women like Antonio Agnone, Eric Alva, Jason Knight and even badly needed Arabic translators like Steven Benjamin (see video below) serving honorably and in combat with no effect on “unit cohesion”. We’ve seen changing attitudes in our society and the military itself regarding the service of gays, along with just about every one of our NATO Allies who already experienced lifting their own bans on homosexual soldiers with little problems. Pandering to the extreme Right may buy the GOP votes in the short term but this will come back to bite them in the ass and cost them dearly far sooner than they think. In the meantime, what is this doing to our efforts in the GWOT when competent personnel that are very much needed are turned away or discharged for being gay? Apparently votes matter more to some Republicans than the best interests of our nation and victory in the GWOT. There is much to criticize the Democrats for, particularly on matters of defense, but on lifting the ban they are ahead of the Republicans. How sad that even such conservative icons as Barry Goldwater would be tarred with being a “liberal” because he didn’t toe some absurd extremist line that has captured today’s GOP. As Goldwater rightly observed:
“You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”
I am so tired of having to fight this asinine policy, yet for the sake of those serving now and those to come in the future but also for the military that I love this battle must be fought until this discriminatory law is repealed.
– John (Average Gay Joe)