One of the best arguments I’ve heard against the repeal of DADT (which, as we say in the business is now OBE) is that it will lead to a new level of mamby-pambyness vis-a-vis gay troops demanding they be treated “fairly”. Often as we’ve noticed, when any “rights” group is looking for “fairness” it’s often simply code for “special rights”.
For the majority (based on my experience) of gay troops, our lives will likely not change much on a day-to-day basis. I, for one, am not planning to “come out” to anybody save a few close friends where I work. I’m expecting, in fact, that they likely know about me anyway. (After all, such a devilishly handsome man with so much going for him my age not married? He must be gay! Har har, but anyway…) Inasmuch, I don’t expect most gay troops will be demanding anything much more than simply not getting kicked out if we forget to use the gender-neutral pronouns when speaking of our dates.
This is not to say there won’t be a few (which will likely seem like much more than a few) flamboyantly unprofessional troops whose conduct will surely be seen as unbecoming and hopefully will be counseled right away. That will be a touchy subject I’ll save for another post.
For now let’s talk about “special rights”.
Many have argued this is a stepping-stone to a larger “gay rights” agenda. I’ve never seen it as such, and I regret that there will definitely be many gay “rights” champions who will misuse this to further their own agenda (much as those opposed to gay “rights” will also use it to further their agenda). They have no concern necessarily about the defense of the Nation nor about the military. We are a tool for them to use and they should be ashamed, if they knew any such thing as shame in the first place.
There’s another thing that I think might come of this which would be a good sign. Check out this quote from the DoD’s report on the repeal of DADT:
We do not recommend that sexual orientation be placed alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, as a class eligible for various diversity programs, tracking initiatives, and complaint resolution processes under the Military Equal Opportunity Program. We believe that doing so could produce a sense, rightly or wrongly, that gay men and lesbians are being elevated to a special status as a “protected class” and will receive special treatment. In a new environment in which gay and lesbian Service members can be open about their sexual orientation, we believe they will be accepted more readily if the military community understands that they are simply being permitted equal footing with everyone else.
This is a sentiment I (as most libertarian conservatives) have long espoused: Equal treatment, not special treatment. Which leads to the next logical question: Why should “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” be the basis for special treatment either? If gays and lesbians “will be accepted more readily” if not treated differently, wouldn’t that also be the same for members of these other groups? What an interesting outcome of this whole episode if the entire concept of “special” categories of troops went by the way-side?
For all the talk (and legitimate, I might add) of “unintended consequences” surrounding the repeal of DADT, what a happy accident it would be if, by virtue of this new policy change, we had to rethink how we treated everybody. Because if there’s no good reason to treat gays and lesbians as “diversity programs” (and there isn’t), then why do we need them in the first place? This could be a whole new chapter in respecting each other as individuals and as part of a larger team rather than the social balkanization the Left so often loves to use to drive us apart.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)