Did you know that not being a straight male can make you a terrible soldier? That being attracted to someone of the same sex can hinder your ability to pick up a gun and act effectively with it? Well, according to the United States military, that is the case.
For those who do not know, the government issued an order called the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which stops officers from asking or researching the orientation of any applicant into any of the armed forces and rejects anyone who is openly gay or bisexual.
Basically, the military is saying that either homosexuals do not have the killing power or manliness to be a soldier or that they would be too distracted in the showers to do a good job. Recently, the policy has been deemed unconstitutional and has been under scrutiny by Congress and the Supreme Court.
At least someone was smart enough to realize that banning gays—or sexuality in general— was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. Maybe a few more people should check their copies of the Constitution.
But the policy’s lack of constitutional merit really has nothing to do with the actual problem. Even without a policy, openly gay men will probably still be turned away from the military and given some general excuse. The real problem is tolerance, and we can see intolerance of homosexual men and women all over the country. Even barring the notion of marriage (which, I will point out, is also nowhere in the Constitution), sexuality has become a point of contention.
Certain jobs will not hire people based on their sexual orientations and even actors, who are oft en assumed to be very liberal-minded, still decide to keep their sexualites under wraps, not wanting the press to destroy their careers.
Am I the only one who has a problem with this?
We have seen where this bigotry has led us in the past. In the short 229 years that our country has been recognized as its own entity, we have discriminated against African Americans, Asians, women and even the Irish, who, unless I am horribly unique, are classified as Caucasian. Every time something “new” comes up, Americans instantly hate it and decide that it is un-American. I have yet to hear an argument against gay marriage that does not bring religion into the sanctity of marriage. Unless I am mistaken, however, the government extricated itself from the church years ago. Or is that why we are all wonderful Catholic children?
Maybe I am crazy. Maybe it is because I am from Massachusetts. No matter what a person looks like, no matt er who that person finds attractive, any person should be able to do anything. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has overstayed its welcome and should be removed, and we should all accept everyone regardless of sexual orientation.
I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way. I encourage you, whoever you are, to start speaking out for what is right, just and constitutional. Write an article for The Sandspur, send a letter the editor of a larger newspaper organization, and have discussions with people. Only by communicating can change come to the world.