The debate on whether homosexuals can openly serve in the United States military could be revisited sometime in the near future. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher is submitting a bill this week to repeal the 16-year-old ban on having gay and lesbian men and women to openly serve in the Armed Forces. As it stands now, and as it’s been for several years if you were known to be homosexual there wasn’t much of a chance for a career in the military. It’s also yet one more piece of legislation that President Obama sought out to reverse while he’s in office.
Sexual orientation and military service have always been two subjects that never went well together. In fact if anyone would ever disclose their sexual orientation, acted upon it, or show an intent to act on it they risked discharge from service. It wasn’t until the Clinton administration when the topic to change it was address directly and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was implemented as a compromise. At this point homosexuals were allowed to serve in the military, but discussing their sexual preference was prohibited, nor would they be asked.
Rep. Tauscher said on Monday, “We also need the strongest military possible, and we need to recruit the best and brightest Americans. Some happen to be gay.” That’s a feeling that the president tends to agree with, but on many levels he wants to be cautious on how and when he presents this case, as the last time the situation was presented on a presidential level it met serious opposition from the military and Congress.
Not for nothin’, but times have changed, feelings have changed. Many of those who say it wasn’t right, or that it would lead to undue sentiment across the military are some of the same ones who are saying the policy needs to be revisited. Personally, I think it’s quite sad. I come from a town that has one of the largest military populations in the world. I come from a family where my father would spend months and months away. To be able to go to the pier, wave your flags, show your signs, welcome loved ones back from deployment with all types of hugs and kisses is one of the most treasured and joyous experiences you can imagine. Now imagine if it’s you’re lesbian and your girlfriend is coming back, you can perhaps meet out on the pier, but you can’t greet her like you want. To go too far with the hugs and kisses. You’ll have to pretend that’s your sister, cousin, acquaintance. Greet her with and handshake and see how hard that is. It will break your heart.