Back to Work? Next Steps in DADT Repeal

Why wasn’t I as bubbly as one of Lady Gaga’s “little monsters” once the senate voted for cloture on the DADT repeal? Thanks to an all too rare (these days) show of bipartisan effort, it breezed through both chambers (despite the occasional ridiculous bluster of “the gays will get our boys killed” rhetoric). More surprisingly, the conservative news outlets were strangely silent in the wake of the vote. Have I just become programmed to want more of a fight? Not really. But my sincere appreciation of the efforts thus far is tempered by a sneaky suspicion that the uglier fights are coming later.

I keep thinking back to my Marine friend’s comments in my last post. Though they are shrouded in the language of practicality, you don’t have to scratch too far below the surface to see the discomfort with gay people. And he’s a nice guy. There are plenty of people around him, I’m sure, who are not. They are the people who used to pry into the private lives of gay soldiers who weren’t “telling” in order to get rid of them.

I believe there will be a period where gay soldiers will bear the brunt of less subtle attempts to get rid of them. And sadly with General Amos’s poor leadership on this matter, the would-be abusers have all but gotten a written permission slip to terrorize. One reason I was hoping Amos would be fired was so that a smarter, stronger and more fair-minded person would take his place.

The end game is a win. Sure it will be a while before f****t leaves the verbal arsenal of crusty drill sergeants, but it won’t be long before some giant, chiseled, Skoal-spitting stack of gay concrete is in charge of whipping a platoon of jarheads into shape. We’ll see what happens then.

My friend Karen believes this step may just be the beginning of some other important things to come for equal rights for gay families. For instance, how does one handle spousal benefits in a federal institution like the military fairly? For these, we’ll all have to stay tuned. Be prepared for a return to “states rights” and “secession” talk when these issues are tackled. I’m sure those icebergs have only begun to surface.

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