Detracting From the Mission

The far-right group “Family Research Council” recently sent out an e-mail decrying a judge’s decision to force the military to allow openly gay individuals to serve in the military.

The most striking point in the diatribe is that it actually makes the opposite point from what they had intended.

“[America’s military] is a warrior culture designed to fight and win wars.  Anything that detracts from that mission should be rejected….”

So a gay man or woman honorably serving their country by serving in the military but constantly living in fear that they might at any time be outed… that doesn’t detract from the mission?

The whole reason gays weren’t allowed to serve in the military was because gays could be blackmailed.  As it was culturally unsafe to acknowledge being gay back in the day when being gay was illegal, there was a certain amount of logic to that.  Anyone who has a secret is vulnerable to being blackmailed. 

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while an attempt to acknowledge that gays can serve honorably in the military, it actually exascerbated this problem.  Before DADT, recruits were explicitly asked under oath if they were in fact gay before they could join.  The unfairness was that a recruit had to lie in order to be allowed to serve.  But by adding the “Don’t Tell” portion to the rescinding of the questioning, it allowed gays to freely join the military and get themselves into a blackmailable situation without having to act dishonorably first.

By removing DADT, we actually make the military more focused on its mission, and less focused on making servicemembers vulnerable to blackmail.



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