By Liz Shavers
When it comes to discrimination, the United States military has frequently been a prime example of American bigotry. Before an Executive Order made by Truman in 1948, the armed forces were legally segregated. Today, women are still not allowed in most combat positions in warfare which many feminists regard as a bastion of sexism. However, the discriminatory practices of the military that lie at the forefront of debate presently revolve around the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT).
DADT was implemented in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton as a compromise on the issue of gays in the military. Under DADT, gays are able to serve as long as their sexual orientation remains in utter secrecy. The policy is considered by most to be an outdated practice, but members of the GOP are still bucking at the idea that the law be lifted, including Georgia’s own Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Chambliss offers up tired arguments used not only in the 1993 debates, but that date back to arguments presented against the integration of the military. He poses the defense that allowing gays to serve openly “would create unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion” as that has been quite a problem over the years with the thousands of gays already in the military, right Sen. Chambliss? Also, the idea that heterosexuals would be so opposed to being near gays (a primary argument is that heterosexual soldiers would be “distracted” by the possible thoughts and actions by their homosexual comrades) shows an immaturity that should not be supported on any level, much less a federal one. Furthermore, Chambliss’ arguments show a clear lack of understanding to the composition of today’s military. In a speech made to Congress Chambliss stated that “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization, and body art” are all rules that our honorable armed forces are required to uphold and DADT should be treated in the same fashion and would essentially threaten to dissolve the aforementioned rules. Obviously Senator Chambliss has never met a marine that rejoices in excessive alcohol consumption and tattoo designs that carefully integrate “semper fidelis” among an inventive tribal design.
Yet despite this well thought out opposition, after seventeen years of blatant discriminatory practices, DADT has begun its journey through the repeal process with the introduction of a bill into the House of Representatives. The bill has a long way to go for it to reach possible success, but my hope is that future generations will look back on this issue with the same contempt that today’s generations show toward segregation and that Chambliss’ stated “live and let live” attitude will be proven to have merit.
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To view Sen. Chambliss’ speech on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, click here.
To read Fox News’ “Marines Rush to Get Tattoos Before Ban on Big Body Art Kicks In” click here.