Gay Rights....Individual Rights, You Can't Have One Without The Other

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Posted on : 2/11/2010 10:42:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Okay, Okay....I know.  It seems like it is all gay, all the time around here.  Just bear with me.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.....well perhaps not all that far....I met my first almost out of the closet gay person.  At the time, he was US Marine.  Even better yet, he was a squared away Marine.  His room was always clean.  His uniform was spotless.  His grades in various aviation electronics schools were great.

He was a poster perfect United States Marine.

Did I mention that he was a Golden Gloves champion in the city he called home?

And he was beginning to realize that he might be gay.  At the time, I don't think he had even gone further than to just hang out with a small group of gay civilians.  His mistake at the time was to admit that he thought he might be gay to one of the Navy doctors.

In a matter of less than a week, he was gone.  All the work he had put into qualifying to repair aviation electronics was wasted.  Three months in boot camp was wasted.  He was just gone.

It wasn't too many years later that I began to notice that gay servicemembers were winning all sorts of awards.  The one that comes to mind the most was the guy that was Sailor of the Year.....for the entire Atlantic command of the Navy.

Add to that the fact that other countries permit gays to serve openly without having their military services completely fall apart.  Countries like: Argentina,  Australia,  Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland.....

Now hold it right there.  The Irish can manage to have gays serving honorably in their military and the U.S. can't???  Sheesh.

...Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Robb Allen over at Sharp As A Marble served in the US Marines at about the same time that I did.  His response is one worth sharing.

In the Marine Corps, we knew there were gays with us. 99% of them were women and there was this one guy who everyone just assumed putted from the other side of the green. It creeped me out that he showered with us, but I got over that fast enough (I had a job to do and that was more important).

The people in the Corps today are generally not the same ones I served with. Today's Marine is more likely to not be as uptight about the gay cooties as I was. And as liberty minded as I am now, I see no reason to not allow gays to openly serve their country. Will it make some people uncomfortable? Sure. And my response is "Fuck 'em". I've learned that discomfort is not a valid reason to trample other people's rights.

I'm still not into the gay thing. It's not my particular bag of tea and I'm just as happy to not immerse myself in that culture. But I have no desire to eradicate that culture or to pass laws that makes people who are different than I am second class citizens. I won't join the Pink Pistols, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't stand side by side with a feather boa wearing drag queen to protect their rights.

It's time to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.
 Past time, actually.

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