The Illogic Of DADT
Since it has been in the news of late, I have been pondering the issue of the illogic of the current Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy with regard to our Armed Forces.As I understand it, the theory is that having openly gay men and women serving in the military would cause disruptions to morale because people would be uncomfortable having a gay person living and working with them.
Now setting aside the fact that most military people I know have said this is a bunch of hogwash, I have to wonder how stupid or unobservant that we think our servicepeople are ?
Most of us know people in our lives who we are all but certain are gay. We don’t know this for sure because they have not officially said so, but we can observe their lives and often have enough intelligence to figure it out. Indeed I have had some gay friends tell me they pretty much have a DADT policy with people they know. Everyone knows they are gay but they just don’t talk about it.
Given that our servicemen are trained observers, I have to assume that they are able to figure this out too. Indeed often when you see someone tossed from the service for being openly gay you will hear comments from those who served with them saying that pretty much everyone knew.
Furthermore, when many of the people being discharged are in very important roles (such as the Arabic translators) it would seem that it’s more important to do the job of defending the country than to promote a social agenda in either direction. If I have to choose between a gay man translating a message that tells us someone is planning to blow up the Golden Gate Bridge and the potential discomfort of a guy serving next to him, I’ll pick security every time.
So if we assume that in most cases people already know that their fellow soldier is probably gay, that sort of kills the argument that people in the military cannot serve with gay people. And even if we accept that some people might be uncomfortable the issue of national security and safety would seem to trump that discomfort.
Remember that the same fraternization rules that apply to men and women also would apply to gay servicepeople, so it’s merely a matter of being honest about the reality. Indeed, since part of the Code of Conduct deals with being honest and forthright, it seems to make more sense to be open about what everyone knows.