October 22, 2005
I'm not 100% sure what I think about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I don't think gay soldiers are any less worthy than straight ones, but I do know there are a significant number of anti-gay soldiers (if my experiences teaching college classes here on post are any indication), and "don't ask, don't tell" is a way of protecting gay Americans who'd like to serve their country. It's perhaps not a perfect policy, but it's the best we've got right now.
What I know for a fact though is that "don't ask, don't tell" certainly isn't an alternative to conscientious objector status. That's what happened in the case of the gay Marine highlighted in CVG's articles. This man is not a champion for gay rights, though the glowing tones of the articles would like you to believe he is. He wasn't caught sleeping with a man and forced to leave the service. His commander and unit seemed to like him. Leaving the Marines was his choice and his alone.
This Marine wrote a 7-page letter to his commander stating that he won't be used as a tool of the Bushitler Oil Junta and kill kids for Halliburton in an Illegal War for Missing WMDs, oh and by the way, P.S. I'm gay. He used his victim status to get out of responsibility. He didn't want to go back to Iraq because he hates the president (enough to imply that he'd rather kill the Bush administration than terrorists), so he came up with the perfect way to get out of his enlistment: The Gay Excuse. Thus, they reluctantly kicked him out for being gay -- because he told without being asked -- and now he travels with Cindy Sheehan and is hyped in gay publications for being a pioneer for gay rights in the military.
I'm sure there are plenty of gay soldiers who are serving honorably. I'm also sure there are plenty of straight soldiers who'd love to have the easy-out of The Gay Excuse. But getting yourself intentionally kicked out of the Marines for being gay doesn't make you a hero. Using your victimhood to shirk the oath you took doesn't make you a champion of the gay community. You found the easy way out and took it, friend, so don't blame your plight on the Marines or George Bush or anyone but yourself.
If you truly believed that "banning gays in the military is archaic and stupid," as you said, then you wouldn't use that ban as an excuse; you wouldn't cheapen your integrity just to get what you want. Don't act like you Spoke Truth To Power, when all you really did is get out of the military on a technicality. That's despicable.
But at least you got to make out with some Iraqi boys, right?
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