Asking and Telling
After last week's flurry of excitement, including the support of eight Republican senators on the final vote, President Obama signed into law the bill that will lead to the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the United States' military, allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly.
As a good, smug Canadian, I'm tempted to quip, "Welcome to the 1990s!" Of the various human rights concerns facing the gay and lesbian population in the United States, this issue would have been one of the lower-priority causes for me. But on the other hand, I'm well aware of the symbolic importance of being able to serve in the military in a country where this is considered an important part of national service and citizenship. It is also an important federal recognition of equal rights and equal treatment regardless of one's sexual orientation.
However, as someone who got legally married to another man six years ago, I can't help but think that it would have been nice if the lame duck session's efforts had been used to repeal DOMA, or address any of the other relationship recognition issues that are still facing the United States. The ability to serve and die for one's country is important, but the ability to have one's love for others be acknowledged by the state, and granted equal privileges and rights (such as inheritance, hospital visitation rights, etc) would be even better. And that's without even getting into the host of issues related to challenging the sexual conservatism of the US.
Nonetheless, this is a victory, and should be acknowledged as such!Recommend this Post