Like many of you, I look at the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), the US military prohibition on gay people serving, as a major step forward in this civil rights movement.
While I am not in the military, have never considered joining the military except a passing fancy due to my obsessive love of Private Benjamin, and am not even American, this is a huge deal.
Candidate Obama promised to repeal this hateful law. President Obama has dragged his ass living up to this promise, and now the wheels are finally turning and the government is starting the slowest repeal of any law ever.
Part of the process is a $5 million survey of 400,000 existing service members about how they feel about gay people. Why they are taking a survey? Is this the People's Choice Awards? Nobody took a survey when blacks or when women started to serve. Why is this different? How would President Obama feel if the poll was about black Americans being integrated? Or Jewish Americans? Or Chinese Americans?
Lots of people are talking about this survey. A Washington Post online survey found 70% of readers find the survey to be out of line. According to the military, the survey was supposed to be confidential, which of course means you can find it anywhere online.
Firstly, As a gay man I am totally offended by the idea of this survey. Secondly, I have read and taken the survey, and it's lame. And kind of boring.
What are the questions? Stuff about how having a gay peer would impact your morale and your effectiveness, whether you would socialize with your gay peers, and how you feel about sharing a room or shower with gay soldiers.
According to lots of internet buzz, the military is apparently considering separate housing and showers for gay soldiers. Really? A segregationist army? Hasn't the country tried that before? And --- irony alert --- we are considering this under a black president? That is just fucked up.
Lots of armed forces, including here in Canada, have gays serving openly with no issue. Catch up, people!