Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From 28 to 104: What a DIFFERENCE a YEAR Makes!

Today the Associated Press reported that yesterday, 104 retired U.S. generals and admirals signed a statement calling for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with regards to gays and lesbians serving in the United States military.

"As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality," the officers wrote.

Wow. Blown away. That means there are 104 intelligent (albeit retired) generals and admirals in the U.S. I'm kinda verklempt. Remember, it was just a year ago that only 28 such distinguished individuals were willing to sign on the dotted line.

Now here's the potential downside, per the A.P.'s report:

While Obama has expressed support for repeal, he said during the presidential campaign that he would not do so on his own - an indication that he would tread carefully to prevent the issue from becoming a drag on his agenda. Obama said he would instead work with military leaders to build consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members.

"Although I have consistently said I would repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' I believe that the way to do it is make sure that we are working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be," Obama said in a September interview with the Philadelphia Gay News.

Nevertheless, Retired Admiral Charles Lawson, who has a lesbian daughter, had some encouraging things to say (in addition to being one of the 104):

"I know a lot of young people now - even people in the area of having commands of ships and squadrons - and they are much more tolerant, and they believe, as I do, that we have enough regulations on the books to enforce proper standards of human behavior," Larson said.

Interesting how Lawson specifically mentions the "young people." Yes, folks, the YOUTH of this country ARE our future. That was evident at Saturday's rally at Federal Plaza, where many of the "youth" were heterosexuals coming out to support their LGBT friends and family. The "winds of change" are upon us; let's just hope Obama doesn't fart in the wrong direction. Fingers crossed.

Now, if only we can get at least some of the UNretired generals and admirals to admit that their senior officers are right ...


Boston_Betty said...

...and if we do earn the right to serve openly, can marriage and every other benefit be far behind? Some have said, "why open ourselves to become cannon fodder if we don't have the rights back home?" Great question, but obviously, it becomes harder to deny people the rights they fought for on another shore. Although, the fact that blacks served in WWII yet were not recognized as equal citizens until the 60s shows just how ignorant slow to change this country can be.

val said...

What does it say about the antis that they do not feel that "straight" soldiers are safe around gay ones? To me it says they may themselves be closet gays.

(That nearly came out as "garys"!)