Friday, July 22, 2011

Good riddance to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

As much as I bash Barack Obama for his policies, I must give him credit when he does something right.  He is doing something right by officially ending the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for gays in the military.

I must admit, I used to be against gays in the military.  I believed all the talk about how they disrupted "unit cohesion" and how they couldn't be trusted in the fox hole.  That was, of course, before I knew any homosexuals, before my interest in military history developed to the point where I could examine the issue in earnest.

Now I know better.  I know a number of gays and lesbians, and find them to be little different than anyone else.  I have found little in the way of historical evidence that homosexual conduct has been detrimental to combat effectiveness. The Spartans were the most infamous practitioners of "Greek love," yet they were the most feared fighters in classical Greece.  Thebes' most famous and most feared unit was the "Sacred Band," consisting of pairs of homosexual lovers.  Alexander the Great had a gay lover, Hephaestion.  Julius Caesar, Rome's greatest general and politician, was bisexual.  The Roman emperors Trajan (who conquered Dacia; just ask Trajan's Column) and Hadrian, both of whom along with Julius Caesar remain very popular in Rome even today, were both gay.

In fact, the anti-gay policy of the US military has been counterproductive.  Several years ago, most of the military's Arabic translators were let go because they were gay.  How's that worked out?

The vast majority of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered don't want to bother anyone, but just want to live their lives like anyone else.  It's past time we let them.

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