Ask, tell.


Tyler Murphy

Republicans in the senate succeeded in delaying a vote on repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the United States military this week.

My question is why are so many Republicans against being gay? (at least publicly) So they can score votes from their support bases?

From marriage to serving their country the attitude towards the entire homosexual community and their rights is now being burdened with the weight of polarizing politics on the eve of a competitive election season. The unfortunate and unfair result is that a large base of political supporters, conservatives generally, are becoming fiercely biased toward any concessions to these issues.

I don’t get it.

My first basic understanding of modern freedom: Our society was formed upon the assumption that people are free to pursue their own beliefs so long as those paths do not obstruct the rights of others. Basically we’re free to do what we wish unless those actions handicap another person’s right to do the same.

These philosophies are applied to many diverse groups in many areas.

I can burn the flag even if it offends people and it doesn’t infringe on their rights to respect it. You can worship anything you wish from Zeus, Christ, Muhammad and science so long as those followings don’t hinder others to do the same. We can marry who we wish outside of our race, class or cultural beliefs.

I’m a person who has always been suspicious of why exactly government ever got into regulating love (marriage) to begin with. I think government has absolutely no right in managing marriage, it is after all a religious practice. Our country’s modern interpretation for the last couple centuries has been based on strict Christian traditions. Again, I’m still not sure why a particular religious belief has been made into an official government policy- probably because of religious lobbyists pushing their own agenda. Some things never change.

Today, right wing religious organizations are the main driving forces behind the ban of gay marriage and gay rights. Their support is drawn from areas of the country that are mainly republican. More than right and wrong, political geography has put the party at odds with the Democrats on the issue.

Let’s make this clear. I respect religious beliefs but when they begin to hinder other people’s rights I’m appalled. I do not care that someone’s god thinks I shouldn’t marry a certain person, I care far less what a mere mortal follower may think. It’s not my god, not my belief so why must I be restricted by them, as many homosexuals are forced to in states with laws against gay marriage and the federal military ban.

People also say it’s the status quo of American culture, that the institution of marriage represents a developed American value as much as it does anything else. Yeah, those arguments are always made during times of civic change, usually by people fighting on the opposite side of civic justice. If things never changed we’d still be an aristocratic white male dominated society built on ethnic slavery. Change is good and the bottom line is there is no grand impact on the rest of us by having a minority group make a separate sexual preference.

A homosexual can pull a trigger just as well as a straight person; they feel love and loss the same way.

Oppositions to these issues are as much about their opponents’ beliefs as they are about homosexual’s.

Some have said having homosexuals in the military will cause security risks. No, wait, actually our policy says you can be gay in the military but telling people you are is a security risk. That I can believe.

I’m going to guess that in the isolated, macho, military culture the individual stepping out of the closet may be in more danger from scrutiny of his peers more than anything else.

We have Muslims, immigrants, white, black, male, female, and all things between openly serving our country. Homosexuals are only allowed to fire or take a bullet so long as they don’t express their own identities? Dumb.

Many other countries have gays serving openly, including the U.K., and they have recorded no such increase in any physical risks, only political ones. A soldier’s moral may be hurt, but it will only harm those people who are unwilling to adapt and accept differences.

I think others might find America’s embracing of diversity as a moral boost, knowing that they’re serving a country who respects people in all walks of life.