Saturday, June 20, 2009

DAY 34: DADT Update

I want to let you know that this is not a one soldier issue. I have often spoken of one man, because he has been so visible and has been interviewed by the media. In fact it was on a television program that he spoke the words that ended his military career. I printed a list a while back of others who have come out, but that is so very incomplete. If you are looking at just those who have been discharged since the beginning of DADT, we are already speaking of thousands of people. There were so many before. Gay many and women have been kicked out of the US military, despite their fine service, throughout history. At the same time, other countries allow gays to serve.

I personally have known gay service personnel. When I first came to San Francisco, I dated a guy who was in the Army. More recently I have gotten to know a man who served in our military and who now is in a relationship with a man in another country’s military. Although I never served in the armed forces myself, I am personally committed to seeing justice for all. If this was the private sector it would have already been solved. What is taking so long? Why is it so hard to do the right thing?

It’s wonderful to see the men and women who have been discharged standing up and speaking out, not just for themselves, but for everyone. I have heard them speaking about more then just the end of DADT. They are speaking out for marriage equality too which also needs to happen! Keep up the good work everyone! Fight the good fight! The day will come.

1 comment:

Марко Фризия said...

Michael, Thank you so much for acknowledging us --gay servicemembers-- in your posts. Your commitment to justice makes us both feel very affirmed. Sadly, America is falling behind many other progressive and modern countries which permit gay folks to serve openly without problems (U.K., Israel, Canada, and many nations in the European Union). Because the last U.S. administration (under Mr. Bush) misused U.S. military power by starting an unjust and illegal war against Iraq causing immense suffering and death in Iraq, I am ambivalent about recommending that younger gay people think about serving as a career. Bulgaria also has lost soldiers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistant along with the USA. Last Monday, the USA reached 5,000 casualties from both Iraq and Afghanistan, a very sad milestone. And there are now 1 million wounded and injured servicemembers waiting for the Veterans Administration to process their backlogged disability claims. They may have to wait 2-3 years for any help from their country. But I do think every American should be able to make that choice for or against military service without being discriminated against because of their sexuality. There aren't many good jobs in this awful global economy (even for people with college degrees) and the military does, at least, offer a steady pay check and educational (and other) benefits. Until the DADT policy changes, the murders of Alan Schindler in 1992 and Barry Winchell (Barry was killed 10 years ago this week: show that gay servicemembers not only have to fear Al Qaeda. They must also be very afraid for their personal safety beause of the homophobic violence in military culture. Nikolai and I send our love to you!