By Chris Pike
A few weeks ago I read somewhere that a United States judge is seeking the repeal of the American army’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, citing that it’s unconstitutional. Yes the policy is unconstitutional, but does it matter if it’s repealed or not? No, is the answer to that question.
By the time you’re reading this the policy could well have been repealed, allowing openly gay servicemen to fight alongside heterosexual soldiers. While this would be a great thing for gay rights in America it wouldn’t change the way the U.S. army feels about homosexuality.
By no means am I trying to insult the army. People who serve in the military are incredibly brave people who fight to protect people’s rights and freedoms and ask for very little in return. Few people could do what they do and for that I am grateful.
However, the army does attract those who have more conservative and traditional values. Homosexuality isn’t exactly something those on the rightwing are too fond of, especially in the United States.
What I mean by this is that even if openly gay men and women began to serve in the army the consequences of this would more than likely be that they would be driven out by those who aren’t accepting.
Women have a hard enough time in the army even if they are straight and they’ve been allowed to serve for quite some time now. The amount of time it would take for gays to be received with open arms could be decades if not more.
Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the American army will become a open-minded institution that no longer sees gays as deviants. And maybe no one will ever use the words “faggot” or “dyke” ever again.
Change takes time and the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” may be the first step, but it won’t fix homophobia overnight.