Proving once again that the issue of gay rights is a fraught one, this week saw both the addition of Maine to the states that permit gay marriage (referendum pending) and the continued disappointment that a Democratic administration doesn't give half a shit about making it easier for gays to serve in the military.
Time will tell whether having two states in New England pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage is a bellwether for the country or just further proof to some that New England Yankees are extra-faggoty. The trend, however, seems to be that opposition to gay marriage is concentrated in the soon-to-die and likely to pose naked despite rock-solid Christian values.
At the federal level, there was mixed news on gay rights and in both cases, the direction the Feds are tacking should raise libertarian hackles. First, there is a bill to add gay-bashing to the federal hate crimes bill (complete with video of Alcee Hastings, a supporter of the bill, suitably outraged at a Republican attempt to belittle the problem). I confess that I am conflicted here: I am against hate-crimes legislation but… if we are going to have hate-crimes legislation I'm uncomfortable with gay-bashing being left out of the definition of "hate crime". But, because I'm not a big fan of hate-crime laws, my bigger beef is with the continued survival of the no-gays-in-the-military policy.
In what was supposed to be a helpful-to-gays modification of the no-gays rule, Clinton's Don't Ask, Don't Tell was supposed to allow gays to chill out in a closet while still serving in the military. This, it was said, was better than the pre-policy witch hunts for homosexuals. Of course, the law didn't actually ban witch hunts, it merely stopped the military from asking about sexual orientation during the enlistment process. Now that I think about it, it seems designed to allow gays into the military, keep certain individuals in the military as long as it served the military's interest, and then boot them at the convenience of the military. Crafty.
Obama pledged to repeal the policy but it doesn't look like he is sticking to that pledge. The latest proof that nothing is going to change comes in the form of the ejection of Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran, from the New York National Guard for publicly coming out on The Rachel Maddow Show.
I once hoped that my generation would be the one that 'normalized' gays in our society. I still hope this. I question now whether it will be under an Obama administration – the era of Hope and Change – that it will come to pass. I've always been skeptical of Federalism and usually consider it an anachronism – but maybe that's where the hope is after all.
Last 5 posts by Charles
- If You Watch the Tape, You'll Still See What You Want To - September 29th, 2015
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