As much as I wish I could avoid politics, they are everywhere and effect everything, so I cannot rightly ignore them. The lack of logic in so many of our policies pains me, but I will be the first one to say, I don't want to wade into the mire that is our government to fix everything myself. So, I will email my representative to thank her, I will appreciate HRC for doing all the hard work to get me this information in a timely manner and I will ask you to email your representatives if you support the stance below.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese writes:
"Eric Alva, the first American soldier wounded in Iraq, will testify before Congress tomorrow. He will speak out against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which forces people to be dishonest about their personal lives or face losing their jobs – or worse. Staff Sgt. Alva, who stepped on a landmine that resulted in the loss of his right leg, later came out as gay and is leading the fight against the law that forced him to deny his identity for so long.
With so many GLBT Americans serving courageously in Iraq and Afghanistan, momentum is rapidly building against this unfair, unsound policy. The law is exacting huge costs to the nation's best interests, even as it has dwindling public support. The military asks GLBT Americans to sacrifice for their country but won't give them fairness and dignity in exchange. Asked to defend freedom, GLBT Americans are denied their own freedom. I can't think of a policy less consistent with American values."
I recently read the book "Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers" and came upon a particularly insightful quotation which struck at the heart of this situation:
World War II WAC Sergeant Johnnie Phelps, in response to a request from General Eisenhower that she ferret out the lesbians in her battalion:
Yessir. If the General pleases I will be happy to do this investigation…. But, sir, it would be unfair of me not to tell you, my name is going to head the list…. You should also be aware that you're going to have to replace all the file clerks, the section heads, most of the commanders, and the motor pool…. I think you should also take into consideration that there have been no illegal pregnancies, no cases of venereal disease, and the General himself has been the one to award good conduct commendations and service commendations to these members of the WAC detachment.
General Eisenhower: Forget the order.
~Bunny MacCulloch interview with Johnnie Phelps, 1982
Please tell the military to do again today, as they did then, "Forget the order."