As the title of Jeremy Hooper’s post on this suggests, the AFA is beating the same old dead horse about the terrifying prospect of gays being in the military showers with straight people. Well, first of all, as Jeremy points out, homos are already in the showers with heteros in military showers. And the other newsflash, which I cannot stress enough, is that there are already lots of gay people serving openly, at least within their own chain of command. It really comes down to the luck of the draw these days. Some end up serving with people who know, are cool with it, etc., and choose to ignore DADT. Others use the law as their excuse to exercise their bigotry, and those servicemembers get kicked out.
The Christian Right’s fixation on this is so bizarre, because gays are in the same showers as straight people in lots of situations! If Tony Perkins has ever been to the gym (and I think he has), he’s been in the shower with gay people, unless he’s so genuinely frightened that a man might see him naked that he refuses to use them. High school sports teams? Gays. Check. Collegiate sports teams? Check. Showers. Gayness. Professional sports? Check. Gays. Sky not falling.
And here’s the other thing. As has been stated so many times before, most people in the military are already comfortable with gay people, and a growing number of them know for sure that they serve alongside gay people! So are we really having this conversation, for the sake of the small percentage of military men and women who are simultaneously completely oblivious to gay people around them AND so afraid of gay people that they can’t get in the shower for fear of catching the gay? AND! And and and and and! If we’re having this conversation for the sake of those people, are we saying that these “morally” minded soldiers and sailors and airmen, etc., who are that afraid of gay people, are our bravest?! I mean, really! Which leads me to this quote from the AFA’s piece:
If we do not insist that the ban on homosexual military service be retained, our military will no longer be the place America’s families want to send their best and brightest young men and women.
Uh, first of all? “America’s families” don’t “send their children” to the military. People, from all walks of life, who come from all kinds of families, enlist. It’s not a like a Christian daycamp where America’s Fundamentalists decide to send the kids for a few weeks in the summer. And again, the majority of current troops are already okay with gay people. The AFA has lost that war already.
You social conservatives need to get your stories straight. Because I, for one, reject the notion that there is really a significant number of troops, men and women who fight terrorists and other combatants, and agree to lay down their lives, if necessary, for this country, who are simultaneously so a’feard of gay people that they won’t enlist when DADT is repealed. And I also think it’s a grave insult to our troops that these social conservative leaders, most of whom have never, will never, and would never have the guts to do what our troops do every day, feel that it’s somehow okay for them to act as if the fine men and women who make up the US Military are as terrified of their own shadows as the leaders of the American Family Association.