Politico ran a piece yesterday penned by leaders from three of our allies’ militaries, all of which allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. Maj. Peter Kees Hamstra of the Royal Dutch Army, Leif Ohlson of the Swedish Armed Forces, and Lt. Com. Craig Jones, retired from the Royal Navy of Britain, all have a similar message for the US, which is essentially, “Get over it.” What really impresses me about their piece is that, coming from nations in which the sky has not fallen in the wake of openly gay soldiers, is their perspective and their framing, as it truly shows how stupid the opposition to DADT repeal really is. For instance:
We are aware of colleagues in our own militaries who don’t like it that gays and lesbians serve openly. However, despite considerable fears before we enacted these policies, such attitudes are rare.
In no cases, in fact, have negative private opinions about gay people undermined our ability to work with one another. Our service members are professionals who care, first and foremost, about the ability to do the job.
Moral opposition to homosexuality, while real, is just not allowed to undercut our militaries’ missions.
Nor do we think it will have any impact on yours after you repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Got that? They don’t let the bigotry of a few of their members affect their missions or unit cohesion. Because, let’s get clear: since we all know that “gay” is just something you are, and decidedly and laughably not, as the Religious Right likes to say, a “behavior,” it is not incumbent on gays and lesbians to baby the bigots, any more than it’s incumbent upon Jewish servicemembers to baby the fundamentalist Christians they serve with*, or for black soldiers and airmen to baby any racists around them.
Also, there’s this:
We are confident that, despite the unique nature of each culture and military, you will have a similar experience to ours ‚Äî which is that ending discrimination against gay troops was a giant nothing.
As per usual when gay people get closer to having equal rights.
The policy puts you in the company of Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China and Yemen. Is that the kind of company you want to keep?
No, we do not! The Religious Right is more comfortable supporting policies that are the ideological equivalent of theocratical Islam, but the other 75% of Americans would like “Land of the free, home of the brave” to mean something, please.
Read the whole thing.