15 December 2010

DADT repeal is still struggling

Update: The House today voted overwhelmingly – 250 to 175 – to repeal DADT. [link] The vote now goes to the Senate.


A while back, the Pentagon released a report which devastated conservative myths about gays serving openly in the military. Not that this would change any minds; the conservative objection to gays serving openly in the military is ideological, not rational. And now, the House is about to vote on a standalone bill. I'm skeptical that the bill will pass. Maybe it's just cynicism, but congress has consistently shown itself to be not only disjointed from the American public on this issue, but stubborn in holding misguided principle above reason. I hope this time is different, but I'm not holding my breath.

If this legislation fails, it just makes it that much less likely that any repeal will pass before the Republican majority takes over the House next year, in which case you can pretty much guarantee that ideology will take precedence over facts. But even in that worst-case scenario, hope isn't lost. More discharged gay service members are taking up legal arms and filing lawsuits to strike down the law. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure there's this whole 14th Amendment thing in constitution which says,
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Equal rights under the law means what it says. It means (among many other things of course) that you don't get to deny a citizen their right to serve their country because of their personal sexual preference. DADT is clearly both unconstitutional and rooted in fallacious ideology, but getting rid of it is still an uphill battle. Then again, change always is.

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