Monday, September 19, 2011
In preparation for Tuesday's overdue repeal of 1993's prejudicial Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, the military services have spent months preparing for the huge adjustment required to say yes instead of no. Can you imagine the meetings, mounds of paperwork and millions of dollars it took to retrain 2.25 million service members about a policy that never should have existed in the first place?
The lifting of the ban also means a halt to pending investigations, discharges and other administrative proceedings that were begun under the un-American law.
Republicans began fighting repeal of the policy long before it was officially wiped off the books by President Obama in December—and they haven't given up yet. On Monday, two top G.O.P. asswipes on the House Armed Services Committee—California Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, the committee chairman, and South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson—begged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to delay the new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Their last-ditch effort had to do with a lame half-witted complaint that the policies and regulations for implementing the change have not been finalized nor provided to the panel.
Grandpa John McCain (R-Ariz.) also showed his inability to evolve, saying back in December, "Today is a very sad day," while warning that allowing gays in the military would prove to be a "potentially deadly distraction."
A Pentagon official confirmed they're all full of shit, while Army Gen. Carter Ham, who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban, acknowledged that the transition is going to be "pretty inconsequential."
Unfortunately, like most laws that allege equality for gays in the U.S., this one has gross limitations. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the military from extending a number of benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian service members, such as health insurance benefits, military family housing, access to legal services, spousal relocation support and an infrastructure to process discrimination and harassment against gay and lesbian service members.