The repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell for gays in the US military is not a positive step for equality, activist says.
by Cindy Sheehan
© Al-Jazeera 2010
The recent repeal of the US military policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is far from being the human rights advancement some are touting it to be. I find it intellectually dishonest, in fact, illogical on any level to associate human rights with any military, let alone one that is currently dehumanising two populations as well as numerous other victims of it’s clandestine “security” policies.
Placing this major contention aside, the enactment of the bill might be an institutional step forward in the fight for “equality”; however institutions rarely reflect reality.
Do we really think that the US congress vote to repeal the act and Obama signing the bill is going to stop the current systemic harassment of gays in the military?
While I am a staunch advocate for equality of marriage and same-sex partnership, I cannot – as a peace activist – rejoice in the fact that now homosexuals can openly serve next to heterosexuals in one of the least socially responsible organisations that currently exists on earth: The US military.
It is an organisation tainted with a history of intolerance towards anyone who isn’t a Caucasian male from the Mid-West. Even then I’m sure plenty fitting that description have faced the terror and torment enshrined into an institution that transforms the pride and enthusiasm of youth into a narrow zeal for dominating power relations.