Some heavy issues have been running through my mind lately - including the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
I'm thrilled with the repeal of DADT (which, when I see it abbreviated like that, reminds me of a certain very harmful chemical that was also banned for the good of the world). I think it's about time the military has the same equality as all other American jobs are supposed to have. (I say "supposed to" because I'm sure plenty of people at equal-opportunity jobs have been fired for their sexual orientation.)
I'm really glad to see recognition that DADT did no good and is, in fact, harmful. You're clearly not required to be straight to be a military presence, so why should we discriminate? No good reason other than homophobia.
Which is why the repeal of DADT makes me a little bit nervous. This is an incredible breakthrough for gay rights in the U.S., but my concerns are in the retaliation we might see. The fact remains that many people still think homosexuality is disgusting or intolerable. It's only been thirteen years since Matthew Shepard was murdered - I hope, I pray that that's enough time for people to change significantly.
But the Westboro Baptist Church still exists (if you already know who they are, don't click that link - it's upsetting to see and just more of the same hate). While their activities mostly involve ridiculous protests, they still fuel negative ideas and spread idiocy. No one I know buys into their BS, but some people do, and that's what worries me.
We as a whole in this country have a responsibility now to prevent those worries from becoming reality. How can we do that? For some of us, it means to keep doing what we have been: treating those who are different from us as though they are not different at all, because in the end, what does it matter if a gay person serves in the military? Their service is worth the same as a straight person's, and is no different. We should do our part to decrease bigotry and hatred and intolerance - by being tolerant, loving, and accepting.
Even those who believe being gay or lesbian is a sin in God's eyes should be able to agree with me that God says we should treat our neigbor as ourselves. Who are we to discriminate against those God loves, to say someone's lifestyle is sinful or immoral? If you happen to believe it's a sin to be gay or lesbian, remember that God loves sinners - if he didn't, he'd probably have started from scratch again by now.
The end of this video is mostly a campaign ad, but the beginning shows four people affected by the DADT repeal. And this one has gone viral lately, but it's still worth seeing the look on the soldier's face when he comes out to his father, who still loves him. Last but not least, The Daily Show's clip states, a bit more openly, how ridiculous DADT was.
I'm glad to refer to that policy in the past tense.