When Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed last month, any rational person would have thought that was the end of it. Almost two-thirds of the Senate voted for repeal (one of the few bipartisan-ish bills to pass the Senate in the last two years.) The vast majority of Americans wanted DADT dead. Service members, by and large either wanted DADT repealed or did not care. The intransigence of the GOP made them look petty and homophobic. John McCain became an object of national ridicule, and he will never recover from it the new image he created for himself: a vengeful bigot.
Democrats still have a majority of the Senate and the Presidency. If no pro-equality bill has a chance of passing this Congress, at least no anti-LGBT bill has any chance of passing either. And as I have pointed out before, DADT is relatively small potatoes. Trying to reinstate DADT looks petty and vindictive, not to mention severely homophobic. Gay and lesbian soldiers get wounded in combat. They die in battle. DADT did not not prevent them from joining the military, it just prevented them from being open about who they are. It was a humiliation to people who volunteered their lives for their country and deserve better.
Given all that, one would think that the DADT battle is over. And one would be wrong. Duncan Hunter, a homophobe in the House, is planning to introduce a bill to impede the repeal of DADT. Apparently about 15-20 more homophobes have signed on to the bill. Yet another homophobe in the House, this time one with actual power–Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee–is going to try and reinstate the ban. It is Joe Wilson, the idiot of “You Lie” infamy. And the homophobic former Governor of Minnesota (Tim Pawlenty) who is running for President also supports reinstating the ban. Coincidentally, one of the searches that brought some perspective reader to this blog today (much to his/her chagrin, I am sure) was “undo the dadt repeal.”
I am in the process of writing a much larger post about homophobia and how at its root is the desire to both deny and suppress the existence of homosexuality and homosexuals. It is a post that will require a lot more time, because it has thus far been very hard to write. (Keep watching this space.) The attempts to reinstate DADT, futile attempts given the way government works, are nothing more than manifest anti-gay bigotry and hatred.
This is only coming from one side of the political aisle. GOProud, a group of gay conservatives (or as Dan Savage calls them “quislings and useful idiots”), defends these people even though the conservative raison d’être has mutated into the elimination of people like GOProud members. GOProud’s only pro-gay initiative has been a repeal of DADT, and their “allies” will not support that (nor even give up after the battle is decidedly over.) GOProud should be ashamed of itself–although I suspect the organization has no shame. The head of GOProud repeatedly says to any cable news program that will talk to him, that it is easier to be gay in conservative circles than conservative in gay circles. Damn right! My homosexuality does not destroy conservatives’s day-to-day lives, no matter what they may say. Conservatives are not fighting for their existence, their visibility, and their right to lead a normal life. LGBT people are, and we are doing it every day. When conservatives run governments, they make it so that LGBT people can lose their jobs, their housing, their families, and even their right to form intimate relationships. On a national level only the courts have protected gay people from the worst of the conservative attacks. Is it any surprise that we have no tolerance for people who want to destroy us or those poseurs and lackeys who aid them?
Trying to reinstate DADT is a losing battle. Every single politicians who is participating in this charade knows it is a losing battle. Yet they are still doing it. Why? Because they are appealing to the ugliest spirit of American conservatism. The politicians want to propagate homophobia just for the sake of making the lives of gay people miserable. It will endear them to their base even if the nation as a whole is repelled. This is not about the military. Never forget, this is about hate.