Now, y’all know that my reading of the 14th Amendment suggests that keeping homosexuals from getting married, serving in the armed forces, and the like, is unconstitutional and illegal. It’s discriminating against a group of Americans, and that is precisely what the most important clause of the 14th Amendment is supposed to prevent. However, I’m concerned that the repealing of “don’t ask, don’t tell” has a serious downside.
For generations, the surest way to get out of the military has been to feign homosexuality. Even “Klinger” on MASH was ostensibly feigning gayness by cross-dressing (we’ll leave aside for the moment that most cross-dressers are actually straight). Indeed, I have friends who realized the military life was not for them, yet they were trapped with no way out for at least a few years. The appearance of homosexuality to the rescue! If “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repealed, what will these people do? Without the “out” of, er, being “out,” they may be forced to serve out their full sentences — I mean, tours — and probably even then some.
This is not to say that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a bad idea. Just that, like many important changes whose times have come, it may have unintended consequences. Perhaps one solution is to go ahead and repeal it, and then making being in the military suck less. Happy Veterans Day!