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September 16th, 2011

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01:46 am - The Wonderful End of a Nasty Era
On September 20, only 4 days from now, "Don't ask don't tell" ends, and gays and lesbians will be able to openly serve in the military. From my PoV this is huge – not because I have any particular feelings about the US military, I don't. IMHO it's a vile institution that is largely a vastly over-hyped and often horrible choice for poor and working class young people, which is also a source of great evil in the world. However, it's also an institution that is an important symbol to many Americans, and especially to many Americans who are somewhat to vastly conservative. Military personnel are also popular subjects of news stories. We're now going to see news stories about soldiers who are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and I'm fairly certain that these news stories will change some people's minds. Eventually (which could be anything from next month to a year or two from now) we're going to start seeing at least a few news stories about gay & lesbian military personnel who want to get married, with at least some stories talking about people who "serve our nation" and suchlike not being able to get married.

I'm fairly certain that this is the last major step needed to help homophobia finally complete the transformation from a mainstream to a fringe prejudice. The end of DADT also raises the chances that if Obama wins in 2012, and Scalia or Kennedy retire in the next 5 years (they're both 75 and 2 of the 3 oldest Justices), we might even get same sex marriage through the Supreme Court, much to the horror and dismay of various religious maniacs and other homophobes. We all still need to oppose vile nonsense like YA publishers' desire to remove queer characters (and for that matter this same YA publisher's insistence that that "it is absolutely unacceptable in YA for a boy to consensually date two girls, but that it would be okay if he was cheating and lying."), but big changes are happening and while issues of poverty, economic inequality, and reproductive rights are not doing very well, progressives occasionally win major victories in the ongoing Culture War, and this is one of them.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:September 17th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
As late as the early 1960s, homosexuality was officially classified as a mental illness.
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Date:September 17th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
That officially changed in the US in 1973.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the ban is ending. However, until ALL our troops can get married and their spouses are entitled to death benefits, LGBT equality will not be attained.

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