The good news is President Obama is finally moving forward on repealing the U.S. military’s shameful and bigoted ban on gays serving openly, the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I don’t know what’s taken the administration an entire year to get the ball rolling, since this seems like something Obama could have taken care of within a few weeks of his inauguration, giving him an immediate and long overdue reform to point to and brag about all this time. Insta-Change! But whatever; I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, however prudent that might be. If the ban on gays in the military had been ended a year ago, it still would have been a decade and a half too late, so I’ll be happy just to see the hateful thing expunged from the books.
The bad news is that Congress wants the rest of the year to work on it. And that, to put it as Pap surely would have, is horseshit.
Now, I know that our national legislature’s reputation for indolence and inefficiency is well earned, but come on! It takes a year to repeal two subsections of the Armed Forces section of the United States Code? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
It’s not that hard, Congress. I’ll give you a push to get you started. Here:
1. § 654 of the United States Code, which contains the policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, is hereby repealed.
2. § 925 of the United States Code, which establishes sodomy as a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and an offense punishable by court-martial, is hereby repealed.
3. No individual shall be denied enlistment in, or be discharged from the armed forces on the grounds of that individual’s sexual orientation, be it heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or otherwise.
I ain’t much good at the fancy lawyer talk, I admit, so an actual legislator might want to take a pass at that before putting it in the hopper, but it’s at least a good start. Not everything has to be buried in a massive appropriations bill, or 11,000 pages long. Brevity already being the soul of wit doesn’t mean it can’t be the soul of social justice, every once in awhile, too.