Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't ask, don't tell - Op-Ed: A Gay Soldier's Husband

There are some 65,000 gay and lesbian soldiers serving presently. Their lives are no different than those of straight people, except: They cannot marry, they cannot have domestic partner benefits, they cannot come out and live openly gay, or they risk being expelled from the service and the deepest cut of all - they can't be the one to hear the news of whether a loved one serving overseas has not made it.

I just watched this video clip on the NY Times and was moved to tears. Why can't we repeal "Don't ask, don't tell." We had Brown vs. Board of Education and desegregated schools, we gave women the right to vote, we had Loving vs. Virginia and had the supreme court outlaw mysogeny (interracial marriage), so why can't we outlaw discrimination against gays?

I was having this conversation with a family member recently who is opposed to gay marriage - many years ago, a gay friend quoted me something she had seen on a t-shirt which basically stated that gays won't marry straights if they are allowed to marry each other.

For 15 years, I was in a marriage where I was unfulfilled, miserable and desperately lonely. The only things my former husband and I had in common were our deep and abiding faith in the Mormon Church and our four remarkable boys.

The pain and anguish that I felt when he finally came out still cause me to tear up on occasion to this day - I remember telling him - I didn't care that he was gay, but I did care that he lied to me - he was supposed to be my best friend. Those feelings hold true today - we are friends - no longer as close as we were, there has been way too much pain and betrayal, but we maintain a friendship for the sake of our children.

Unless people have been on my side of the equation, they should stop speaking out against gay marriage.

The couple who were so beautifully portrayed in this video are a regular couple (the individual in the military is in Iraq and was not able to be videotaped) - they live in a beautiful home, but when they write letters to ea ch other, they have to censor them and be so careful about whawt they write, lest someone should find out their secret.

It is time to repeal Don't ask, don't tell - it is not working, it is unamerican and unconstitutional.

1 comment:

Diary of a Gay Soldier's Husband said...

Thanks for the support and kind words. You are an angel.