July 13, 2010

Special rights?

Pentagon: Gay Soldier Survey Won't Lead to Segregation.

The Pentagon today strongly pushed back against an allegation from a prominent political blogger that the military could segregate gay and straight servicemembers if and when lawmakers repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The suggestion the Defense Department or the Obama administration could allow for segregation of any kind is "absurd," a Pentagon spokesperson said.

After questions from the survey were leaked, some gay veterans organizations criticized the Defense Department, saying the questions -- which related to issues like how servicemebers would handle sharing housing or bathing facilities with gay colleagues -- were biased against a repeal of DADT.

At a press briefing on Friday organized to address the concerns about the survey, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell explained why those questions were included in the survey. Today, John Aravosis of Americablog, a progressive political blog with a special focus on gay rights, zeroed in on Morrell's remarks to accuse the Pentagon and the Obama administration of preparing to segregate gay servicemen and women.

But ... so what? Straight men and women are, and have been, segregated for decades. If gay men and women shouldn't be segregated from their straight counterparts, then on what basis should straight men and women kept separate?

Americablog's Aravosis asked,

The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that it is considering segregating gay troops, specifically with regards to creating separate showers and/or barracks for straight and gay troops...Why is it okay to even talk about segregating gays and lesbians? What would have happened to an Obama administration spokesman who talked about segregating blacks?

That's simply ludicrous. [Straight] men and women are separated because of the potential for sexual dalliances. See the parallel with gay men and women? Making an analogy to skin color is just the typical "progressive" penchant for invoking racism/bigotry to intimidate their opponents.

Granted, the analogy isn't perfect. One could argue that by segregating gay men and lesbians into their own barracks, sexual dalliances would be [a lot] more frequent than if they were housed together with straights. However, by allowing those whose sexual attraction is towards the same sex to live with those of the same sex, this would be actually a privilege that straight service people have been denied, again, for decades. In other words, if gays are permitted to "control themselves" in barracks with straights, then why can't straight men live with straight women and likewise be permitted to exercise the same control?

Posted by Hube at July 13, 2010 09:00 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

As you said, if it makes sense now to segregate men and women, it would seem to follow that, instead of housing gays together, gay men should be kept apart from one another and lesbian women kept apart from one another.

Posted by: Nels at July 13, 2010 11:20 PM