After President Obama’s promise to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” during last week’s State of the Union, Pentagon leaders have set in motion plans to eliminate the policy. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen will address the Senate today and present their options. The Washington Post reports that they’re expected to announce that the military “will no longer aggressively pursue disciplinary action against gay service members whose orientation is revealed against their will by third parties.” They’ll also announce the creation of a new group which will assess how exactly a repeal of the bill could be rolled out in practice.
Among the concerns of the group: “Whether gay soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will face any restrictions on exhibiting their sexual orientation on the job; whether the Pentagon will be obligated to provide for their domestic partners; and whether straight military personnel could be compelled to share quarters with gays.”
In other words: legitimate issues. It’s great that they’re taking these steps, and treating the issue with the seriousness that it deserves. However, we must admit, we wish we could have a hidden camera in that room. Senior military officials who have been trained their whole lives to pretend that gays don’t exist in their ranks suddenly having to discuss things like gang showers, cramped bunk rooms, and “acting gay on the job”? Hilarious. Hopefully, as they discuss this stuff in earnest, they’ll also be able to recognize at least a little bit the ridiculousness of the situation in which they find themselves. That should make it a little bit easier.