Hell, she hath frozen over. A recent article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal, Joint Forces Quarterly, has called for the end of the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. Yes, you read that right: the Pentagon. Ending DADT. Eh?
The article states “After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly.” While Joint Forces Quarterly doesn’t reflect the Pentagon’s official position, the fact that a sanctioned publication is even entertaining the idea of repealing DADT is intriguing, and potentially insightful.
In 1993, DADT was put into law, requiring gays and lesbians to hide their sexual orientation or risk being kicked out of the military. In its sixteen years of existence, the law has been a lightning rod of contention, up to and including the 2008 election, when now-President Obama criticized the program for “spending large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military.”
So what’s that got to do with Washington? Beyond the obvious that DADT is important on it’s own merits, it’s an interesting addition to the Referendum 71 debate raging across the state.
Basically, it’s this simple: the idea that all people should have the same rights and responsibilities is no longer a new or earth-shattering proposition. If the Pentagon, which has never been a recognized bastion of progressive thought, can make rumblings towards equality, then Washington should, rationally, be a step or two out in front. The trick is, rational thought is rarely what gets folks out to the polls, and that’s what it’s going to take to keep Washington moving in the right direction.
Moral of the story? Make sure everyone votes! Especially your friends… Plus, keep your eyes peeled for a big Halloween announcement from the Bus…