Discouraging military service, bean counting minority group members instead of evaluating achievement, injecting irrelevant sexual undertones—sound like conservative stances to me!
As Miss Manners once wrote on sexual orientation, the important distinction these days seems to be not gays vs. straights, but people who think other people’s sex lives are open for scrutiny vs. those who don’t.
A rapidly dwindling number of conservatives have been arguing that the military should preserve its ban on gays serving openly in the military.
The U.S.’s highest ranking military official, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, happens to disagree. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, he declared in no uncertain terms that “allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the nation’s other top defense official, testified alongside Mullen in support of repealing the ban.
Just before President Obama took office, 104 retired admirals and generals had signed a statement urging the next president to overturn the ban.
Apparently all of this wasn’t good enough for Senator John McCain, who had categorically stated in 2006, “The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it.” Last week McCain told Mullen and Gates that he still opposes lifting the ban.
I can understand some conservatives’ suspicion regarding overturning the ban on gays in the military, when the last president who tried to do so (Clinton) had nothing but contempt for the military and aggressively eroded its capabilities every year he was in office. read more »