Recently, as most of us already know, we witnessed the United States Senate once again throwing gay Americans under the bus. We know this fight continues in the court system, with the Witt case being the most prominent example. However, what is the real fear behind the US Military not being able to repeal this law? Could it be, due in part, economic? Could we be so cynical as to believe that the US Government essentially would not want to fund the spouses of gay service members?
Imagine for a moment, if you will, the very possibility that allowing gay Americans their human rights might mean having to shovel out quite a bit, where the good ole Greenback is concerned. I am not saying this is the only reason for the government’s reluctance to repeal DADT, but might it be that we just don’t want to pay for these additional people on the government payroll? The truth is, if you allow gay service members to serve then you get into the murky business of whether or not to allow their spouses or significant others to be recognized, monetarily.
Now, everyone knows, from having read my earlier post this week, that I am not a big advocate of gay marriage (as based upon the current heterosexual model), but I do support the rule of law. I do think that, given all of the domestic partner laws around the country, the US Military may very well have to consider allowing the spouses of gay service members their due, just like their heterosexual counterparts. It would look pretty bad, if gay people may serve their country, but their spouses were unrecognized, financially. How would that work, legally? We can all see how difficult an issue this is, when we consider the very real possibility that the US Government would have to allow for financial supports of gay service members’ spouses/significant others. This could cost the US taxpayer plenty of money (which I, for one, am willing to spend).
As anyone knows, who has had service members in their families, the benefits of being in the service can be myriad. One has to consider the insurance for service members for their spouses should they be killed in, say, Iraq. My family has served in every conflict that the US ever had. I follow the Army Times and other publications and I know that some service members’ families, in fact, probably just about all, receive as much $400,000 should their loved ones be killed while on active duty. If gay service members are killed, their spouses/significant others could potentially receive such monies and, boy, would that cost a bundle! Because, I’ll tell you right now, there are more gay people serving in the US Military than anyone can imagine.
Consider for the moment the cost of paying for gay spouses in the military—it staggers the mind. I can see the hesitancy on the parts of so many members of the Senate. Good Lord, do we really want to tax people more to pay for these homosexuals? I can understand that view as greedy and short-sighted as it is. I can also understand the view of a gay person serving who deserves as much as any straight soldier to be recognized for his or her efforts in the defense of his or her country. These are our defenders. When we deny them basic human rights, we do our nation a disservice.
It is rumored that General von Steuben from Germany, right hand man to George Washington during the Revolution and the author of the first US Army book of rules and regulations, was gay. What if he was? I could care less. If had not been for him, we might not be free today to express ourselves in this beautiful country. I would hope that all Americans would value their soldiers, sailors, marines and coast guarders and give them all the same fair treatment. It’s the least we can do for people who serve our country. And remember, the next time you see some dashing lad in uniform that a lot of gay people tend to gravitate towards careers with the most fabulous costumes and uniforms: the clergy, Hollywood, and the military.
“This land is your land, this land is my land…,
this land was made for you and me…”