Fear-Mongering

I’ve been a proponent of Freedom and Equality for as long as I can remember; at least back to my early teenage years. I clearly remember having an argument with a good friend of mine, circa the early nineties, about the Colorado Boycott (when a law was put forward to, essentially, legalize all forms of anti-gay discrimination).

I felt that all people should be treated equally; he argued that if he could be fired from a job for no reason, then they could be fired for any reason. I suppose it made sense to him then; he was pretty adamant. But I couldn’t grasp his logic.

Fortunately, he is not that person today. We both grew and learned. And, eventually, we both joined the military.

I’m my time in the military, I’ve known several “closeted” gay service members, who had to stay very quiet about it because they ran the daily risk be separated instantly should the powers that be find out. This was written into the US Code (cf 10 U.S. Code § 654) and couldn’t be circumvented.

Until 2010, when § 654 was repealed. That didn’t go over well with everybody, naturally. I recall having a lengthy conversation with some soldiers and airmen about the “potential repercussions” of the repeal; about how it would break down “good order and discipline” and so forth.

I offered that the military has always adapted to sudden change. This same argument was made when they let women in the military. When they let blacks in the military. And guess what? It went well. Even after a slightly shaky beginning, the military adapted far faster than the rest of the country did. And the mission continued to get done. Lettings in “the gays” would be no different.

It’s now 2016. This year I’ve worked with an active duty airman who can casually talk about his husband and their children with no fear of reprisal or insult from others. The first few years of his career he had to remain very quiet, but that’s in the past. The future is bright!

But then… a new President of the United States was “elected” (I have nothing but disdain for the electoral college system, but that’s a topic for more educated people than I to complain about); now, the future is looking a little cloudy.

This airman and I had a conversation; he’s likely to go back to keeping details of his personal life quiet. This stupid law could be implemented again, and his career would be over. Moreover, emboldened people could potentially become aggressive to him and his family. He feels he has to start keeping an eye out behind him.

AGAIN.

My friends and coworkers, people who have offered their lives in defense of their country, are becoming afraid of the people in that country again. And worse; they’re afraid of their leaders.

You feared a breakdown of “good order and discipline”? You’re about to manufacture it.

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