This just in: lifting the ban on gays openly serving in the military will take much longer than expected because we need to take about a year to study the effects of a new policy on "those who will be affected by it." If you're like me, you probably assumed that this referred to gay and lesbian servicemembers, right? But you would be wrong. No, the people who are really affected by the service of gay and lesbian individuals are their fellow servicemembers who are straight. Because, once again, it's all about the privileged majority.
Gates has commissioned two reviews, one by the outside consultant Rand Corp. and one to be led by a four-star Army general and the Pentagon's top lawyer. The reviews will look at attitudes about openly gay service among the armed forces, with particular emphasis on those in combat.First of all, it's not like the new policy would require all gay and lesbian members of the military to openly claim their orientation. The change would just make it so that being open about it would not result in immediate discharge. And secondly, if straight servicemembers have attitudes that make them unable to serve with their gay peers, then they're the problem. So launch some reeducation initiatives, and let it be known that bigotry will not be tolerated. The point is, work on the people who are the problem, rather than making the problem all about the group that has been historically treated unfairly. It's not fucking rocket science.
The reviews are supposed to look at the effect that lifting the ban could have on soldiers' trust and reliance on one another, as well as practical and legal issues, military officials said.