May 28, 2009
Martial Arts and Marital Darts
Why is the gay Left so hot for same-sex marriage, but not for gay soldiers?
It's an intriguing question; facially, you'd think that if benefitting gays were the primary goal of gay activists -- restoring them a vital and almost undisputed liberty that is currently withheld for obscure and indefensible reasons -- that the very first task they would tackle would be to remove the absurd and dangerous requirement that gays serving in the military do so in secret.
Oddly, however, gay activists by and large ignore that rather breathtaking denial of a fundamental liberty to gays in favor of agitating in favor of same-sex marriage (SSM). Oh, if you delve deep into the websites of some of the major gay activist organizations, you can eventually find that they issued a press release three months ago, blasting some general -- who bears a striking resemblance to the loony brass-holes that Hawkeye Pierce regularly made a monkey of every week on M*A*S*H -- for saying something either ignorant or conservative about gays in the military.
But the endless daily soap opera of As the Marriage Turns is splashed across the index page in full-color, animated Flash graphics, leaping off the page in 3-D modeling, or flinging itself like a caffeinated squirrel out of your monitor and onto your desk (or your lap, if you're unlucky enough to be reading the site on a laptop). The difference in emphasis is brutally stark.
And all for a cause that can only advance when robed high priests of the American judiciary threaten to erase their own state from the map unless the legislature enacts SSM; whereas President Barack H. Obama could this very day demand Congress change the 1993 "Don't ask, don't tell" law preventing gays from serving openly in the military... and he would probably get his way.
Yet despite his campaign promises, he has not done so... and the Pentagon "reaffirms that it has no plans" in the works, having received no hint from the White House that such a policy change is coming.
The ultimate question for me is... why? Why make SSM a priority over allowing gays to serve openly in the military?
I reckon you're shocked, shocked to learn that Big Lizards has its own answer to that question. (If we didn't, why would we waste the bandwidth for nothing... when we could instead waste it to flog our own pathetic, tired, crabbed nostrums?)
Slither on to see just how pathetic, tired, and crabbed we truly are!
Gays in the military -- shoo, gay, shoo!
There are many points that would give pause even to those opposed to gays serving openly:
- I have never seen a persuasive argument that gays serving openly, rather than secretly, in the military would have a detrimental effect on national security or our warmaking capability.
Nobody can credibly argue today that gay men are any less capable of fighting aggressively than straight men (the idea that gays are "too limp-wristed" or "too effeminate" is laughable); in fact, nobody even tries. The only counterargument I have ever seen -- and it's pretty lame -- is the one used in the current federal statute (10 U.S.C. § 654)... that knowing for sure there were gays in a unit, as opposed to merely guessing, might cause some straight soldiers to freak out:
The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
As here, this argument is almost never fleshed out; it's left as a hanging assertion, like "Women can't be fighter pilots because they go crazy every month due to PMS." And of course, they don' need no steenkin' evidence; they just say it and glare, as if it would be unpatriotic to ask if they've ever been involuntarily committed to a home for the mentally confused.
This putative "reasoning" is, frankly, risible; it really boils down to "I can't be in a foxhole with Jeffy, he might be looking at me!" There is really no logical distinction between saying "I can't stand the thought of serving next to a homosexual" and "I can't stand the thought of serving next to a black." Though clearly we as a culture have far more of a history of trying to stamp out discrimination against race than discrimination against sexual preference, in both cases the problem is not the individual target of official retribution -- but the reaction of the most bigoted person standing next to the target: Jeff can't serve because Bob is too squeamish.
There is no evidence I have seen to indicate that today, when other members of a unit find out or come to suspect that one of their number is gay, that this disrupts morale, destroys unit cohesion, or leads to any negative consequences whatsoever... except among a tiny number of very bigoted military personnel (making them the problem, not the gay soldier just trying to do his job). In fact, quite the opposite: Many gays who have been prosecuted for discharge have been adamantly defended by their squadmates and fellow soldiers.
Such an argument could have been made in, say, the 1950s or earlier... just as the similar argument against integrating the troops was more believable during and before World War II than after that watershed moment of history; acceptance of racism in polite society took a real nosedive following revelations of Hitler's death camps. But today, the argument of "gay revulsion" is the last refuge of the desperate, clinging to their bigotry.
- Worse, by requiring gays to hide their sexual preference, we create a ready-made pool of potential blackmail victims... gays who might be extorted into aiding or abetting the enemy.
Gays constitute somewhere around 2%-3% of the population, depending how you define "gay;" presumably they have the same range of ethics and morality as anyone else. Hence, while the vast majority of gays would out themselves, risking involuntary discharge rather than hurt their country, on the margins, there would still be thousands for whom the career is more important... just as there are with straight officers who cheat on their spouses.
But the difference is, you cannot discharge a person from the military merely for wanting to cheat but abstaining. But under current law, a gay man or lesbian can indeed be discharged from the military merely for having the "propensity" towards homosexuality... where propensity means "a natural inclination; innate or inherent tendency." He doesn't even have to act on that propensity in order to be punished with the loss of his career.
A homosexual or bisexual can also be discharged merely for revealing his sexual preference or for having "married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex," even in a state where that is legal -- even if the marriage occurred before he joined the military; even if he subsequently renounced the marriage, got divorced, and considers himself completely heterosexual now! The fact that he once married a person of the same sex is itself sufficient, if discovered (including discovery by being ratted out by a thwarted blackmailer), to get him involuntarily discharged.
There is no other innate characteristic, especially one that many people believe is inherent and unchangeable (I express no opinion on this point), which can by itself bar an American citizen from serving in the military if he has the physical and mental capacity to do so; all other prohibitions are behavioral... e.g., a convicted felon can be barred from service for something he did, not something he is.
- In a time of existential warfare against an enemy that wants to destroy our civilization because we are who we are, shouldn't it be a liberty issue that every member be allowed to defend that society with force of arms, to his best physical and mental ability?
Yet the law actually goes out of its way to assert that "There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces."
I'm certain that is legally correct; there is probably caselaw proving it. But not everything that's legal is necessarily moral or ethical or even in the best interests of civilization itself.
If this war is the crisis and turning point of Western civilization that most of us believe it to be, then we're really not in a position to reject good soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines on frivolous grounds of "ickiness" unrelated to martial ability. It's like saying we won't accept soldiers who have hair on their backs, because some people might find that disgusting.
A tale of two priorities
I suspect that if put this way, Americans would probably agree this policy is grotesquely unfair and unAmerican; and in addition, that it is if anything destructive of America's national security needs. In other words, this is a major fight that gay activists could win. So why do they barely trouble to make it, instead focusing nearly all their attention on cramming SSM down our throats? (It's not even a "more in sorrow than in anger" moment; I get the impression gay activists experience an almost orgasmic rapture from thwarting the will of the people anent traditional marriage.)
It can't be because of the numbers of homosexuals affected; would anybody seriously argue that there are more gays who want to marry people of the same sex than gays who want to serve in the United States military? On the contrary, the percent of gays who want to marry appears far smaller than the percent of straights who want to marry, judging from the marriage rate in the few states that allow SSM.
So -- why? Why focus on the controversial, the uphill battle, the cause that has the potential to alienate the usually silent majority, the argument that has lost every time ordinary voters have had a chance to decide? Why not focus instead on the essentially non-controversial cause that is almost a slam-dunk, that even brings many conservatives on board (those for whom the right to defend our culture outweighs their personal disapproval of homosexuality), and that can be justified and argued by appealing to well accepted, fundamental American virtues?
Consider the reaction (non-reaction) to the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), the case that found the laws across the nation that banned "sodomy" to be unconstitutional. While some conservatives still decry this decision (such as Michael Medved), even they recognize that to the extent the American people even cared about it, they tended to support it -- as I do. It's clearly a liberty issue, affecting what people can do in the privacy of their own homes; and by the same measure, so is eliminating the thuggish "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
But SSM is not a liberty issue -- it's a status issue. Nobody in the United States is prohibited from being gay, engaging in gay sex, cohabitating, finding a church, synogogue, mosque, or temple that will religiously marry him to a same-sex partner, and presenting himself to family, friends, employers, and indeed all of society, as being "married." Yet even there, nearly all states have domestic partnerships or civil unions that provide all or nearly all of the state-based material benefits of marriage, everything from disposition of property in probate to visitation rights in hospital.
The law in those states that have resisted judicial tyranny says only that the government of that state does not recognize same-sex marriages. They won't send police to break up your wedding, and they won't arrest you for it; but they will withhold official approval... status, in other words.
Yet a miniscule minority of SSM activists want to change the definition of a core social value -- marriage -- not just of the United States but of thousands of years of Western civilization itself; and they want to force that change against the will of the "we the people." They demand that America award the same status to SSM that it awards to traditional marriage, whether the citizens of a state want to do so or not. Status is not liberty; there is no bar to same-sex couples (or larger groups) behaving as if they were married. But the activists demand not only that the state tolerate their preferences but that it applauds them.
By contrast, allowing gays to serve openly in the military requires no redefinition, does not violate any core value, requires no positive affirmation of an outre lifestyle by society (merely tolerance), likely aids national security by expanding the pool of potential soldiers and removing a forced vulnerability to blackmail, and doesn't even require any fundamental change in American morality: You can believe homosexuality is a sin yet still support gays serving openly. After all, we don't reject single people from the military simply because they have sex outside of marriage.
But what about the comparison of laws banning interracial marriage to laws banning same-sex marriage? Isn't that a good argument that SSM is a liberty issue after all?
Sex vs. race: never the twain shall meet
The comparison of SSM to miscegenation is spurious; by the time courts began ruling that laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional -- starting in 1948 with Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal.2d 711, 198 P.2d 17, by the California Supreme Court -- we already had a strong and growing consensus in California that race should not define marriage; the state courts followed the consensus of the citizenry -- they didn't lead it.
In addition, by 1948 -- and especially by 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court once and for all declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)) -- we already had a long history of legal precedent for skepticism about official racial discrimination. This history included a civil war, followed by the enactment, from 1865 through 1870, of three constitutional amendments to codify opposition to racial discrimination, and culminating with the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
And of course, we have never had a universal definition of "race" to begin with, because it's scientifically impossible: All scientists agree that racial characteristics exist upon a continuum; there is no sharp dividing line between black and white, brown and red, yellow and white. We are all mongrels, in the very best sense of the word.
But none of this is true anent SSM:
- There is no national or even statewide consensus in any state that I'm aware of that SSM is the same as opposite-sex marriage or should be treated the same. In some states, there may be a slim majority in favor -- though I doubt it. But "majority" is not the same as "consensus," the latter being a much stronger term that means "an opinion or position reached by a group as a whole."
- We have never before had states that allowed SSM; there is no precedent. By contrast, from the very beginning of the United States in 1776, a majority seven of the original thirteen states allowed interracial marriage.
- The courts are definitely leading this charge, rather than reacting to actual changes in social consciousness and democratic legislative actions.
- There has been no SSM amendment or gay-rights amendment to the Constitution and no federal legislation mandating it. In fact, the only federal legislation touching on the issue, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, goes the opposite way; it has never been revisited, not even by the Democratic Congresses of 2007 and 2009. No president has ever endorsed SSM, Congress has not passed laws to establish it, and no state referendum has ever enacted it, while a great many have banned it. There is no federal or state consensus of the people in favor of same-sex marriage; it remains the pet project of the pampered, intellectual leftist elite in this country (including the pampered, intellectual leftist elite that controls the Vermont General Assembly).
- And of course, a person's gender, in contrast to his "race," is easily determined with precision, except in strange and extraordinary cases.
Thus, there simply is no valid equation of interracial marriage to same-sex marriage.
A little privacy, please?
Well, what about the point that we should allow SSM because of the fundamental right of privacy?
This one is really dopey: How could demand for public recognition of same-sex marriages possibly be an act of privacy?
Contrast that nonsensical claim with the perfectly reasonable contention that anti-"sodomy" laws do violate privacy... as they prohibited private sexual activity between consenting adults behind closed doors, even in their own home. See the difference?
"Why" is a four-letter word
All right, we've teased the tiger long enough. Now it's time to open the cage and get our arms torn off and our heads crushed between his mighty jaws. (Some analogies should not be overextended.) I am now prepared to answer the question: Why are gay activist groups so monomaniacal about SSM, but so casual and blase about letting gays serve openly in the military?
I can identify three major factors:
Empowerment is the enemy of control: I believe that gay activists truly do not want gays to be allowed to serve openly in the military, because they truly do not want gays actually mainstreamed into American culture. Special-interest pressure groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD), the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP), the Lamda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Equality California, thrive on power; and their power does not come from mainstreamed gays who are strong and confident to fight to fight their own battles as individuals, as everyone else does. Rather, interest-group power comes from frightened, timid, dependent, isolated people who cling to the activist pressure groups as their only hope.
Similarly, larger "progressive" groups like the ACLU, People for the American Way, Democracy Alliance, and MoveOn.org really, really don' t want liberals to feel empowered; because then they would have no need for those groups. The stock in trade of activists has always been "you're weak and powerless, so you must call upon us -- and pay us -- to fight for you." Unions function exactly the same way, and the last thing in the world they want are workers who are more like independent contractors... they want pliant, frightened workers who are always afraid they're only two paychecks away from starving to death -- and if the union ever disappeared, so too would they.
Gay activist groups are no different: They see a zero-sum game between individual empowerment of gays and control by the activists themselves, and it's obvious on which side of the fence the activists fall.
Mainstreaming gays is not in the Left's interests: Too, just like the various "feminist" organizations and "environmentalist" groups, gay activists are nearly always leftists first and gay-rights advocates second.
How would it benefit them for gays in the service to come out of the closet? They're more easily hooked into Socialism (whether Communist or liberal fascist) when they feel insecure and threatened by having to remain under cover. Remember that a socialist government is the ultimate special-interest pressure group.
Too, the Left tends to be anti-military to begin with; thus, I think many of them despise gays actually serving patriotically in the service, because they see them as sell-outs to the straight, traditional culture, just as so-called feminist groups see women in the military as sell-outs to patriarchy. As well, they see the United States as the primary obstacle to a one-world leftist government -- so why should they want to strengthen American military power?
Therefore mainstream gay groups don't waste much time agitating for gays serving openly in the military, just as mainstream feminist groups don't push for women being allowed into combat -- or even for civilian women to be able to get permits to carry concealed firearms. In a conflict, leftism will always trump individual empowerment... just ask Tammy Bruce how she was treated by the board of directors of the National Organization for Women when she was the president of the L.A. chapter.
Transformers: Activists and other fanatics typically don't want a specific solution to a particular problem... they want the complete transformation of society into something alien. They want to utterly abolish the old human being and create the new starchild -- what Marxists called the "New Soviet Man."
They are also catastrophists: They believe that only by a social cataclysm of Brobdingnagian proportions and cosmic reach can they achieve their final goal. Therefore, they see partial solutions not as advancements but rather as big steps backwards: They take pressure off the system, making it less likely to shatter, more likely to survive -- when transformers want the opposite.
So why do they so hysterically support same-sex marriage -- "protesting" by sitting in busy intersections to block traffic, smashing store windows in an unknowing imitation of Kristallnacht, and shrieking spittle-flecked denunciations of anyone who voted for Proposition 8 as a homophobic bigot -- when they show so little interest in the gays in the military issue? What makes SSM so special?
The cause of SSM is everything that the other is not:
- It's not individually empowering, because individual gay families actually gain virtually nothing from forcing states to call their domestic partnerships "marriages." All the benefit goes to the groups that flex their muscles.
- It fits in perfectly with the Left's general attack on American society as hopelessly bigotted, racist, sexist, and homophobic; and there is a clear divide between Left and Right, Democrat and Republican on the issue, with liberals and leftists supporting SSM and conservatives generally supporting traditional marriage. Thus enacting SSM -- especially through the undemocratic courts -- benefits the larger Left at the expense of the Right.
- Forced legalization of SSM constitutes the most wholesale transformation of traditional marriage, a core Western virtue, that has ever been attempted... and both Left and Right agree that achieving that goal would utterly upend Western civilization, Judeo-Christian religion, and all American tradition. Leftists pine for exactly that, while conservatives want to defend what we have now.
And if you think our tradition of freedom of religious worship will protect churches or synogogues, or even ordinary people, whose religion condemns homosexuality, you're in for a very ugly reality check. Please read this Michael Medved column; he explains why the gay activist tactic of offering "guarantees" that no one will be forced against his conscience to officiate at a same-sex wedding, forced to cater or photograph one, forced to allow gay married couples to adopt children on the same basis as opposite-sex married couples, is really no guarantee at all: As soon as SSM becomes a "fundamental right," any such protections written into law will be swiftly struck down by the courts... in lawsuits filed by the very same activists who offered them as "concessions" in the first place!
Conservatives who clutch for such a "compromise" will quickly find out that the deal is really "I win and you lose."
I believe that the Left, despite denials, knows full well that once they establish the precedent that the people have no right to restrict marriage to opposite sex couples, they will have established precedent for taking away the right of the people to restrict it to couples altogether... paving the way for polyamorous marriages (marriages between more than two people).
After all, if two men have a fundamental right to marry "because they love each other," then what is the legal argument against allowing three men to marry for the same reason? Or two men and three women?
Or -- and this is what it will invariably turn into -- one man and four women, just as the Koran advises. The addition of a religious demand for polygamy in fact strengthens the case against restricting legal marriage to a mere two people. Thus yet another dollop of sharia law will be injected into the squirming body of Western civ.
After a while, it may dawn on the people that a "marriage" that can mean anything in fact means nothing, and they will simply stop getting married, just as in Europe. And it's a short jump from people eschewing marriage to the same people eschewing pregnancy and childbirth. Just as in Europe.
Except of course the Moslem immigrants, who will begin colonizing America the way they have already colonized much of Western Europe, by immigration and demography.
SSM is a poisoned crossbow dart aimed directly at traditional marriage; its real purpose is not to allow "gay marriage" but to destroy marriage altogether; but in fact, it will result in the transformation of America into a sharia-friendly country, including polygamous marriage.
The path of destruction is clear, and yes, in its own way, it too is existential: If we allow same-sex marriage to be imposed upon us, or even if we give up the defense of Western virtues and "go with the flow," our fate will be the same as that of those who went before, across the pond; the barbarians will enjoy their final victory as our culture suicides itself into oblivion.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 28, 2009, at the time of 7:15 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3660
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Martial Arts and Marital Darts:
» Straight Eye for the Queer Guy from Big Lizards
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Five months ago, in the heady days of Barack H. Obama's spring fling, I noted that he (along with most other liberals) was far more interested in destroying traditional marriage, by foisting same-sex marriage (SSM) on Americans, than he was... [Read More]
Tracked on October 9, 2009 7:53 PM
» Here's Exactly What We Don't Need from Big Lizards
One issue where we differ with probably 90% of our readers is the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy for gays serving in military service. It was enunciated in 1993 by Bill Clinton, later endorsed by George W. Bush and... [Read More]
Tracked on February 10, 2010 2:26 AM
The following hissed in response by: MarkJM
Excellent discussion, and clearly on track. The left's primary objective is for power and control, in a desparate 'quest' to 'make a difference', because they're smarter than all other 'subjects', you know. They simply manipulate ANY and EVERY issue, and will lie, cheat, steal, even murder to gain power and control. I basically look at the Democrat platform, and say that it is the 'anti-10 Commandments' platform. Take religion out of it. If a society were to simply follow these 10 guidelines, it will probably end up OK. The left uses them to fuel hate and division rather than work towards a mutually benefitial goal, and does it quite well. God help this great Nation to save it from the Obamanation and his corrupt party minions! BTW, for all you lefties out there, 'Thou shalt not be gay', is NOT one of the commandents.
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
My sister sent me this one:
A. Back off and let those men who want to marry men, marry men.
B. Allow those women who want to marry women, marry women.
C. Allow those folks who want to abort their babies, abort their babies.
D. In three generations, there will be no Democrats.
Damn - I love it when a plan comes together.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Perhaps your sister has forgotten about the combination propaganda mills and re-education camps run by the government for the sole purpose of brainwashing America's youth into becoming Democrats. (I refer of course to the amusingly mislabeled "public school system.")
Darwinian self-deselection or not, we'll never run out of those buggers.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at June 1, 2009 12:51 AM
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
Or -- wait a minute, I've got an idea. To paraphrase the Bard of Avon, "First thing we do, let's kill all the teachers."
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