Tuesday marked the official end of the Defense Department’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. As would be expected, there was a spate of opinion articles by newly liberated active-duty service personnel celebrating their newfound freedom to be who they really are. Make no mistake, this issue is not about acceptance; it is about the desperate compulsion that some in the homosexual community have to celebrate their lifestyle. That is the problem: It is all about them, not the country, not their service and not their comrades.
Maj. Darrel Choat, U.S. Marine Corps, is a good example. His essay on the subject in Tuesday’s edition of The Washington Post contained the words “me,” “my” and “I” 41 times; the term “us” in reference to the Marine Corps was not used, and “our” was only used once. In his missive, he complains that not one senior Marine general officer “set a leadership tone that will turn the page on the prejudice of the past.” Maj. Choat and his cronies in the homosexual community will not be happy until there is a gay pride month to celebrate their heritage to match similar celebrations of diversity for blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and people from the Pacific Rim.
Maj. Choat bemoans the fact that blacks were publicly recognized by the Marine Corps commandant after the Battle of Saipan in 1944 for their contribution and wonders when homosexuals will receive similar recognition. If I were black, I’d be deeply offended by the analogy. Being born of color is not a lifestyle choice. Deeply religious people - and the Marines have plenty of them - are not morally offended by the presence of someone of another race; they are deeply offended by someone who flaunts moral conduct that runs against the grain of their belief.
The military trains its people to subordinate self to the good of the whole. This is the very essence of the discipline and unit cohesion needed in combat. Maj. Choat and his fellow homosexual advocates are about self. They want the organization to be about them. Acceptance and tolerance are not enough - they crave celebration and won’t stop until they get it.
Very few people in the military are falling for the argument that this is about tolerance. Most people I have served with have known or supposed that someone they worked with was homosexual. As long as that person was competent and did not disrupt the unit, the assumption was that what he did off-duty was no one else’s business. But that is not the agenda here. The real purpose is to make the rest of the unit openly embrace the entire lifestyle, and that will be disruptive to good order and discipline, even though the uniformed lackeys who have supported this change in policy deny it will cause problems.
The Defense Department cannot educate its way out of this one. It will be asking people to say that something is right that all of their religious and moral upbringing tells them is wrong. Unless some degree of restraint is shown on the part of people implementing the policy, this will not end happily. Maj. Choat and his ilk have already shown to be trying to force the open embrace of gays in uniform. Senior Marines have done the right thing. They have their orders and will carry them out, even though many feel it is a bad order. That will never be enough for the activists.
If homosexuals serving in the armed services keep their heads and don’t go overboard with their newfound freedom, things will likely be fine, but some like Maj. Choat are eager to rub this situation in the faces of their comrades. The major followed up his article with an interview on National Public Radio in which he giddily promised to take a date to the Marine Corps Ball. No one can stop him from doing this. This is all about him. However, his fellow students and the faculty at the Marine Corps University are under no obligation to go to the ball. There is no rule that can force Marines to attend a dance. There are other ways to celebrate the birthday of the corps. A boycott would draw the line and send the message that just because this is legal, it isn’t OK. If Maj. Choat and his date want to have the last laugh, they should be allowed to dance - alone.
Gary Anderson is a retired Marine Corps officer.