DADT and the GOP Debate

September 23rd, 2011

During the GOP debate last night (is this a weekly thing now?), a gay soldier serving in Iraq asked Rick Santorum whether, as president, he would re-implement restrictions on homosexuals in the military. After he finished his question, members of the crowd booed him.

A person in the crowd said after the event that others “shushed and hissed” at the people booing, but nonetheless, it’s incredible to me that the jackasses who did it thought that was acceptable to jeer a soldier, let alone someone serving in Iraq.

What’s worse is Santorum didn’t even mention it in his answer. It’s absolutely unacceptable for people to do that, and they should have been called out for it. That’s shameful.

There is prejudice against homosexuals in the country, and specifically, the social conservative movement, and it was all on display last night.

Rick Santorum’s answer, too, was absolutely ridiculous. He said that we shouldn’t be providing special privilege and recognition to groups in the military, so he would re-implement “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Apparently Rick never realized that under DADT, heterosexuals enjoyed a de-facto special privilege. While gays couldn’t discuss their sexuality or even hint at it, heterosexuals could talk about their sexuality without repercussion. There was no problem with talking about how attractive a man (if you’re a female) or woman (if you’re a man) was, because it’s assumed that you are heterosexual. So, heterosexuals were free to (by implication) discuss their sexuality as much as they’d like, while homosexuals had to nod along and watch every word they said for fear it might “sound gay.”

If that isn’t a special privilege, I don’t know what is, and last night was shameful. It’s something that, when you see it, has to be called out for what it is: prejudicial bullshit. If we don’t, it’ll never change.