The End of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
I’m always loathe to personally embrace gay rights as a Jewish issue. Movements concerned with either contemporary social justice issues or maintaining relevancy are mentioned in this article in Jerusalem Post.
Points for consideration and discussion:
1. Is this really a Jewish issue?
2. In spite of the fact that we are blessed to live in a nation where civilian control of the military is paramount, is it troubling that many Jewish voices on this issue, such as Rabbi Wernick of the Conservative Movement, have not served as either troops or chaplains? Are there Jewish military voices speaking on this issue, or would like to?
3. How does this positively or negatively affect Jewish service, if at all?
4. Can we reshape the dialog to stop being dishonest? Attempts to make this about anything other than fairness, i.e. the “this is a national security” issue mantra, ring false with an organization where by rule, we are all expendable.
A topic I am curious about is based off a recent Sexual Assault Prevention briefing. An astounding number of sexual assaults within the military are male-on-male attacks, with 95% of the accused perpetrators identifying as heterosexual. Just to clarify, my thought here does not involve “gays-as-villainous-rapists,” but rather, with the removal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I can only assume would be the Congressional modification of current UCMJ articles as well, without additional protections implemented, will homosexual men in particular end up as a statistical victim class?
Whether for or against homosexuals within the military, there are many fine points for discussion. It’s not an issue I’m personally invested in nor particularly concerned about, but with Jewish groups choosing to identify this as a “Jewish issue” on the behalf of the aggregate, I’d like to give Jewish service members, past and present, a forum to air our thoughts.