March 13, 2007

Letter about General Pace's Comments

Most of my writing lately seems to be in the form of letters to the editor, so I thought would post some of them. Here's a letter I wrote to the White House concerning Gen. Pace's comment that discrimination against gays in the military was justified because homosexuality is, according to him, "immoral."

In the same way that in the early 20th Century, President Wilson announced that soldiers in WWI were "bringing freedom and democracy" to Europe, while at home women were denied the right the vote, President Bush is claiming that the U.S. is "bringing freedom and democracy" to Iraq, while our armed forces continue a discriminatory policy against gays and lesbians in the service. Our national hypocrisy on this issue cannot stand, and the attitude of General Pace is ignorant and bigoted. No person has the ability to choose their sexual orientation, so morality has nothing to do with it. In an era when people willing to serve are in short supply, we can ill afford to exclude brave men and women on the basis of an irrelevant characteristic. Sexual orientation has no more effect on morale than did race during WWII, and its continuation as a basis for discrimination is equally wrong--morally wrong.

I am heterosexual, and I am not a member of the military, so I do not have a personal agenda, but I feel very strongly that lack of leadership on this issue will be looked back on with contempt by future generations. If "all men are created equal," then we must treat them that way, and not create an underclass based on biologically-determined characteristics. Neither gender nor race nor sexual orientation should keep any American from the pursuit of happiness.

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