Openly Same-Sex Soldiers: Will The Tolerance Work Both Ways?

Bob Siegel Bob Siegel Leave a Comment


Originally  published in Bob Siegel’s Washington Times column, Dec. 3, 2010. Reprinted by permission.

As the discussion regarding voiding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” continues in Washington D.C., some simple, but honest, questions seem in order.

I request that you, the reader, recognize that they are put forth respectfully to anybody (gay or straight, civilian or military, Democrat or Republican) who supports the abolishment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

• In your eagerness to stress equality, are you remembering to take the rights of everybody into consideration or only gay rights? Are there non-gay rights to be considered?

• Does not our First Amendment protect the rights of Christians, Conservative Jews, or Muslims who have sincere religious reasons for objecting to certain lifestyles?

• How about nonreligious conservatives? Do they have rights? Would these same people be allowed to non-violently, but openly, express disapproval of homosexuality if same-sex soldiers came out of the closet in the military?

• Would you be just as eager to protect their free speech, or would you insist (like Canada) that such people remain silent out of a fear for some new “Hate Speech” charge, ironically creating a different kind of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” environment for those whose convictions happen to differ from yours?

• Will honest responses to same- sex disclosure be labeled as hateful?  Is it possible that somebody can disagree with a lifestyle for reasons having nothing to do with hatred? Can we give them the benefit of the doubt, or will this be a case for new thought police?

Assuming this policy is rescinded, what kinds of scenarios might be anticipated? Supposing somebody overhears:

“Thank you for your honesty in admitting that you are gay. Allow me to be just as honest: I have religious reasons for disagreeing with your lifestyle.”


“I’m not religious at all. Still, I must confess, your personal revelation makes me feel awkward. This is not unlike people of the opposite sex sharing my barracks and shower room.”

In today’s PC climate, one can only imagine the fireworks set forth if a member of our military utters anything even close to those statements.  Naturally, the best question of all inquires as to whether or not all our sensitive adaptation of tolerance will work both ways.

Don’t bet the farm on it.

Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at Comments to posts are discussed by Bob over the air where anyone is free to call in and respond/debate. Call in toll free number: 1-888-344-1170

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