Image courtesy of http://diocuore.blogtownhall.com/2008/08/08/openly_homosexual_marines.thtml
Recently Religious Right organizations and other right-wing groups are making noise that President Obama will not only repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for the armed services, but also, that any such repeal will be a "back door" to gay marriages. Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me.
For one thing, as one conservative gay journalist (yes, they do exist!) cum former marine cum former porn star (ok, your head might spin at this point) argues that the rank and file do not care about the "gay issue." It has no bearings on the morale or discipline within the services. Click here to read his arguments, which unfortunately, were forwarded to argue against repealing the existing policy. At least, he and I agree on the supporting premises, if not the conclusion!
Now consider the logic of repealing such a policy leading to the sanctioning and legalizing of gay marriages. Repealing such a policy requires an executive order that the president issues. But legalizing gay marriages requires at least the assent of the jurisprudence, as we have seen in recent years in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California. And it probably will demand a nationwide law in place such as those in countries as diverse as Spain, Mexico, and Canada that have embraced gay marriage or variations of it. Such a law has to pass in the US Congress.
So how can repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lead to gay marriages? Perhaps the only impact such a repeal can have on the second hot button issue is in galvanizing support for gay marriages. But even then, trends in polling show that Americans are more and more against this military policy but still fairly stable in their opposition to gay marriages. So it is unlikely that Americans will be persuaded to see the ending of this policy as endorsement for gay marriages. I think Americans on the whole can see this military policy as unwise, irrational, and even downright silly but still balk at endorsing gay marriages. For one thing, the current policy undermines our readiness and sends the wrong signal to many of our allies that already accepted gays into the military whereas gay marriage is seen by many Americans as far more muddled since it has been demonized as the antithesis of the Judeo-Christian paradigm of the nuclear family.