I don’t know if the younger members of our community realize in any way that they are in fact graced with being able to witness history being made for the gay community on what has become a fairly frequent basis. There are so many people who are no longer with us that fought for our rights and would have been gratified seeing just one of the causes they wee dedicated to come to fruition. Unfortunately most of them have passed on and never got to experience the freedoms we currently have while they were still on earth.
But one of the things they seemed to have that is sorely missing today is patience. I don’t know if it was a product of the time or not but years ago people inherently understood that things took time to accomplish. Today we have become so ingrained with the concept of instant gratification that we want whatever it is we want right now. A new phone comes out; we have to get it, now. A new YouTube post is out, we have to jump on the net and see it, now. A new drink hits the scene we have to be seen drinking it, now. A new look in fashion hits the street we have to adjust our wardrobe, now.
The most recent issue that has broken the bounds of history is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been overturned. Declared unconstitutional, rejected by most every other armed force in the world. I remember back when President Clinton attempted to overturn the ban they had congressional hearings on the hill. Even then the vast majority of expert testimony supported overturning the ban but the politicians did not listen. I can distinctly remember testimony by General Margaret Kammerer entering onto the record that homosexuality was not a psychological illness. And then when the Senators had their chance to ask questions, Senator Strom Thurmond asked “Major, if you knew you had this condition, why didn’t you seek medical help for it?” The idiot was not paying any attention to the testimony being given. His mind, like most all of the politicians of the day was made up long before any vote.
But now despite the political forces in Washington being so far removed from the tempo of the American people, the voice of the people has been heard and the law has been repealed. What we need to do is take a lesson from those who came before us and be a bit more patient. The ways of Washington are complex and take forever. But the law is overturned. However, the policy remains in place until the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that repeal will not harm military readiness, followed by a 60-day waiting period. It is happening, but unlike all those who fought for our rights in years gone by, you will see it. Lets cut a little slack to the President and all the politicians who did finally do the right thing. Washington simply takes time to do anything.