Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DADT Repeal

DADT repeal is typical of efforts to roll back discriminatory policy. There's been a lot of handwringing among Republican senators, conservative pundits, and... well... bigots about the rights of homosexuals to serve their country without deception. Asking gay and lesbian service members to hide a part of their identity is humiliating, despite the possibility that they might develop superior intelligence trade craft in the process. The Pentagon doesn't seen an upside in keeping DADT around in their report, despite all the protests from GOP quarters.

Removing discrimination against homosexuals is supposedly back-lash free, according to Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy. Anti-sodomy laws being struck down, anti-discrimination and anti-hate crimes legislation have been passed alongside predictions of calamities. In the wake of reform, nothing. No ill effects and no backlash. Same sex marriage in Iowa follows the same pattern, except a did form.

While 92% of Iowans report same sex marriage having absolutely no effect on their daily lives, that didn't stop a highly energized coalition of conservatives from voting Iowa Supreme Court judges off the bench for recognizing an Iowa constitutional right to equality for homosexuals. Traditional marriage may not have been threatened (or affected in any way) by same sex marriage, but there are negative effects of safeguarding equal rights, as three former Iowa Supreme Court justices can tell you. Recall that the Presidential election of 2004 was won largely on the backs of anti-gay voters. The demographics of the 2010 electorate was very similar to the 1994 electorate, which was also largely motivated by religious right voters. There is no reason to deny equal rights to homosexual couples who want to marry--except political cowardice. We'll find out how rampant a condition that is in the U.S. Senate when DADT repeal goes to the floor.

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