There has been a lot of press these days about the Senate voting to eliminate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the Armed Forces. It is newsworthy because it strikes down a twenty year old policy that allowed gays and lesbians to serve as long they kept their orientation and lifestyle secret. I suppose that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a nuanced difference from the previous policy that simply outlawed gays and lesbians forcing those that served to, um, keep their sexual orientation and lifestyle secret. This recent ruling makes it able for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US Armed Forces.
I heard references today on the Sunday morning news shows relating this ruling to the integration of the Armed Forces by then President Harry S. Truman. Many thought it was about time. Others, that were against it, believed it would undermine the integrity and cohesion of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces survived. A prevailing opinion is that the integration of the Armed Forces led to the civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s leading to a more integrated society. There were conjectures that this ruling in the Senate may have the same impact on our society.
I think society was ahead of the Armed Forces on this one. Corporations have included domestic partners in their benefit offerings for several years. Various states have passed laws allowing gay marriages. The debate has been pretty vigorous. People are either for it or against it. Humanism dominates one side while religion dominates the other. As usual, and I am sure to the chagrin of some readers, I am well ensconced in the gray zone.
In fact, let me think outside of whatever box we are in. If we keep breaking and repealing societal or social taboos as we have regarding race, sex, and now sexual persuasion, let me suggest that polygamy is next. Of course, most people will read this and think something is wrong with me for suggesting such an abomination. How could I? What am I thinking? Oh, give it a break. I am playing here. The worst you can accuse me of is being a sarcastic jerk. At least if you said that I would give you credit for being able to read and interpret.
Gay relations were such a taboo, they were rarely discussed. The majority, not all that long ago considered it an abomination against God. Now? It is not. Whoever decides what God thinks simply changed their view. So, why not the same for polygamy? Any guy that can afford several wives should be allowed to quadruple the complexity of his life by taking a second wife. Heck, people have wives and mistresses now. Why make these poor souls skulk around worried about being caught and exposed? Why should they feel shame? The logic is almost the same as with gay marriages.
And since we are no longer sexist, why shouldn’t women be allowed to have a harem of husbands? Women have husbands and lovers today? Why make these Queen Bees have to skulk around worried about being caught and exposed? Why should they feel shame? The logic, again, is the same. Why shouldn’t charismatic gay men and lesbians be allowed to do the same? I predict it is the new frontier.
What comes after polygamy? Bestiality? Why not? Child brides and grooms? Why limit it to animate beings. Shouldn’t people be able to wed their computer or favorite chair? Seriously. It is about people being happy and being able to live their lives however they see fit as long as they are not bothering or hurting anyone else and all that blah blah blah. Or is it?
People are always willing to tell other people they are violating this norm or that. I think the only progress we have really made is that we just make people feel bad and remain silent in public. This is much better than what we used to do which was to beat them up, throw them in jail, or kill them. At times, it all sounds like some kind of convoluted Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to me.
Remember polygamy… you heard it here first. I wonder how HR departments and estate planners going to handle this one.