Political Me

I don’t do politics. Anywhere. Those of you who know me, know this is true. I don’t like the arguments that come of talking politics nor the flame wars that come of posting a political discussion. I leave the politics to those who actually can handle the heated comments…people like Jester. Jester calls a spade a spade and is unapologetic about doing so. He can handle a political discussion on his blog, on his radio show, on Twitter, and face to face. I, on the other hand, prefer not to be embroiled in the glories of debate.

Until today.

See, I have questions. Questions about our culture and our government. Questions that juxtapose what my mama taught me is right and what is wrong up against what my father believed with his whole heart.

Lemme backtrack a minute and tell you about my Dad.  He was born in the Philippines. Came here when he was 14 and became a citizen. He refused to speak his native dialect with his relatives because he was an American citizen and the native language of the United States is English. He fought in WWII. He believed that the government of the United States of America was the best government in the world. After all, if he didn’t believe that, he’d never have risked his life in the jungles of New Guinea during the war.

Now my Mama had very strict ideas about right and wrong. She was the most fair person I’ve ever known. She saw no color nor sexuality when she looked at you. You could have a police record a mile long and she would not judge you by it.

So why the family history? Because yesterday a federal judge lifted the stay on his decision that struck down Proposition 8. Same sex marriages can begin taking place in California on August 18.

How this ruling fits in with my background goes something like this:

Everything my Dad believed about the greatness of our nation has now in my head become pitted against my Mom’s teachings about right and wrong.  You see, I have this project, it’s a same sex story set in the military. A Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell story. My characters live in California. I could change my plot and marry them now that the stay is lifted. But since one of them is still in the Air Force (the other one is former USAF) it would impact the story in a huge way. And it’s made my thoughts political to the point that I’m here spewing them on my blog.

If my characters married – and believe me, they are the types who would want to be married – they would have to hide that marriage because one them is an Air Force officer. How fair is that? It’s not. And it angers me.

A federal judge gives them the right to be married in this state and yet they can’t reveal that to their employer? Not revealing it to their employer means they can’t partake of the benefits that other married couples in the military have. And the fact that this arm of the federal government won’t acknowledge gays to the extent that they have to hide their private lives and go without the benefits military spouses have angers me and calls into question my father’s belief that this is the greatest government in the world.

What I’m going to do with my characters and how I’m going to end this novella is something I need to ponder now. Part of me really wants to make a statement by inserting the issue of marriage and gay soldiers’ rights into the book. But as I said at the top of this post, I’m really not that political. The fact that this injustice pricks me will probably have me mentioning it in the story. Whether I let it change anything in the plot is a toss up.

Essentially, my guys are who they are so I suppose it won’t change much in the story to mention this topic in passing. But I’d like to keep my raging sense of injustice out of it and I don’t know if I can do that.  I wish the military would just step up to the plate and deal with this. In the right way. The fair way. The fact that they don’t is an ugly, ugly mark against those men and women who put down their lives for us every day.

My mama would be so pissed. And I guess I am too.

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14 Responses to Political Me

  1. martymankins says:

    Being a person that supports full equality for all, I can honesty say that I hope that someday, all of the people that are against equality will wake up and wonder why they wasted so many years of their lives fighting what was right. We’ve had a long history in this country and world of supporting discrimination that I doubt it will go away anytime soon. But it’s nice to hope.

  2. martymankins says:

    Being a person that supports full equality for all, I can honesty say that I hope that someday, all of the people that are against equality will wake up and wonder why they wasted so many years of their lives fighting what was right. We’ve had a long history in this country and world of supporting discrimination that I doubt it will go away anytime soon. But it’s nice to hope.

  3. Kathy K says:

    What a great and insightful post… and it’s funny–maybe not haha funny–that if the right issue arises any of us can become political whether we like it or not.

    Lex, you do a great deal of good even with this post… one person at a time, right?

    Go you!

  4. Kathy K says:

    What a great and insightful post… and it’s funny–maybe not haha funny–that if the right issue arises any of us can become political whether we like it or not.

    Lex, you do a great deal of good even with this post… one person at a time, right?

    Go you!

  5. Jude Mason says:

    I’m not American so can’t say much about the laws or policies that rule your states. But, I can express my sadness for those who suffer because of the idiocy. This is cruelty at its finest. To offer a freedom that should never have been in question only to say you can’t tell anyone or celebrate the joy you feel, it’s just wrong. Bigotry isn’t a strong enough word.

    I wish you all kinds of luck in finishing your novella to your satisfaction. It’s going to be tough, but its going to be damn fine.

    Hugs
    Jude

  6. Jude Mason says:

    I’m not American so can’t say much about the laws or policies that rule your states. But, I can express my sadness for those who suffer because of the idiocy. This is cruelty at its finest. To offer a freedom that should never have been in question only to say you can’t tell anyone or celebrate the joy you feel, it’s just wrong. Bigotry isn’t a strong enough word.

    I wish you all kinds of luck in finishing your novella to your satisfaction. It’s going to be tough, but its going to be damn fine.

    Hugs
    Jude

  7. marot says:

    My view is the reason why some people in the military won’t set up to teh plate is because they are homophobic. I worked with plenty of gay women. Didn’t affect me in anyway. They go the job done & were great people to talk to & be around.
    The people that freak out are the ones in the combat arms or those “old school” soliders.
    I was told many times that I was “old school” in the way I worked. I was fine with that as it meant i actually worked. The only thing I hated was the fact that some thought I didn’t apporve of newer idea’s.
    They need to get over it & not worry that it is goign to spread. That is the worry, “Oh no, Sgt. Smith is gay. Everyone that workd for him/her, will be gay now.” I heard it.
    I laugh & say the reason why our country is great is because we accepted those that had no home because of their beliefs. When did that change?

  8. marot says:

    My view is the reason why some people in the military won’t set up to teh plate is because they are homophobic. I worked with plenty of gay women. Didn’t affect me in anyway. They go the job done & were great people to talk to & be around.
    The people that freak out are the ones in the combat arms or those “old school” soliders.
    I was told many times that I was “old school” in the way I worked. I was fine with that as it meant i actually worked. The only thing I hated was the fact that some thought I didn’t apporve of newer idea’s.
    They need to get over it & not worry that it is goign to spread. That is the worry, “Oh no, Sgt. Smith is gay. Everyone that workd for him/her, will be gay now.” I heard it.
    I laugh & say the reason why our country is great is because we accepted those that had no home because of their beliefs. When did that change?

  9. Carol says:

    To me, gay marriage and gays in the military isn’t a politicl issue anyway.

    It’s an issue of human rights and discrimination…bigotry…that has somehow found support from the goverment.

    It’s sad to me, and infuriating, that politics, our government, could ever even have the say-so in who marries who or who can be in the armed forces. As long as they are physically fit, why should anything else matter?

  10. Carol says:

    To me, gay marriage and gays in the military isn’t a politicl issue anyway.

    It’s an issue of human rights and discrimination…bigotry…that has somehow found support from the goverment.

    It’s sad to me, and infuriating, that politics, our government, could ever even have the say-so in who marries who or who can be in the armed forces. As long as they are physically fit, why should anything else matter?

  11. Kage Alan says:

    You know, I honestly hadn’t thought about that. It never even crossed my mind that in states that allow gay marriage or are about to, something like this could come up.

    My partner had considered joining the airforce at one time. I can only begin to guess what would have happened if he had and we were faced with the joyful prospect of getting married, yet not being able to acknowledge it out of fear he would be kicked out of the military.

    It boggles the mind.

  12. Kage Alan says:

    You know, I honestly hadn’t thought about that. It never even crossed my mind that in states that allow gay marriage or are about to, something like this could come up.

    My partner had considered joining the airforce at one time. I can only begin to guess what would have happened if he had and we were faced with the joyful prospect of getting married, yet not being able to acknowledge it out of fear he would be kicked out of the military.

    It boggles the mind.

  13. KL Grady says:

    I hear you! I’m a milspouse, husband in the Navy, and I find DADT rather laughable (but not in a funny way – more like incredulous) because the UCMJ doesn’t outlaw homosexuality. It doesn’t even outlaw homosexual sex. It outlaws any sex that basically deviates from vanilla missionary sex. In other words, most heterosexual service members could be booted based on what they’ve been doing with their spouses.

    The problem is that this rule is only enforced with homosexuals. Folks have lost sight of this issue. I guarantee we could apply DADT across the military equally -regardless of sexual orientation- and all of a sudden find commands that no longer want to pursue cases against soldiers and sailors who got heavy into the foreplay or anal play.

    Good luck with your novella. The subject sounds fascinating, and though I find military romances not at all romantic, I believe the unique conflicts inherent in a m/m military romance would make it a riveting read. Write on!

  14. KL Grady says:

    I hear you! I’m a milspouse, husband in the Navy, and I find DADT rather laughable (but not in a funny way – more like incredulous) because the UCMJ doesn’t outlaw homosexuality. It doesn’t even outlaw homosexual sex. It outlaws any sex that basically deviates from vanilla missionary sex. In other words, most heterosexual service members could be booted based on what they’ve been doing with their spouses.

    The problem is that this rule is only enforced with homosexuals. Folks have lost sight of this issue. I guarantee we could apply DADT across the military equally -regardless of sexual orientation- and all of a sudden find commands that no longer want to pursue cases against soldiers and sailors who got heavy into the foreplay or anal play.

    Good luck with your novella. The subject sounds fascinating, and though I find military romances not at all romantic, I believe the unique conflicts inherent in a m/m military romance would make it a riveting read. Write on!