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.
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.
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.