So, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday that he supports Don't Ask Don't Tell because homosexual acts are "immoral."

Pace said the Pentagon should not "condone" immoral behavior by allowing gay soldiers to serve openly. He said his views were based on his personal "upbringing," in which he was taught that certain types of conduct are immoral.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace said in a wide-ranging discussion with Tribune editors and reporters in Chicago. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.

"As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," Pace said.
Now we get down to it. Now that the bullshit about "unit cohesion" has finally been well and truly undermined, with 73% of soldiers saying they'd serve with gays and lesbians, all that's left is to call Teh Gays immoral.

At which point, someone needs to ask General Pace why he believes homosexuality is immoral. If his answer is: "God says so"—which, quite honestly, it appears to be, what with his reference to having been "taught that certain types of conduct are immoral"—that's not an appropriate answer for justifying public policy in a country ostensibly guaranteeing freedom of (and from) religion. And, because DADT is a civil law as well as a military regulation, it is, in fact, public policy and ergo up for debate, unlike most military regulations.

There's also the inconvenient little problem of lots of Americans who could argue in favor of the repeal of DADT with the argument: "God says so." See, some people's upbringing included being taught that denying equality is immoral, but homosexuality isn't. That's the whole conundrum of invoking God as the singular rationale for or against public policy—God says lots of different things to lots of different people, and all of them think that they're right.

So we've got to have some other way of determining public policy—and it's oh so serendipitous that, the day after we had a discussion about religion not being the singular genesis of morality, I'm given the opportunity to apply my tired old "my rights end where yours begin" secular construct again (which is popular with lots of religious folks, too, as it happens—mostly those who like to keep their relationship with God just between them and God). It's just so gosh-darn useful, because most of the things that people like to argue are God-says-so bad, or intrinsically bad, also happen to fail the MREWYB test. Like murder, for example. God prohibits it, most people have a visceral aversion to it, and it clearly can't pass the MREWYB test, because your right to live prevents my having a right to murder you. Done and dusted. It's only the things about which even the God-says-so folks can't really come to an agreement, about which average people have vastly different innate reactions, that we really need another strategy. And that's where MREWYB becomes extremely handy.

And same-sex relationships pass the MREWYB test with flying colors. Spudsy's right to kiss and hug and love and fuck and marry and get a flat and a car and an adorable dog with his husband has absolutely no capacity to infringe on any of my rights. Or anyone else's. And the cool part about it is that it doesn't stop anyone else from complying with God's wishes as they interpret them. If your God says homosexuality is immoral, then you don't have to be gay—but the people who are gay can be as gay as the day is long, and better yet, equal to the rest of us.

That's what we MREWYB-ers like to call "a win-win situation."

Repealing DADT provides another awesome "win-win." Gays and lesbians can serve their country, and homophobic fuckwits can find another career where they won't be bothered by Teh Gays, like interior design.

And maybe General Pace can shut his bigoted piehole and the Army can put his sorry old ass out to pasture where it belongs. And while he's chewing on his cud, perhaps he can chew on this, too: The gays and lesbians who are willing to die for this country, in spite of its stubborn insistence on treating them as second-class citizens, are patriots of such profound resolve that denying them their chance to serve honestly and openly is a rather more spectacular moral failing than two boys kissing could ever hope to be.

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