Friday, September 23, 2011

Rick Santorum thinks talking about your loved ones is a sex act

A few ugly Americans flew their bigot flags on national television during last night's Fox News/Google-sponsored Republican primary debate. Stephen Hill, a gay soldier currently serving in Iraq, asked the candidates whether they planned to reinstate DADT if elected. A fistful of audience members booed the active duty serviceman as he asked his question, adding "booing a soldier" to a rap sheet which already includes "cheering for the death penalty" and "cheering for the deaths of the uninsured." One wonders if the jeering meatheads would be willing to fly to Iraq in order to boo Mr. Hill's rippling biceps in person.

Co-moderator Megyn Kelly directed the active duty soldier's question to professional gay-basher Rick Santorum, who answered with his usual steaming pile of incoherent, pseudo-moralistic excrement:
SANTORUM: I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, and removing don't ask don’t tell. I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing: to defend our country...  
KELLY: What would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill?  
SANTORUM: What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was president. That policy would be re-instituted as far as people in, I would not throw them out because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was- sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.

What "special privilege" did the repeal of DADT give gay & lesbian service members other than the right to willingly risk taking a bullet (or, more likely, an IED) without having to lie about who they're writing home to? Gay & lesbian service members haven't been granted any "special" privileges in a post-DADT military, they've just been granted regular privileges—like the right to speak with honesty about how much they miss their significant others without fear of being booted out of an all-volunteer armed forces.

Santorum's incoherence reached operatically idiotic heights as he argued that "sex is not an issue" in the military, that it should be "left alone" and people should just keep their orientations to themselves. Mr. Santorum, like many of his ilk, fails to understand what "keep it to yourself" really means meant for a gay soldier.

It meant that when everyone else talked about missing their wives, husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends, the gay soldier had to remain silent. Or, if s/he wanted to commiserate with buddies about the pain of being separated from a significant other, then the gay soldier was forced to lie. It meant that gay soldiers had to actively hide their private lives from their fellows and superiors, constantly living with lying just to continue to be allowed the "privilege" of risking their lives for people who would boo them on national television.

Men like Rick Santorum believe homosexuality is only about having sex. In his world, gay people don't form genuine bonds with their significant others, they don't rely and depend upon their partners for support, they don't yoke themselves to each other and build a life together. In Rick Santorum's world, DADT served the purpose of shutting gay soldiers up because he thinks they're icky.

"I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military." Rick proclaimed. But DADT wasn't really about just sexual activity, it was about orientation. A straight soldier saying "Hey, I sure miss my wife!" is not a heterosexual sex act, and a gay soldier saying "Hey, I sure miss my boyfriend!" is not a homosexual sex act. Stephen Hill was not committing a sex act when he showed his face on national television and admitted to being a gay soldier, which could have gotten him discharged just one year ago.

Of course, Mr. Santorum might actually believe that service members ought not be allowed to talk about their significant others, period. But more likely he just doesn't want to face the reality that there are gays & lesbians who chose to do something he has never done: risk life & limb for their country while enduring long separations from loved ones. And he can't tell them to shut up anymore.

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4 comments:

Jeff Evans said...

There really isn't anything I can think to add to that. Thank you.

margaret_crymes said...

Thank you and you're welcome.

Marybeth Lavrakas said...

love to see his take on all those straight soldiers patronizing hookers down in Fayetteville (and everywhere else there's a base)

Tony Mango said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. It's so annoying that people focus on these "issues" which shouldn't be issues in the first place, yet the true problems our country (and society in general) are suffering from are never really addressed.