Friends often ask, “Why do you spend your time reading comments on your blog?” The answer is simple. Comments are the way to assess what is on the minds of visitors to blogACTIVE and are often the source of leads and stories. With an RSS reader (I use NewsFire), it’s easy to quickly read every comment posted on the blog; which now total over 8,400!
Every so often, a comment is worth elevating to the front page. I recently receive such a comment from a member of the military:
I work for the US Army which is a pretty homophobic institution. Would it be justifiable to out me and ruin my career? Just curious
The short answer is ‘No,’ and the reasoning is simple. One of the hallmarks of blogACTIVE‘s work, since day one, is that this site does NOT report on individuals who will lose their job as a result of appearing on this site. With the ridiculous policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) in place, reporting on members of the military is not something blogACTIVE engages in. Tens of thousands of gay men and lesbians, perhaps more, serve in the United States military. They serve our nation well and to report on them simply because they serve under such hateful laws makes no sense to me.
The United States military branches Â Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard are serious business, not some fantasy for anyone to make light of. Most important, our brothers and sisters in the military are serving DESPITE the policy, not BECAUSE of it.
There are other cases when this blog has not reported on individuals because potential job loss was part of the story. When Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) released a written statement that he would not employ gays in his constituent offices, the case of one of his employees was closed. (At the same time, an Inhofe spokesman explained that this rule did not apply to committee staffers, and thus one of the first stories reported here was of Jonathan Tolman.) Why a gay man would want to serve on the committee staff of a Senator who would fire gays from his constituent offices is beyond my comprehension. Could there be anything more self-loathing for a political staffer?
Every — well most — rules have exceptions. If I learned that a senior military officer was gay and was also engaged in the management of DADT, working to destroy lives by discharging gay men and lesbians from the military, I would look at such a case with a much different eye than others serving our nation.
If you are a member of the military and are gay or lesbian, be sure to check out the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. If you’re not in the military, check ‘em out anyway so you can toss a few bucks their way to help defend our gay brothers and sisters in the miltary.