Since 1993, the Center for Military Readiness has been fighting to keep gay men and lesbians from infiltrating the United States military. So now that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been repealed, what's next for the group that fought so hard to prevent the open service of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces?
They have no big plans yet, Elaine Donnelly, founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness, told TPM in an interview Monday.
"I'm not prepared to say yet, it's too soon to say because the new Congress has not yet come in," Donnelly told me. "The options before the Congress have yet to be sorted out. One thing I will say -- CMR will continue to support the troops, and our mission has always been to advocate high standards on a variety of issues, and that will not change."
But she's not ready to give up on the DADT battle either.
Showers are "huge issue," Donnelly said. "To pretend that throwing up a few shower curtains solves the problem is tantamount, again, to saying, well women should share close quarters with men, we'll throw up a few shower curtains and that will take care of it."
"I don't know about the gyms where you go or most people go, but the gyms that I've seen have a sign inside the door, and the door says inside the women's locker room 'no boys of any age are allowed.' Now there's a reason for that," Donnelley said. "It in no way is a negative reflection on anybody, it is just a sign of respect for modesty in sexual manners."
"Knowingly, you don't expose yourself to somebody who might be sexually attracted to you. Does it happen unknowingly? Sure," Donnelly said. "It's something that again, when you introduce an element of sexuality in an environment that previously did not have that, that is problematic. There will be consequences from that, because people are normal, they're humans, they're sensitive to that."
Somehow I don't think "modesty" is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says "soldier" or "marine" or "officer". I can't help but think that anyone claiming "modesty" would be laughed out of the military before ever seeing any kind of action.
It's interesting that except for the Junior Christofascist Zombie Brigades and wingnut chaplains, the people actually out there in the trenches really don't care what someone's sexual orientation is. It's the straight, white, evangelical women and men who have never seen military service (and John McCain, of course, but he has his own axes to grind) who obsess about naked young people in showers and call it "concern about military readiness." As with most hue and cry among homophobes, I suspect that this is telling us a lot more about them than it does about the dedicated men and women who just want to be able to serve their country and flag -- the same flag that the wingnuts are wrapping themselves in to try to deny them that right.