Earlier today the United States Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the policy known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. DADT forced gay men and lesbian women serving in the US Armed Forces to choose between the honor, dignity and responsibility of serving in the US Military and living lives in hiding. When I served as a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer in the US Navy was only about a year old. The policy was already having a powerful impact, forcing people to choose between closet and career. At that early stage of the policy chaplains were in a bind – - be a safe person to talk to, help people cope, follow policy? Difficult, difficult decisions.
Fast forward to today and victory – - people can serve for all the many reasons that men and women choose to serve in the US Armed Forces: love of country, patriotism, desire to help others, discipline, earn money for an education, dedication, love of brother/sister soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines. One’s sexual orientation no longer has to be a factor. Freedom. Freedom.
Judaism teaches us that all human beings are created in the image of the Divine, whether men love women, women love men, men love men or women love women. There are a variety of opinions within organized Judaism about the place of homosexuality in Judaism, but halakha and human dignity are not the same thing.
זה היום עשה הי - zeh hayom asah A – this is the day that G-d created, a day of rejoicing.
Some links on the repeal of DADT: