On September 20th Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will officially be repealed and for the first time in America’s history gays and lesbians will be allowed to serve openly in the military.
This is a cause for celebration right?
Nope. Not according to GetEQUAL, a activism group that has a chapter here in Ohio run by Tom Morgan. The Ohio chapter is planning a “Day of Discontent” protest outside the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on Tuesday in order to send the message that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell isa start but…it’s not enough. We still are not equal!,” according to the demonstration’s Facebook event page.
Though it might be an unpopular sentiment, Morgan and GetEQUAL do have a point. Gays and lesbians will be able to serve openly, but they won’t be allowed access to the pension, housing and medical benefits reserved for those in the military who are married. Think of this way, a gay or lesbian recruit with a partner of 10 years with two adopted children would not be able to bring his/her family with him if he’s stationed on a base in Germany, as a straight married couple would. And that’s just one example.
And that’s, of course, not to mention the rising gay hate crime rate, the fact that you still can’t be openly transgender in the military, the thousands of unequal marriage laws, the dozens of states with gay marriage bans, and the general daily spew of hate at LGBT individuals coming from televangelist and Republicans (generally the Tea Party. Did you see that CNN debate!? I wanted to throw my T.V. out the window.)
And join them for the protest in downtown Columbus on Broad Street Tuesday from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. Morgan suggests participants bring signs that say things like: “WE’RE STILL NOT EQUAL,” “FULL FEDERAL EQUALITY,” “I AM A PERSON,” “I DESERVE EQUALITY,” “DEMANDING MY EQUALITY,” “CIVIL RIGHTS NOW!” And they won’t be alone, as several GetEQUAL chapters around the country are planning similar protests.