Friday, February 8, 2008

Service Before Self: Sacrifice from the Closet

Let's look at the bottom line... money and benefits. Free health care for straight families... none for a gay family. "With dependent rate" housing allowance equals "withOUT dependent rate" housing allowance for gay families. "Family Separation Pay" for servicemembers deployed to combat is a clear misnomer. It needs to be renamed "Straight Family Separation Pay" since gay servicemembers are denied this benefit (essentially taking a pay cut). Freely given "time off" to take care of an ill straight spouse is "Chargeable Leave" for gay servicemembers. When moving from base to base, household good weight allowances are higher for straight families than for unrecognized gay families. Spouse employment benefits, overseas sponsorship, immigration privileges for foreign-born spouses, on-base services access... the list goes on and on. Denial of all these benefits for homosexuals and their families is how DADT discriminates against homosexuals...

Ultimately, I want to sit on a stage at my retirement ceremony one day and thank my chosen family in front of my peers. I want the Air Force to present my partner a certificate thanking him for his support of me and ultimately the nation. To say his sacrifice didn't go unnoticed. My partner supports me unconditionally knowing he will probably never be recognized publicly and thanked. He never raised his hand to support and defend the Constitution like I did. By supporting me, he does just that. I want America to recognize me, him... and all of us. Is that so much to ask?

Excellent post by "Todd Allen Knots", the nome de plume of an active duty Air Force NCO. Read the whole thing.