A Pretext of Openness

BY PRENN@LAW.HARVARD.EDU

Discrimination against “open” homosexuality is a flimsy pretext for sexual orientation discrimination. Vonn Christenson’s ludicrous insistence on the looming threat of “sex in the open” should gay servicemembers be allowed to serve openly is an excellent example of how far supporters of “don’t ask, don’t tell” must go–and what outlandish scenarios they must concoct–to defend their bigoted policy. “Open” homosexuality, as the military conceives it, is as simple as revealing the fact that you have a girlfriend if you are a woman, something that every heterosexual male soldier is permitted to do. Allowing gay men and lesbians the same rights as heterosexuals is a far cry from leading us down the slippery slope to Vonn Christenson’s incredible hypotheticals, or somehow justifying them by analogy.

Likewise, most Vonn Christenson’s arguments are just a flimsy pretext for the real reason that he bothered to write in: his belief that homosexuality is immoral, which was hastily tacked on at the end of the column. If that’s what the *real* debate is about (and if that’s the *real* reason why some students don’t oppose the Solomon Amendment), why not be honest about it, instead of couching your morality in poor logic?

Peter Renn, 1L

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