I know, you thought this ugly policy disappeared when it was ended for the military by Congress in 2010. After a transition period the practice officially ended last year, apparently with overwhelming acceptance by our active military personnel, to their credit.

Now a quick review if your memory’s bad. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was the law that allowed gays to serve in the military as long as they did not actively practice gay sex and did not make public their sexual orientation.

It was dumb then under that context and remains an abominable suggestion in any context.

Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa has emerged again from his Field of Nightmares to demonstrate that the most modern of his ideas emanate from the fifteenth century.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has some advice for gays facing workplace discrimination: keep your sexual orientation a secret.

“You have private sector businesses here and they need to have freedom to operate,” he said in an interview with ThinkProgress. “In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it’s not anybody’s business, so neither is it our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won’t know who to discriminate against in the first place.”

Gee, Steve, how utterly unrealistic and incredibly insensitive of you. That would mean that, while the guy from accounting can brag on coffee break that “I had a date with a really hot chick last Saturday,” the woman in the next cubicle can’t say the same thing.

Or the female supervisor in HR can announce her impending marriage to a Steelers linebacker but her male colleague has to keep quiet about his scheduled nuptials with the free safety from the Cowboys.

Baby showers are a staple of office and work life and have become popular even as a way to acknowledge adoptions. So Eve can be feted for the baby she and Adam are adopting from a Russian orphanage but Bill can’t openly rejoice about the foster child he and Jim have been nurturing together for five years and are now able to legally make their own child.

Why in the hell should people have to suppress part of the essence of their existence to prevent harassment at work?

I’m not saying that it is acceptable for workers to regale each other with tales of intimacies or bragging about how many sexual conquests they’ve made. I am saying that it is normal for workers to exchange personal information about married or single life or romantic breakups or other aspects of their humdrum existences that would inevitably give hints of their sexual orientation.

Then again, no one has the obligation to speak of these personal matters if they choose not to for whatever reason.

But acting normal at work should not expose oneself to discriminatory practices.

Steve King, please take your antiquated notions and retreat back into the corn. Like Ty Cobb, you’re not invited to play any more.

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  • little_minx  On April 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Why not just ban straights from mentioning at work any/all references to their private lives as well? No wedding rings, no photos of loved ones on the desk, no food brought in that was made be a family member… Heck, let’s just insist that everyone in the workplace pretend that they were hatched, or raised by wolves (I’ve had my suspicions about a few such over the years anyhow), or rescued from under a cabbage leaf!


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