A gay-friendly flag on display at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base has been in the news lately.
A wounded Iraq war veteran argued on his social media blog that the flag illegally parodies the American flag, violating Title 4 of the U.S. Code regarding flag etiquette.
His comments reveal a more sinister edge when he cites responses from military personnel who thanked him for saying what they could not.
Active-duty personnel should not feel restrained from arguing flag etiquette, but some may choose to stay silent in expressing anti-gay positions.
Others feel the gay-themed flag is an expression of pride in both country and military service. The rainbow-themed American flag is an expression by gay military of pride in an organization that recently paved the way for more rights.
Throughout history, thousands of gay and lesbian service members have served proudly and honorably.
They fought in wars, losing their limbs, their loved ones and their lives.
Imagine those who could not mourn openly for partners who died fighting for their country. Imagine the tragic love stories forcefully thrown away.
Trying to deny gay service members their right to celebrate their love of country, and honor the service of past and present gay service members, is truly un-American.
It has been argued the gay-themed flag does not conform to the flag etiquette.
However, states in the south proudly fly confederate flags to the dismay of African-Americans and those who view these displays as sanction of the slave trade before emancipation.
It is not possible to rationally argue that flying a gay-themed flag on a military base should not be allowed while flying the flag of the confederacy should be celebrated.
The basic rights of free speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution are one of the most sacred in our democracy.
People across this great country hold varied opinions on every topic worthy of discussion.
Americans fly countless flags in support of causes, people and love of our country. Those who wish to protect the liberty of all should denounce specious arguments denying those rights. This country has no room for enemies in its foxholes.
And while it may seem like gays have come a long way, look again: Blacks were freed in the 1860s, yet in the 1950s they were still forced to sit at the back of city buses. Gay rights are in its infancy, with a long and winding road ahead.
For now, I have picked a comfortable seat at the back of my rainbow bus.
Nicoletti recently celebrated 30 years with his partner Scott, an ex-military officer. They are contemplating marriage but don’t want to rush into anything.
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