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Army Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguists

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Nine Army linguists, including six trained to speak Arabic, have been dismissed from the military because they are gay.

    The soldiers' dismissals come at a time when the military is facing a critical shortage of translators and interpreters for the war on terrorism.

    Seven of the soldiers were discharged after telling superiors they are gay, and the two others got in trouble when they were caught together after curfew, said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that defends homosexuals in the military.

    Six were specializing in Arabic, two were studying Korean and one was studying Mandarin Chinese. All were at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, the military's primary language training center.

    Full Story Here

    Kinda stupid if you ask me.

    Sure, "don't ask, don't tell" policy right? But with a tremendous need for Arabic translators?
  2. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    "Don't ask, don't tell" is just short for "If we find out, you're gone."

    This is total nonsense. These soldiers were good enough to make it as far as they did on their own merits, when people didn't know they were gay, but they are being discharged anyway? Give me a fucking break. This is discrimination - plain and simple. Apparently Uncle Sam is not an equal opportunity employer. This is one case where I will welcome all the big shot lawyers.

    If these men were causing problems such as harassing other soldiers or even flaunting their sexuality, then it would be justified. Other than the two who were caught together, all they did was tell somebody the truth. THE ONLY THING THAT CHANGED IS THE FACT THAT OTHERS NOW KNOW. They were gay for who knows how many years while serving their country, but this is suddenly a problem? And as for the two love birds who got caught together, I say so what again. What if a male soldier was caught making out with a female soldier after curfew? The damned person who caught them would probably want to join in. Either that or he'd keep it quiet, and everyone would go about their business.

    So I guess if there is ever a draft, I can just say, "Sorry, I'm gay. I'd looooove to go shoot some people, but I might fall in love with them and not be able to pull the trigger."
  3. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    While I agree with the military's arguments against gay soldiers as it pertains to certain combat situations, I don't see why a person's sexual preference should be a factor in this instance which sounds like non combat duties. Can the chain of command break down or morale be affected in critical combat situations due to hatred or bigotry in the ranks? Probably. If gays are in effect performing desk duties that involve translating transmissions or documents, do those duties rise to the same critical level in a life and death situation of combat? IMO, no. Or is the military's stance that all soldiers no matter what their specialty, are subject to being given a rifle and being sent in to combat? I don't know the answer to that.
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Not addressing overall issues yet, DRSLASH, but the answer to your question is yes, the first duty of all Army specialties is to be able to fight.
  5. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    Hence, the reason that no gay soldier is exempt from expulsion?
  6. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Exactly. That is the rationale.

    But these guys would have been OK if they were cunning linguists...

  7. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I can't believe I didn't think of that. But aren't they cunning linguists?

    By the way, why would anyone think that a gay person is not capable of fighting? I would gladly take aim at someone who threatens to harm me or my country. Even if his ass was really cute, I'd still shoot it. (You know what I mean)

    How long were these nine soldiers in the military? If they were not capable of doing their jobs, how did they last as long as they did? Doesn't this just show that their orientation didn't hinder their performance?
  8. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Not knowing any details I have always been suspicious when soldiers admit to being gay. Automatic ticket out - just before what looks like a war when, guess what, they might go overseas and have to earn the pay doing the job they were trained for. Anybody else slightly suspicious?
  9. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I thought it was strange that 9 people from the same place, doing the same job, were all dismissed for being gay. I think that's a big coincidence.
  10. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Explain this one to me. I never quite understood the reasoning behind this.

    Not all gays are flaming queens, and not all straights are couragous warriors... What has sexual preference to do with one's combat abilitities?
  11. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Agreed. I'm wondering if JAG is looking into it? I doubt CID would get involved, since it's just a regulations breach.

  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I don't have the regulations at my fingertips, but essentially, homosexual men are barred from combat operations just like women are. Essentially stated and withou the attendant legalese, military leadership feels introduction of such personnel into combat arms units would impair performance. Romatic relationships would occur, which would inhibit fighting effectiveness, as the soldiers involved would be more concerned about the other's welfare than the unit's as a whole.

  13. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    The military's arguments are that morale, order and discipline, and military readiness are affected by gays serving. The problem in many cases are not the gay person themselves but with those who they serve with. In life and death situations the military does not want things that they view as oppurtunities for break down. The line has to be drawn somewhere in creating and maintaining military readiness and since I am not schooled in the military I will defer to the judgements of those who are experts in this area. IMO, if there is going to be changes in this policy the changes need to come from within the military and not from civilian tinkering.
  14. jamming

    jamming Banned

    The following two quotes come from the "Review of the Effectiveness of the Application and Enforcement of the Department's Policy on Homosexual Conduct in the Military" of April 1998.

    Though I disagree with the hypocrisy of this Policy, it is a compromise that was agreed upon by both sides of the debate in 1994 and is better than what existed before.

    The Full Report is at Defense Link News
  15. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    At the risk of going slightly OT here, let's look at this from all sides.

    What about a buddy (or buddies) you went through basic with that has been at your side, and you've been at his side, through thick and thin, etc., etc. You've watched each other's backs. I'm sure this happens in the military. Does the military prohibit friendship, and the obligations it carries? I guess the answer would have to be yes -- each soldier would inherantly understand the concept of "the welfare of the unit" despite their feelings toward one another.

    While I can understand the importance of "the welfare of the unit over the individual" perspective, how can the military separate the obligation to an individual you care for due to commaradarie and true friendship, and one you think has a cute butt?

    Can you see the hypocracy here?
  16. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Guys who go through Basic are almost always sent to different units.

  17. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Well, that's one way to side step the question.
  18. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The trouble with gays in the military is not the gays, it is the people already there. I am not going to get in a pissing contest to justify it. Just saying that's the way it is. When the current policy compromise was reached it was apparently felt it was more important to have an effective military than to force social change. The courts have also recognized this need. Is the military different enough today to make the rest of the change. I really don't know. There is no question that in a perfect world the admission of gays to all specialties in the service would have no effect. There are enough regulations on the books about improper behavior that I do not think any more are needed.

    The fact of the matter is that the admission of gays in the service will cause problems with discipline, housing and immature attitudes. Those problems cannot be ignored. I hope when the policy does change that my fears of how it will be received are proven wrong. I doubt it. But the problems will diminish with time.
  19. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    I think there is a difference between romantic relationships and friendship. How that difference plays out in a combat situation is something I don't know. Do the military people know how relationships change combat dynamics? I suppose so, since policies have been set in this area. I think it goes without saying that romantic relationships are forbidden and training must address this in some way. I would also guess that making huge investments in friendships is discouraged in training. Just guessing, I could be wrong.

    Morale and discipline of the unit as a whole are other factors and not just the gay or straight soldier's relationships. As Steve pointed out women are not allowed in combat for morale and discipline reasons as well.

    The military is not saying that you can't be an effective soldier if you are gay, just that for military readiness sake you should keep that fact to yourself. I suppose that is what's at the heart of "Don't ask, don't tell".
  20. btdude

    btdude Veteran Member

    HMMMMMM You mean I suck dick, therefore I can't hold and fire a weapon? That's about RI DIC U LUSSS. I'm with RED here, I don't think I'll be killing guys on the front line, then stand back and say, Oh, gee let's wait a minute, I think I love him. Do you all have any idea how MANY gay men in the military that I personally know? You have no clue. Suffice it to say that there are WAY more than the proverbial 10 percent of the population. That does not include the military guys that are half way in the closet, with only their dicks hanging out the door waiting for a guy to be there. Yet, these guys get to be on the front lines and firte guns, cuz they are Straight. Yeah, whatever.

    I am gay, and I can't fight? HA HA HA . I read the story, and my take on this is that gay men and women should be allowed to serve their country in the military roles, including front line operations. I serve proudly. Surprisingly, gay guys can actually do more than desk duty and administrative functions. Some of us are actually fairly high ranking in government service already. We can be Senators, Rocket Scientists, Doctors, Lawyers, Next door neighbors, brothers, sisters, family members, Congressional Liaisons, and Special Assistants and Program Managers in high paid positions, but alas, we cannot admit we are gay, and still be allowed to hold and or fire a weapon on the front lines of battle.

    And, Baldy, before you lash out at any of this, take a breath and consider the amount of real knowledge you may or may not have on this whole gay issue. It is easy to clash with and criticize things you do not want to understand. :rolleyes: It's easy to agree with someone (anyone) else in here, who will I am sure, say that gay men have a place in the world closet, and we can be gay as long as we keep it a secret. BULLSHIT!! Now, before I attach a huge rainbow flag, I am going to calm down, and have some coffee.

    P.S. I probably would not be as reactive to your post if you had some sort of educated statement behind your text.

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