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Gays in the Military

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by RRedline, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I was watching PrimeTime tonight, and it brought back memories of <a HREF="http://www.globalaffairs.org/forum/showthread.php?postid=22136#post22136">this thread</a>. Two of the linguists who were discharged were interviewed, as well as a lesbian who was discharged from her position in the military as a doctor.

    The two men were caught together(not sure if they were in the same bed) after hours during a random raid at 3:30 AM. One of the men's personal belongings were searched, and love letters between the two men were discovered. Both were discharged for BEING GAY. Many other men and women were caught together that night during the raid, and most of them received minor punishments. None of them were discharged over it.

    The woman interviewed was in a relationship with her partner for fourteen years. Her partner became terminally ill from cancer, and she wanted to be by her side. Had she been the woman's daughter, mother or HUSBAND, she would have been permitted to take leave to be with her. Instead, she was discharged for BEING GAY. To top it off, she received a bill from Uncle Sam for almost $65,000. She is being forced to repay her medical schooling that was provided for her while in the military.

    The linguists are highly skilled people and are currently in high demand, especially ones who speak Arabic. It wasn't mentioned in the program, but I would assume that doctors could certainly come in handy in the next few months.

    Since 1994, when the "Don't ask, don't tell," program went into effect, more than 8,500 homosexuals have been discharged from the military. I wonder what would happen if there was a draft, and people started saying they were gay just to get out of it? Or would the rule be temporarily lifted during a draft?

    I have to say that I am outraged about this whole issue. I hope that one day we will look back at this policy the same way we look at things like women's suffrage and segregation. I just don't buy into the arguments that having openly homosexual men and women in the military would be a huge problem.

    Any new thoughts or should I not have bothered resurrecting this discussion?
     
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    My initial views on this issue have not strayed. I think if a person is good enough to do a great job it matters not what gender they prefer when they have sex. As long as that gender is 18+.
     
  3. Twingo

    Twingo Registered User

    My feeling is as of right now its the law. The people when they sign up for the military are well aware of the policy, so they know what they're getting into and they decide they want to go ahead and hide it in order to serve. Thats there perogative but there should be no whining when they are found out and asked to leave just as the law states.

    Now if we're talking about whether it should be law, it should not. Its just another classic Clinton law passed just to pander to a group. If I'm not mistaken gays weren't allowed in the military before the law either but after they were at least allowed in if 'no one knew' basically. Both being pretty much the same damn thing, once someone found out you were booted. I think its silly, but I also thing that society in generally is going to take a few generations more before being gay is not a four letter word. I mean we're still dealing with racial and female discriminations that have yet to fade away, and this one is another that is coming along well after that. My prediction is still 2 more generations for the racial and sex dicriminations to finally subside and probably 3-4 for homosexuals to finally get acceptence. Might sound evil, but it just takes several generations of kids being raised around these things for them to become a little more and more accepted and 'normal'. Oh well, just my random thoughts and observations.
     
  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think it's a "law", tho. I believe it's policy covered by the UCMJ. Yes, it's the legal manual for the military, but I'm unaware of any federal law that prohibits gays from serving in the military.
     
  5. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Twingo, I agree with most of your statements. However, I would like to point out that recruits are told, "Don't ask and don't tell." In the case of the two linguists that I mentioned, they didn't tell anybody. Military personnel searched through personal belongings and found a letter which implicated the sexual orientation of the two soldiers.

    "Don't ask, don't tell," really means, "No gays allowed." They just reworded it to SOUND like the military is exhibiting at least a little bit of tolerance. If no gays are permitted in the military, then they should state it more clearly. They won't do that because it may increase the amount of awareness that the general public has towards this situation. The two men that I referred to didn't tell anybody anything. They managed to keep it a secret for many years while in the military, and they were eventually discovered. The reason for their dismissal is because they are gay - not because they told somebody.

    As for Clinton, puh-leeeze. He talked like he wanted to help homosexuals, but what did he actually accomplish for us? He signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 which basically states that marriage is defined as a union only between a man and a woman. He most certainly did not 'pander' to homosexuals. He signed a bill which gives the states the right to discriminate against homosexuals as they see fit with regards to marriage. Surprise, surprise, almost all of them are doing just that. Bill Clinton is not the champoin of the homosexual 'agenda' as so many claim.
     
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I have said before I think the only problem with the homosexuals in the military is the heterosexuals in the military. In short, there would be problems for a short period of time and it would die out. You would not need any new regulations because there are already regulations about sexual advances and conduct. It is time for the military to give in.

    On another note I believe the homosexuality discharges are being used as an easy way out. With the stigma on being gay declining daily among a majority of the population, claiming to be gay is a way out of the service with little repurcussions down the road. In short I believe some are using the gay label to get out that aren't gay and I think gays are using it after they find something they don't like in the military, up to and including that they might get shot at.

    Do away with not allowing gays to join, enforce rules of sexual conduct and eliminate officers and men who cannot accept it.
     
  7. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    I agree with ShinyTop.
    Enforce the rules and eliminate/punish those that can't adhere to them.
     
  8. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    They call those Raids a "Health & Welfare." I know many people who had gotten Article 15's for getting caught with someone of the opposite sex in their room. They are allowed to go through your stuff. It is the military. Do love letters violate the "don't tell" part or is the Army Violating the "Don't Ask" part when they find the letters? Being caught together would violate the "Don't Tell" part I think. Either way, it is not a very good guideline.

    Is just opening doors for gays the best solution? I know I keep coming back to the same issues on this, but how do you handle the logistics of gays in the military? Do we still split things up by gender? Are Gay men only allowed to share a room with gay women? What about the communal showers? If I have to allow a gay man to shower with me, one who might be sexually aroused at my naked body, then why can't I shower with the women? If we are to rely on the professionalism of the soldier and laws about sexual misconduct that are in place now, then why can't we rely on those things now and let me shower with the women? Not all men are horndogs that would try something.

    The same is true for room assignment. How do we handle these aspects of gay inclusion without relying on trusting the gay soldiers not to try anything? Gay people are <i>still people</i>, it would happen. What is a fair policy for all that would allow inclusion? I haven't been able to think of one for 11 years now.
     
  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    It's all smoke. You don't change any other policies. Straights will have to get over themselves, and they will after a short time. What you don't get is that they are there now. Are erections popping up in the showers all the time. I don't think so. Most housing has much more privacy than it did when I was in. Let it happen, give it up, quit beating all these dead horses. It is the right thing to do.
     
  10. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    I agree that it is the right thing to do. But just throwing them together without a plan is not the way to do it. The company commander is the one who has to make it work. If we do not give them any guidance, the potential for disaster and harm is greatly increased. Let's pretend we are writing the guidelines for housing soldiers. What is the guideline you would recommend for handling a gay or lesbian soldier?
     
  11. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    A soldier is a soldier is a soldier is a soldier.
     
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I would not give any special housing or change housing. I would give orientation and training to current members to include their rights to be free of unwanted sexual contact. I would include the penalties for harassment of people.

    And I know who has to implement this. I was a company commander.
     
  13. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Thought we already did this Shiny? At least we do in the AF.
     
  14. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Agreed. It will work for gays also. There will be an initial uproar but it will settle down like it did for blacks and women.
     

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