A brigadier general (in the US Army)has come out, as has a rear admiral (in the Coast Guard). They are pretty critical of the current ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. When I was in the military (pre-don’t ask, don’t tell), it was common knowledge that some of our colleagues were homosexual. Does it really make any difference? I don’t think so.
I agree. Homosexuality does not hinder ones right to serve. As Barry Goldwater said, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” True indeed.
Sexual orientation does not hamper one’s ability to defend one’s country. However more education in the military would be needed as well.
Though not a historian, I think it is safe for me to say that gays have been a part of humanity for a long, long time. Each culture/society throughout history has provided different levels of acceptance for homosexuality. For many western cultures/societies it may seem like there are more gays (both men & women) now then there used to be in the recent past. But, I think that is more a function of great acceptance and visibility in traditionally Judeo-Christian cultures/societies, rather than a larger number of gays being born.
If you believe the concept that at least 10% of the population today is gay, and you accept the above, then it is reasonable to assume that 10% of the population 10 years ago, 100 years ago, etc… were also gay. This means that throughout history gays have served successfully – often with distinction and bravery – in the military, whether their fellow soldiers have known it or not. Therefore, there is ample proof that gays are not “detrimental” to unit cohesion or any of the other bollox that you hear.
The problem with gays in the military is twofold, and neither has to do with gays themselves. One part is prejudice, pure and simple. As a species, we tend not to like people who are significantly different than ourselves in some way. This is even more so, when the people who are different occupy a minority group. For gays in the military, this means that once “out” to their comrades, they will often be looked down upon as now “less than” they were before.
The second issue, I think is stereotypes that are held by many people, especially straight men, about what it means to be gay. Many people think gay men find every other man (gay or straight, fat or thin, old or young, etc…) attractive. In other words, they think, if it has a dick and is breathing, we’ll jump on it. Plus, they often think that we just are incapable of keeping “it” in our pants, 'cause all we think about is sex. So, they become afraid that, a.) Pvt. Gayboy will be trying to seduce and/or “convert” Crpl. Straightguy; and, b.) Sgt. Gayman and Pvt. Gayboy will, at an inopportune time (like the middle of battle), start having sex and cause their comrades to be injured or die.
[quote]Sgt. Gayman and Pvt. Gayboy will, at an inopportune time (like the middle of battle), start having sex and cause their comrades to be injured or die.
“Kiss me Hardy.”
You want me to kiss yer what ? :shock:
Never a comma when you most need one.
“Kismet, Hardy” . . . wasn’t it?
Admit it, kids…the US military doesn’t quite pull out the Nobel prize-winners from society, does it? You can’t quite expect tolerance when the idea of fighting and killing (and the idea of patriotism) doesn’t usually attract the most tolerant kinds of people.
I personally don’t see what all the fuss about marriage and killing is about. Marriage can put a lot of stress on the strongest relationships and well, being a soldier…if you don’t already know my opinion on war, I am not going to take up your time on what could turn out to be a lo-ong tangent.
Strangely, though, the US military has been a force for change in the area of basic civil rights. The real problem is the hang up with homosexuality. The religious right and even the left are against it in general. They don’t need reason as they have the bible to back up whatever they say.
Well gosh darnit then, I’m gonna push to have the NFL shut down since the Bible also says that handling a pig skin is a sin and an abomination.
Yeah, one of the arguments I have with my parents is over the literal way they interpret anything that is in the Bible about homosexuality. But, the fact that with many other things – like handling pig-skin or wearing clothes made out of two kinds of cloth – they ignore. And, still more they take figuratively. Doesn’t make sense to me that this particular topic they’d (meaning conservative Christians and others) hold to so strongly, but be willing to “compromise” on things that I’d think were more important.
Imani… I just want to make certain I understand you… are you saying that tolerant people are more likely to be unpatriotic while patriotic people are more likely to be intolerant? I consider myself about as tolerant as anyone… and I also consider myself rather patriotic.
Now, re the issue… I have no doubt that gays have and can serve effectively in the military.
No offense meant to your folks, QM, but in my opinion, many “religious” people are quite confused. Witness the Vatican now scolding the US and its handling of the recently captured Saddam… In the eyes of the Vatican, Saddam (true evil incarnate) is to be treated with compassion, while gays are considered immoral. Go figure???
I’ve never served in the States. But I served in Taiwan, I don’t think it a good idea for gay people to serve. Not because they will do harm to others. But others will do harm to them.
According 10% theory, if your ugly oily SIR wanna take advantage of you, I don’t think you can say NO easily.
I don’t know how female soldiers go in the US army, can they live with male comrades?
I think the army is the nastiest place I has ever seen, don’t hypothesize that there are good people. Whether the US army is better. Dunno! Maybe.
Yes, but if he’s hot and it means a promotion, why not?
This is not a reason to keep gays out of the military. This is a reason to change the attitude of the people in the military. This thinking is the same attitude that says I should keep quiet about being gay because other people might treat me bad or they may feel uncomfortable. Why don’t we just find ways to educated people, instead of giving in to (and, therefore, tacitly encouraging) their prejudices by hiding.
[quote]According 10% theory, if your ugly oily SIR wanna take advantage of you, I don’t think you can say NO easily.
I don’t know how female soldiers go in the US army, can they live with male comrades?[/quote]
I’m not sure what the 10% theory has to do with your superior trying to take advantage of you. :?: However, this could happen whether your suprerior is straight (with female soldiers) or gay. But, this could also happen in the civilian world as well. There are many documented cases of bosses (both straight and gay, as well as both male and female) who have used their positions of authority to force sex out of subordinates.
“Hey, sweetheart… wink come over here and take some ‘dick-tation’ or I may have to reconsider that raise/promotion/your job.” :shock:
Meant to say this earlier… no offense taken, tigerman. I don’t know about other “religious” people, but my folks were brought up in a conservative Christian environment, as was I. In that environment you are supposed to develop a personal relationship with God. However, often, that doesn’t involve searching things out for yourself. Instead, people listen to a preacher/pastor/minister and what s/he says is considered… well, gospel. I think the same is true for many people and the Pope. Even though the pastor (or Pope) can be, and is, often wrong or, at the very least, a bit biased in their study of the scripture.
In the evangelical tradition I grew up in, at least, we were encouraged to seek out answers on my own. However, there are still topics that you are not supposed to (or, at least no one does) question. Homosexuality is one of them.
Needless to say, I didn’t heed that unspoken rule.