With the prospect of homosexuals, or gays as they are now called, being allowed to serve openly in the military getting closer to a reality as the result of a favorable congressional vote this week (but not in the law yet and more procedures to go through), I have some thoughts on the subject.
It seems to me that the time has come for this. Society as a whole over the past decade in particular has become quite tolerant of the fact that some, well quite a few, in fact, of its members are homosexual. Not just the people themselves, but the whole issue is out of the closet if you will.
You don’t have to be a doctor or have a degree in psychology to make the simple observation that some people are just born with their sexual orientation wired different from the standard boy/girl relationship model.
I know at least two guys who probably think of themselves as macho men. One of them has a gay son and one a gay daughter. Both of them probably tried to deny it at first, but then realized what is what is and accepted it (whether they personally like it or not). They love their own offspring because they are their own blood.
And for those who oppose the whole idea of someone being homosexual on religious grounds, I like the notion that would mean they are questioning God’s own creation. And again, I really think that since the whole idea of admitting that so many people are homosexual around us has come into fashion (like I said, over the past decade), most people now realize from their own observation of family members or friends and acquaintances that people are born that way. As far as being influenced by other gays, I would only think that might have an effect if one had some inborn gay tendencies already.
While back a decade or more for people to be openly gay in the military might have hurt morale (or seem to have) in what had been essentially a he-man or all boys club with females serving only in support roles and in totally separate units and quarters, things are different today. The military is more integrated with women (they’ve even been okayed to serve on submarines).
So why can’t gays serve openly? It is behavior on the part of individuals that should be watched, and would be regardless of sexual orientation. What I mean is if a soldier or sailor or marine was doing something untoward or improper with or against another individual, disciplinary action, to include involuntary discharge from the service, would be in order.
The recruits of today have grown up in a world where homosexuality is accepted as a fact of life (by the vast majority).
No one would suggest that superiors, or even just individual service members, forcing or urging others to practice a homosexual lifestyle would be proper and in fact anyone would suggest that such would be wrong.
I suppose some might think that there could be improper sexual activity going on in field and combat or in barracks situations. To that I could only say such has been a fact of life forever. Soldiers in and outside war have been involved in illicit sexual behavior and have raped women. There always has to be enforcement against improper and illegal behavior, regardless of the homosexual issue.
The current don’t ask, don’t tell policy in which known or rather obvious homosexuals are allowed to serve just as long as they lie either outright or by omission of the truth about being homosexual but can be booted out at any time if word slips out is both absurd and costly in loss of personnel and training costs.
If it could be proved (and it could not I think) homosexuals actually imperil the services, then they should not be allowed to serve at all.
But the idea that if they simply keep quiet about their sexual orientation others will not realize the truth and will be saved from dangerous influences is also absurd on its face.