Gays can serve openly in the military — seems like the acts not the idea should have been illegal…

December 19, 2010

With the news that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed and that gays or homosexuals as I prefer to call them (I hate when a perfectly good word, used frequently in headlines and literature into the 1960s to mean happy, but now meaning homosexual, is ruined ), I’m wondering why anyone was ever kicked out of the military for being “gay”.

I can understand being kicked out for performing homosexual acts — especially while on duty — or for somehow using sexuality in a harassing or harmful or threatening way, but I cannot understand being kicked out simply because one has a certain sexual preference.

What I am trying to say is that a kind of obvious version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should have been in place all along. In other words, no one could be kicked out or blackmailed (because he or she would be subject to being kicked out) for having a certain sexual preference, but could be kicked out for overt acts that would hurt others and be harmful to the military in general. inappropriate sexual behavior is what should have been outlawed all along.

But all that is water under the bridge.

Apparently there are some procedural matters to be cleared first, but as far as anyone knows, within weeks or a few months, gays will be able to not only serve in the military but not be forced to lie about or otherwise withhold the fact that they are gay or homosexual, if you will.

Polling shows a substantial majority of the public (77 percent) sees no problem in this. Society evolves, for good or bad, as we all know. What was not accepted yesterday is accepted today.

John McCain thinks letting gays serve openly in the military is a bad idea. But I have the impression he is worried because he takes pride in the macho image of the military he knew and that he likes to think still exists. I don’t mean to disparage machoness. I think it may survive in certain units and that may work well for them. But the fact is that society has evolved and women, who by definition are not macho, do more of a variety of jobs and closer to combat and sometimes in combat and anyway these modern wars do not seem to have front lines or the front line is everywhere at once. So anyway, the worry that soldiers might be too effeminate, either because they are females or because they are gay (and of course you can be both (as in lesbian or even manly but female — and geesh this gets confusing) no longer seems a reason for concern or relevant to the issue of military preparedness or effectiveness or unit cohesion.

But I will say this, a photo that shocked and even kind of revolted me was one I saw in a news magazine (remember those?) some years ago showing two male and gay sailors in their traditional sailor outfits, standing one behind the other with one with his arms around the other in some kind of pose that looked like husband and wife.

McCain was in the Navy. Yeah, I can see how you might feel Mr. McCain.

P.s.

There is always the question of the military’s allowable reach into the private lives of its members and what constitutes duty and off duty, I think. My experience with the military, though, is that it’s members do not have the exact same rights as do civilians, being as how its members are under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And to some extent, those in the military are always on duty.

P.s. P.s.

I did not mean to suggest in this post that allowing gays or homosexuals to serve openly in the military is either a good thing or a bad thing. But actually it is or was kind of inevitable with society’s changed attitude and knowledge toward homosexuality. Most reasonably intelligent people see the obvious evidence that people are born homosexual and accept that fact no matter what their personal feelings or comfort zone with homosexuality might be.

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Homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly in the military; they have to behave themselves just as others must…

May 28, 2010

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.