With the news that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed and that gays or homosexuals as I prefer to call them (I hate when a perfectly good word, used frequently in headlines and literature into the 1960s to mean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.
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.
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.