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Thursday, March 01, 2007
'Don't ask, don't tell'
Marine veteran Eric Alva announced his homosexuality on Capitol Hill on Wednesday in an effort to gain support for a proposal that would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military.

Should gays and lesbians be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces?
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I don't think it is fair to force those who are straight to share berthing and shower spaces with known homosexuals. That would be the same as placing a straight man in with straight women and expecting everyone to feel OK about it. I'm not saying that a homosexual cannot control themselves, but I'm saying that straight folks would always feel like they had to protect their privacy, which is not always possible in the field, onboard ship, or in other tight quarters. It comes down to the homosexuals' "right" to serve versus the straight persons' right to work and live in a harassment-free environment, including the indirect harassment of knowing the person next to you is gay and you are forced to sleep, change clothes and shower in front of them.
In not allowing gay or lesbian service members to serve, the United States Military is sending a clear message of hate, injustice, and intolerance. In a world where most people embrace diversity, this reclusive ban is sub-human. It harkens the days when African American service people, or Native American service people were segregated, and un-recognized for their ability, and additions to various war efforts. Being a homosexual in no way, shape or form inhibits one's ability to adequately, or superbly serve their country. With the mounting support, including many current and former generals, the United States Congress cannot avoid the fact that this discriminatory measure must be repealed.
There are many gay and lesbian active in the military today. So, the question should not be if they should be allowed, but if they should be allowed to be true to who they are. As an out and proud gay man, I am thankful for my fellow brother and sisters who wish to protect and serve their country. They are willing to server a country that does not welcome them, and treats them as 2nd class citizens. They have every right to serve their country as out and proud as they wish. I agree that someone's sexual orientation is a personal matter and is not a mandatory discussion for someone else. The queer individual should be allowed to reveal their orientation to whoever they wish, and should not be forced to publicize anything during admission to the military. We allow many other minorities into are military and the gay and lesbian population should be no different.

I don't understand how someone's sexual orientation, race, religion, class, or gender reflects their ability to serve their country. My fear is not that of a gay and lesbians, or any other minority solider, but that of the narrow minded, right winged "Christians" that will serve along side them. How does our military plan on protecting a Queer, Jewish, Muslim, or any other minority individual from another's hate and discriminate?
I can only speak for my gay brother who served our country in the Air Force for eight years, but his fellow servicemen were either like family or work colleagues. He would no more have slept with them than with me.

He's always had the same scathingly honest response to heterosexual men who felt somehow "threatened" by his existence - "Don't flatter yourself". It would have been no different in the service.
Even though Quickvote says in the disclaimer that the poll cannot claim to have scientific validity, in my humble opinion, with as large a difference as 2 to 1 (67% yes, 33% no), there can be little doubt that the national mood breaks along somewhat similar lines. By the same token when the difference breaks like 52% to 48%,it is a fairly safe bet that society as a whole reflects that same conflict.
Most combat troops have enough problems they don't need some gay guy running around........makes real men nervous
I served in the Army in the late 60's and 70's and I for one don't have to even guess what my answere would be for today's topic. I would and did answere no without hesitation. With the way things are going I don't expect this country to last another 50 yrs. Morality and responisiblity or lack of has declined in the last 20 yrs. I think this country should bring back the draft and make everyone appricate what they have in this country. Let's get back to what the true meaning of the word gay means in a happy way and not what others have put on the word.
Gays and lesbians SHOULD be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces, but as President Clinton discovered, the U.S. military cannot guarantee that all the members of the military (i.e., the lowly grunts) are enlightened enough to deal with it. Perhaps the military's policy should be "We don't care if you are gay or lesbian, but to protect you from your fellow soldiers whom we have armed with guns and whom we cannot control 24/7, we strongly recommend you keep your sexual orientation to yourself."
Our men and women are fighting for freedom and the american way. Thats everyones not just the one, we all agree with. If we can go fight in lands far from home in countries most of our kids cant even find on a map i think we should be able to look past something as simlple as being gay or not.when it comes donw to it what does that have to do with being able to shot a gun ordrive a trand or fly a plane?
Individuality simply can't exist in the military. Soldiers follow orders and do a job for their country. There is no need to specify you're menopausal, Asian, Protestant, or gay. Don't ask, don't tell works just fine.
Currently, the smallest branch of service is the Marine Corps with less than 200,000 personnel. If even 10% were gay, that would mean about 180,000 are straight. If 25% of those refused to servce with openly gay, that would mean the Corps would loose 45,000 Marines. This doesn't even take into account those who would choose not to enlist in the first place. The gay community is still the minority and not fully accepted by the majority. This nation as a whole is not going to sacrifice it's military and security for any minority group. If you want openly gay in the military, then bring back the draft because this is an issue that will bring a end to the all-volunteer force.
What is important is that education comes before any policy change. As hatred is born of ignorance and unfortunately, the military doesn't always embrace people who are well educated on the finer elements of social interation. In fact, a lot of the time the military consists of many who would commit a hate crime if they were exposed to a potientially homophobic opportunity. Perhaps "don't ask don't tell" is a proper procedure given the leadership of lack of proper leadership, at this time in U.S. history.
It sickens me to see such a drastic response of "yes". Where are our morals? Being "gay" is still not accepted by society as a whole, and allowing individuals to serve openly in an institution that has forbidden it since the beginning would only cause a greater distraction than we face today. Do not expect our instituion to accept a lifestyle that society hasn't accepted.
Of those who answered "yes", how many work and live with someone who is openly gay? How many are in the military, the very people you would force this change upon? We are NOT a social program, we are warriors, trained to fight and kill. They only want in so they can "play the victim" when they get abused or harassed. We all have to sacrifice something to wear the uniform, anyone who cannot accept that, doesn't belong in the uniform in the first place. We don't ask, you don't tell. Get over it.
Many people believe it is morally wrong to be homosexual. It is against the laws of God and nature. Just as one would not trust a liar, thief, or criminal, to protect them, homosexuals could be considered in that vein. Others may believe it is a mental illness or chemical deficiency that leads to this deviation. Either way, it is being responsible, not judgemental, to stand against homosexual behavior, not the individual! It is a daily struggle to resist temptation-food, drugs, or sexual depravity. We should honor and recognize those who are successful and help those who are not.
This is one of the silliest issues for our Government to become involved in. My God, don't we have 'enough more serious issues on our plate'?
Live and let live!!!
I think that we should allow those who are gay to be open about it in the military. I find it wrong that gay's should have to hide their sexuality. I mean, Im gay and engaged, but now i have to put off getting married because a lot of people think theres something worng with being gay and in the military. Which i think that every person, at some point in their life, goes through a sexual confusion or thought. But thats what I think and I know that everyone has a right to think and belive what they want to. I just find it wrong that the military makes gay's that join have to hide who they really are. I mean its not like they havnt been through enough coming out to their parents and friends, but now they have to deal with the military telling them that its worng and taking away something that they may have wanted to do since they were a kid. I just find it wrong to take away a dream from a girl or boy who wants to join the service when their older, but cant because their "gay".
I would like to respond to the comment posted by June Reis. It seems to me that her comment is very one-sided. She is very worried about the straight men would feel knowing that there were gay men in the shower with them, but does not at all consider how it feels to be a gay men in the shower with straight men. She explicitly (and thankfully) gives homosexuals the benefit of the doubt in thinking that they could most likely "control themselves" in the shower, but is very concerned that "straight folks would always feel like htey had to protect their privacy, which is not always possible in the field...or in other tight quarters." Gay men and women have to protect their privacy in these same conditions with their lives, otherwise they will be let go from the army, at best. Finally, in no way is it "indirect harassment" to know that "the person next to you is gay and you are forced to sleep, change cloths and shower in front of them." That's not harrassment at all, that's life. June's comments betray a fear of homosexuals, and a belief that their sexuality is dirty and threatening to others.
.....needless to say NO they should not have gays running wit the military ..I am a future soldier for the US Army and if i had a gay guy around me i would feel nervous and i probably won't work to my full potential..u can hate me for that but thats the way i was raised..but if it were to happen, there better be separate showers, room separation, and training separation, and severe consequences to homosexuals that show any type of homosexuality towards a straight..i mean i don't hate them i just feel uncomfortable wen there around ..sorry thats the way i was raised.
They are just as capable to fight for our country as anyone else. In my opinion we should be like Switzerland and make it mandatory to serve two years in the service immediatly after High School and be prepared to protect our country that has protected you and your ofspring
In the time of war is it better to stand side-by-side with gay soldier then it would be to stand alone?
Didn't Bill Clinton do enough for these people with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" provision? Homosexuals should quit worrying about their 15 minutes of fame for coming out of the closet, get on with life and stop making such a big deal with their chosen lifestyle.
Most stress situations require honesty and openness for unit cohesion. If I already trust you to cover me, I think I could trust you to respect me. "Don't ask, don't tell" provides no chance for mutual trust, as it is not open or honest.
Here is the absolute, common sense, bottom line on the issue. I am a veteran. I was in the Air Force for almost a decade. We NEVER thought about it. In basic training, we didn't have the time to think about whether or not the guy in the shower next to us was gay or not. I would imagine that the other branches have much less time to think about things in their basic training. Once we got to our permanent duty stations, we had dorm rooms that shared a bathroom with one other dorm room. I didn't have that much privacy in my college dorm. We did our jobs, we went out with our friends, we deployed to Saudi Arabia, we lived our lives. NO ONE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT GAYS AND LESBIANS!!! The only time we heard about it was when the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was implememted. Of course they should be included, and of course they should use the same facilities as everyone else.

On the other hand, if I were gay, I wouldn't want to risk my life for a government whose "faith based initiatives" directly affect my quality of life.
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