24 Sep

Actually, Your Opinion on Gays in the Military Probably Doesn’t Matter [Reader Post]

                                       

With “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ending, the subject of gays serving in the military is making the discussion rounds again, and I thought this would be a good a time as any to chime in. Without going too deep into the issue the biggest arguments for and against break down into two main schools of thought. Those in favor of allowing gays to openly serve argue that we’re keeping qualified personnel from serving during a time of need and this is discrimination akin to racial integration in the military. Those against argue that the sexual element interferes with unit cohesion and creates an unnecessary distraction. Or to repeat a phrase that Rush Limbaugh likes to use, “the purpose of the military is to hurt people and to break things. It is not the place for a social experiment.”

I say that the left’s racial analogy is bunk, as race and sex are about as different as night and day. To use a rough example, I could easily share a foxhole with the likes of Brad Pitt, Derek Jeter and George Clooney and not feel distracted in any way by their presence. By contrast, sharing the same close confines with Marisa Miller, Gisele Bundschen and Leila Lopes can almost guarantee that any red blooded male would find himself distracted. And any guy who says he wouldn’t is lying, unless of course he’d prefer to be in a foxhole with Pitt, Jeter & Clooney. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Personally, I have no problem with gays openly serving and being allowed to be openly gay. Other nations’ military’s have done it without massive disruption, and if anyone wants to put his or her life on the line to protect my freedom I’ll be the last one to stand in their way.

All of that said, I have to admit that none of my opinions on this subject matter. Why? Because I’ve never served in the military. There are some things in this world that can not even begin to be understood unless one has experienced them. Think about it – how often do married people ask for marriage advice from single friends? How often do you hear of the story of parents whose children are acting up getting helpful advice from someone who has never had kids of their own? Those stories usually conclude some time later with the originally childless person later having kids and suddenly having very different view regarding child-rearing.

The military is no different. Having recently gotten married to Sister Babe and having a few nieces have given me some insight into marriage and parenthood, but I’m not at a point where I should be throwing out advice on either. I’ve never even come close to serving in the military and wouldn’t know the first thing of what it’s like to go through basic or everyday military life. And whatever opinions I may have on each of these subjects I don’t throw out advice on marriage or raising children, and I certainly do not pretend to know how the armed forces should be run. This is a matter that should be decided by the military and them alone.

What are your thoughts? I’d be most curious to hear from current or retired military on this one.

Cross Posted at Brother Bob’s Blog

This entry was posted in Gay Marriage, Military, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Saturday, September 24th, 2011 at 10:09 am
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15 Responses to Actually, Your Opinion on Gays in the Military Probably Doesn’t Matter [Reader Post]

  1. Nan G says: 1

    Rep. Charles Rangel has been for bringing back the universal military draft.
    He started during the Bush years in 2003 but he is STILL pushing it even in 2010.
    In 2003, Rangel said a draft would make the military more representative of the American public at large….I’m guessing he included gays as well as all other facets of Americana.
    Of course when it did finally reach the floor of the House even Rangel voted against it.

    24 countries allow gays to serve openly in their military.
    I’d love to know more about those countries’ experiences with their military, but the only one I keep hearing about is Israel where there have not been any problems since the policy took effect in 1993.

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  2. Common Sense says: 2

    Santorum is correct when he says there is now room for such nonsense in the military. This should have never been a subject of discussion period!!

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  3. Josh J. says: 3

    As a prior Navy man, (21 years submarines) I can tell you we have ALWAYS known which ones were fruity and did not give much of a damn as long as they did their jobs. That being said, the reason why we did not care much was because the gay people were required to keep their off-duty activities EXACTLY that, off duty. They were not a ‘protected class’ and we did not have to adjust our rules, regulations and leadership styles to account for gays, neither did they run around behaving like victims or ‘Gay Pride’ agressors. All in all, a pretty stable arrangement. This is not about ‘gays serving’ it is about forcing acceptance of effimate lifestyles on the last bastion of maleness in our sick, twisted and feminized culture.

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  4. Common Sense says: 4

    @Josh J.: Bingo!! I was in the Navy for six years as a corpsman and we knew exactly what you are saying and it was no issue at all!! The whole topic has no place in the military. What happens when two gays ask a chaplain to marry them and he is opposed to it?? The whole thing is disgusting!!

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  5. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 5

    To my knowledge, US military gays have never been responsible for such international catastrophes as these.

    Also, whether having women serve in the military is or is not a good thing, the fact remains that we have decided to rely on military servicewomen in the so-called “last bastion of maleness.” Sexual abuse of these servicewomen is also not likely to be committed by gays.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-07-31/us/military.sexabuse_1_sexual-assault-sexual-abuse-military-service?_s=PM:US

    Can anyone point to a case where gays actually caused a substantive problem in the US military which wasn’t simply attributable to homophobia? Are the lingering objections merely theoretical, or are they based on real life experience?

    As far as gays being a “protected class,” to my knowledge, the only “protection” they are receiving is “protection” against being not allowed to enlist or involuntarily discharged for the mere fact that they happen to be gay. They are not being “protected” against enforcement of military rules and regulations regarding misconduct.

    As far as a chaplain being forced to “marry” a same gendered couple, this could only happen if the federal government ever makes the mistake of officially recognizing same gender “marriage.” I’ve previously written on this blog that I believe that this would be a big mistake, and I hope it never happens. If it does become the law of the land, however, then the military would presumably have the option of ending the practice of having military chaplains perform on duty marriage ceremonies for both straight and gay couples and require that all such marriages/”marriages” be officiated by civilians in off duty situations.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

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  6. Common Sense says: 6

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: I believe gays will never stop their pushing on all fronts no matter how amoral and out of touch their positions are.

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  7. Brother Bob says: 7

    @Common Sense & Josh – thank you! Exactly the points of view I was hoping to get for this!

    @Curt – Thanks for using the avatar from my blog’s page!

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  8. Kevin says: 8

    “What happens when two gays ask a chaplain to marry them…”

    Presumably, two people in love will begin to share the rest of their lives in a fulfilling, committed relationship.

    ” and he is opposed to it?? The whole thing is disgusting!! ”

    Right on – that is disgusting!

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  9. JustAl says: 9

    At least they won’t get pregnant as a way to go home early. . . as virtually all of the women in his unit did when my son went to Iraq in ’07.

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  10. Theresa, MSgt (ret), USAF says: 10

    My first base had a huge lesbian community and that was in 1984. Like John J says above, everyone knew/knows who “swings” that way, just like everyone knows whose into wife swapping/group orgies, etc. My concern with this drama is how will it affect the basic living issues only the military deals with? Like, what happens when you have to share showers? What about living space for single members. Do you put a lesbian in with other females or a gay man in with other males? Do you then allow males/females who aren’t gay to share dorm space and shower together? Trivial issues to some, but reality for the military and it will need to be addressed. If I were still in the uniform I would raise all kinds of hell if I had to share a shower or living space with a lesbian, just as I would if I had to share them with a male.

    Now that they can serve openly, what excuse will liberal, military hating colleges like harvard use to ban ROTC programs? It will be interesting to track just how many “patriotic” gays will be lining up to join? I would lay odds not many.

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  11. Aqua says: 11

    @ Larry

    To my knowledge, US military gays have never been responsible for such international catastrophes as these.

    Wow! So the military should be composed completely of homosexuals to avoid the threat of another international incident? If another poster had put up a story of a gay servicemember raping a foreign national as a reason to keep gays out of the military, what would your reaction have been? Yet you do the reverse?
    I stand with my other military brothers and sisters on this topic. When I was in, homosexuals served. No one cared as long as they did their job.
    By the way Larry, did you miss this bit of news?

    Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies — if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/navy-authorizes-chaplains-perform-same-sex-marriages-naval-chapels
    You never served, so let me explain how this particular bit of news plays out in the military. If you are a Navy chaplain and your boss says same sex marriage can be performed in a state where it is also legal, and you oppose…you will have destroyed any chance of promotion and almost certainly shortened your career.

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  12. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 12

    Hi Aqua. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I did miss that news. This is one area where we need a national law; marriage has too many legal implications (from distribution of financial assets to tax policy and even extending to spousal privilege in criminal proceedings). You just can’t have a hodgepodge of laws relating to who is and who is not eligible to be married.

    I’ve previously explained my views on the general subject of same gender marriage.

    With respect to my comments about raping servicewomen and causing international incidents, these were not arguments for repeal of DADT; they were just random observations. I think that DADT was a perfectly sensible policy, which was instituted under Clinton, and which worked perfectly well for all but a small but vocal number of gay servicemen. I think that, in general, sex and sexual orientation are private matters, which should be kept private.

    On the other hand, I’m a pragmatist. I don’t think it’s constructive to continue ranting against social security, because it’s a settled issue which is going nowhere, from the standpoint of dismantling it. I think that ranting and raving against something which the military has been considering for years and which was finally gone and done won’t help the military fulfill its missions. The focus should be on fostering professionalism and duty, as opposed to fostering resentment.

    P.S. I really would like an answer to the following question:

    Can anyone point to a case where gays actually caused a substantive problem in the US military which wasn’t simply attributable to homophobia? Are the lingering objections merely theoretical, or are they based on real life experience?

    To date, I think that the only example given was someone feeling uncomfortable being in the shower with a gay, which frankly strikes me as being sort of wussy. I mean, what are you afraid of? Under DADT, those people were there anyway. If you are really afraid of them, wouldn’t you like to know who they are, so that you never turn your back on them?

    - LW/HB

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  13. Shadowrider says: 13

    Back during the cold war, gays were recruited by foreign powers and threated to turn them in if they failed to cooperate. I guess that problem no longer exists. Still, I don’t think a military Chaplin should be forced to marry a homosexual couple if that concept violates the chaplin’s moral principles, regardless if it is legal or not.

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  14. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 14

    I don’t think a military Chaplin should be forced to marry a homosexual couple if that concept violates the chaplin’s moral principles, regardless if it is legal or not.

    I completely agree. No clergyperson should be “forced” to do this. I can’t imagine that any couple would wish to be married by a minister/priest/rabbi/mullah who was morally opposed to doing this. Not exactly the most happy way to start out a life together. I’d assume that, as in civilian life, the people involved would seek out a Chaplain who was happy to marry them.

    - LW/HB

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  15. Cary says: 15

    Heterosexuals who have served,

    First of all, Thank you. Secondly, a question… While serving, did you display photos of your loved ones, receive letters from them, and discuss them with your comrades? Or did you keep all of that completely private? Just wondering…

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