First you make assumptions that I am against it being repealed. I am not so sure I am but what I am against is it being modified w/out the appropriate study and factual basis prior to change.
Unless you have seen a example of when in combat the dynamic goes wrong for whatever the reason between any two or more individuals it is hard to understand the stakes.
For the record I served with gay soldiers in and out of combat in the medical corp. during the Vietnam war
everything can become an issue and have a negative impact , I have seen it happen! That does not make me an expert for sure ,but there again most of the experts on this issue are not much higher in their level of expertize!!!
Many of the folks who favor openly gay military members think of military service as "just another work place".
Maybe some service is like that but front lines in combat situations are not. There are places where people are literally putting their lives in others hands. Units depend upon their strength for safety at all times. This is no place for disharmony for whatever reasons.
I am convinced that this is just the latest attempt to force official approval of a lifestyle upon those of us who are less than enthusiastic.
As I have said before the front lines of America's military forces seem to me to be the last place that one would want to officially experiment with this PC BS!
It is not the simple issue that many would like it to be. Surveys prove nothing. Real world experience is what matters and I have lots of doubts.
Sorry, but I think you're smarter than that...disharmony? Really? Does that mean Dems and Republicans can't serve on the front lines together? Jews and Christians?
And Jim Cyr, as for the comparisons to race, discrimination is discrimination. It sounds like you're against gays serving. DADT allows that scenario, so long as no one talks about it. It's silly. As Thras pointed out, 84% of US Marines in combat role support the repeal, seems like a pretty strong indicator of why this silly policy should be repealed.
So long as ANY recruit passes the requirements of his/her training and performs their duty with distinction and honor, they should be afforded the same privileges as ANY other member of the military, whether it's promotion or anything else.
DADT is a cop out. It's child's play. It stymies recognition of facts. Some people are gay. They can do the same things as their straight counterparts and many of them are patriots. That's true whether you're speaking of women, African-Americans, Jews, Italians or people from Oklahoma.
It is already a done deal politically. No one is going to miss this chance. I have no doubt that the "great experiment" will go forward.
What the consequences, if any will be, we will find out eventually. Surveys are just that, surveys. Reality, well that is something different.
Would you describe the suffrage movent as a "great experiment?" The emancipation proclamation? The Civil Rights Act? Look at the reprecussions of those endeavors!
No one seems to just come out and say: "I don't want gays in the military. Period." Everyone hides behind this silly policy, which was the social experiment that should be scrubbed. Otherwise, proclaim proudly: Gay people should not be allowed in the military, shout it from the rooftops, put your name behind it and call it what it is: bigotry and hatred.
"Does that mean Dems and Republicans can't serve on the front lines together? Jews and Christians?"
Those groups do not by themselves diminish the "good order and discipline" of the military. When I was in the military there were many officers who lived in the bachelor officers quarters. Some had families back home and didn't want their kids attending schools where they might be discriminated against. Others had wives who wanted to be near their families. Others were "confirmed bachelors" as Howie Carr would say. Those officers did not diminish the good order and discipline of the military. If they did, they were gone - instantly. Some of those officers served 20 or more years and retired. They never caused a problem.
The military still needs a method to rid itself of troublemakers. I don't mean crimes. I refer to troublemakers who diminish the good order and discipline of a unit. DADT provides that administrative remedy.
I agree with Roger; DADT is one of the few things that Bill Clinton got right.
Again Spinmaker, I ask for more info: What is it exactly that makes race the same as sexuality? They are obviously two very different things; why is discrimination the same when it comes to both things? Is discrimination based on height or hair color the same as race?
Will it improve the military? The military is not a private company or a social organization? In some positions (non combat base jobs) it probably wouldn't be a big whup, but in combat the answer is no it will not improve it and may likely detract. The military's job is to win wars not be a venue for social experimentation. That goes for women in combat too. There are clearly certain areas that women are not as qualified as young men (infantry, Spec. Ops, etc.) and they remained barred from those MOS's (even if they do occasionally find themselves in harms way in support roles.) The fact that battle lines are not clearly drawn given the nature of an insurgent war, and that women can find themselves in harm's way in supporting roles - doesn't mean you put them on the tip of the spear, given that very few lack the physical ability to do the job and in addition to the cohesion problems noted in many studies of the issue (including actual experience in the IDF, which did reverse said policy.)
Many combat personnel and their commanders believe that allowing open gay behavior will be detrimental to their mission. As I said before, much of the combat arms portion of the military is filled by people from traditional religious parts of the country. Say what you will, but these are the people that consistently volunteer. Does it make sense to force an issue, which runs counter to morals and beliefs of that population and that may likely have a pernicious effect of readiness?
Again, will it improve the military's effectiveness? Our military beat two of the toughest foes in world history, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan (with the help of allies and two fronts in the case of Nazi Germany - they were freaking tough) without acceptance of open homosexuality in the ranks and without women even close to combat positions. Is our military better today than the force of the 1940's? Given the victories of that time vs. the continued stalemates of conflicts today (even with superior technology) - I would say no!
....."Would you describe the suffrage movent as a "great experiment?" The emancipation proclamation? The Civil Rights Act? Look at the reprecussions of those endeavors!"......
You would like to frame it "only" as being about equal rights where in reality there is much more to it than that.
When you take America's youth and train them to kill the enemy, efficiently and quickly,and require them to put their lives on the line, it is about a special kind of bonding and trust that exists nowhere else. When you have to trust your fellow soldiers with your life there is no place for discord and distraction with a PC issue such as this.
I do not believe openly gay people should serve in the military as we know it. Under the current policy they have been welcome to serve as long as they keep their private life, private.
The only reason that is no longer good enough, is because they are looking for official approval by being open about it. The military is just the next great stage for their political campaign.
I don't have any problem with who is gay, and how much they want to publicly celebrate that if you will.
I just don't think America's fighting forces is the place to carry on this crusade for official approval of a lifestyle many find abhorrent.
I, and lots of other people, have been pretty tolerant so far, but continuing to rub our noses in it will have the opposite effect long term.
When service members in Vietnam were processed out to fly home on "The Freedom Bird" they first had to pee in the bottle and prove they had no drugs in their systems. In the four years my unit was there, no Seawolf ever failed the test. You could walk into a village and buy opium from a street vendor. Nobody ever used it in our squadron. You can read in the liberal press about "drug crazed baby killers" and we were amazed at what the press was reporting when we came home.
I suppose there are jobs in today's military where the good order and discipline of that unit would not be diminished if somebody was using or hitting on other members of the unit. It just wouldn't work in a helicopter gun ship squadron where our very lives depended on each other every day. Been there. Done that. Wore out the T-shirt.
Someone asked earlier in this thread how many people here have served since 9/11. I saw no hands. If that assumption is wrong, someone please say so.
That being the case, I feel it my duty to point out that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has probably got his finger closer to the pulse of those serving, and he apparently does not believe it will be disruptive in the long run. (Meaning that having gays openly serving will not be the problem that switching over will be.)
He is apparently in favor of repeal.
While Gates suggested that the eventual repeal of the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces is "inevitable," the Senate may not have the time to address the issue before the current session ends. Speaking to sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea, Gates said, "I'd have to say I'm not particularly optimistic that they're going to get this done," although he added, "I would hope that they would."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen probably has a good idea of what 21st century American soldiers can and cannot live with, and he seems to think it will not be as disruptive as some of the older vets seem to think.
From Mullen's testimony before the Senate Armed Service Committee, February 2, 2010:
Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity--theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.
I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt.
I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt...That there will be some disruption in the force I cannot deny. That there will be legal, social and perhaps even infrastructure changes to be made certainly seem plausible. We would all like to have a better handle on these types of concerns. And this is what our review will offer.
So, I suggest to you that the opinions in this thread -- mine included -- are based on religious/moral or political ideals, or on personal reaction to being in the vicinity of homosexuals, but they are not, apparently, reflective of the reaction and/or adaptability of our troops, since none of us has served in this century.
Michelle nailed it.
SecDef supports repeal
Joint Chiefs support repeal
84% of Marine in combat roles support repeal.
Jim Cyr, prove to me this is NOT discrimination.
We're talking about our military. Soldiers who violate the UCMJ are dealt with. Because someone is gay does not mean that they will automatically hit on their co-workers, any more so than the assumption that I will hit on my female co-workers. It just won't happen, but if it did...I would be fired and rightly so.
Your own religious preferences may have you believe that homosexuality is immoral. But were have a line of defense that is not predicated on one set of religious beliefs. Conduct is a separate issue. Gay personnel who violate rules of conduct or code of discipline should be dealt with in the same exact manner. What's wrong with that?
84% of Marine in combat roles support repeal.
B.S. I think you ought to read through those #'s again. A large majority of combat personnel (both Marine and Army) think lifting DADT is a BAD IDEA!
Michelle, this article also talks about the reality of women (or the lack thereof actually) in Combat Arms and how this issue is not nearly resolved - let alone integrating "in your face" homosexuals.
It is time for this policy to be repealed. The majority of military leaders support the repeal, the majority of soliders support the repeal. If a solider breaks conduct codes...punish him/her. That said, gay/straight soliders are fighting for this country. Let them serve openly.
If it is repealed; then what? Back to the previous UCMJ?
Good luck with that. pretty sure sodomy is still forbidden behavior...
I am not sure that just a repeal of DADT would mean that gays could serve openly and flaunt same sex partnerships.
JimP: "...gays could serve openly and flaunt same sex partnerships."
When you say "flaunt" you mean...? Because right now saying "I love you" on the phone to your same sex partner is grounds for discharge. In fact living domestically with a same sex partner even if its never mentioned while youre on duty is grounds.
Trying to edit my post but it isn't letting me....
Flaunt.... yes I know what it means... I could have said overt. I intended no insult.
Currently, Sex is taboo to talk about for everyone, it happens, isn't talked about if they are smart about it. Many times after deployment someone gets processed out for sex. Nearly always a straight couple involved. What is going to happen the first time a gay couple are processed out. Or are they going to be allowed to have sex with each other on deployments?
As to recent experience, Served, 1977 - 1986. Civilian DOD Contractor 86 - 2010. I have a current understanding of at least the Navy.
edited to add... you are wrong... no one is getting discharged for saying I love you to anyone on the phone. Where do you get this stuff...
Where do you get this stuff...
Out of the gay agenda handbook, I am sure.
If DADT gets repealed without a revision to the UCMJ, gays go bye bye.
Is it just the, let's see..how did you say it?...oh yeah, the "in your face" homosexuals that you hate or is it all of them, you know...the ones who keep quiet...unlike us hetrosexuals who put place newspaper ads about our weddings and can't wait to tell the whole world about how we landed the best woman who has ever walked the face of God's green earth and is willing to spend the rest of their natural lives with us. Is it so hard for you to imagine even that gay people have the same hopes and dreams as you and me?
This thread has really stunned me. So many of you are so intelligent, so thoughtful and do such a great job of formulating strong and compelling arguments; sharing information, thoughts and opinions on such wide range of topics; but the hostility directed at those with a different sexual orientation is ...well...bizarre....I find it sad and pathetic. Your fear is eating you alive.
And, please....since when is sex or significant relationships not discussed in the military? Gimme a break.
This always boils back to the "hate" argument for proponents of gay issues. If there is hate than it flows from both sides (remember Question 1)? I'm sorry that many people don't view heterosexuality and homosexuality to be interchangeable in all aspects. I think most of us want to be tolerant ....that is why DADT actually worked in practice. Most people don't give a rip what people do in their private lives - the problem is that the "Gay" agenda always wants more than the tolerance that it professes it wants. Getting rid of DADT is just another attempt to push the agenda, which is "we are gay - you must love us for that above all else." Even in this case where said agenda could hurt military cohesion in combat (for the good of the country), which should transcend such issues.
Marlin94: "If there is hate than it flows from both sides (remember Question 1)? I'm sorry that many people don't view heterosexuality and homosexuality to be interchangeable in all aspects."
You are comparing apples and turnips. I voted against gay marriage. In fact, I did quite a bit of volunteer work on behalf of the campaign. I would do both again if they came up again.
I believe that marriage is one man and one woman. Period. Always has been and always will.
But changing the definition of marriage is not the same as allowing someone to live a life like the rest of the world when their sexuality is irrelevant.
Following a group of people around and systematically denying them activities and careers based on something that is irrelevant to those activities is just wrong.
Yes, you have hit it. There is tolerance in most people, even those who preach against homosexuality in their churches do not hate those who practice it.
As you said, I agree with you that "tolerance", though the professed solution, is not really what those practioners are after. Rather it is official "approval" anyway and anywhere they can find it, or get it by law, including the military, as they are trying to do here.
I know a lot of people who are gay. What they do is their business and I neither hate nor dislike anyone for it. But it is a lifestyle that I am personally uncomfortable with and always will be no matter how many laws the political movement manages to make regarding it. They will never change my mind and those of us who think that way have as much right to our opinion as the other side does theirs.
I think the US military, particularly the closer to combat situations one gets, is a poor place to put this kind of experimient into practice. I think that especially in front line situations, any kind of distraction, which I believe this would be, is not needed. It is dangerous enough already.
I truly believe that many practioners are "uncomfortable" with their lifestyle and look for things like this in order to become more comfortable with themselves. They are trying to convince themselves it is OK in my opinion.
I see your points about the agenda, but my concern stems from the larger issue of equal rights. Too often, when discussing these issues and associated policies, generalizations and stereotypes are used. My feeling is this. Simply do not discriminate against sexual orientation. If a person or group of persons of a particular persuasion (gender, race, religion or age) violate(s) our laws, they should bear the consequences just the same as any other person.
Generalizations about conservatives, Democrats, women or anyone else strike me as child's play. If we are a nation of laws that believes ALL men (people, for the PC crowd) are equal, then have it be so. And then ALL men (people) are accountable to the law. No "special" rights. Simply put, follow the law and enjoy the liberty of freedom.
Going back to Jim Cyr's request for proof, I've been giving this a lot of thought. Neither you or I can "prove" our points, but here is where I land: No one is born a Catholic, a Jew or Muslim. It is a choice. No one is born a Democrat or Republican. It is a choice. If you believe homosexuality is a choice (I do not), but if you do...why should people who make that choice be treated any differently than anyone else? I know homosexuality makes people uncomfortable. Frankly, sometimes I find gay people a bit over the top, but I don't think Louis Farakahn represents his race any more or any less than Colin Powell, and thus each person should be judged individually and not as a collective.
Sexual misconduct is clearly defined in the UCMJ and it should be applied equally without regard to a particular sexual orientation. It's just my opinion.
Bottom line: I support ALL the troops, not just those who I like, prefer or agree with.
Watched the documentary Restrepo last night and when I tag this topic into the real and deep intimacy that must exist between combatants in a constant life and death environment, one's sexual preferance would seem to be meaningless.
Spin...I was stunned by the ignorance when I first joing AMG...That said, I am not surprised anymore.
Yes, it is clearly defined. That said, are you saying that homosexual couples do not have sex?
Sodomy is clearly defined in the UCMJ. How do you suggest that gays get around article 125 if DADT gets repealed?
That was exactly my point back in Post #49.
Good question. But how do we know straight couples aren't having sodomy? I say treat straight and gay the same. Under the current regs, if sodomy is banned, then it's banned both ways, so to speak. I don't know what the UCMJ says about oral sex, but I would say the same principle should be applied. Sodomy is also illegal in some states, but I think that is a subject for another thread about the constitutionality of regulating sex between consenting adults.
spinmaker you make a well reasoned coherent argument. Gets me thinking. If what you suggest could be pulled off, then I would think it would even be an improvement as we would dealing with this in a more honest way. It is almost kinda what you see in practice now.
No body in a leadership position gets up in the morning looking to get a shipmate kicked out of the service. You have to try pretty hard to cause enough fuss to get processed out. I have never in all my years seen someone processed out for being gay, I have heard of in and seen the news, I know it does happen. I have personally known too many processed that have been straight. Don't read about it unless it is some real higher up, Anyway, why did these folks I knew personally get processed? They made a public spectacle of themselves, they were sloppy, they forced the hand of the higher ups. It was bad for morale and unit cohesion. So... TA TA to the trouble makers. Navy treats troublemakers like a cancer, get rid of it and move on. If we get a bunch of in your face gay activist types joining up trying to keep moving the football then what?
Spinmaker, If the gays were truly treated the same as current hetero members it would work, I would be for it. The dirty little secret here is that in my own experience gays in the military are given WAY MORE latitude in this area.
It seems to me that the current system has been working pretty well. Gays who wanted to serve in the militiary have been able to. Why now, all of a sudden, that is no good anymore?
I don't think that our love life is anyone elses business, and neither does the military, under the present policy. What has happened to bring about this change?
What is going to be gained by the change?