Homosexuals in the military

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Veracious Sole
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Homosexuals in the military

Postby Veracious Sole » Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

There is a question that has been floating around my shop for the past couple of days: Should homosexuals a be allowed to serve (openly) in the military? Why? Why not?

Currently, homosexuals are allowed to serve, but they are not allowed to divulge or practice their proclivities. On the other side of the fence personnel are not allowed to question a members sexual orientation. You know, that good 'ol "Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell" policy.

Now, before everyone comes bursting in to shout "Yes, Yes, A thousand times Yes! Homosexuals 4 life!!", I do have a few other questions:

- What kind of problems might spring up as a result of openly serving homosexuals?

- If allowed, should 100% integration (bathrooms, sleeping areas, etc.) be allowed?

- What kinds of predicaments would appear for homosexuals?

- What kinds of predicaments would appear for heterosexuals?

- What military laws would have to change to facilitate the shift? To what degree?

- Should they be allowed to serve on the front lines?

Thoughts?
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby King of Frogs » Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

Veracious Sole wrote:- What kind of problems might spring up as a result of openly serving homosexuals?


I suppose the military is still pretty much endemically a homophobic organisation, so I think there would probably be a lot of bullying and discrimination going on (I mean, look at how much goes on anyway). I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot of hate crimes against gays inthe military.

Veracious Sole wrote:- If allowed, should 100% integration (bathrooms, sleeping areas, etc) be allowed?


I think if heterosexual people can cope with such things in a mature way I have no reason to believe that homosexuals would be much different. Of course, there is the danger of it just giving more oppertunity to the bigots for bullying, but I'm not sure if preferential or even just different treatment would help.

Veracious Sole wrote:- What kinds of prediciments would appear for homosexuals?


Like I said, bigotry will be rife, which could affect both relations with other troops and possibilites for promotion etc.

Veracious Sole wrote:- What kinds of prediciments would appear for heterosexuals?


If they act in a mature and tolerant way, none should occur, but since we are talking about the kind of people who go into the army here, I guess you'd get a lot of people who somehow feel that their comrade's sexual preferences are soem kind of a threat to their heterosexuality/manliness/etc. It would be important to make such people examples to the rest by quickly and efficiently punishing them for prejudicial actions.

Veracious Sole wrote:- What military laws would have to change to facilitate the shift? To what degree?


Well, obviously the "Don't ask don't tell" policy woul dhave to go, and I think possibly statutes on hate crimes would be extended etc. otherwise the general running of the army would probably not change.

Veracious Sole wrote:- Should they be allowed to serve on the front lines?


I don't see why not.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Azrael » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

The actual statute is in Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654) and the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving, because it "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."

The exceptions are interesting:

(A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior;
(B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur;
(C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, coercion, or intimidation;
(D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and
(E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.

Now, part of the difficulty in Don't Ask Don't Tell is the overall attitude in the armed forces towards sex -- and the morale / psychological / discipline issues that can arise when soldiers have it with each other. So let's look at where women can serve*:
Wikipedia wrote:Today, women can serve on American combat ships, including in command roles. However women are not permitted to serve on submarines or to participate in special forces programs such as Navy Seals. Women enlisted soldiers are barred from serving in Infantry, Special Operations, Artillery, Armour, and Forward Air Defense, however female officers can hold staff positions in every branch of the Army except infantry and armor. Women can fly military aircraft ... So far the position closest to combat open to women in the U.S. Army are in the Military Police, where women man machine-guns on armoured Humvees, guarding truck convoys.

Basically, the policy strives to segregate women from men in the [high stress + close quarters] scenarios where segregation of facilities [eating, relieving, fraternizing] is not likely. So you'd need to apply the same rationale to gay service members in order to fit within the existing structure.

However, from an equal rights standpoint, the existing structure begins to conflicts with existing legal precedent. So the whole structure may need to be changed -- to one where sexual relationships do not pose such a significant issue.

Although the stakes are different, certainly, the modern workforce making significant advancements demonstrating that people who are sexually attracted to each other (or not) can work together as equals -- that if Individual A finds Individual B attractive they can still work together.

*Armed Forces policy in 1994 stated that no combat position could be denied to women because it was too dangerous.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:45 pm UTC

What seems to be the problem is that the military is establishing segregation as a way to avoid dealing with issues that grasp army culture, i.e. promotion of a heteronormative patriarchy.

For an institution advertising itself as a chance of change and remodeling for people, they sure are keen on maintaining the status quo as much as they can. Condescending views upon women, the making up of excuses for males' inability to exercize self-restraint under sexual tension (which leads to the thought that homosexuals will carry on orgies in their units, or rape fellow soldiers). It seems odd that for an entity representing innovation and excellence, they are still clinging to the sketchy "boys will be boys" dogma.

Now, to answer the questions:

1- The same problems that take place in any organization with population heterogeneity. This is easily avoided by carrying out the method of making everyone uniform. To spread the notion that in the end, everyone is part of the army, and that's what matters.

They were able to cope with the integration of blacks; they'll eventually cope with the integration of women and homosexuals. Take Israel, for example. Homosexuals are easily accepted; in fact, an Israeli friend of mine remarked how homosexuals in Israel have become more accepted in mainstream culture thanks to it, as the military is the cultural marker in Israel.

2- 100% integration is not a problem. It's called High School PE; homosexuals have gone through this before.

3- The fact that a large portion of the army comes from the South. Surprisingly enough, surveys have shown that a supermajority exhibit comfort with the idea of serving alongside an openly gay servicemember. This is not endemic to the army, though: Homosexuals need to overcome stereotypes in all facets of their lives. Been there, done that.

4- Having to put some actual effort toward accepting that not everybody will like to talk about what a fine ass that female officer has.

5- Removal of DADT, really. While I would like full integration of men and women, that is a separate issue.

6- Last time I checked, gay men had no inherent physical/mental inferiority to straight men. They can serve in the front lines.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Malice » Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:55 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:For an institution advertising itself as a chance of change and remodeling for people, they sure are keen on maintaining the status quo as much as they can. Condescending views upon women, the making up of excuses for males' inability to exercize self-restraint under sexual tension (which leads to the thought that homosexuals will carry on orgies in their units, or rape fellow soldiers).


To be fair, I'm sure homosexuals will do both of those things. Heterosexual soldiers do.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:01 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Lucrece wrote:For an institution advertising itself as a chance of change and remodeling for people, they sure are keen on maintaining the status quo as much as they can. Condescending views upon women, the making up of excuses for males' inability to exercize self-restraint under sexual tension (which leads to the thought that homosexuals will carry on orgies in their units, or rape fellow soldiers).


To be fair, I'm sure homosexuals will do both of those things. Heterosexual soldiers do.


Some, sure. The problem is with the thought that if we let homosexuals serve openly, it will open the floodgates for utter sexual hedonism and dismantling of unit discipline.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby kgirl06 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:34 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:2- 100% integration is not a problem. It's called High School PE; homosexuals have gone through this before.


Sorry, I really had to touch on this particular one: high school PE was only one class, and depending on what school you went to, didn't even occur every day. Military life is 24/7, eating, sleeping, LIVING in the same quarters. (Totally not meaning to bash, just wanted to point that out)

Being a female in the military, I completely understand the male/female segregation. It's not a good idea for males and females to integrate totally, because of the differences, even just in body. Plus, the sexual tension would be outrageous, especially overseas, when you're separated from it for so long. Yes, there are a lot of people who can, quite effectively, keep their sexual and personal lives completely separate from work. There are also a lot of people who can't, and when you work with the same people you live with, things like that can get out of hand.

The main reason (I think) that homosexuality is highly frowned upon in the military is because it would be sort of a loophole around military segregation. You don't want males and females sleeping together in the work environment, so what's different about males sleeping together (i.e. messing around), or females? It also creates tension between straights and gays (I use the term in the most respectful way possible). When I was in Basic Training, we had a lot of female fraternization going on, much more between females than between females and males. I am completely straight, and it was a bit uncomfortable being in the same room with the girls who were getting it on with each other, and even more uncomfortable when they decided to hit on me. I'm not homophobic, but a male hitting on me is easier to tolerate, because I don't have to LIVE with him.

Other than awkward living quarters, you also have to remember that there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Many of the men that I know ARE homophobic, and they'd be quick to get into fights with any openly gay person. Granted, this really is a shame, but that's the way that it is. For some reason, there are a lot of military men (not so many women, since many women are at least bi) who find gay men to be a personal attack on their manhood. Like I said, there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Not saying that EVERY male is like that; I want to avoid that attack before it begins! There are just a lot who are. I work with them, and they're pretty annoying.

Humanity needs to suck it up and drive on. Seriously.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby 1hitcombo » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:59 am UTC

kgirl06 wrote:Other than awkward living quarters, you also have to remember that there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Many of the men that I know ARE homophobic, and they'd be quick to get into fights with any openly gay person. Granted, this really is a shame, but that's the way that it is. For some reason, there are a lot of military men (not so many women, since many women are at least bi) who find gay men to be a personal attack on their manhood. Like I said, there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Not saying that EVERY male is like that; I want to avoid that attack before it begins! There are just a lot who are. I work with them, and they're pretty annoying.

Humanity needs to suck it up and drive on. Seriously.


I'm not entirely sure what to make of your last line. Are you just saying that we should just accept the way homosexuality is viewed and treated and let it be?

Because if so, homophobes shouldn't be the reason to not allow gays to join. An ultimately flawed and narrow view on homosexuality exhibited by such people will fall silent once policy is erected that disapproves of such behavior. If laws like DADT are repealed and the overall attitude on homosexuality in the military changes, then these people that would cause trouble for homosexuals will be quieted. If what Lucrece says is correct about a large majority of people in the military willing to serve side by side a homosexual male, then this change should be well supported and completely possible.

If living quarters and fraternizing are the issue, then some sort of separate living conditions could be established. If sexual tension and conduct are parts of life the military want to eliminate in the military setting, I think it would be a fair compromise or at least an idea that can be worked with.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:10 am UTC

kgirl06 wrote:
Lucrece wrote:2- 100% integration is not a problem. It's called High School PE; homosexuals have gone through this before.


Sorry, I really had to touch on this particular one: high school PE was only one class, and depending on what school you went to, didn't even occur every day. Military life is 24/7, eating, sleeping, LIVING in the same quarters. (Totally not meaning to bash, just wanted to point that out)

Being a female in the military, I completely understand the male/female segregation. It's not a good idea for males and females to integrate totally, because of the differences, even just in body. Plus, the sexual tension would be outrageous, especially overseas, when you're separated from it for so long. Yes, there are a lot of people who can, quite effectively, keep their sexual and personal lives completely separate from work. There are also a lot of people who can't, and when you work with the same people you live with, things like that can get out of hand.

The main reason (I think) that homosexuality is highly frowned upon in the military is because it would be sort of a loophole around military segregation. You don't want males and females sleeping together in the work environment, so what's different about males sleeping together (i.e. messing around), or females? It also creates tension between straights and gays (I use the term in the most respectful way possible). When I was in Basic Training, we had a lot of female fraternization going on, much more between females than between females and males. I am completely straight, and it was a bit uncomfortable being in the same room with the girls who were getting it on with each other, and even more uncomfortable when they decided to hit on me. I'm not homophobic, but a male hitting on me is easier to tolerate, because I don't have to LIVE with him.

Other than awkward living quarters, you also have to remember that there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Many of the men that I know ARE homophobic, and they'd be quick to get into fights with any openly gay person. Granted, this really is a shame, but that's the way that it is. For some reason, there are a lot of military men (not so many women, since many women are at least bi) who find gay men to be a personal attack on their manhood. Like I said, there are a lot of stupid people in the military. Not saying that EVERY male is like that; I want to avoid that attack before it begins! There are just a lot who are. I work with them, and they're pretty annoying.

Humanity needs to suck it up and drive on. Seriously.


But gay men, being men in a homosocial society, DO spend their time-- at least pre-teen years-- forced to fraternize with other men. Trips, sports teams, summer camps.

The problem that segregation creates is that it establishes a lack of cohesion between the segregated entities. It is easier to dislike/alienate/maintain pejorative views of the other group if you keep the social circle hermetic. You're simply trading one set of problems for another.

Concerning the "messing around" advantage, that's an effect of segregation. Most gay males feel more comfortable around women than they do among homophobic straight men; and yet, they are forced to socialize with these very hostile groups because of a heterocentric outtake on human behavior. Also, if you look at college dorms, the loophole is just the same; I find it hardly acceptable to blame gay men for something that straights have created (sex segregation).

In the past, many soldiers were rabidly racist, too. They had to cope; so will they this time. I'm quite sure gay soldiers will take measures with this obvious threat. What I don't get is how imposing self-censorship on the soldier-- and discharging him/her should they fail due to the incredible psychological harm that ensues-- is reasonable.

What kills me about this policy is when Obama gets the troops back on U.S. soil, and it is only the straight ones who get to be acknowledged by their loved ones. Their spouses waiting, ready to kiss them in welcome, effusive shows of reunion, while the gay men and women who have risked their lives and gone through traumatizing events must neuter themselves emotionally, personally. This is how their country pays them for their service? I find it abhorrent.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Nordic Einar » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:34 am UTC

I'm inclined to agree with Lucrece. All social minorities face danger and hostility at the beginning of their intergration into mainstream society. It's unfortunate, and likely horrible to endure, but the in the long-term it eventually leads to acceptance and the normality of their presence. Early century feminists and black civil right's activists certainly faced open and oft times hostile opposition and discrimination, yet look how far we've come as a society in accepting these minorities (Though we're still not quite there).

The problem of military homophobia will never go away (Or at the very least, assuming non-military homophobia does so first, will go away much, much slower) if we continue to suppress gay soldiers from being open about it. How, exactly, do you change the nature of such homophobia without challenging it?

This is, of course, on top of the simple moral obligation we have to stop discriminating against gays.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby kgirl06 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:45 am UTC

My comment that humanity needs to suck it up was referring to the fact that society in general is pretty unaccepting of a lot of cultures. The only reason that big "differences" like sexual preferences matter is that it is simply that: different. We don't tend to accept differences very well. So yes, my comments were a bit off the mark, now that I read back over them. I apologize. It would be a long process, but the military was able to go from "white male" to "any race/gender," then it should be able to change over to any sexual preference, as well. It definitely would not be pleasant for the first few generations of homosexuals in the military.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:04 am UTC

kgirl06 wrote:My comment that humanity needs to suck it up was referring to the fact that society in general is pretty unaccepting of a lot of cultures. The only reason that big "differences" like sexual preferences matter is that it is simply that: different. We don't tend to accept differences very well. So yes, my comments were a bit off the mark, now that I read back over them. I apologize. It would be a long process, but the military was able to go from "white male" to "any race/gender," then it should be able to change over to any sexual preference, as well. It definitely would not be pleasant for the first few generations of homosexuals in the military.


I didn't get your sentence any other way than a comment on how people should be more accepting; the "humanity" bit gave it off ;).

With that said, I forgot to mention how removing DADT would assist in combating harassment. Currently, gay soldiers are hard-pressed to retaliate against harassment, for it would out them, thus ending their careers.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby kgirl06 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:44 am UTC

I think it's particularly unfair that I haven't seen much discrimination against female homosexuals. I knew one girl who got discharged because her BCT unit was uncomfortable with having a lesbian peer, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. Many of the females that I went to BCT and AIT with were bi or gay, and I've talked to a lot of people from other bases who said the same thing. It seems to be only male gays who are discriminated against, for the most part (emphasis on the second half of that sentence).
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:49 am UTC

kgirl06 wrote:I think it's particularly unfair that I haven't seen much discrimination against female homosexuals. I knew one girl who got discharged because her BCT unit was uncomfortable with having a lesbian peer, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. Many of the females that I went to BCT and AIT with were bi or gay, and I've talked to a lot of people from other bases who said the same thing. It seems to be only male gays who are discriminated against, for the most part (emphasis on the second half of that sentence).


The usual. Lesbians are sort of on an existential limbo; they're invisible outside of the occasional participation in the heterosexual male's fantasy. They are not so heavily regarded because lesbianism is seen as a silly attempt to grasp for a higher place (a woman taking the role of a man, under heteronormative perspective), whereas male homosexuals are regarded with scorn because they are seen as degrading themselves, their partners, and the concept of masculinity (by dropping themselves down to the worst station in male existence, worse than filth--being like a woman, the lowest of human forms).
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Azrael » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

This thread is in Serious Business. Remember that, everyone.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

Azrael, I don't see what's going off-topic here. (Other than, of course, this post.)
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby JoshuaZ » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

Most of Europe and other first world countries do not have any ban and their militaries seem to function fine. Here is a map of of which countries have what policies about gays in the military. All of Western Europe is fine as is Australia and Canada. The most noteworthy exceptions to allowing gays in the military (which most countries do) are the US and Russia which have more complicated policies and China which has a ban. Most of the countries which ban gays in the military are Islamic countries which are extremely anti-gay to start with. Thus, the empirical data suggests that having gays in the military does not trigger massive problems.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Malice » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

JoshuaZ wrote:Most of Europe and other first world countries do not have any ban and their militaries seem to function fine. Here is a map of of which countries have what policies about gays in the military. All of Western Europe is fine as is Australia and Canada. The most noteworthy exceptions to allowing gays in the military (which most countries do) are the US and Russia which have more complicated policies and China which has a ban.


Aren't those the three largest militaries in the world?
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

Do you think that would indicate anything? A correlation between militarization and homophobia, for example?
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Silas » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

The USA, RF, and PRC all lay much greater demands on their military than anybody in western Europe except- maybe- France and the UK. If homosexuals are a serious threat to combat effectiveness, those are the three major players who would know and care (also, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Israel*, and the Koreas). The Germans (for instance) have a lot less to lose if their infantry has marginally lower morale.

*the IDF does allow homosexuals to serve an all military functions. wiki
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby EmptySet » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:38 am UTC

Silas wrote:The USA, RF, and PRC all lay much greater demands on their military than anybody in western Europe except- maybe- France and the UK. If homosexuals are a serious threat to combat effectiveness, those are the three major players who would know and care (also, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Israel*, and the Koreas). The Germans (for instance) have a lot less to lose if their infantry has marginally lower morale.


I don't think that necessarily follows. For one thing, I believe that, until very recently, homosexuality was outright illegal in China. I'm pretty sure homosexuality being illegal in China doesn't prove that homosexuals are a serious threat to society, even though China has the largest population in the world. The PRC isn't exactly renowned for being open-minded and egalitarian - it's entirely possible that homosexuals are banned from the military through pure prejudice. It's also questionable whether China actually has quality troops or just a lot of them.

As for Russia, the Soviet Union apparently spent part of the cold war making thousands of their own troops and civilians run through nuclear fallout with no protection to test the effects of nuclear weapons. Even in more recent times, they're alleged to have been involved in the torture/execution of dissidents, poisoning of political opponents, and other unsavoury things. Again, although they may have advanced in recent times, I'm still not convinced this is an example of an ethical and well-run military.

Also, although Australia has a small military compared to larger nations, Australian troops are some of the best in the world.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Silas » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:40 am UTC

No, it doesn't necessarily follow- I'm not trying to build a rigorous syllogism. It's just that most of the armies with acknowledged homosexuals aren't facing large-scale engagement anywhere (Israel and the UK are the chief exceptions). Their "success" at overcoming whatever difficulties (if any- I'm skeptical) might arise from uncloseted gays is largely untested in an actual conflict, and may not scale well from a small military to a large one.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Rinsaikeru » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:06 am UTC

I personally think it has nothing to do with the scale of the army. If it was mandated and followed there would be no problem. If you got in trouble for being an openly homophobic bigot for picking on gay fellow soldiers--you wouldn't do it. It requires a change in the climate of the military from old boys club, yes, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be something that's a priority to work towards. You'd think--considering the numbers they need to keep the military running in the US--that they would take any and all who fit the bill.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby 1hitcombo » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:01 pm UTC

Perhaps the large populations of Russia, USA, and China have impeded the transition to allowing homosexual enlistment. Perhaps it is because other smaller populations like that of in Western Europe have allowed homosexual enlistment because their populations are smaller and thus require a bigger pool of potential recruits to maintain a sizable army.

Also, has there been any empirical data showing that allowing homosexual participation in a military in a large scale engagement is detrimental? I guess one could still throw out the "don't change horses while crossing the river" argument.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Kaelri » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

I know the precedent has already been mentioned, but whenever this issue comes up, I always like to toss in this exchange from an old episode of The West Wing.

Major Tate: "Sir, we're not prejudiced toward homosexuals."
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: "You just don't want to see them serving in the Armed Forces?"
Tate: "No sir, I don't."
Fitzwallace: "'Cause they impose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion."
Tate: "Yes, sir."
Fitzwallace: "That's what I think, too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change."
Tate: "Yes, sir."
Fitzwallace: "The problem with that is, that's what they were saying about me 50 years ago. 'Blacks shouldn't serve with whites. It would disrupt the unit.' You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... beat that with a stick."

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Rinsaikeru » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

Fantastic quote. You gotta rock the boat or nothing changes, and if they can't get used to it they'd better not be in the army...
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Elennaro » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Veracious Sole wrote:- If allowed, should 100% integration (bathrooms, sleeping areas, etc.) be allowed?

Why not? Homosexuals aren't control-less animals any more than heterosexuals rip the clothes of every attractive woman they see. A couple of friends of mine are gay, and they never acted in a more uncomfortable way than anyone else in the changing rooms for sports or theatre.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby EmptySet » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:59 am UTC

Elennaro wrote:
Veracious Sole wrote:- If allowed, should 100% integration (bathrooms, sleeping areas, etc.) be allowed?

Why not? Homosexuals aren't control-less animals any more than heterosexuals rip the clothes of every attractive woman they see. A couple of friends of mine are gay, and they never acted in a more uncomfortable way than anyone else in the changing rooms for sports or theatre.


There's also the fact that US military personnel are already sharing sleeping areas, showers, etc. with homosexuals, due to the "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy...

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby fjafjan » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

Okey, first off the argument "All the big militaristic countries are doing it so it has to be important" should be dismissed because all of the countries you mentioned also have horrible human rights records, the US to a slightly lower extent, but then that is where we are discussing changing the law.
Lucrece wrote:Some, sure. The problem is with the thought that if we let homosexuals serve openly, it will open the floodgates for utter sexual hedonism and dismantling of unit discipline.

I'm hoping this is sarcasm.
Ultimately I think the argument of homophobia should simple be compared to that of racists. As for sexual tension people get used to it, there have been gay people in the military as long as there has been a military, and you can be pretty sure some of them have been sexing it up, but that's hardly an unsolvable issue for a commander.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby clintonius » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

I'm seeing this thread go round in opinionated circles. Let's get some facts and citations up in myah.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:53 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Lucrece wrote:Some, sure. The problem is with the thought that if we let homosexuals serve openly, it will open the floodgates for utter sexual hedonism and dismantling of unit discipline.

I'm hoping this is sarcasm.
Ultimately I think the argument of homophobia should simple be compared to that of racists. As for sexual tension people get used to it, there have been gay people in the military as long as there has been a military, and you can be pretty sure some of them have been sexing it up, but that's hardly an unsolvable issue for a commander.


Somewhat sarcastically (but far more tinted with disdain), I described a viewpoint that many people share out of ignorance. It's a problematic viewpoint, but it has been successfully disseminated by the churches and other traditionalist institutions. Classic slippery slope argument, really.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby harpyblues » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:52 pm UTC

Well, someone filed a report on sexual harrassment in the military and it turns out the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy has a habit of backfiring on people. Apparently, in some co-ed groups, women that turned down sexual advances sometimes had the guy later make the claim she was a lesbian. As a result, the women went under investigation or were discharged, even if they were heterosexual.

It's popped up a lot recently. DADT tends to rely on people not being intentionally malicious (i.e guys trying to place blame out of spite or to reflect rejection) , and isn't really fair to people if there are accidents or someone else is trying to get them in trouble.

http://www.nwlc.org/pdf/Military%20Harassment.pdf (small paragraph on page four)
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:47 pm UTC

Homosexuality in the military? I approve. It should be mandated! Anything to ...

Interestingly enough some ancient Greeks thought homosexual relations between soldiers would boost morale rather than degrade it. Unfortunately, the applicability of ancient's Greece's societal acceptance of homosexual behavior has little relevance today.

There, I reworded your post for you rather than just delete it and issue you a warning.

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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Philwelch » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:46 am UTC

The military's function isn't to effect social change; it's to defend the country. So really, it depends on what the prevailing attitude is within the current military, and how quickly it'll adjust post-integration. There's a difference between "in principle I'm cool with gays in the military" and "I''m comfortable having one laying in the next rack over every night while we sleep" as well.

Like it or not, having a functioning means of national defense is imperative to a civilization continuing to exist. Sometimes it needs to function exceptionally well.

The main vibe I continually pick up is that we need to be living in an ideal world right now where gay men can shower with straight men and nobody ever gets made fun of and we tolerate every single difference that we have with each other, and if you were raised differently and don't like the new world order you should just deal. That's not reality. Reality is, don't ask don't tell works and we should make any change to it contingent upon very strong evidence that allowing openly gay men to serve in the military would work just as well. It does in other cultures, but will it work in ours? I'm anxious to see the evidence.

In other news, I'd like to see an unconditional, unreversible end to the draft and to draft registration before we repeal DADT, because DADT offers men a decent means of draft evasion.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby clintonius » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:21 pm UTC

Can you elaborate on what you mean when you said "don't ask, don't tell works?" I'm not sure I understand in which way it works, and I think that definition is a central concern of this topic.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Philwelch » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:44 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:Can you elaborate on what you mean when you said "don't ask, don't tell works?" I'm not sure I understand in which way it works, and I think that definition is a central concern of this topic.


Our military's effectiveness does not seem to be hindered. Since DADT we have been capable of maintaining air operations over Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and successfully and swiftly deposed the Iraqi government. The poor results of the Iraqi occupation seemed to be a consequence of inadequate troop levels, since after the surge the country seemed to calm down a lot.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:21 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
clintonius wrote:Can you elaborate on what you mean when you said "don't ask, don't tell works?" I'm not sure I understand in which way it works, and I think that definition is a central concern of this topic.


Our military's effectiveness does not seem to be hindered. Since DADT we have been capable of maintaining air operations over Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and successfully and swiftly deposed the Iraqi government. The poor results of the Iraqi occupation seemed to be a consequence of inadequate troop levels, since after the surge the country seemed to calm down a lot.


12,500 members of the estimated 65,000 gay servicemembers have been discharges under DADT. 363 million dollars wasted in trained arabic linguists and other important personel, based on a policy guided by prejudice instead of actual results.

This. This right here is when you CITE YOUR FACTS.

-Az

Why would an army want to waste the personnel and the training? Does anyone actually believe that allowing gay men to openly serve will cause losses greater than the aforementioned ones?

Remember, the prohibition is on serving "openly". Most servicemembers can already suspect fellow soldiers of being gay, so they're dealing with the idea regardless. What DADT does is allow gay servicemembers to save their careers by being able to lie upon confrontation. So much for military principles.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Philwelch » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:26 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:
Philwelch wrote:
clintonius wrote:Can you elaborate on what you mean when you said "don't ask, don't tell works?" I'm not sure I understand in which way it works, and I think that definition is a central concern of this topic.


Our military's effectiveness does not seem to be hindered. Since DADT we have been capable of maintaining air operations over Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and successfully and swiftly deposed the Iraqi government. The poor results of the Iraqi occupation seemed to be a consequence of inadequate troop levels, since after the surge the country seemed to calm down a lot.


12,500 members of the estimated 65,000 gay servicemembers have been discharges under DADT.


Out of about 3,000,000 total servicemen. That's not an unsustainable loss in personnel. In any case, you haven't shown that we'd have fewer losses with either full prohibition or with openly gay servicemembers.

Lucrece wrote:Why would an army want to waste the personnel and the training? Does anyone actually believe that allowing gay men to openly serve will cause losses greater than the aforementioned ones?


Given the difficulties in retention the military already has?

Lucrece wrote:What DADT does is allow gay servicemembers to save their careers by being able to lie upon confrontation.


The "don't ask" part of the equation also prohibits such confrontation.
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Lucrece » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:33 pm UTC

-Are you suggesting that retention difficulties are caused in part by people indignant enough to have homosexuals in their units that they will leave careers they have trained intensively for?

- They don't need to be direct. Spiteful teammates can maneuver via implication, and searches can be carried through. Like searching their online profile/networks, jobs, coming across pictures of a spouse.

A second warning, because you may not have seen the last one yet: Stop quoting entire length posts like that. Quote specifically relevant material and respond. This is a written medium, what was said is *right there*, readily accessible. We don't need you to recap it in it's entirety.

-Az
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Re: Homosexuals in the military

Postby Philwelch » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:46 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Are you suggesting that retention difficulties are caused in part by people indignant enough to have homosexuals in their units that they will leave careers they have trained intensively for?


We already have retention problems. Servicemembers are already "leaving careers they have trained intensively for" for other reasons. The military often advertises itself as a pathway into a civilian career later on, and most military work specialties connect pretty cleanly and obviously into a civilian career later on. If you're a mechanic in the Army you can be a mechanic at home. If you're a computer tech in the Army you can be a computer tech at home. If you're a nuke tech in the Navy you can be a nuke tech at a civilian plant. Even without these opportunities there are more and more mercenary firms and defense contractors hiring former military than ever. Retention is already a problem.

I'm asking you to show me that we'd have fewer troops leaving because they don't want to share the squad bay with a queer than we have leaving or being kicked out over DADT.
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