Gay Participation Hurts Neither Military Nor Marriage

The hand-wringing about dire consequences is an attempt to dress up base motives in more respectable garb

Did you catch the big story out of Afghanistan the other day—the one about how a U.S. platoon was decimated in a nighttime raid? The soldiers couldn’t fight effectively because their unit cohesion had disintegrated after one of them mentioned he is gay.

How about the recent study showing it is now impossible to train new jarheads at Parris Island? Marine recruits are so afraid a gay bunkmate might be eyeballing them in the shower that they can’t follow even basic commands.

What about the recruitment crisis generally—and the tens of thousands of military personnel who have announced they will not re-up because they don’t want to work with gays and lesbians?

You didn’t hear about those developments? Don’t be alarmed. Nobody did—because they never happened.  Yet they certainly should have, if those opposed to gays in the military were right. More than a year ago, the military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was formally repealed. Social conservatives had repeatedly predicted nothing less than utter disaster if that were to happen.

“Don’t think there won’t be a great cost,” warned Sen. John McCain. Denouncing “Obama’s radical social experiment” in National Review, Oliver North wrote that “our finest, most effective non-commissioned officers will leave the service.” Sen. Rick Santorum said the end of DADT would threaten “unit cohesion” because (among other things) people in the military “obviously shower with people.” Conservatives worry about showers a lot. Elaine Donnelly, the head of the Center for Military Readiness, said the problem of showers would be a “huge issue” and “throwing up a few shower curtains” would not begin to solve it.

James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said repealing DADT would “cost Marines’ lives.” At one point during the long debate, more than 1,100 retired generals and admirals released a statement warning that repeal would “break the all-volunteer force.” Richard Land, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, declared not only that repealing DADT would “significantly degrade” military effectiveness, but that preventing repeal was necessary to “save” our military.

Fourteen months after repeal, how much of that prophecy has come to pass? None of it. Not one bit.

No big surprise there. Americans heard the same sort of claptrap during the debate over racial integration of the armed forces. Col. Eugene Householder declared that such sociological “experiments” were “a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.” Wrong. Mississippi Rep. John Rankin declared that desegregating the military was “one of the greatest blunders that could possibly have been made.... If we get into another conflict, it would do more to cripple our national defense than anything else that has taken place since Pearl Harbor.” Wrong again.

Keep all of that in mind during the next six months, as the Supreme Court deliberates over gay marriage. Those opposed to it will say, as they have said many times: Gay marriage is unnatural; permitting it threatens “the institution of marriage”; it is part of “the homosexual agenda”; gays and lesbians are trying to “redefine marriage”; as the Family Foundation of Virginia avers, gay marriage “diminish[es] the status of marriage”; in the words of the National Organization for Marriage’s Thomas Peters, opposing gay marriage is necessary to “protect” marriage; and so forth.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal recently, co-authors Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert George oppose gay marriage by arguing that “weakening marital norms will hurt children and spouses, especially the poorest” and will foster “family breakdown.” What’s more, they write, same-sex marriage is unnatural, since it omits “sexual-reproductive complementarity.” And furthermore, this truth has been recognized by “ancient thinkers untouched by Judaism or Christianity—including Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes and Plutarch.”

Ah, well then. Who could possibly argue with Musonius Rufus?

These arguments from tradition and natural law also have some ugly historical echoes. When Judge Leon Bazile convicted Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple, of violating Virginia’s law against miscegenation, he insisted: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages.” When, a few years earlier, the black group The Platters was arrested for playing music for white women, Cincinnati judge Gilbert Bettman berated them: “You have taken that which can be the core of reproductive life and turned it into a socially abhorrent, tawdry indulgence in lust.” Sound familiar?

There was the real objection to racial mixing: disgust. Everything else—all the philosophical and legal rationalization, all the hand-wringing about the dire consequences that would surely follow—was simply an attempt to dress up base motives in more respectable garb. Fifty years later, that is painfully apparent to all.

The same story is playing out again now, with regard to gays and lesbians. And in another 50 years—perhaps 10—that will be painfully apparent as well.

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  • Doctor Whom||

    It's a good thing that my formal shocked face is back from the cleaners.

    Don't forget Bishop Harry Jackson's blatherings about the effect of same-sex marriage on the African-American family. Apparently, the effects of teh kwear are so powerful that they can travel back in time.

  • stan James||

    AS for THE article on gay marriage in the WSJ - Guess who owns WSJ

    the lying freak extremists of FAUX News, which is banned in Britain and Canada for their endless lies and misinformation.

  • thom||

    Unlike during the civil rights movement, we now have the internet, so these bigots words and actions will hang as a scarlet letter around their necks for the rest of their lives.

  • Patriot||

    Unless we have things called "rights." That secure our right to argue for things anonymously. But it seems with the rise of the left we will loose our rights, to stop "hate" of course. KILL THE FUCKING FAGGOTS! Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Paul.||

  • Sevo||

    "I know that many of you have heard Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell and others speak of the "Homosexual Agenda," but no one has ever seen a copy of it.
    Well, I have finally obtained a copy directly from the Head Homosexual."
    http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jo.....genda.html

    That's one busy afternoon...

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I'm pretty sure 'Endless, Un-Winnable Wars in Buttfuckistan' might be breaking the all-volunteer force... or it might be the queers.

  • sonofloud||

    Luckily President Johnson created and pushed for the Civil Rights Act unlike Obama who thinks it should be left up to each state. If Johnson had thought that, it would still be illegal to have inter racial marriages in some states.

  • R C Dean||

    Unfortunately, President Johnson did not think to include sexual orientation as a protected class in the Civil Rights Act.

    It was SCOTUS that did away with bans on interracial marriage. Based on the 14th Amendment, not the Civil Rights Act.

  • stan James||

    Inter-racial marriagess were banned to protect the sactity of the white race.

    Need I say more about the depth of hatreds in America -1967 before Scotus acted.

  • Patriot||

    Wrong. The Civil Rights Act did not concern interracial marriage. They were not banned until 1968.

  • BlogimiDei||

    I like how they are so upset by gays that they left out the "Gaius" from Gaius Musonius Rufus's name. That's Gaius!

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    the state should get out of the military business altogether. allowing gays in the military is just an expansion of government benefits to a new class, its like arguing blacks should have been allowed to own slaves too, instead of getting rid of slavery altogether. -ancap

  • Patriot||

    Why don't you just say, the state should be ended? You're argument is only valid if you accept voluntary military service as the equivalent of slavery.

  • TomG||

    Apparently, the classical education of those WSJ commentators is a bit weak, given that Plato was homosexual and had weird views on marriage.

    The fundamental error these people are making, however, is that they believe that it is any of the government's business to tell people how to live.

    Leave the definition of marriage to the churches, and if government wants to get involved at all, give tax breaks for raising children, not for some particular label.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    ideally, i would agree with marriage being private only. however until that happens i think we should be less discriminatory.

    one of the arguments i see popping up here is that it would still be discriminatory against singles, well then yea let them marry themselves so they can visit themselves in the hospital and gain citizenship in the country they are already a citizen then.

  • ||

    Apparently your classical education was a little lacking. Like many Greeks that weren't part of the ruling class, very little is known about the specifics of Plato's sex life.

    He, along with Xenophon, were staunchly opposed to the sexual aspects of pederasty. It's believed that the record of Socrates abstinence from the homosexual practices of Greece were influenced or even possibly fabricated by Plato.

    Even if your education were lacking, surely you understand a PLATOnic relationship as being non or asexual?

    Agreed about the government staying out. Give people tax breaks for stably cohabitating (common law marriage) and/or raising children. Unfortunately, these two criteria, technically, discriminate against homosexuals.

  • stan James||

    YOu scared me in the beginning.

    Of course your talking about the blabbering of eg the Family Research Council - a bunch of racist who have found a new victim to hate, the gays

    Best I can figure Spriggs one of the top leaders was a legislator in Louisiana with Perkins the president of this nefarious organization.

    And the interesting part is that he was an actor in Xtian plays in college and a professional actor .

    These people are those described in the book

    The christian right and the war on America by Chris hedges. Shop on Ebay or Half.com and you can buy it for about 12 $$

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/.....d-memories

  • Patriot||

    Most blacks must also be racists. They hate sexual deviants way more than whites.

  • Patriot||

    The problem here is that we have a "conservatism" that has already surrendered before the battle. They have already accepted the liberal cliches as true and fact, all except this recently new one.(The idea of homosexual marriage would have struck even the most dedicated SDS member as idiotic) They accept divorce (as in "I left my husband 'cause I got bored, now I need welfare for my kids") as perfectly fine in public, just as they accept pre-marital sex and perfectly fine. In the churches they condemn them, but not in public. Nor will they criticize the culture apart from pornography. The only advantage they have in opposing homosexuals is that, for now, as homosexual "rights" are a new concept, the populace for the most part agrees with them. The millennials, however, have been brainwashed by the "gay is okay" agenda. The problem here is that politics have become one big giant popularity contest. We need a movement of the minority, a movement for intelligent culturally conservative Americans, religious and irreligious alike, to embrace. As any history student history is made by minorities. Despite Marx, the views of the obese black prole woman will probably never matter very much.

  • Sevo||

    Uh, I really tried and I have no idea what you're trying to get across.
    How about dropping some jargon and stating clearly what your point is?
    Are you opposed to "gay is OK"? If so, why?

  • Patriot||

    I'm sorry for using big words. My point in language you can understand would be "it not make sense to say gay sin bad but straight sin okay, and it not make sense to say that culture be a popularity contest." I sure don't want to share a shower with these sexual deviants. I don't think the gov should waste it's time telling people where they can put their junk, but still I would advise faggots to keep their fantasies to themselves, because if one of them ever looked at me that way, I'd punch him in the face. If any of these "bisexuals" ever tried to date my daughter, I'd also teach him a lesson. And if these people want to subject us to seeing their affection in public, they shouldn't be surprised when people yell homophobic slogans at them. If expressing homosexual feeling in public is protected "speech," that should be too. I want to live in a society without our serial monogamy, our indifference to the welfare of children, and our glorification of selfishness. I am a scientist and I don't believe, contra the fundamentalists, that these people have a "choice." I am much more concerned about the heterosexual deviants and these welfare queens and 'playas,' not to mention the growing influence of the growing ghetto America on our morality. Two percent of the population couldn't cause that much trouble really, and that's the point I want the cultural conservative movement to understand.

  • Patriot||

    Ideally these people would go live in a ghetto, away from me and normal, bland, white, married, intelligent, heterosexual human beings, known in previous times as "Americans."

  • CosmoBro||

    Are you in a bet with Rick Santorum and American to see who can spout the most hateful, collectivist drivel over a specified period of time? If so, I'll just go ahead and declare you winner. Congrtulations, you troll fuck.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Gosh, you mean people that serve in the military are capable of acting like mature adults? Who could have predicted that?

  • Patriot||

    Simply because the generals are too patriotic to quit their jobs doesn't mean their happy about this, see the petition with 1,100 signatures. I'm not arguing for DADT, just that this is a stupid argument.

  • dunlap||

    I agree, and what is the real difference between the military not wanting openly gay men and not wanting people with certain health issues? Besides the fact that outsiders think that the former is an unacceptable prejudice while the latter is ok. I don't see why they can't decide the qualifications for their own group.

  • dunlap||

    In fact, it seems obvious that being gay could be seen as a health issue. The military has long promoted behavior that prevents VD, but allowing a segment of the population known for having much higher rates undermines that agenda.

  • cindobindo||

    Mr. Hinkle,you have obviously never been in the military. The military life is about the farthest thing from libertarianism there is, next to incarceration. I am a white, female veteran. Here goes.
    I was in the Army in 1974-1975,honorably discharged. When I began basic training in Fort Jackson,SC,some lesbians were in the company, too. The FIRST DAY, they self segregated, forcing several heterosexual women to vacate the beds and storage they'd already chosen, and taking over a section of the barracks for lesbian only use.They were black, white and Hispanic. They all behaved rather badly. They made passes and sexual comments to the heteros, took our pictures in the showers, and always chose each other in any kind of competition. They rejected any hetero friendships.

  • cindobindo||

    They held hands when playing dodgeball. Some wore men's clothing and men's cologne off duty, and they would go out together and come back with hickies. They necked and petted in the barracks, out in plain sight, making those of us who were far from home and husbands or boyfriends very uncomfortable. A group of them, some black, actually grabbed me and put their hands all over me while we were in the back of a "cattle truck". Since some of them were black, I chose not to cause them painful hands, like I would have if they were men, I just kept pushing their hands off me and told them STOP, but they didn't till we got out of the truck. In a combat situation,homosexuals with lovers present would be as emotionally compromised as straight men with female comrades have been in recent years. Jessica Lynch's unit failed in their mission because they went looking for her. One very good reason for NOT having women in combat.

  • cindobindo||

    Then,there is AIDS. It is still overwhelmingly a homosexual male illness, most new cases are sexually active homosexual men. If they are encouraged to join the military, it's certain that the AIDS rate will go up. The military medical system is already greatly overtaxed, the LAST thing it needs is the added burden of AIDS cases that would have to be sent home and treated.
    And there is the fact that homosexuals in general are better educated than other Americans. College graduates are generally encouraged to join as officers. Officers have lots of power over their underlings. It isn't inconceivable that a homosexual officer will use his or her position to pressure or force underlings to engage sexually with him or her. And in the current climate of "tolerance", anyone protecting themselves with physical force against being groped,fondled or otherwise sexually harassed by a homosexual would almost certainly be punished in some way for "intolerance", at a minimum, forced to attend classes on "tolerance" and to do "extra duty".

  • cindobindo||

    Also, the military is unique in workplaces in that you have little freedom (a libertarian would HATE it). You are assigned to work on a ship,a military installation, a hospital or other specific location. If someone else assigned there is making passes or sexual comments and you can't get your boss to intervene, or your boss is the offender, you CANNOT simply go somewhere else to work,and escape the predator that way. You can go see the post JAG office, and they may help, but it will likely take some time,and this early in the "gays in the military" era, they may not help at all. Communal showers are the norm in the military,and quarters for sleeping are shared. Orders are given, and unless they are illegal orders ( and you can PROVE that),you HAVE to OBEY them, including if you are ordered to keep sleeping in the bed next to the bed of a homosexual who's harassing you. So I am very concerned that homosexuals in the military will NOT work out well, having a negative effect on the combat readiness of the military,which means we will be weakening our defenses. That, to me, is an unacceptable price to pay to appease a tiny but noisy and politically powerful (tyrannical) minority of Americans.

  • CosmoBro||

    Silly paleos, rights are for everyone!

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