Military

Buried Truths About Gays in the Military

Why it's time to end "don't ask, don't tell"

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There are lots of reasons for excluding gays and lesbians from the military. But current supporters of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy insist that really, it all comes down to cohesion. Keep gays out, and soldiers will stick together through thick and thin. Let gays in, and every platoon will disintegrate like a sand castle in the surf.

John McCain sounded this theme at a Senate hearing the other day, arguing that the existing law rests on the belief "that the essence of military capability is good order and unit cohesion, and that any practice which puts those goals at unacceptable risk can be restricted." A group of retired military officers said the ban on gays serves "to protect unit cohesion and morale."

Maybe this concern is what really underlies the exclusion of gays and lesbians. But I'm not so sure. In 2007, Gen. Peter Pace, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about it, and he offered a different rationale. "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," he said. Could the opposition stem mostly from a simple aversion to gays and their ways?

It's not completely implausible that in a military environment, open homosexuality might wreak havoc on order and morale. But the striking thing about these claims is that they exist in a fact-free zone. From all the dire predictions, you would think a lifting of the ban would be an unprecedented leap into the dark, orchestrated by people who know nothing of the demands of military life.

As it happens, we now have a wealth of experience on which to evaluate the policy. When you examine it, you discover the reason McCain and Co. make a point of never mentioning it.

A couple of dozen countries already allow gays in uniform—including allies that have fought alongside our troops, such as Britain, Canada, and Australia. Just as there is plenty of opposition in the U.S. ranks, there was plenty of opposition when they changed their policies.

In Canada, 45 percent of service members said they would not work with gay colleagues, and a majority of British soldiers and sailors rejected the idea. There were warnings that hordes of military personnel would quit and promising youngsters would refuse to enlist.

But when the new day arrived, it turned out to be a big, fat non-event. The Canadian government reported "no effect." The British government observed "a marked lack of reaction." An Australian veterans group that opposed admitting gays later admitted that the services "have not had a lot of difficulty in this area."

Israel, being small, surrounded by hostile powers, and obsessed with security, can't afford to jeopardize its military strength for the sake of prissy ventures in political correctness. But its military not only accepts gays, it provides benefits to their same-sex partners, as it does with spouses. Has that policy sapped Israel's military might? Its enemies don't seem eager to test the proposition.

You could argue that none of these experiences is relevant, since, being Americans, we are utterly unique. But our soldiers don't seem to have any trouble fighting alongside gay soldiers from allied nations.

Not only that, but it turns out the U.S. military itself has tried the same policy with satisfactory results. Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. John Shalikashvili has pointed out that "enforcement of the ban was suspended without problems during the Persian Gulf War, and there were no reports of angry departures."

That's right: We fought a war without the ban, and we won. In a pinch, our heterosexual men and women in uniform confirmed, they can function perfectly well amid openly gay colleagues.

That shouldn't be surprising, since the military requires its members to live with all sorts of people in close quarters and demanding conditions. A lot of recruits would be more leery of bunking next to an ex-con than a homosexual, but the military admits hundreds of felons each year, including some violent ones. If unit cohesion can survive the presence of killers, rapists, and child molesters, why would it shatter on contact with gays and lesbians?

All recent experience argues that the American military would adapt fine to accepting gays. But when it comes to actual real-world evidence, supporters of the ban don't ask, and they don't tell.

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  1. They should just announce, “We’ve been having some recruiting problems lately. It’s either gays or the draft. And no special favors for Congress’ kids.”

    I wonder how they will feel about the affects on unit cohesion then.

    1. Let homos serve in the military? Hell, dude, what if they bring back the damned Draft – there won’t be any way to get out of being drafted!

      1. Yeah, but somebody has to look for land mines and disarm explosive devices. Who better?

        1. Those of us who disarm explosive devices are highly trained volunteers, and we love our job. Cannon fodder draftees would just get in the way and get people killed.

        2. Those of us who disarm explosive devices are highly trained volunteers, and we love our job. Draftees would just get in the way and get people killed.

        3. Those of us who disarm explosive devices are highly trained volunteers, and we love our job. Draftees would just get in the way and get people killed.

  2. Yeah I am all for equal rights and such for people in the private sector but I disagree with letting gays serve openly in combat units. If you want to be gay then be gay but keep it to yourself and your partner(s) while you are in any unit that might see combat. All it is going to do is put even more stress on those who are already being pushed to the limit. If you want to let gays serve openly in like the Air force or non combat jobs in the army and navy that is cool. Those units are not as tight as a Marine or Army infantry platoon.

    Oh and they do not let felons in, that is bullshit. If you have a few DUIs there is a chance they will not let you in let alone any felonies. Although, this is something I disagree with. If a guy gets arrested for DUI or drugs or something I don’t think that has anything to do with his potential military career. But then again I also disagree with most (if not all) of the DUI and drug laws.

    1. “Im all for equal rights and such for people in the private sector but…”

      ..But just not in our publicly funded military? Wow you must be a regular Socrates when it comes to logic.

      1. Again, It is there to do one job and if it has to take a few rights away in order for it to do that job then that is something you agree to when you sign up.

        1. What rights? There’s no “right” to serve in the military.

    2. The bottom line is that all members of the military are subject to the UCMJ (the Uniform Code of Military Justice, for those non-military folks out there). The UCMJ clearly states that homosexual acts are illegal. So unless they are talking about revising this policy as well, I’m not sure how this repeal of don’t ask/don’t tell will work. So you can be openly gay but you can’t have gay sex?

      1. That’s not a contradiction in terms, in case you couldn’t figure it out.

    3. First of all you obviously know nothing about our current military and the current conflicts we are involved in. There are no front lines. We don’t fight traditional WWII style wars anymore. Truck drivers in Iraq have seen more combat than some Infantry units, including Women who are barred from “Combat Roles”.

      Second, your argument that Gays should be barred from combat units because they are tighter than other units and that “All it is going to do is put even more stress on those who are already being pushed to the limit” is flawed. The same argument was used to ban blacks from white units prior to the 1950’s. Because the majority of people in “Combat Units” are Christians, should we ban other religions because a Christian serving with an atheist or Jew might cause “more stress on those who are already being pushed to the limit”?

      I have been both to Iraq and Afghanistan, and have found myself in some bad predicaments a few times so I would ask someone who is wants to join the military but is unwilling to serve with Gays this: If you can’t handle working side by side with a gay man, what makes you think you can handle a combat situation? Living with other men who are gay and you are not may be uncomfortable, but so is combat……..get used to it!

  3. It says, as of my posting, “See all 3 comments”. But yet I see only two. Could it be someone’s comment got deleted? Do I have to scream censorship so early in the morning?

    1. Ugh, nevermind. Trackback, you got me again.

      1. Great share thanks for the read!

  4. Does adultery interfere with unit cohesion? If not, why ban it?

    1. It does if it involves the wife of another member of the unit!

    2. Max, it is already banned. You can be courtmarshalled for it.

  5. Um, the military does not allow “killers, rapists, and child molesters.” Even if the record was sealed or expunged, it does not remove it from the person’s history as far as the military is concerned. People with felony convictions (not in the above list) may be allowed to join depending on the offense, how long ago they happened, and whether or not the person has stayed out of trouble since.

    1. This would be the waiver system.

  6. Oh and they do not let felons in, that is bullshit

    Um, the military does not allow “killers, rapists, and child molesters.”

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.:

    In 2007 more than half of the Army’s 511 [waivers] were for thefts, ranging from burglaries to bad checks and stolen cars. Another 130 were for drug offenses. The remainder included two for manslaughter; five for sexual crimes, including rape, incest or sexual assault, and; three for negligent or vehicular homicide. Two received waivers for terrorist threats including bomb threats in 2007.[5]

    235 of the Marine Corps’ 350 waivers were for various types of thefts in 2007, and another 63 were for assaults or robberies that may also have included use of a weapon. The remainder included one for manslaughter in 2007; four for sex crimes; and five for terror threats, including bomb threats. The Navy’s convictions were mostly for a variety of thefts or drug and drunk driving convictions, with two for terror or bomb threats in 2007.[6]

    1. Those numbers should tell you how hard it is to get a waiver for that class of crime.

      1. Really tough but apparently not tough enough.

    2. Yeah sorry but your sources are questionable at best. I was kicked out for smoking a joint so excuse me if I think your “stats” are bullshit. Your sources are from statist news outlets which means they are basically useless.

      Good try tho

      1. Doing drugs while you’re in the service is completely different than having a conviction in your past. The whole point behind the waiver system is that the criminal behavior is something in the past. Obviously doing drugs while on active duty means that your law breaking is in the present.

        1. ok then what about not being able to get a government job 5 years later with no record except for that one instance? What about no instance of drug use or abnormal behavier before that? Then entire thing is fucked up but that is due to it being government run.

          1. I think what happened to you sucks.

            1. Too bad it didn’t really happen to him. You’re wasting your sympathy on a lie.

              1. I accept all commenters’ anecdotes at face value even though most are probably BS. I figure the person was trying to make a point, and whether the anecdote is true or not is beside the point.

          2. I’m sure someone with a minor drug conviction could get a government job 5 years later. But you, on the other hand, had a dishonorable discharge. I have no problem with making that a disqualifier for government jobs unless you have some critical skillset.

  7. The military has something of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy on adultery, too.

    One of the elements of the military crime of adultery is that ‘the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.’

    one of the factors in deciding whether to prosecute is ‘The negative impact of the conduct on the units or organizations of the accused, the co-actor or the spouse of either of them, such as a detrimental effect on unit or organization morale, teamwork, and efficiency.’

    The article from which this is quoted comments: ‘A quiet adulterous affair that nobody knows about is probably not going to have a negative impact on the unit(s) of the parties involved. On the other hand if “everyone” in the unit “knows” about it (like any “office affair”), it can cause tension and resentment within the unit.’

    Sounds like don’t ask, don’t tell!

    1. A few years ago a very prominent Marine Corps colonel was relieved of his command and then separated from the Corps for adultery. I was in his command and no one knew about his adultery. It all depends on who finds out. It will not always lead to a court-martial but most of the time it will end that Marines career.

      1. Your experience matches that of the article’s author (he says he used to do military discipline stuff) – the higher the rank of the defendant, the more likely the adultery is to be prosecuted, on the grounds that the civilian public will be more likely to find out about adultery in the higher than the lower ranks, with resulting public scandal.

        1. With respect to the Colonel’s dismissal for adultery, I quite concur with the above disposition. Those in positions of higher reponsibility should be held to a more exacting standard. They are given “special tust and confidence” and once they violate that trust, in whatever form, they have surrendered their moral authority to lead. No excuses, no exceptions. Certainly there are those who will slip by, but on the whole, the military does a good job of holding its leaders accountable for such violations.

      2. Thanks great share, a few years ago a very prominent Marine Corps

  8. The article adds that the difficulty of proving adultery in a formal court-martial ‘does not mean, however, that military members are free to shack up with whomever they please. Commanders have a lot of discretion when it comes to administrative procedures, and administrative actions (such as reprimands, denial of promotions, performance report remarks, etc.) are not governed by the relatively strict legal requirements of the UCMJ or Manual for Courts-Martial.’

    Is this the next don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy scheduled for the chopping block?

  9. Why is it so important to announce your sexual preferences to the world?

    1. It isn’t!
      But why should people have to hide who they are?

    2. ‘Cause I’m proud, Proud, PROUD!!

    3. It’s not a matter of announcing your sexual preference to the world. It’s a matter of not being able to express it. Ever. Not even once.

      Experiment, ed: go a month without talking about a significant other, a crush, even a person on tv/film you find attractive. Further, you can’t talk about any past romantic experiences you have, or any romantic future you’d like. A month. Not one word. I wonder if you’d last a week. Or even a day.

      1. They could just not join the military. No one is making them do it. Its like saying you want to be apart of a church but you dont want to convert to that faith.

        1. It’s nothing like wanting to join a church. The military is a state institution; discrimination within that institution is state (not private) discrimination.

          Tell me I can’t join your church, and I’ll say okay (also, I’ll likely laugh in your face); but tell me I can’t work for the government and you’d better prepare yourself for a fight. And I’ll win the fight. In fact, I, or we (that filthy “they”) are about to.

          1. Ok i can see that but its a state institution that has been set up for one purpose and in order to do its job it must discriminate. Why not let a guy with no legs into the military?

            1. That’s not a legimate analogy.

            2. Because a guy with no legs can’t effectively fight in combat.

              A gay person can pull a trigger just fine.

              1. A guy who is in love with his squad leader could be just as inaffective as a guy with no arms or legs.

                1. …this is just ridiculous.

                  DADT doesn’t ban gay people from serving in the military, it bans them from serving openly. Also, women currently serve. If your argument is then that they shouldn’t, then you’ll have to prove that this fucking INSANE they-might-fall-in-love argument has been a problem thus far (it hasn’t).

                2. Also, no. I highly doubt that a person in love would be “just as inaffective (sic) as a guy with no arms or legs” IN COMBAT.

                  DADT stands today as the last official bit of “ew, gays are yucky” in the armed services, plain and simple.

            3. Thats so true I couldnt agree more

      2. It’s a matter of not being able to express it. Ever. Not even once.

        When do we get hetero-pride parades? Lots of chicks with fake tits sucking dildos on floats that look like people fucking. (dildoes? Ty Dimitri Martin)

        Keep it in the bedroom people. Least until society is just one huge, sticky, orgy. When that day comes (tee-hee) then it’ll be cool to advertise your preferences in public.

        Now, i’m not talking public displays of affection. Just the “we’re here, we’re queer, and we need to make sure that you know we’re queer” parade bullshit. I get it, you like the cock. STFU, go home, and suck one.

        1. Here you go, wylie….

          http://thejapaneseeye.blogspot…..tival.html

          1. Is there anything the Japanese aren’t 2 steps ahead of us on?

        2. You’re confusing two different questions.

          1) Do Gay Pride Parades personally annoy you?

          2) Should gay men be allowed to serve openly in the military?

          You’ll note that these questions have nothing to do with one another.

        3. Until you’ve the shame of having to hide who you are out of fear, you might not realize just how liberating it can be to scream it from the rooftops and confront those fears.

          1. Your need to be liberated by screaming your sexuality from the rooftops sorta proves my point.

        4. Whatever you say, massa.

        5. Yeah! And why do those damn heterosexuals have to admit to being married in public? That’s like admitting they have sex! How dare they!

          C’mon, man. You don’t honestly think the only thing a gay person might reasonably want to do, to lead a happy pschologically healthy life is in the bedroom, do you? There’s this little g-rated thing called dating. Oh, and commitment.

        6. Hetero pride parade? You mean Mardi Gras?

      3. “micsolana|2.8.10 @ 8:55AM|#
        It’s not a matter of announcing your sexual preference to the world. It’s a matter of not being able to express it. Ever. Not even once.”

        Yes your one side to the argument, you do not get the right to express yourself. If I was still in the Army I would not be able to voice my disapproval of homosexuals. I would not have a choice of having one living with me in my barracks room. How about showering with one in basic training. These are just two examples of rights I lose. Have you ever served in the military, how about a combat arms unit? Doubt it…… Its amazing how we are so worried over the few and have no concerns for the clear majority. Gay marriage was voted down in California and now the courts are involved because clearly the voters are wrong. See where I am going, the gay minority is hitting a wall in acceptance. So lets force it down everyones throats. The military is not a place to mess with, these MEN yes men risk their lives for this country every day.
        Also the other militaries of the world accept gays because of manpower shortages. The US military is not having problems recruiting.
        I accept that my view is not welcome, to bad. If I have to hear yours, you need to hear mine.

        Ex 11B light Infantry fire team leader (Berlin Brigade & 101st Airborne)

        1. I think it’s probably less a matter of you not being allowed to express yourself than it is of most people probably not being able to understand what you’ve written.

          Also, “If I have to hear yours, you need to hear mine” = false.

          How do people still not understand the concept of free expression?

          1. Great read thansk for the nice share

        2. You already served, bunked, and showered with gay men.

          You just want the right to pretend that’s not the case, or what?

        3. Oh noes, a gay guy might stare at a straight man in the shower! Egads!

          I’ve had to deal with men staring at my ass (and other body parts) with lustful intent since I was about thirteen. Did I fall to pieces and become too upset to function normally? No, I shrugged it off and moved on with my life. And I would humbly suggest that if a grown man can’t achieve the psychological equilibrium I managed as a giggly thirteen-year-old whose then-ambition was to move someplace where polygamy was legal so I could marry three-fifths of Duran Duran, that man is too much of a SPINELESS FUCKING PUSSY to join the military. Go join a knitting circle instead, wusses.

          1. to move someplace where polygamy was legal so I could marry three-fifths of Duran Duran

            Ahh, the dreams of youth. Nothing Better.

          2. BTW – You could avoid the polygamy bit if you were willing to settle for 1/2 of Wham.

          3. So Jennifer, you would be willing to shower with men? If not, why not?
            Isn’t it the same thing as a man showering with gay men, or women showering with gay women?
            I am not against gays in the military, but I do understand the concern that you so flippantly write off.

            1. People who are trained to kill, the so-called greatest warriors in the world, getting squeamish over showers? Please. You afraid you might like it if someone came on to you? Otherwise what’s the concern?

              The separating of the sexes is primarily about protecting women from men. If you’re a macho straight soldier, what are you worried about?

              As someone who learned to play violin for the sole reason that taking orchestra would substitute for gym class, I know that gay men have a lot more anxiety about communal showers than straight men do.

              1. What’s the concern over a man and woman showering together? Why should a woman be afraid of a man coming on to her in the shower? Is she afraid she might like it?
                Double standard much?
                So, what IS the difference between separating the sexes, and separating straight men from gay men?

                1. Separating the sexes is a social convention based on modesty. The modesty of women, mostly. Do you worry about getting ogled or raped every time you go to a public restroom? The gays use those too you know.

          4. Nothing?

            So, would you be for or against coed showers?

            1. A better question is, if I’m showering with a bunch of naked women whose body parts look pretty much like my own, do I care if some of those women are lesbians? And the answer is no, I don’t care and I damned sure won’t become so utterly terrified that any military effectiveness I have is gone.

              So I say again to the manly men shriveling in fear lest a gay guy get a glimpse of his nutsack: man up, you whiny spineless pussies.

              1. You are avoiding the question. The issue is sexual attraction.
                Isn’t it rather hypocritical to be OK with a homosexual woman ogling your body, but against coed showers where men would do the same?
                I don’t believe anyone has mentioned anything about being “terrified”. The issue at hand would be the same issue if men and women showered together, unwanted distractions.
                Are you capable of an intelligent discussion on this matter, or are vile insults the extent of your vocabulary?

    4. Dude, don’t bother arguing about homosexuality on this site. Everyone here is committed to mainstreaming queers.

    5. Much of the time they don’t announce their preferences to the world, a jilted lover does.

      1. Psychologically healthy individuals have no need to publicize their sexual proclivities. This goes for both straights and gays.

  10. The military crime of adultery is defined by executive order, not by statute. For all practical purposes, Pres. Obama could wipe this crime off the books today.

    Come on, man, if it feels good, do it!

    1. Lots of incorrect information about the military today. Adultery is Article 134 of the UCMJ. The USMJ is a Congressional Code of Military Criminal Law applicable to all military members worldwide. Sodomy is also a an article (125) so even if don’t ask don’t tell is eliminated this will be something than will need to be changed. All this information was goggled in about 5 minutes and can be verified.

      1. Nice try, genius, but check the initial link I provided:

        ‘Adultery in the military is actually prosecuted under Article 134, which is also known as the “General Article.” Article 134 simply prohibits conduct which is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, or conduct which is prejudicial to good order and discipline.

        ‘The UCMJ allows the President of the United States to administer the UCMJ by writing an Executive Order, known as the Manual for Court Martial (MCM). The MCM includes the UCMJ, and also supplements the UCMJ by establishing “Elements of Proof,” (exactly what the government must *prove* to prosecute an offense), an explanation of offenses, and maximum permissible punishments for each offense (among other things). While the MCM is an Executive Order, enacted by the President, in reality much of the contents are a result of military and federal appeals court decisions.

        ‘One of the things that the MCM does is to expand article 134 into various “sub-articles.” One of these “sub-articles” covers the offense of adultery (Article 134, paragraph 62).’

        1. And I was discussing adultery, not sodomy – but if sodomy is more your thing, I understand.

        2. So you’re seriously asking us to believe that if the President decrees that ‘adultery per se is not prejudicial to good order and discipline,’ and amends the MCM accordingly, the courts will overrule him and order him to prosecute adulterers?

          You are a very special person, in a ‘special ed’ sort of way.

          1. I will keep this civil. You are correct I did not consider the Manual for Court-Martial when I made my post. The problem with this is that if Obama makes a change he can only guarantee it until the end of his presidency. This is why Pres Clinton, a pro Gays in the military President, created the “don’t as don’t tell” policy as a compromise.

            My comment on Article 125 is that unless this is addressed it could still lead to problems for Gays in the military. I have seen Marines charged with this in adultery cases when an angry lover is involved and testifies against the Marine.

            I apologize for making the comment that you were incorrect. Obviously I was. I was hoping for a real debate because I am undecided on the issue.

            1. Not that it seems to matter but the Constitution tasks Congress with the rule making.

              “To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;”

            2. Sorry I was so sensitive. I really *am* grateful to you and your compatriots for defending this country – I simply felt that you were misconceiving my argument, which I found irritating.

              I was primarily aiming my comments at some of the regulars here, who would recognize my sarcasm – ‘yeah, why not legalize adultery, while you’re at it!’ The President has more *de facto* leeway here than with sodomy.

              In showing the don’t-ask-don’t tell parallels, I was buttressing my point that the adultery and sodomy rules are comparable, so if you’re eliminating one, why not eliminate the other?

              1. I was just reading some articles on the web about adultery in the military. I did not realize there had been changes to the policy. The last adultery case I saw punished in my unit was over 10 years ago. I had not realize it had been changed to make it harder to convict. And I agree, if the military is using the same argument for both activities there should be similar punishments. Adultery has the potential to screw up a unit way more than Homosexuality.

  11. As an active member of the armed forces, I see no problem allowing openly gay people to serve in any military occupation. I have served with a few homosexuals in the past. There was never a problem. I have, however seen the use of claimed homosexuality by service members to get themselves out of their contracts or deployment.

    Equal rights for all!

  12. marriages are usually announced right? So when a gay person in the military decides to get married, it inevitably gets announced to the world since it’s a matter of public record.

    Same with adopting or having a second parent adoption with the kids.

  13. My service was a quarter century ago but I doubt if it has changed all that much. Gays who are sensitive about being called “fags” and such might want to think twice about it. Oh yeah, the military will make everybody go to sensitivity training but don’t expect too much from that.

    Really, that rule applies to anybody who’s sensitive, regardless of orientation. The military is a rude society all told, and no amount of tut-tutting from newspaper columnists will change that.

    1. +1

      In a perfect world it would be a good idea to have gays serve openly but we do not live in that world. If you don’t think that doing so wouldn’t create a large number of harassment charges then your just fooling yourself.

      1. As said in the article, there is a raft of examples countering this. Lifting the policy, like Chapman said, would inspire nothing more than a collective “Eh”. I’d bet my next taxpayer-funded paycheck on it.

        1. You’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re trying to convince Jesse with data.

          1. Oh cool someone else who knows me.

            I find his “data” questionable so I have obviously abandoned reason.

      2. In a perfect world, why would we need a military?

  14. The job is to protect your nation and kill its enemies. It’s a unique profession with unique rules. The niceties of civilian life do not necessarily apply to military life. That includes certain civil rights and prerogatives. It’s a mistake to attempt to apply certain states’ “rights” (same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, marijuana dispensaries in California) to military life.

    1. Yeah youre right gays in the military shouldnt be tried. I mean look how weak and vulnerable the Israelis are…idiot

      1. Actually, the Israelis are very vulunerable. Strong, but vulnerable.

        Point I want to make is that military service is mandatory in Israel. If you want to make comparisons, don’t just pick the gay issue.

    2. Yes, discharging gay Arabic translators makes the military stronger.

      /sarcasm

      1. yeah we shouldn’t discharge arabic linguists for cheating on their taxes or smoking marajuana either.

  15. We already have sensitivity training… it doesn’t work too well. Things have not changed much in that respect.

  16. Repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” will result in violent crimes against the gays. I saw this first hand when I was in the USMC years ago. Maybe it’s differant today, but I doubt it.

    1. Finally, the “rampant gay bashing” argument arrives.

      1. I was going to make a Marine Corps joke, but one team, one fight, hooah!

  17. The military crime of adultery is defined by executive order, not by statute. For all practical purposes, Pres. Obama could wipe this crime off the books today.

    Come on, man, if it feels good, do it!

    Everybody knows that your personal, hyperCatholic morality ought to be enshrined by law.

    If you want to live in the Vatican, do it!

    1. You have exposed the Secret Vatican Conspiracy (TM) to enshrine morality in the Uniform Code of Justice and implementing regulations!

      Curse you, infidel, for bringing our dark designs out into the light of day. Our albino monk assassins were supposed to get rid of nosy parkers like you.

      Damn.

      1. Uniform Code of *Military* Justice

  18. When I was with the Marines years and years ago, there was a ton of prejudice against gays. On the other hand in our small unit we had a guy who was gay serve with us with no problems. He was a great tech and pulled his weight.

    And don’t even get me started on how many WM’s (women Marines) were lesbians when I served.

    I’m laughing at the adultery comments in this thread because of how much adultery went on when I served. When we deployed to the field, the married guys loved it because they would be in the bar districts getting laid almost every night.

    Semper Fidelis might mean always faithful, but it sure didn’t cover significant others (women Marines were as bad as the guys).

    1. Its because most of the women marines where just as manly as the guys. When i was in Hawaii i swear the pog chick that worked in processing had thicker facial hair than some of my boots.

      1. facial hair on boots? I think i’m missing a key reference here.

        1. a “boot” is someone fresh out of basic

          1. And now the comment makes sense. Thank You 🙂

    2. Are you suggesting that the military laws aren’t always obeyed?

      How different from civilian laws, which civilians always obey!

  19. The job is to protect your nation and kill its enemies. It’s a unique profession with unique rules. The niceties of civilian life do not necessarily apply to military life.

    RTFA. Israel does not seem to have a problem with it.

    It’s like you already have your inane talking points pre-prepared and are just randomly spewing them anywhere they might be considered “on topic”. But given that Chapman addressed your specific criticism, you might want to engage your ears more and your mouth less.

    1. Why so angry, Optimist? (If you don’t mind telling.)

      1. This is the meat of your argument:

        It’s a unique profession with unique rules.

        therefore:

        It’s a mistake to attempt to apply certain states’ “rights” (same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, marijuana dispensaries in California) to military life.

        There isn’t much to it. And the fact is, is that Chapman cited ample examples where you are wrong, but you just plowed on ahead and ignored that fact anyway.

        If you are not going to bother to address the arguments, just hush.

        1. My opinions are wrong? But Chapman’s opinions are right? Gotcha.

          1. He has arguments – you have handwaving to “uniqueness”.

            Fine, I’ll lead you by the nose to it: what is it, specifically, about the argument that “hey, Israel’s got plenty of killing to do, and they have open gays (plus benefits!), and they do fine” is unconvincing to you?

            you have yet to state an argument. Chapman’s argument is “look at all these examples where this wasn’t a problem”, and you basically shot back with “yeah, but the military is unique…so there!”

            I’m angry because you’re being lazy.

            1. You must be angry a lot, then. I usually don’t argue with the strangers here, and I’ve already wasted enough time today.
              Have fun.

              1. Poor widdle guy – looks like post-modern America led you astray: your opinion isn’t valid just because you think you’re a special little snowflake.

                1. Like i said, letting open gays in non combat possitions within the military is fine but having been in a combat MOS and having seen combat twice i can tell you that it would not be a good idea.

                  1. Oh, well, jesse hath spoken, mighty combat veteran that he is. given that you have plenty of other countries’ services provided as examples to show that it works out just fine (unless you’re saying Israel doesn’t see combat or something), what exactly makes you think that it won’t work in the American military? your sixth sense about these things?

                    And, oh by the way, do you know, informally, how many people are de facto “out” in the military, anyway? no one has a problem with those guys as it is. So what’s the difference?

                    1. You seem to be stuck on this idea like I don’t like gays and I don’t want them to have equal rights. Let me assure you that I support the idea of open gays in the military. With all of your stats, can you find a study that shows how many of those open gays are infantrymen or combat engineers?

                    2. Let me assure you that I support the idea of open gays in the military.

                      yeah, you just want them treated like women because you think the “meathead” 11Bs cannot handle it or something.

                      With all of your stats, can you find a study that shows how many of those open gays are infantrymen or combat engineers?

                      Sure, but they’re sourced by the “Statist Media” and Congress, so you’ll probably just declare it all made up anyway. Informally speaking, infantry guys know who the gay ones are and will gladly sound off with how Mr. Gay Ranger did just as much ass-kicking as his straight buddies did.

            2. Optimist: dont you get it, nothing, not even FACTS can stand in the way of the mighty Neocon Talking Point! You waste your breath on Ed…the idiot that he is

              1. yes because there are so many “facts” offered here.

                1. Dude… JUST ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF GAYS SERVING OPENLY AND NOTHING NEGATIVE COMING OF IT IN THE UK, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, ISRAEL.

                  Pretty please. Before I explode. Kaythanksbye.

                  1. I regret those caps.

                    *shrug*

  20. Yeah sorry but your sources are questionable at best. I was kicked out for smoking a joint so excuse me if I think your “stats” are bullshit. Your sources are from statist news outlets which means they are basically useless.

    No you were not. That might have been the “official” reason, but I suspect the real reason is that you were a dirtbag and no one wanted you around any more.

    And hey, don’t believe the statist “news”; go in to your recruiting office and ask about felony waivers. And, oh by the way, those numbers came from the Pentagon. But yeah, I am sure that’s all made to make you look bad.

    1. Wow, such bold accusations. You should really try counting to ten or something and calm down.

      I am glad you know what happened to me because it’s not like I would know.

      1. I take it by your lack of refutation that you know that’s the truth.

        I have known plenty of guys who have come up ‘hot’ on UPL (you being an operator and all, you should know what that means) – you lose some rank and you deploy anyway. It is a very rare day that someone is thrown out of the military for the sole offense of coming up hot.

        So…yeah, I think you’re making that up. especially because you laughingly think that things like felony waivers don’t exist.

        1. Again with the accusations, are you a libertarian?

          1. Are you going to refute or confirm here? If you want, I’d be glad to look over your discharge paperwork and see exactly what happened. Somehow I sense that drug use was the least of your problems.

            1. I find the best way to battle ignorance is to ignore it. With that said if you are a libertarian then don’t tell people you are. Our small group has enough issues and people like you would make me ashamed to be apart of that group. You wouldn’t come off as such a dismissible person if you would just bring less emotion into the argument. Wait a second, I didn’t put it together until now. Ok miss well you have a good day and remember that it is our military that allows you to have open opinions.

              1. Misogyny and homophobia. I bet the ladies just hang off of you, bra.

                1. Haha he told you that youre not a real libertarian in the same argument where he is trying to make a case for inqaulity in a publicly funded service. Are you kidding me!!

                  Jesse seriously do you get your debate tactics directly from Bill O’Riley or does he just fax them to you. I love it!

                  1. I love how you idiots dont know what you are talking about. Let me guess, none of you ever served, and the few that did were pogs.

                    1. Right, Mr. War-Hero-who-just-happened-to-get-thrown-out-for-one-little-joint – you’re totally credible.

                      No, really.

                    2. I never tried to act as tho my word should be taken as law. I was simply offering an opinion, it is up to you to agree or disagree. Why do you have such a problem with someone having a different opinion than you? I questioned your data that was from WIKIPEDIA and I am the one who is not credible.

                      “Haha he told you that youre not a real libertarian in the same argument where he is trying to make a case for inqaulity in a publicly funded service. Are you kidding me!!

                      Jesse seriously do you get your debate tactics directly from Bill O’Riley or does he just fax them to you. I love it!”

                      I never said that angry was not a libertarian I was simply suggesting that his methods of debating need work. You will not have a productive debate if all you do is personally attack your opponent and call them names.

                    3. How could you be so possibly dedicated to your own ignorance that you would close your ears to the fact that, yes, Virginia, there are such things as felony waivers?

                      That Wikipedia information came from congressional investigations and the Pentagon. If you want to continue to be mired in your foolish pride rather than admit you screwed up, that’s your choice, but don’t flail about and blame others while you do.

                      Your “opinion” is invalid. Chapman offers up a bevy of examples of where permitting open gays has worked, and you have yet to even bother to address one argument. Instead, you’re like “hey, it’s just, like, my opinion, man. like, lay off and shit!”

                    4. I think there is a “u” in pouge. At least in the awesome and always accurate Urban dictionary.

            2. I don’t know when Jesse was in, but when I was, in and you got caught smoking or possessing, you were discharged. I’m not talking about a dirty piss test.

              1. The policy changed a bit after the War in Iraq started. I know because I was the urinalysis coordinator for my unit. To many people were using it as a way to get out of deploying. If you were found positive on a urinalysis you were punished. Sometimes sent to the brig. And then you came back and went with your unit to Iraq.
                And the current policy only goes back to 91 or 92. Before that you were allowed to stay in if you were caught using drugs. Then it changed so that if you were above a certain rank you were separated. And finally there was a “zero tolerance” for all drug use. I knew a Gunny that retired in 98 that “poped” on a piss test in the 70s as a young Marine.

  21. The reality is that gays are already serving in the military, some sorta kinda openly, with people who think they are good soldiers turning a blind eye and pretending they don’t notice.

    They should just get rid of DADO already. I have very little respect for the Ds in Congress, but this would redeem them a tiny bit if they had the cojones to do this.

  22. Seriously, where did the idea come from that gays are being “forced” on us? That if you advocate repealing a law or policy that targets them you are reducing rather than expanding freedom?

  23. I’ve got lots of sexy mens to look at. Visit my site by clicking my ad either at the top or the side of this thread.

  24. For the most part you are right but that argument does have ground in at least one instance if not more. Remember the Hate crimes bill that was big a few months ago. It did not target just gays but they were included.

  25. Why not create another Special Operations Force: the Pink Berets? An all-gay unit would certainly qualify as “unconventional warfare,” and just think of the parades! Not to mention the neatest barracks in camp and an inborn willingness to follow orders, however painful. Pride wins out! Sir, yes sir!

    1. Imagine an airborne drag queen unit. They would para shoot in wearing fantastic makeup. Talk about the element of surprise, you could jump in the middle of the day and the enemy would look at them dumbfounded. By the time they realized what is going on they would have already lost.

      1. Thanks for that original idea, Mr. Izzard.

  26. Some day we’ll look back with amazement that any for of a communication gap in the military was tolerated:

    http://bit.ly/9YNli3

    (satire)

  27. The military should be all gay. Them drag queens can be some mean bitches.

  28. I served for 5 years in the Army on tanks. In close quaters like that with ZERO privacy, how do you allow people who are openly gay? (or women for that matter).

    It just causes to many extra problems that quite frankly we don’t need.

    When you join the military you lose a lot of your rights, but joining is voluntary. If you don’t like it, then don’t bother.

    Non combat arms aren’t quite as big of a deal, although still I see problems due to the baraks conditions, and showers etc.

    1. So gay soldiers should be forced to violate codes of honesty because you knowing about their orientation might make you squeamish?

      They are already in the bunks and showers, so what exactly is your argument?

      1. There’s a code of honesty?

        You get bullshit from day one of bootcamp.

  29. In close quaters like that with ZERO privacy, how do you allow people who are openly gay?

    Hint to the slow: not all gay people think you’re sexy and wanna check you out.

    Also…you ask “how would that work?” I dunno…ASK ISRAEL, BRITAIN, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA, three of which (the latter three) are contributing NATO/ANZUS forces to OEF, and the first of which might know a thing or two about fighting in austere conditions.

    Please, RTFA before you pop off at the mouth any more.

  30. When you join the military you lose a lot of your rights, but joining is voluntary. If you don’t like it, then don’t bother.

    So why not re-racially integrate the place then? Do you really think that race doesn’t cause issues in the military?

    1. You REALLY think that’s the same thing?

      1. Yes – convince me otherwise. Or, better yet, make a case for keeping women in the military.

        1. As noted in my first post, I really don’t think women should be in combat arms. In support it’s usually fine, but they don’t live/work under the same conditions.

          I think the same principal “might” work for gays that are out.

  31. Combat-Arms units are still all male I think. Those should remain all male and no “gay”. The rest of the military especially combat-service-support (i.e. – interpreters etc.) should be open to all comers. If they are open to women then there is no reason why they should not also be open to teh gheys.

    1. Banning gays would require an even more regressive policy than DADT.

      Since there is absolutely no evidence of any claims made against gays serving openly in the military, I say we just get on with joining the 21st century and a fact-based universe. Bigots are not a protected class. They are the ones who should change.

  32. The key words in your article are “allowing openly gay” folks in the Military. What does “openly gay” mean? Is that the freak show that exhibits itself every year in San Francisco? We really need to think of the disruption to the Military that letting this politically correct thing happen.

    I spent a fair number of years in the military, and can tell you that when young men are in stressful situations, and away from home, many for the first time, Sex and Booze are probably the two main topics of conversation. I have no facts, but suspect that this might cause a greater number of incidents, if the “openly gay” person showering next to you might be perceived as “checking you out” as a potential sex partner.

    There a lot of practical issues to overcome rather than blithely moving forward with this policy. In today’s military, barracks tend to be less communal, but still you have a room mate. We will we be having “gay only” sections, or will people accept gay room mates, living 2-4 to a space?

    Bottom line, I think it’s OK to open the military to gays, and opening combat roles to women; in fact full openness in the Military.

    However, everyone must accept the military standards of conduct, appearance, fraternization, etc. and not “whine” about it, and try to change it. Unit cohesion is not about your sexual preference, or gender; it’s about everyone adhering to the same standards, working together, and being a seamless team. Gung Ho!

    1. However, everyone must accept the military standards of conduct

      Except gays are forced to violate the part of those standards that requires honesty.

      1. What’s “dishonest” about keeping your mouth shut?

        1. If a fellow soldier asks a gay man about whether he has a wife, what is he supposed to say?

          By the way, how many people are expelled for violating the “don’t ask” part of the law?

          1. If a fellow soldier asks a gay man about whether he has a wife, what is he supposed to say?

            Um…”No”?

          2. None, because there is no DADT, there is a ban on gays serving in the military, “tell” is one way you get caught. I believe the ban should be lifted for practical reasons (no one should be thrown out for simple statements or commiting something legally wrong, at least not on the level as drug abuse and failure to adapt) but the law should be amended, not replaced with a poorly thought out bill. Modern barracks are becoming more appropriate for this (individual bedrooms) but many are still pretty open so that is an issue. Its not about performance in the field, work is work, its about the living issues and perceptions. I knew a guy when I was in fort hood who got burned by a girl, came into the latrine one morning while I was shaving drunk off his ass, and revealed to me that he was “now bisexual.” Was he really? No, just drunk, but he certainly believed it, and began soliciting and even touching me, at which point I told him to back off. I knew he was just drunk, but if he had done that to anyone else in my unit he might not have lived very long. That’s one part of the perception, the other is more serious. The only person who could even be remotely considered gay in our unit was our XO, who was court martialed for possession of child pornography. Didn’t really make him “gay” but the perception travels the same route. Its different than race because its not biological inferiority views turned moral, its moral from the beginning in a lot of people’s eyes. It doesn’t make them bigots, its a matter of values, but some exercise their views more extreme than others.

            Bah, sorry for ranting, here’s the law in text if you haven’t seen it already. http://web.mit.edu/committees/rotc/code.html

    2. Though I recognize it won’t be an exact comparison, what about random assignments for college dorm roommates? You might end up with a gay roommate who can check you out, too.

  33. If unit cohesion can survive the presence of killers, rapists, and child molesters, why would it shatter on contact with gays and lesbians?

    I’m pretty sure that “killers, rapists, and child molesters” are still excluded from military service.

    1. But only because they might fall in love with their commanding officers! I think. Jesse, that’s the argument, right?

      Will somebody please think of the commanding officers?!

      1. Or, no, the exact analogy would be… they’d child molest their commanding officers. That’s why we keep them out, right? Again, the funhouse logic thing is new for me.

        Please, I’m open to corrections. I need to learn.

  34. You might want to learn a little bit about what exactly “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is, and how it’s implemented before spouting off on it.

    Every year we got lectured on this policy (Air Force) and it’s not just “don’t ask, don’t tell”. It really is *do not ask, don’t even THINK about asking*. You *can* be Gay and serve with honor and distinction in the military. We had an XO who was clearly not a devoted heterosexual, and I’ve worked with other people, both male and female who weren’t hetro-normative. No one cared as long as they were groping each other in public or trying to force themselves on other people.

    What most people who haven’t served in the military, and even a lot who have fail to stop and realize is that the military is NOT International War Machine, Inc. We don’t operate that way, we don’t live that way. We live, work, and play as a unit. We don’t have the same personal and private space that Civilians have. You see your room-mate’s porn. You hear their phone conversations, you see their shoe collection and their reading material, and you largely DO NOT have a choice about it.

    Current US military policy–at least as it was articulated to us–is that you do NOT go looking for problems in this area, and you only investigate if someone is causing problems.

    That really is the best way to approach it. Anyone can serve, but you have to keep your leisure activities from interfering with your official duties.

  35. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seeing quite a disconnect between “brave American serviceman willing to face bullets and bombs for the folks back home” and “fragile flower whose delicate psyche might be irreparably damaged if he thinks some guy might take a gander at his willie in the shower”.

  36. Something this article fails to observe is that the same governments that are claiming “no effect” of open homosexuals serving, are also the same that enlist “thought crime” prosecutions against its citizens and bans people from entry into their country (Britain) because of political beliefs. These ultra liberal governments would not come out and say “it has had negative consequences”, not in a million years would they dare say such a thing, even if it was blatantly obvious! If two men want to have anal sex and suck each other off in their own home, fine whatever. But I dont want to see it. They have no business serving openly in a military. It would be cruel to subject normal straight men to having to serve with other men who want to stick #$%^^ in the other guys @$. That is disgusting, its not right. What about straigt mens rights? We dont hear about that, they have a right not have to look over their shoulder when showing in basic training, or worry about their comrades intentions in the constant intimate settings that war, training, and combat require.

    1. If two men want to have anal sex and suck each other off in their own home, fine whatever. But I dont want to see it.

      So your argument is “if you let gays serve openly, they’ll obviously have sex in front of you”? That’s an… intriguing leap to make.

      Tell me, do you imagine the military experience currently consists mainly of constant attempts to avoid constant heterosexual orgies in the corridors, chow halls, field exercises, etc.? ‘Cause we’ve had females in the Army for some time now, and unless you believe that gays are necessarily also raging sex maniacs, that’s the only way your silly statement above makes a lick of sense.

      1. Why did you not address the fact that this article cites various government statements that gays serving openly does not cause problems, that those same governments are liberal, and would never admit the problems it causes? That was the point of my comment, you dragged out a mute point and not the issue I was surfacing. You are typical of a liberal, avoiding the issue, changing the subject, and attacking personally. Pathetic.

        1. I did not address those “facts” because you just made them up.

          Also, because you’re an idiot.

          By the way, there’s a Democrat in the White House, so all of you visitors to Reason.com are supposed to call us libertarians right-wing nutjobs. Next time there’s a Republican in charge, then we’ll be raging liberals. Get with the program!

  37. I believe in freedom. The state should not ban what some believe to be immoral behavior. Its not the states business. Having said that it also should not encourage what some (a majority) believe to be immoral behavior either. The dont ask, dont tell policy, does not ban, NOR encourage the nasty behavior of homosexuality. So it is very reasonable. Not to mention what type of guys join the army, they are not exactly your liberal PC type out to hug a tree and fuck a dude now are they? Of course it would cause problems if gay men were running around an army base with their shirts tied in a knot above the stomach and prancing around. It would be the end of the military and a disgrace to all serving men, to both my grandfathers who fought the Germans in WWII and who lived with shrapnel all throughout his body for the rest of his life in pain, and my father who fought in Vietnam for his honor and duty. For what? So gays can prance around causing a scene because we are “politically correct” and they can? Bullshit. Dont ask, Dont tell.

    1. You clearly have no idea what the military is actually like, so I’m willing to bet you’ve never served.

      Unlike you, I actually have some military experience (US Army, 1998-2002), and I find your “disgrace to all serving men” line (along with your hamfisted invocation of war veterans) to be abhorrent to everything I joined up to protect and defend. I can’t speak for veterans or service members as a whole; they’re a varied group. Neither can you.

      You know what the vets I know want? They want shitheads like you to stop trying to use their service and sacrifices to prop up your bigoted crusades.

      1. Bigoted? How am I bigoted? I am a man. Naturally I find the thought of two men sodomizing each other repugnant. Thats not because I am a bigot, it is because I am a man. Men like woman, and if a man does not like women, it is unnatural and a result of him being broken in the head. Now do I want homosexual activity banned? No I do not, this is a free country. The military however is not an environment to implement PC BS. Cohesion, trust, and compatibility are a must. You say you dont speak for veterans, then a sentence latter you claim to speak for veterans. Your like Obama and the Democrats! Double talk, “Deficits must be fixed”, “we have a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit, the debt ceiling is being raised”.

        1. Apparently your reading comprehension could use some work. Let me add some emphasis for you:

          You know what the vets I know want?

          See that? I’m talking about the vets who I actually know, not veterans as a monolithic group.

          Now on to your… well, I hesitate to use the word “point”, but whatever. Where on earth would I get the idea that you’re a bigot?

          Men like woman, and if a man does not like women, it is unnatural and a result of him being broken in the head.

          Yep. It’s a mystery.

          I wait with bated breath for the links you are about to post. You know, the ones directing us all to scientific proof of your breathtakingly counterfactual claim.

  38. Any Soldiers here? If there are, I believe they’d agree with me: You do the job, period. If the troop next to me is gay, it might make me uncomfortable, but so does working with a jerk, or a braggart. So what? We’re professionals, and the mission is what matters.

    Now, I’m against gays in the military, but not for cohesion reasons. It really comes down to facilities. Men and women have separate quarters for sexual and privacy reasons. This change would effectively add 2 sexes to the military, and privacy and safety concerns (the same that cause men and women to be separated) would apply. You willing to double the cost of all military facilities, plus bear the cost of the inevitable lawsuits? Or support the inevitable decline in force structure (a budget concern, as opposed to end strength, which is a recruiting issue)?

    1. The gays are already there dude. There is no ban on them serving, just doing so openly.

      Also, there are gay people in schools, gyms, locker rooms, and public restrooms, and nobody’s felt the need to build separate facilities.

      I’m sure you’re a fine specimen but gay men are capable of acting professionally and sharing facilities with you without going into heat.

  39. You had me until you said:

    “If unit cohesion can survive the presence of killers, rapists, and child molesters, why would it shatter on contact with gays and lesbians?”

    While the military might be willing to overlook certain lesser felonies, I do not believe they are letting murderers and sex offenders into their ranks.

    This is the kind of hyperbole that makes rational people dismiss your entire argument. Actually, it is vicious slander. Don’t you have editors? Isn’t there a part of you that says “maybe this is too much”?

    1. The Angry Optimist already addressed your claim earlier in this very comment thread:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_1562365

      (Spoiler: It’s not slander ’cause it’s true.)

      1. I looked at the reference link provided and didn’t see anyone convicted of murder or child molestation. The only active link in the Wikipedia article Angry Optimist cited was to a NYT article which said:

        “The rape and sexual abuse charges stemmed mostly from relationships between minors and older boyfriends, Colonel Edgecomb said. None were violent sexual crimes”

        While our (absurd) criminal justice system might view these guys as sex-offenders, they are not rapists and child molesters in the eyes of most people. As for “killers”; I only saw reference to ‘neglect or vehicular manslaughter’ – charges which are not to be taken lightly but unless you know the details of the case it is hard to justify extending that to imply ‘murderer’ as Caldwell did. Don’t Reason staffers talk to each other? I think Caldwell should sit down with Balko and have a chat about our criminal justice system.

        I stand by my original post in accusing Caldwell of irresponsibly maligning the military. His intent was to imply that the military was perfectly fine with “killers, rapists, and child molesters” but somehow (out of Jarhead ignorance presumably) drew the line at consensual homosexuality. This is not fair and it is not true.

        1. Col. Edgecomb is (or was) an Army spokeswoman, and as such, was speaking only about the Army’s waivers for 2006-7. That’s awfully weak support for your claims.

          And “nonviolent” rape is still rape. I served with a young woman who had been raped by two soldiers at her previous duty station. They’d been drinking together and she passed out. She regained consciousness to find one of them on top of her. Violent? No. Rape? Hell yes.

          You can make up all the just-so stories you want, but Chapman’s claims are supported by the evidence. Your own ignorance about the specific cases against individual waiver recipients does not render Chapman’s statement false.

          1. No. I am not making up any ‘just-so’ stories about anything, and to the extent that I am ignorant about specific cases it is an ignorance shared by Chapman (and you). You say Chapman’s claims are supported by the evidence but when I confront you with the paucity of evidence that was cited (by angry optimist btw; Chapman offers no evidence to support his claim) you accuse me of fabrication?

            Secondly, I am not suggesting that date- or non-violent rape isn’t rape. I did say that not all teenage romances “between minors and older boyfriends” are not rape or child molestation, even though they may be prosecuted in certain jurisdictions.

            1. Just keep moving those goalposts. Here’s what Chapman actually wrote:

              A lot of recruits would be more leery of bunking next to an ex-con than a homosexual, but the military admits hundreds of felons each year, including some violent ones. If unit cohesion can survive the presence of killers, rapists, and child molesters, why would it shatter on contact with gays and lesbians?

              And here’s how you reacted:

              While the military might be willing to overlook certain lesser felonies, I do not believe they are letting murderers and sex offenders into their ranks.

              This is the kind of hyperbole that makes rational people dismiss your entire argument. Actually, it is vicious slander.

              So you claimed that the military wouldn’t allow “murderers and sex offenders” in. You know what? I’ll give you murder. I’m willing to accept the claim that the military doesn’t let convicted murderers join up. Killers, on the other hand… well, the Pentagon’s report admits to the issuance of waivers for manslaughter convictions. And I think you’ll find that “killing” is a big part of “manslaughter.” And now go back and look at what Chapman actually wrote, as opposed to what you attributed to him.

              As to your claim that there are no sexual offenders allowed into the military, well, that’s obviously false. One category of granted waivers lists “Indecent acts or liberties with a child, molestation.” Another lists “Rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, incest, or other sex crimes.” Sorry to burst your bubble there, but that’s pretty good evidence that sex offenders of one stripe or another are, in fact, admitted to the military.

              I stand by my original post in accusing Caldwell of irresponsibly maligning the military. His intent was to imply that the military was perfectly fine with “killers, rapists, and child molesters” but somehow (out of Jarhead ignorance presumably) drew the line at consensual homosexuality. This is not fair and it is not true.

              Thank goodness you’re here to tell us all what Chapman is thinking! Waivers were granted for all of those things I’ve named above. You know how many waivers were granted, according to the Pentagon’s report, for the line item labeled “Sodomy”? Zero.

              You say Chapman’s claims are supported by the evidence but when I confront you with the paucity of evidence that was cited (by angry optimist btw; Chapman offers no evidence to support his claim) you accuse me of fabrication?

              I’m sorry you find the link from that Wikipedia article so unhelpful, but it does give you the name of the organization that obtained the report from the Pentagon. But here, let me Google that for you:

              http://tinyurl.com/yesxqz2

              So what, exactly, is your evidence for claiming that Chapman is lying about this stuff?

              1. My reply is below. I’m sure you understand.

                Jake Boone|2.8.10 @ 7:17PM|#
                Gah. Threaded comment fail.

  40. What about asking…. how might this affect the bottom-line mission of the military- defend and protect the interests of our nation? Not some shifting abstract notions of equality or social progress, but how it affects our ability to fight?

    And, yeah, let’s look at those other beacons of military efficiency in NATO and their ‘combat effectiveness’ with homosexuals and the like. The only one worth a damn is the Israeli’s, and their performance certainly hasn’t been stellar over the past 20 years. I wouldn’t blame that on their policies, but let’s have a little perspective.

    The only reason we’re even having this discussion is because we’re bored. No one reasonable seems to be expecting the Castro district to start producing Congressional Medal of Honor winners worth losing other potential recruits.

    Instead, let’s let someone make some decisions in Washington who will be gone and never has to be responsible for the craziness it occurs when implemented. If that’s what passes for democracy these days, so be it.

    1. How will it affect our ability to fight? Well, considering the much-mentioned critical shortage of Arabic translators, exacerbated by discharging several just because they were gay… I’d suggest that we already know the answer to your question.

      And I don’t think it’s the flamboyant Castro District folks you’re thinking of who are likely to join up. It’s average folks who just happen to fancy members of their own gender instead of members of the opposite.

      If allowing gays to serve openly results in the loss of recruitment from the circles that gave us Lynndie England and Charles Graner, well, I don’t think we’re going to lose any wars on their account.

      But you’re right about Canada, Britain, and Australia’s crappy military. I mean, if they’d been worth a damn since allowing gays to serve, they’d never have been overrun by… uhh… wait… what the hell are you talking about?

      1. Oh yeah, I saw this on CNN recently. Evidently, all our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan are because we’re not sensitive and don’t have enough translators- not because the people on the ground have to answer to random personnel amidst the massive bureaucracy in the Pentagon and the ’24-hour news cycle’ that is consistently 6 months behind. Maybe that’s a good argument for gays in the military- it’ll distract the bureaucracy from interfering in the job it’s supposed to be there to support.

        Lynndie England, Charles Graner- strawmen! Not worth refutation. I can point to bad people in any organization to justify a political agenda.

        No, let’s be more sensitive like the Brits and get run out of Southern Iraq by some ragtag militias. That’s definitely the order of military we want to emulate.

        From the comfort of our home, we want to separate this policy from the overall effectiveness of our military campaign- we want to individualize it and convince ourselves it’s the right thing to do and won’t affect anything. We do this at our own risk.

        Anyone who’s served knows there are gays in the military and isn’t worried about it. What they are worried about it is some activist agenda causing more paperwork and BS to be pushed down to the line because all the bureaucrats and senior officers who say ‘yessir’ and don’t want to make waves and stand up for what they really think.

        SO…. to recap, let’s form a committee, hire a bunch of government workers and ‘experts’, establish a new bureaucracy to tell us how insensitive we used to be but we’re getting better. And then they go away and we have 19-year olds responsible for picking up their crap and fighting a war. Success! Gay rights are great!

        1. You don’t think DADT causes more paperwork and headaches than the absence of it would?

          As you know, the bill is practically moot in terms of effectiveness, although it is still enforced to the detriment of the armed forces and soldiers’ careers. So why not repeal it and make laws conform to reality and remove the ambiguity? Won’t cost anything to pass the law, and all it will do is remove a bureaucratic hiccup in the system that exists for no reason other than outdated prejudice.

  41. So in your opinion, was allowing blacks to serve in the military a bad idea? I mean, think of the paperwork!

    1. Gah. Threaded comment fail. That was supposed to be in reply to this:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_1563694

  42. Of course not. The bottom line is, if someone can pass the ‘standards’, they should serve. The problem is, these ‘standards’ get shifted by people who don’t really have any stake in the outcome, except to get that Congressional hearing and look good for 15 minutes.

    All I hear is people talking about things that are other than how it affects the ‘line’, where the business takes place. The basics of ‘unit cohesion’ and ‘leadership’ is at the small-unit level, and is the fundamental level of the military. These policies have to be communicated to this level without sticking another legal officer and EO compliance reporter in the mix. Unless that bureaucrat, politician or talking head is ready to do the job, they should get out of the business of interfering with those who do.

    1. Yes, if only there were some way of communicating to the rank-and-file what’s expected of them, and what’s allowed and not allowed.

      Carl, you’re going to have to start making sense. You’re saying that repealing DADT is a bad idea because… you think the taint of bureaucracy might seep into the military? Have you ever been in the military?

      Or are you saying that the repeal of DADT is a good idea, but that you prefer agreeing in a totally novel way that makes it seem like you’re not agreeing?

      1. Have I ever been in the military, haha… I guess that question is unavoidable, and I’ll respond in the affirmative, as my ideas are clearly insufficient to stand on their own during our quasi-anonymous ideological exchange. Yes, I am well-versed in the military and it’s associated bureaucratic elements.

        Standards- well, it is supposed to be simple. But our system has been through many changes, and in the current manifestation there are now the Combat Arms, Combat Support and Combat Service Support. So, the CS and CSS aren’t as grueling and maybe have more specialized jobs with technology, it’s kind of a different ‘standard’ so to speak. Throw in a different standard for women, who need separate facilities and medical care, but still add to the mission because that can be provided at the CS and CSS level (but not at the CA level). Then, civilians (both contractors at deployed locations) and bureaucrats at the Pentagon have different standards. Balancing these bureaucracies, services and specialized units, surprisingly there is a variable sense of standards at the unit level. There is no easy ‘communication’ when there is so much confusion at the head (confusion? if the 20th century is a guide, let’s add more bureaucracy, that’ll help).

        You see, the calculation is not on how the elements ‘feel’, but how they complete the mission.

        Successful military entities believe in this thing called ‘Unity of Command’ which deals with more than just organizational structures, but also with the relationship of the leadership to the line. The lowest grunt should feel an affinity that their commander (at the Battalion, division and above levels)are looking out for them and should be emulated. Obviously, with the ephemeral ‘Chain of Command’ this gets difficult to translate and there is no one best solution to do it. You read history to find how great commanders were able to motivate their charges through various means, some universal and others culturally specific, etc. My opinion, and that of other military professionals, is that the current interference and shifting political inhibits that personal connection and unity.

        DADT sucks, but it lets the people at the ground level deal with it on their own. Anecdotally speaking, as a previous commenter noted, it’s usually only used as a last resort for troublemakers or someone who wants to get out and can’t find another way.

        I honestly don’t know what the best way forward is. But I call BS when someone who is unaccountable (and most often completely unconnected from the military context) starts talking like they know what’s best for me and my ilk, and that open serving will be the panacea for this current hypocrisy. If all I do is poke holes in someone else’s arguments, then I make them stronger. Because I know the ‘rubes’ at the ground level who’ll have to deal with this.

        1. My opinion, and that of other military professionals, is that the current interference and shifting political inhibits that personal connection and unity.

          I’ve yet to see a shred of evidence that letting gays serve openly will result in any measurable decrease in the military’s effectiveness. All the evidence we have so far (from other nations who’ve allowed it) suggests that there’s no noticable drawback.

          If all you’ve got is the claim that unnamed military professionals say it’s a bad idea, well, that’s what a lot of “military professionals” said about letting blacks in, too.

          Again, how is repealing DADT substantially different from all the “interference and shifting political” associated with letting blacks serve? Why, specifically, was that a good idea while this is not?

  43. the real issue that is being ignored is that there is a strongly misogynistic streak in much of the “locker room” talk by enlisted.

    many worry that this stereotypical male bonding image will have to change, and that this will affect unit morale.

    i think that is bullshit. those that want to give graphic detail of their latest exploits with large women, and or prostitutes will still have an audience, it will just be smaller.

    the guys in the military will be able to deal with it. the people who think gays shouldnt be able to openly serve think one or both of these things: 1 that gays cant be tough, or 2 that straight guys in the military cant be close trusted friends with gays.

    1. So… you’re a misogynist homophobe if you don’t think gays should serve openly? Hmmm. You figured it out! It was that easy. Let’s just make some more laws to make ourselves feel better (since we’re not misogynist homophobes like those lowly enlisted scum) and the problem will go away!

  44. and though i have not served, i have had lengthy discussions with friends in all four branches, and my opinions are informed by them.

  45. My one concern is about tensions in units under special stress — infantry in the field, submariners, etc, namely that being gay in and of itself is not a problem for morale/discipline etc, but I don’t want acts of disruptive
    behavior to be ignored with gays becoming a special class that have to be treated with kid gloves (sorta like Islamists in uniform).

    Libertarians must always be cautious in aligning with liberals — the bastards are too prone to a ‘that which is not forbidden is compulsory’ mindset.

    1. Yes let’s err on the side of discrimination, because they might start getting special treatment otherwise. Special treatment is reserved for straight white men, after all.

    2. Yes let’s err on the side of discrimination, because they might start getting special treatment otherwise. Special treatment is reserved for straight white men, after all.

      1. You obviously haven’t been paying attention to your biweekly EEO reports (don’t worry, a legal officer will be in touch with you shortly, the ammunition and food can wait until later). Straight white men are suspect. Everyone in the military is sexless and raceless. And since they voluntarily gave up their rights to serve, let’s mess around with them a little more just to see what happens!

        1. Nice strawmen, there, Carl. Potkettle much?

  46. It’s about control: Men that are pair-bonded with other men are far more difficult to control than men that are pair-bonded to women. Watch an opposite-sex couple vs. a same-sex couple: in the opposite-sex relationship she is always right, what’s his is hers and what’s hers is hers, and ain’t nobody happy if mamma ain’t happy, etc., the entire relationship revolves around her rear being continually kissed – the man is entirely subject to- and of- the woman, he is acculturized from birth to submit; this is absolutely not the case in the same-sex relationship, wherein all parties are equal. The stereotype of ‘gay’ men as being dull-witted and effeminate is entirely a product of straight-culture fiction, reality is that the straight boys are ‘dumbed-down’ into a bunch of pansies that let women decide their lives for them, and they are easily controllable – the real fear isn’t that our gay little brains might get all excited at the sight of some breeder’s bare behind in the shower, rather it’s the fear of military personnel that can’t be as easily controlled.

  47. This is a serious question:
    If a gay male has female leaning genes,is he eligible for front line combat or restricted to roles that female soldiers would typically be in. That being the case, why not claim to be gay just to hang out with the gals?

    1. Female leaning genes? I don’t think homosexuality works the way you seem to think it does.

  48. This is for our current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who, apparently has surrendered the welfare of the men and women who serve and the mission for which the military was designed in order to pander to a minority. I have no prejudice against the homosexual community and will (and have) committed myself up to an including my life to defend their right to have the lifestyle they chhose. However, I DO NOT wish to compromise the ability to defend their right to have that lifestyle by mission accomplishmnent to be undermined by a slef-servbing and selfish individual agenda. The military is about the team…not the individual…a fact that the social engineers behind this initiative seem to have ignored.I submit the following for your consideration:

    It is telling that a man who has never heard a shot fired in anger (Admiral Mullen) embraces a social engineering policy that he tragically compares to the abhorrent practice of segregating persons based on a benign characteristic such as skin color. Sexual orientation and by extension, its physical manifestation in behavior, is anything but benign and now sacrifices the effectiveness of the team for the selfish rights of an individual. Shame on you for putting the majority of the military in the position of requiring them to accept the incalculable effects of sharing forced intimacy with persons who may be sexually attracted to them. Doubt and mistrust will rule the day, discipline will be undermined, and effectiveness will suffer.

    The next step will certainly be extending the social engineering of a miniscule minority of the population to the remainder of the country. It must be so. We cannot require our military personnel to be in such a situation without then forcing the rest of the American population to do the same. The next and logical step is to eliminate men’s and women’s showers, toilet facilities etc. Because if it is required that our men and women in the military MUST accept such conditions, then it must be required of the remainder of our population as well. I wonder how the rest of our population will feel regarding the elimination of such segregation at any age …..to include segregating our children.

    Certainly this will open the door for the homosexual agenda. It is the foothold that will provide the precedent and foundation for expanding their rights and agenda. Unfortunately it will also sacrifice the security of the nation for the rights of a few. What a shame to be alive to watch a well coordinated homosexual campaign completely outwit those who supposedly constitute the nation’s strategic brain trust.

    I applaud the homosexual community for choosing their target well. Those in uniform do not have the right to voice opinions contrary to the orders of their superiors. We must say “aye aye” or resign. In choosing the military as their target, and wrapping the issue in an “American Flag” (the right to serve during a time of war…oh by the way it is a privilege, not a right) they have emotionalized the issue and you have followed along with them. You call it integrity…that is a sham. The homosexuals now serving knew the rules…they had a choice to obey those rules and chose to lie instead. That is not the fault of the remainder of the military who chose the path of honor and effectiveness that you are now sacrificing to pander to a small minority whose agenda has little to do with “serving their country” and much to do with forcing their non-benign agenda on the rest of the nation. You are a fool if you do not see this.

    You Sir, have lost your way…and the nation will look back on you as a disgrace who sacrificed the effectiveness of the nations defenders for the selfish desires of a few. You sacrificed the team so you could keep your job. Once again, do not try to compare this situation to the integration of blacks or women.

    I wonder how you will feel when your grandchildren are forced to take showers or live with members of the opposite sex because the ACLU will require it …..because that is what you have begun. I wonder how you will feel when some of your best and brightest resign because they feel their leadership has betrayed them and our survival as a nation is undermined because of their departure.

    I am sure all of the gay lobby will continue to fawn at your feet. Perhaps that is the only military constituency that will support you…..perhaps that is the only constituency that gives you the approval you clearly so desperately need to validate your career. Have you ever wondered why there are very few men and women who wear awards for valor who seek you out to support your position. Think about that. The next time you are given the honor of awarding a silver star, bronze star, or navy cross to a member of the Department of the Navy….ask them how they feel. I recommend asking a Chief or a Gunny…they are notoriously honest.

    To quote a hero you may have forgotten…Colonel John Ripley when testifying before congress “In the Armed Forces today, you hear such things as, “the rights of the individual,” “career path,” “job protection,” or “constitutionally protected freedoms,” which in my youth and later as a senior officer I never heard, ever, any discussion of these subjects. We are and were simply the protectors of these freedoms and never did we have the full embodiment thereof, nor did we expect to enjoy full embodiment of constitutional freedoms. To even think of these terms as a military man is patently ludicrous and counterproductive to the mindset of a warrior who must think only of mission accomplishment and the good of the unit. Never, ever, may he think of his own personal wellbeing in this context.” I commend to you a reading of his testimony of 4 May 1993 before you take this travesty forward another inch.

    I wonder how Arleigh Burke, Chester Nimitz, and John LeJeune will judge your actions. SHAME on you and shame on those who do not ask for your resignation. You “left us on the beach.” But then again, perhaps I should expect no less from a man who never heard a shot fired in anger.

    I fear there are rough seas ahead for the MAJORITY of the Sailors and Marines in the Department because you believe the social engineering of the homosexual community is more important then that majority’s right to serve their country effectively.

    The next time you are at Annapolis, return to Memorial Hall, and when you enter, turn to the left and walk to the diorama that depicts Colonel Ripley’s heroism at Dong Ha and consider his testimony that I’ve recommended you review. Then ask yourself: to whom do I owe the loyalty…from whom should I accept my counsel? I think the answer will be clear. I can only hope you have the moral courage to do what you know in your heart is right for the Nation’s security and for the majority of the men and women who wear the Nation’s cloth. As much as I miss my old friend and mentor, Colonel Ripley, I am glad he is not alive to see the leadership of the Department of Defense make sucha tragic decision.

    1. Sexual orientation and by extension, its physical manifestation in behavior, is anything but benign

      Sir!

      With all due respect, kindly fuck off at once, you bigoted old piece of shit.

    2. Sir, While I do not believe it will be as bad as you say there is one point that should be made. There is going to be a drain on resources while the military deals with the problems that will occur. Hopefully most servicemen will not react with violence when their fellows “come out” but their will happen in some cases. Just like racism still rears its head. It is rare but it does happen. There is enormous strain on the military now. This will add more.

      1. “Strain”, huh?

        I propose a moratorium on prosecuting or otherwise disciplining in any way any member of the military who commits assault against a fellow service member.

        You’ll support me in this, right, Dakotian?

    3. * Thank you for your service and your comments.
      * This will now increase serious health consequences in battlefield situations.
      * Our military should not support the degradation of the family like other countries.
      * I wish this article had more fact and less sensationalism.

    4. lol u mad?

  49. The military (especially the Army) is the refuge of maladjusted and criminal personalities. This quote made me do a spit take:

    “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts,” he said.

    I find it very rate to cross paths with a moral member of the military. But gays are your problem, yep.

  50. Your response is completely disingenuous. I acknowledged that recruits with sex-offenses were admitted to the military, but said that the evidence available (and you have offered none to the contrary despite your humorous link) showed they were of the ‘teenage-romance’ variety. You know very well that that is not what people have in mind when you use terms like “rapists and child-molesters.”

    Lastly, you write:
    You know how many waivers were granted, according to the Pentagon’s report, for the line item labeled “Sodomy”? Zero.

    Here I believe and agree with you. I’m not opposed to allowing gays in the military. But I don’t think the argument requires denigrating the current institution or its recruits. Rather than saying gay recruits can meet and exceed the standards the military sets, this approach says “the process is already so bad and our standards so low that we might as well open the door for the gays as well.”

    1. Go back and read the Army spokeswoman’s statement again. Then reflect on the meaning of the word “mostly.” Why do you think that word is there?

  51. To paraphrase a lot of what I’ve seen so far “The military are homophobes and we know what’s better for them!”

    Is this really the best we can come up with to support repeal of DADT and this radical social engineering effort that will be placed upon the biggest bureaucracy of the US Government? Isn’t anyone slightly worried about that? I mean, I guess it’s too hard to define ‘unit cohesion’ or other arcane military concepts to the layman, but no one wants to be insensitive!

    So, the solution is let’s pass some laws and create more bureaucracy- isn’t this a libertarian site? No one really cares about who’s going to be putting this together, much less what it does?

    1. So the thought of abandoning the patently false idea that gays are somehow too deficient to honorably serve in our military constitutes a “radical social engineering effort”? Your bar for “radical” is set mighty low, Carl. Were you similarly horrified that our nation might not survive the introduction of “Cool Ranch”-flavored Doritos?

      But seriously, you’re bringing me right back to the question I asked you earlier (and which you still haven’t answered). How is this substantially different from letting blacks serve? Why was that “radical social engineering effort” a good idea while this one is not?

      (Though I’m impressed at the way you don’t even bother to handwave past the jarring mismatch between “repeal DADT” and “pass some laws and create more bureaucracy”. Radical!)

  52. I was in the military from 1956 to 1960 we had gays cause everybody had to serve in those days…as soon they made a move they were discharged…Shower time one made sure no gays in the shower, man! they could stare at you with that hunger. There was some guys they care less male or females they would do it with the gays….I hated to see that, I’m glad that I’M out. Now it will be worst they will be a lot of sex between man, if the military don’t care…what can one do?…thank god I’m no longer part of the group…one has to be crazy to joint the military under those conditions !!

  53. I was in the military from 1956 to 1960 we had gays cause everybody had to serve in those days…as soon they made a move they were discharged…Shower time one made sure no gays in the shower, man! they could stare at you with that hunger. There was some guys they care less male or females they would do it with the gays….I hated to see that, I’m glad that I’M out. Now it will be worst they will be a lot of sex between man, if the military don’t care…what can one do?…thank god I’m no longer part of the group…one has to be crazy to joint the military under those conditions !!

  54. Does it make sense to condone NORMAL 18 year old boys to shower naked with 18 year old girls? Then why let a homo in the military? Liberals are idiots. You can’t legislate respect. Homosexuality is still a mental illness.

  55. Let the gays serve on the front lines, maybe they will be the oones to go down first.

  56. you people who Say “gays” are immoral and shouldn’t be aloud to server. Just wow. Let’s say this gays die in war all the time. If you don’t like the idea of gays serving openly feel free to take the next IED,shrapnel,or bullet instead of one of them. Then let’s see how you feel.

  57. Allowing homosexuals in the military morally degrades us. Before homosexuals start arguing for the military standards, they must aquire rights, such as gay-marriage first. You must always learn to crawl before you walk.

  58. It’s very obvious this author has never served in the military. They do not let killers, rapists, and sex offenders in. That is absurd. The military does not function like the civilian world. Homosexuality is a mental disorder. Homos do not belong in the military. I do not see how people who have never served a day in the military think they know what is best for it. I could never imagine sharing a two man tent with a fag. Everyone I served with thought allowing homos in was a horrible idea. It would be a very sad day for the Marine Corps. If you haven’t served go sign up and then complain they should let gays in, not sit at home and affect someones life you know nothing about. Semper Fi.

  59. not so sure. In 2007, Gen. Peter Pace, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about it, and he offered a dif

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