Good questions related to the impending repeal of DADT (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the Congressional law signed by former President Clinton banning homosexuals from serving openly in the US military) raised in the comments here: Showdown Day In The Senate For DADT And DREAM Act. — UPDATE: DREAM Act Cloture Vote Underway – Cloture FAILS 55-41. — UPDATE 2X: Repeal DADT Vote Underway — DADT Cloture Passes 63-33
438 Saw this on the Daily Caller:
What does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean?
Will the personal opinion on homosexuality of a service member become an impediment to promotion or assignment to key billets? Are there any assignments to which homosexuals must be or may not be assigned?
Will the Senate and the House Armed Services committees demand sexuality statistics to make certain that homosexuals are being promoted at the same rate as non-homosexuals? Will homosexuals be promoted at a faster rate to “compensate” for previous years of discrimination?
What benefits will same-sex “partners” receive? How long must one have a relationship to qualify as a partner? Will partners of homosexuals be assigned to on-base housing? Do former partners of active duty homosexuals retain dependent benefits (like a divorced spouse) when divorce is not a legal option?
Will homosexual service members be permitted to date each other? Live with each other as partners in bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) or bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ)? How does this affect fraternization regulations?
Will homosexuals be deployed to countries where homosexuality is a crime? If not, who picks up the slack?
Posted by: Tattoo De Plane at December 18, 2010 03:02 PM
Absolutely great discussion going on in the comments of this post at Blackfive: Against DADT Repeal
This great comment by Cassandra addresses my stand on the issue better than I ever could (and better than I tried to do in the comments there, as evidenced by the jackass tool calling me a disingenuous liar):
Gryph’s comment, in an odd way, sort of encapsulates the gap between where Grim and I (and others) stand and where Jimbo and Gryph stand on this issue.
To Gryph and Jimbo, the most important consideration seems to be the individual “right to serve”. Jimbo, at least, admits that repealing DADT may have some negative consequences just as allowing women to serve absolutely had some very negative consequences. He dismisses those, rightly or wrongly, by saying in effect, “If you allow women to serve and that caused problems, by what rationale do you prohibit gays from serving openly?”
I happen to think that’s an excellent argument. If you think the support of some individual right to serve is the most important consideration (and here I would note this mysterious “right” isn’t shared by people like my youngest son who played halfback in soccer for years and was in top physical shape, but whose VERY mild asthma disqualified him from serving in the armed forces) then I think you must come down on the side of repeal.
Again, there are many, many broad categories of people who AREN’T allowed to serve, though many of them would cause no more trouble or inconvenience that this change will bring. So… do we do away with all disqualifiers? What about people who are mildly overweight but physically fit? I know a lot of folks like that. What about people who are just too old, but can run marathons? They’re being discriminated against as a class of people too.
If you truly believe that the individual “right to serve” (a right, by the way, found nowhere in our law or Constitution), then all disqualifiers short of disability so severe that it presents an absolute bar to service must be done away with. Otherwise you are privileging gays over other equally capable folks who would, at the individual level add require little marginal effort to include.
If, on the other hand, you believe that efficiency and mission effectiveness are the most important considerations, you should probably oppose repeal.
The fact of the matter is: WE DO NOT ROOM MEN AND WOMEN TOGETHER. THEY DO NOT SHARE BATHROOMS, NOR DO THEY SHARE SHOWERS.
We do not keep men and women separate because they are more horny than deranged minks. The vast majority of men and women would probably be able to adjust to sharing rooms, bathrooms, bunks. As I commented on the other post however, the vast majority of human beings don’t rape, murder, or steal. We have laws against rape, murder and theft because of a minority who, for whatever reason, don’t control themselves.
Personally, I have no moral objections whatsoever against homosexuality. We have a family friend who is retired military and gay. I have no idea whether he knows we know he’s gay because we are not in the habit of discussing our sex lives with those in our social circle. We did not know this man when he was still serving, but if his personal habits and life are any indication, he was a fine officer. He is extremely intelligent, attentive to detail, physically fit, and possessed of a fine character.
I come down where I do on this issue because almost uniquely among the professions, the military requires the submersion of individual identity. It requires even heteros to give up many rights (such as conjugal rights) for long periods of time. If you can’t control your sexuality (and the presence of gays in the military proves that the vast majority of gays CAN do so just as the vast majority of heteros do), that’s a problem.
Again, the problem with admitting women wasn’t the majority who control their sexuality, but the minority who don’t. I believe the same will be true if DADT is repealed – the vast majority of gays will go on behaving with integrity and decorum and some minority will not.
The difference is, unlike the minority of heteros (male and female) who can’t control their themselves, there is no way to separate gay servicemembers of the same sex. So we will end up doing something we have not done before – bunking people who are naturally sexually attracted to each other together. Congress will have to repeal the part of the UCMJ that deals with fornication (sex outside marriage) because gays can’t marry in a lot of states. Single heteros can marry if they want to have sex w/out violating the UCMJ. What do we tell single gays? To give up on sex?
That’s nuts. So that’s one reg down.
Believe it or not, the Army doesn’t discharge HIV positive individuals anymore. So we have decided that in addition to all the other dangers of war, we are adding a new danger – the danger of being infected by blood, which we all know is a fact of life in battle. Another stupid regulation – my son can’t serve b/c he has asthma but someone with a communicable disease that raises the cost of health care and can be fatal can serve? Why is that?
I am female. Some females could serve in the combat arms. When I was 23 I could easily pass the MALE Marine pft, but by law I could never serve in combat. Why discriminate against me simple on the basis of my sex?
Answer: because my individual “right” to serve wasn’t the most important consideration. I agree with this, even though it is undoubtedly “discrimination” and undoubtedly “unfair”.
So in the end, it really does come down to this: what is most important? The individual? Or the mission?
Reply December 06, 2010 at 04:13 PM
Good discussion of Congress’ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the US military going on in the posts and comments at This Ain’t Hell:
“The Sniper” makes a good argument for why the Democrats are simply playing games with this whole issue and playing the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community for fools:
DADT is not going to be repealed and I’ll tell you why: this will get pushed back for a vote until more Republicans come into office and then the blame for its failure can be laid squarely at the feet of the GOP. The Dems had a super-majority and the most liberal President since, well, ever to sign it off and they didn’t do anything about it. Why? Because if they do that, then Teh Gheys don’t need them anymore and they’ll start looking at the financials instead of civil rights when it comes time to vote… and we know they don’t want that. The LGBT community is getting played and they don’t even realize it.
Read through the rest of the discussion in the comments at those links above. Great arguments given for both sides of the issue and many good questions asked. Most notably:
Lets go over some of the questions that nobody in the Obama administration or Congress has addressed in regards to repealing DADT:
1. Will there be seperate barracks, berthing, and living quarters for homosexuals?
With the Army and Marine Corps having expanded over the past three years and with the Navy changing its policies on living on ship while in port, there is a severe shortage of housing for both single and married military personnel. Not to mention that on naval vessels there is already limited berthing spaces for sailors/Marines. Mandating that homosexuals have their own living quarters (like some colleges and universities do) will require new construction of barracks and a complete rearrangement and reconfiguring of hundreds of naval vessels. On the other hand, allowing homosexuals to live with heterosexuals, will cause a whole different set of headaches for military commanders.
2. Will homosexuals be allowed to serve in combat arms units?
Women are forbidden by Congress to serve in combat arms units (infantry, arty, tanks, etc.). Some of the same issues surrounding women serving in combat units are present in the debate over gays serving openly in these same units.
3. Will people discharged under DADT be allowed to reenlist/recommission in the military if the policy is repealed?
I don’t know how many people who were discharged under DADT would want to reenter the military, but there are even more questions that need to be answered if they are allowed to reenter. Will they retain their same rank/billet regardless how long they have been out? Will they get retroactive promotions?
4. If homosexuals are allowed to serve openly in the military, will the military recognize and award benefits to gay marriages or civil unions?
5. Will each service be allowed to craft its own policies regarding homosexuals?
Each service has its own operational needs and missions. Will the DoD have an across the board policy or like with women will each service be given some degree of freedom to craft its own policies?
6. How much money is repealing DADT going to cost?
Everytime the military changes a policy, it costs money. A major policy change like this one is going to cost that Defense Department a lot of money to implement, the amount depends a lot on the answers to the questions that I have posed. Thats money that can be spent on things like body armor, new vehicles, new guns, or any number of things that are important to an effective military.
ALSO SEE: TRUMAN, OBAMA, AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Leaving aside your opinion on DADT — and we’ve had some spirited debates here on Blackfive about the policy — here’s what we know, or believe that we know:
1) President Obama believes DADT is unjust.
2) Most of the gay community wants to see DADT repealed.
3) The gay community overwhelmingly supported President Obama. President Clinton enacted DADT by Executive Order.
4) According to at least some experts on military law, President Obama can end DADT without Congress’ approval, or at the least he can issue the Executive Order like Truman did, and wait for the courts to overturn it, or for Congress to pass a law that restores it.
But that’s not what he’s doing.
The only conclusion I can draw from all of this is that President Obama is a weak and callow man. He can end DADT with the stroke of a pen, yet he understands there is no percentage in it for him when he can shift the heat to Congress. Apparently, Rahm Emmanuel had a Come to Jesus meeting with him back in January of last year, and explained that Hollywood homosexuals aren’t about to vote for Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin. So I guess the bigger questions are, what does it say about a President who doesn’t do what he believes to be the right thing? And if I was in the military, knowing that he doesn’t consider the military a friend, how would I feel about a Commander in Chief who treats his political allies this badly? I guess what I’m saying is that I’d watch my back, if I was one of you active duty guys.
This seems to be a good summation of the history of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)”. It is how I understand it to have come into being, anyway:
Erm… I think everyone is a bit confused on the issue. Or maybe I am. Here’s my understanding: Prior to 1994, the US Military had a Policy of discharging homosexuals from the military. For the most part, they actively enforced that policy (ie, thoroughly investigating reports and accusations of said behavior). Then President Clinton came along, with his promise to end the policy. But… he didn’t.
Then, in 1994, Congress passed a bill that included as a rider an amendment to the UCMJ that made it ‘illegal’ to be a homosexual and in the military (and President Clinton signed it). So whereas it was simply DoD Policy before, it was now Law (USC T10:654). President Clinton responded by issuing a directive to the DoD not to actively investigate suspected homosexuals. ie, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. If you keep reasonably quiet about it, and you otherwise perform your duties satisfactorily, no one will look into it. On the other hand, if you come bouncing into headquarters wearing a “I’m here, I’m Queer, Get used to it!” shirt, you’re going to be discharged.
So… President Obama’s promise to allow gays in the military openly was a big ol pile of crap. He doesn’t have the authority to do so. He can tell the military to not enforce the law, which is basically what President Clinton did, but he can’t simply make the law go away. The law needs to be changed by Congress.
Or so I understand. Correct me if I need correcting.
A good reply in the comments:
I served in the Marine Corps with gays and had no problem with them. That was in Viet Nam and it was live and let live. But those were the conditions that made survival the only thing you cared about. Here is a list of my cons on repeal of DADT
1. Men/women in authority positions take a lover in the same company they lead. Favoritism? You betcha.
2. In your face taunting by extreme gays like everyone in San Francisco has seen will not go unchallenged in the military. This will be as uniting as Obama is.
3. Any of you ever had a roommate bring home the bacon while you were sleeping in the other bed in the same room? Fun ain’t it? Lots of noises and unpleasant things for you to listen to instead of sleeping.
4. Imagine you are in the showers and two or more gays start to play soap-a-dope? It might be funny one time but not every time you go to the head or showers. Talk about making life even worse than it need be.
5. A mean Sgt. makes life hard for a grunt during basic training and it turns out that the grunt is gay. Does he act like a man and do the extra crap or does he call the ACLU?
6. You are really in the shit where dying is a real possibility in a foxhole with your assigned buddy when the fan is hit. He realizes that this might be it and leaves the hole you share and heads to the hole where his true love is. Military discipline?
7.You are a straight man and ask the general if you can shower with the lezzies since you know they are not interested in you and no sexual problems will arise.What are the odds that he will say “Hell Yes” to make you feel more accepted?
8. As mentioned above what if two of these guys/gals decide to get married while in basic or after training where they have to serve in the same unit? If the military did not recognise the marriage they could then serve as man and man in the field where the problems would be limitless.
There many more areas of difficulty that can be presented that will kill morale. Some have tried to equate it with blacks in the military. That is so faulty on so many fronts to be considered a serious comparison. The only way to go on this is to make sexuality in the military a non issue and DADT does that.
Posted by: inspectorudy at February 02, 2010 11:58 PM
ALSO SEE: Poking the DADT Bear
This isn’t a policy that forces people to lie, it’s a policy that forces people to follow the rules. Is everyone forgetting that before DADT gays were forbidden to serve? DADT was an effective, moderate compromise – but the gay community doesn’t want to compromise. And that’s why they shouldn’t have a voice in the discussion. They won’t quit until there’s a digital-camouflage-patterned feather boa in the 670-1.
[ … ] I just think it’s damn awful that Gates and Mullins can see the evils of DADT, but they’re absolutely blind to the threat that Nidal Hassan posed to military members.
So what do I think of DADT? I could care less – both sides are being disingenuous. I feel the same way about gays that feel about women in combat – if they can make the standard and follow the rules, they’re welcome. But gays haven’t proven to me they can follow the rules. My objection isn’t moral – I just don’t think they can behave themselves and I certainly don’t believe that the repeal of DADT is the solution to all of our manpower problems.
And there’s more important shit going on in the world that our military should be worried about than having our Secretary of Defense and his staff sitting in front of John Kerry telling him how much they approve of sodomy in the ranks. But that’s just me.
Good comment left in response to this post at Blackfive: DADT- TIME FOR IT TO GO
All the arguments about twisted emotions (much bible fuelled no doubt) and the horror of having to stand in a shower in some proximity to a gay feller sound like serious moral panic nonsense to me. UJ is right that if someone starts slapping comrades’ bottoms with a towel then they’re going to end up in a world of pain!
Sparkly, do you know how our military works? Let’s take your scenario: Towel slapping –> world of pain. Does it end there with towel slapper learning a painful lesson and refraining from ever doing it again?
Judging by how the male/female debacle has gone in our military, towel slapper will go whinging to his CO about how his civil rights were violated. How he was misinterpreted. How he was discriminated against. He becomes a victim of a “hate crime.”
Towel slappees get rounded up and they become the ones in trouble for their forceful discouragement of towel slapper’s courting ritual. Sensitivity sessions are mandated for everyone within a 20-mile radius of the beatdown, taking away valuable time from more worthwhile training. Anti-towel-slapping sentiments become the “new racism” and promotions are affected.
Soon everyone has to celebrate Towel Slapper Awareness Week. If you rebuff a towel slapper who is looking at you funny you can be charged with creating a “hostile work environment.” Speech becomes targeted. No more calling someone who can’t do his pushups a “nancy boy.” Such verbiage becomes “hate speech.”
It’s a slippery slope. We’ve seen it with women and men and fraternization problems. In the U.S. the towel slapping community is known for being “in your face” about it all. They really aren’t content to live and let live. Their sexual identity is the first and foremost thing they want to proclaim about themselves. They want to force everyone else to agree with them that what they do is a good thing. Which for biological and theological and bacteriological reasons, I just can’t bring myself to do.
And while you guys are all talking about its implications for men in SF units,etc. let me just say as a female I can see a world of problems that being able to out oneself can have with women in the military. There is an entirely different set of dynamics that goes with THAT which can cause severe problems in the ranks. Put your lesbian fantasies aside. The reality is a little bit different. Women deal with each other differently than they deal with men, and if you add open homosexuality to the mix, it can bring a lot of unwanted drama into the picture.
DADT forces people to keep a lid on things and at least maintain the semblance of order and discipline. I see a whole order of unintended consequences coming from its repeal.
February 03, 2010 at 09:21 AM
Another good comment left in reply to this post to which I linked above:
Anyway, DADT was working fine, I see no reason a soldier would need to announce his sexual orientation one way or the other. Nobody’s rights are being denied here, gays can serve as long as the keep their preferences to themselves.
The brotherhood of the military can be damaged by having openly gay men serving. It is based on a non-sexual bonding that is completely different from that you would feel towards a partner. If 2 gay men are in a unit and are also lovers, I would see this as having an adverse affect on cohesion. As others have said, there is a reason that men and women do not shower together. It is a known fact that the Nimitz was turned into the love boat because of men and women becoming too close. Female soldiers were getting knocked up and morale was damaged.
The other problem is we are in 2 wars, this is not the time to be engaging in social experiments with the military. The last poll I read from the men themselves is 60% were opposed to gays serving openly and 10% they would not re-enlist. If these numbers are even close the truth I say leave it alone. The gay agenda is far more extensive as well, don’t think that DADT ending will pacify them for long. There will be another series of demands right after that. It is left-wing politically motivated grievance group that has gone well beyond mere civil rights. Remember the Kevin Jennings situation, he proclaimed that he only wants gay people treated fairly, but the real record shows he wants to impose his ideology on others. He has nothing to do with the military but there are others like him.
Posted by: Ken Royall at February 03, 2010 11:20 AM
One issue on which I am still confused is how, if homosexuals will now serve openly, fraternization will be organized. Men and women are kept separate due to the obvious sexual attraction/interaction. The problem with homosexual/heterosexual interaction, though, is that there’s no possible way to separate everyone adequately based on sexual attraction/interaction. Keeping things all female/all male will then have open homosexuals with heterosexuals. There is no possible way that every single homosexual can guarantee that (1) they won’t ‘admire’ their fellow same-sex military members while living with them and (2) they won’t hit on their fellow same-sex military members. People can talk about “professionalism” of the military member all they want, it simply doesn’t exist except regarding one’s MOS. With regards to social interaction and issues (adultery, promiscuous sex, drunkenness, underage drinking, etc), there is as much lack of discipline as in the civilian world. And that’s just between men and women. If that’s already a problem causing headaches, why would they want to add to it by allowing homosexuals to openly fraternize?
That said, the military can’t separate homosexuals into their own units or anything, because that would simply be akin to having women and men in the same units. So what is the solution… make sure each unit only has one homosexual in it? Seems pretty ridiculous. Or will they simply just make the entire military co-ed, since apparently ‘sexual orientation’ and sexual attraction don’t matter anymore?
It just seems like a huge, unnecessary mess. Why mess with something that seems to work just fine. Homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military to their hearts’ desires, so long as they don’t allow their sexuality to interfere with their duties to the military.
I will say that Gabriel Malor brings up a good point here in that homosexuals can’t have the comfort of any romantic partners to keep them inspired as everyone else can.
I agree that a person’s sex life isn’t the most professional topic of conversation and that “throwing” one’s sex life in the faces of others is detrimental for disciple. But DADT goes much further than merely maintaining discipline. Not only is a gay soldier prohibited (as he should be, mind you) from doing those things you note you do not like: “throwing their sexuality out in the open for the shock value” and purposely hitting on straights. He is also prohibited from things so simple and non-disruptive as keeping a picture of a boyfriend or even referring to a boyfriend in casual conversation, two things that straight soldiers do routinely with respect to their girlfriends, fiances, and wives. A gay soldier can’t even kiss a boyfriend goodbye at the airport like a straight one can his girlfriend without fear of DADT.
More than that, under DADT gays in the military are prohibited from marrying their boyfriends in the states where gay marriage is lawful. Can you imagine the outcry if straight soldiers were prohibited from marrying?
I agree with you that disruptive behavior, routinely characterized as “flaunting it”, must be sharply prohibited for the sake of discipline. But things like phone calls to a lover, letters and photographs from loved ones, simply holding hands with a boyfriend if he comes to visit on or near base, are not “flaunting it.”
Those are valid points and could be determined to be “discriminatory”. But the fact is that the military is discriminatory by nature. Rules are set for what is in the best interest of the military to perform to its best ability. Rules are not set in place to make people feel good. I think anyone who has gone through any military branch’s boot camp realizes that a soldier’s ‘feelings’ are last on the priority list.
That said, I don’t have all the answers. We also have to remember that this is not a homosexual/gay movement, this is a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) movement. We also need to remember that this not about homosexuals having the ‘right’ to serve in the military. (1) No one has a ‘right’ to serve, they have to meet certain standards set by the military and (2) homosexuals can already serve (so long as they are not ‘out’). This movement is about ‘normalizing’ the GLBT lifestyle. The GLBT movement has already tried to do this through redefining marriage and has failed in every vote across the country. Since they failed there, now they are taking their movement to the military. Their agenda has nothing to do with what is in the best interests of the US military, but rather what is in the best interests of pushing their GLBT agenda forward. In other words, they are using the military for political purposes. People need to remember that overall agenda when discussing this issue.
Good question: “So exactly what about homosexuality has changed since 1993? Do openly gay soldiers all of a sudden not damage ‘morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion’?”
I refer you to U.S. Code: Title 10 Subtitle A Part II Chapter 37 § 654
Policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces
(2) There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces.
(3) … it lies within the discretion of the Congress to establish qualifications for and conditions of service in the armed forces.
(8) Military life is fundamentally different from civilian life in that … the military society is characterized by its own laws, rules, customs, and traditions, including numerous restrictions on personal behavior, that would not be acceptable in civilian society.
(12) The worldwide deployment of United States military forces, the international responsibilities of the United States, and the potential for involvement of the armed forces in actual combat routinely make it necessary for members of the armed forces involuntarily to accept living conditions and working conditions that are often spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.
(13) The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service.
(14) The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
And the pièce de résistance:
(15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.