My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Gays in the US military...

Max Boot, a senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor to the conservative Weekly Standard, has changed his stance on gays in the military.
I also don't see why we are still barring all gays and lesbians from serving openly. Between 1994 and 2003, according to the Government Accountability Office, the military discharged 9,488 homosexuals, including 322 with badly needed knowledge of such languages as Arabic, Farsi and Korean. In other words, the fight against gay rights is hurting the fight against our real enemies. That's a compelling reason to change the law, even for those of us who used to be supporters of the gay ban.

In 1993-94, when the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy was promulgated, I was persuaded by the warnings of Colin Powell and other generals that opening the door to gays and lesbians would hurt morale and cohesion. But in the intervening decade, society has become more accepting of homosexuality.

In a survey of the military last year, 42% of respondents said gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly; 50% said they should not. Among junior enlisted personnel the figure was 50% in favor of acceptance. In the rest of the population, it's 79%. I suspect that in a year or two, attitudes will tilt even more in the pro-gay direction, making the existing policy unsustainable.

It may still make sense not to assign gay personnel to ground combat units, where they might have trouble fitting in, but why kick out gay translators or technicians? Sooner or later, the U.S. military will follow the example of Australia, Britain and Israel and lift its ban on openly gay service members. In the struggle against Islamic fanatics, we can't afford to turn volunteers away.