GayandRight

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 (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shalikashvili sees the light....

The ex-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs now says gays can serve in the US military.
Last year I held a number of meetings with gay soldiers and marines, including some with combat experience in Iraq, and an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew. These conversations showed me just how much the military has changed, and that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers.

This perception is supported by a new Zogby poll of more than 500 service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, three quarters of whom said they were comfortable interacting with gay people. And 24 foreign nations, including Israel, Britain and other allies in the fight against terrorism, let gays serve openly, with none reporting morale or recruitment problems.

I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.
This is good news. The plain fact of the matter is that gays have been successfully serving the US military for many decades...it's time for them to finally come out of their closets.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Persecuting Gays in the military creates a security risk because they could be compromised by fear of being 'outed'. No persecution, no problem.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Fenris Badwulf said...

What is this requirement that to be gay one must be 'out of the closet'? I am confused. I would have thought that freedom from persecution based on sexual orientation was 'good'. Is it not good enough? Indeed, I am confused.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a 15 year military veteran and current reservist, this is one gay man who'd like to see the ban lifted. I am quite certain that it will be history some happy day in the future. Still, I am perfectly willing to wait and serve in the closet as long as it is necessary to do so. After all, I enlisted fully aware of the rules and will continue to faithfully serve under them until I retire. As long as they don't ask, I won't tell ... but will wait patiently until the UCMJ is changed by congress.
JB in Texas

10:07 PM  
Blogger Suricou Raven said...

Fenris: US military policy - I think its set by the DoD - is informally known as 'dont ask, dont tell.' That is, they allow gays in the military, but not *open* gays. As long as they remain in the closet they are allowed to serve, but if they come out they are discharged.

The policy was made decades ago. The official reason given to justify it is morale - at the time, it was (possibly correctly) assumed that many soldiers would be unable to work with a known-gay on their side. There would be constant suspicion ("Is he looking at my rear? Sicko!"), and many soldiers would simply refuse to even be near someone they considered a perverted monster - and these people are supposed to be depending on each other for survival. At the time, the policy may have been justifyable.

But times change. As the survey shows, the army is no longer full of homophobes who would refuse to serve with or defend gays, and the situation is only going to improve given time. At this point it would be advisable to change the policy for various reasons - as well as the usual arguements of political correctness, there have been incidents of skilled and valuable members - not just soldiers but administrators, support and translators - being forced out when their orientation becomes known. And, as Anon pointed out, the polisbility of blackmail. Not to mention the potential increase in recruitment if more homosexuals are able to join - the army is a bit short right now, and can use the extras).

While time might change though, the policy hasn't - the military can be very conservative, perhaps because its high-ups take so many years to rise through the ranks, and there has been no poltical reason to intervene - in fact many of the conservative/religious lobbying groups which were so instrumential in bringing Bush into office twice have campaigned to support the policy, or even make it stricter. The arguements they use to justify this are quite laughable, but little skill is needed to add a coating of legitimacy when the real force of persuasion comes from religion and plain old homophobia.

9:45 AM  

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