Last October I asked, “Should gays be allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military?” The survey results show that 58 percent of responders do not want gays to openly serve in the military.
In Obama’s State of the Union Address, he triumphantly declared that he would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” system in the military. It was met with thunderous applause on the left, but the military and the right outwardly showed their disgust.
Why is that?
According to Senator John McCain, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy just works:
Well, first of all, I think — I know that it’s working. I spend a lot of time with the military. It’s working.
Further on, McCain speaks from the Soldier’s perspective:
So I think, again, when I talk to men and women in the military, they say it’s not broke, it’s not broken, so we don’t need to fix it.
McCain’s words, however, are in stark contrast with Admiral Mike Mullen, the nation’s top uniformed officer:
No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.
Neil Macdonald from CBC News has is own take:
The military doesn’t ask, and as long as gay troopers don’t admit to anything, everything’s jake. Unless some third party rats one of them out.
In that case, regrettably, the offending GI must be discharged. Thousands have been: We honour your service, faggot. Now take a hike.
So we have two separate sides. And at the same time, we have a military who is still trying to figure out how to integrate males with females, much less how to integrate gays. For example, the Navy is close to allowing females on submarines.
This next quote comes from Nona (a military member):
I currently serve in the military. I know gay people outside the military. I have no problems with gay people its there preference. But i do know that i am against Gays being open in the military. Reason being is I am a male when i deploy or train there is limited privacy. Especially when it comes to doing personal hygiene. Also in the military males live amongst males correct. A females live amongst themselves. So if they allow gays to openly serve they will a have to make accommodations for them and segregate them.[sic]
And a conflicting view from Althea Tremaine:
The military has rules about fraternization and they should apply both ways– straight OR gay. The point people are missing is that these are basic human rights being violated. This is discrimination. Whatever happened to “all men are created equal?” Homosexuality is not a choice, and it’s not criminal.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there are good arguments for both sides.
However, I would have to side with several people I know who are in the military: the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy works. No member of the military wants to be put in the situation where they are uncomfortable with the men/women they share close quarters with.
If the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed, I predict a surge of harassment charges, increased hazing, increased fraternization, and a lot of grumpy Soldiers.