Sunday, August 28, 2005


When I read this article I just knew the phrase "governement intelligence" was an oxymoron. Derek Sparks was involuntarily separated from the Navy and a promising career was ended because he admitted that *gasp* he is gay. First of all the article states:

He was discharged in April 2002 after he was questioned by an officer and acknowledged he was gay.

Now let me get this straight, even if the official policy is "right", and I am not saying that it is, doesn't "don't ask" imply that you don't ask someone about their sexuality?? The last time I checked "questioning" someone constituted asking them something. If the government cannot follow it's own procedures I don't think other people should be expected too either. You said you wouldn't ask, so if you do then the responses shouldn't be counted against the respondents, right?

Ignoring that breach, let's look at the situation pragmatically. Here is a trained petty officer in the Navy; he along with others similiarly situated, were performing their duties adequately if not exceptionally. They joined the armed forces voluntarily. The government is currently experiencing a severe drop in recruits and is facing a volunteer shortage. Congress recently explored increasing the maximum age of new recruits in order to facilitate an increase in volunteers.

Given all that, and the situation our country finds itself in around the world today, the government decided it would be a good idea to kick out soldiers and sailors who are already trained and functioning within the military. They decided to take volunteers already in military service willing to risk their lives for the sake of their country and kick them to the curb. In the years since the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was enacted nearly 10,000 gay servicemen and women have been discharged from the military.

Why? Why would the government do such a ridiculous counter-intuitive thing? Because the government doesn't approve of who they have sex with!

Now I don't believe for a second that it is the government's business who is in bed with their military personnnel when they are off duty. Yes, there are arguments against homosexuals in the military. These are the same arguments that were used to keep blacks out of the military. Anyone remember how that turned out? Ever heard of Colin Powell?? Thought so.

Also, if the military is going to judge soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines based on who they sleep with and react accordingly then our entire military is in deep trouble.

Single military personnel are notorious for debauchery and vampid sexual liasions. Ever heard of the saying "a girl in every port"? And yes I know this is a stereotype. Not ALL military personnel subscribe to such behavior. However, I am willing to bet there are still scores of people in uniform frequenting brothels around the globe and sowing their oats all the way from Germany to Japan.

Just consider the gamut of sexual behavior in general. There are people out there who like golden showers or S&M and the list goes on and on pertaining to specific sexual practices and fetishes. How is any of it the military's business? Yet those people are never questioned or reprimanded even though a majority of people would find certain practices repugnant. And somehow it seems to make perfect sense to the powers that be to dismiss military people for being gay, regardless of their relationship status?

So what this boils down to is that a heterosexual sailor can visit street walking prostitutes in Hawai'i or pay for sex with underage girls in the far east, but if he drops is drawers with another man in the context of a stable monogamous relationship in his own home that gets him discharged.

I have a great deal of respect for people who serve in the military. It takes bravery and dedication and discipline. I could never do it myself and I commend those people who do. Without them we would all be goose stepping our way through life wearing burquas with little or no freedom. I don't care who the men and women are in our military are having sex with, they put their lives on the line for me every day and that alone should earn them the respect of their countrymen and their government.

Judging and discharging someone from the military based on sexual orientation screams excessive entanglement by the government in the private lives of citizens. Last time I checked we had something to prevent that. What's it called? OHHH YEA - the CONSTITUTION! Hopefully SCOTUS agrees with me.

Hear this Uncle Sam: If you are going to cut loose 10,000 servicemen and women because you are brash enough to think that you are better than they are because of who you lay next to at night, then I don't want to hear any more snivelling about lack of volunteers. I don't want the heartfelt commercials about "be all you can be". I don't want you activating reserve units and sending loved ones into harm's way. You have at least 10,000 people out there right now who are already trained and are waiting to follow your command into battle. If someone puts their life into your hands and says "here, I am willing to die for you and your ideals," you don't say "but wait, who do you like to have sex with?"


At 11:11 PM, August 28, 2005, Blogger Pete said...

Strawman alert.

Neither the government nor the military cares who you have sex with...'s the others in your unit who may care and anything that leads to doubt in your fellow soldiers/marines -- whose charge it is to protect you and in whose charge your protection is vested -- endangers everyone.

The benefit of the additional troops has to be weighed against the detriment to morale and cohesiveness that could be introduced.

Additionally, I doubt that any civilian can really speak intelligently on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on the same grounds as the reason why the military uses a wholly separate system of justice from the civillian world.

At 5:49 AM, August 29, 2005, Blogger TSC Girl said...

Does it matter that the other people in your unit care about who you have sex with? Do fellow military personnel get a free pass to bigotry and prejudice just because of their jobs? I think not. There are plenty of other jobs in civilian life that require the same teamwork and close quarters as the military. Police officers and firemen come to mind immediately, although I am sure I could think of others. Yes, they also deal in life or death situations where they are forced to rely on their peers. I don't see police academies rejecting homsexual applicants on a mass sale.

Morale and cohesiveness are the same arguments that were used to keep blacks out of the military. Times change, people adjust. The military is based on following orders and subscribing to a regiment. There is a laundry list of things military personnel are required to do that I am sure not every single recruit enjoys or would chose to do in the civilian world. If you commanding officer tells you to serve with these people you serve. Chances are if someone is that bigoted they won't get an engraved invitation to the coming out party of a gay serviceperson anyway.

By and large homosexual military personnel are "out" to their peers and serve along side them without incident. It is only when the higher ups find out that it becomes a problem. Pragmatically your argument doesn't hold water. Will there be individual incidents when homesexuals are allowed to serve openly - absolutely. There is always a period of adjustment. However, there are personality conflict and individual issues between soldiers and sailors, et al every day regarding a myriad of topics. Why should homophobia be singled out? Why does the government get to support close mindedness in this instance?

Additioanlly, I doubt that every serviceperson can speak intelligently on "Don't ask, don't tell" based solely on their enlistment in the military. I am familiar with the comprehensive history of the issue and have done outside research, therefore my opinion is just as credible, if not moreso than your average private or lance corporal.

A heightened knowledge of the Military Code of Justice is not required to understand and speak on the issue. I am familiar with the basic differences between military and civilian justice. That being said I believe this blatnant discrimination is unconstitutional, and that trumps even the military court system.


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