The “don’t ask, don’t tell” law affecting gays in the military is outdated and should be revamped. Fifteen years after Congress passed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law requiring gays in the military to keep their personal lives to themselves, the law is ready to be revamped and modernized. Cultural attitudes evolve. Gays serve in the military without causing any of the problems suspected in 1993 when the law was passed. The theory held that gays who were vocal about their sexual orientation would undermine unit cohesion, hurt morale and recruitment. None of that is true. Under the unfair “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, gay and lesbian military men and women are treated as second-class citizens. The law prevents the military from asking recruits to specify sexual orientation; service members are not to say they are gay or bisexual, engage in homosexual activity or marry a member of the same sex.
The U.S. military, like the rest of America, is becoming more culturally advanced. Fear of gays serving openly and harming effectiveness is just that - fear. A new study conducted by four retired military officers, including an Air Force lieutenant general who helped implement the policy for President Bill Clinton, says gays and lesbians serving openly in the military are unlikely to pose significant problems. One military expert after the next says that was mistaken policy. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the Pentagon enacted its policy, wrote an important New York Times op-ed piece last year, disavowing the policy.
As the nation’s top military adviser in 1993, Shalikashvili, who lives in the Puget Sound area, believed gays serving openly in the military would hurt morale and recruitment and cohesion of combat units. He wrote the opinion piece to say he changed his mind.
My first impulse is to say, "If the research shows there is no harm then let them in."
***But I believe homosexual **behavior *is a choice. Homosexuality itself may be inherited, it may be genetic, it may be a choice, it may be a mental illness, I don’t know; no one knows. But it is not normal, and it is not natural (no amount of gay sex or love will ever produce offspring). Homosexuality may no be a choice, but the behavior is.
So I’m not sure how I should react. My reaction must not be based on feelings, good or bad. It must be based on reason and logic, not to mention fundamental Christian beliefs.**
Although the Church teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, it also recognizes that homosexuality is , “experienc(ing) an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex”—is most often an experience that is discovered, not freely chosen (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357-8)
And it condemns any unjust discrimination against homosexuals.
How this applies to gays in the military you’ll have to consider for yourself. But it seems you’re in pretty close accord with the teaching of the Church on this issue.
You state that neither you nor anyone knows what causes homosexuality. Then you state that it’s not normal. If you don’t know what causes it, how can you state that it’s not normal? You are basing your logic on the fact that in order for something to be normal it must procreate.
That might not be the case anymore with the world being the size it is. It could also be nature’s way of curbing overpopulation that could destroy us in the near future.
At any rate, I understand what you mean. I too have often said that if God wanted us to breed that way he would’ve given us only one body part down there. It’s also true that homosexuality can often cause serious tissue tears and diseases, not to mention lifelong problems with anal incontinence. So yes, in those ways I agree that it could be termed “abnormal” and even dangerous, which is probably why we were warned about it in the bible (not to mention that in the old days it was necessary to procreate in order to build up the world).
Like you, I don’t understand the things that cause homosexuality, which is why I prefer not to attack these people until I can state that I can be 100% sure that I know as well as God does, everything about this topic.
There was a time in my life when I once mouthed off on a newsgroup that depression was not an illness. “It was simply a state of mind that could be controlled by anyone.” The reason I was such a smart aleck was because I had never suffered from it so I was convinced that my success was attributable only to my own most amazing and wonderful abilities to prevent it. If I was so remarkable and amazing, surely everyone else would have no problem being just like me.
Then one day God taught me a most horrible lesson. He socked me with depression for a couple of years. He has most amazing ways of teaching people you know.
In the end I thanked him for the gift because he made me realize how much I had hurt others so very badly (when they were already severely depressed and such hurt was the last thing in the world they needed). What cruel and terrible things I had done!! So many times when God seems to punish people he’s actually in the process of giving them a yet unrecognized gift of understanding and/or compassion for someone or for some situation.
What I’m trying to say is that if you don’t understand what causes homosexuality its probably best not to judge. Let God do the judging unless you are prepared to be served a similar lesson by him. He might give you gay child one day, for example to also help you learn some of the things he taught me during those two years.
I hope no one thinks I’m promoting homosexuality. That’s not my intention. I’m just “trying” to understand them. These people go through incredible pain having to admit (or deny) that they are different because they are attracted to the same sex. They go through lifelong humiliation, cruel teasing , terrible and painful rejection, and severe trauma. Many commit suicide because their righteous and so-called “loving” friends or families have rejected them. If you rejected your children, would you feel this behaviour should be rewarded by God for it’s kindness, understanding, and spirituality?
Also, do you really believe that gays would invite such pain by “CHOICE” only for the mere thrill of exposing themselves of such terrible and cruel hell?
Like many, I too get annoyed when gays try to shove gayness in my face by taking it too far in the opposite direction which I feel does little but invite more prejudice. Still, I try to look at it this way.
When you don’t know the causes of homosexuality, it’s not fair to promote DISRESPECT against them. It’s not fair to compare them with such fine, wonderful, righteous, beautiful, loving, caring, and spiritual people like you. In fact, even thinking of yourself in this way, I would think could be considered conceited, arrogant, and proud, all sins in themselves. Because it’s so hard for us to judge things some things in life, sometimes I feel it’s just better to leave the judgment to God.
Of course I could be wrong again in what I’m saying and could be making bad comments. All I can base my comments on are feelings that I think it’s unkind, unfair, and unspiritual to look down on people when you don’t know that their conditions aren’t caused by genetics, especially when they have committed no serious crimes.
I understand why bible objected to sodomy. Numerous problems can be introduced after homosexuality is accepted. Bringing children into the relationship is just one. This could certainly, in many cases, cause children to suffer pain similar to that experienced by their own gay parents, as they desperately try figure out how men are supposed to behave toward women or vice versa when they haven’t been been exposed to it much. Such lack of knowledge could also make things difficult for their children.
I can also visualize numerous lawyers clapping their hands with glee over the promotion of homosexuality because it will fill their pockets with money from all kinds of new and unexpected challenges; for example, “why should a gay person be able to claim income tax or survivor’s benefits from his partner when two roommates can’t do the same? Does the act of having sex alone make someone qualify?” Surely that would be totally unconstitutional.
Other questions might be, "exactly what is it that constitutes marriage now anyway? Is it kind of like – well, sex for a little while? Is it little other than a ring or sleeping with someone?
I never have understood why common-law couples qualified for such government financial benefits either. Why does society reward them for a common law relationship with is NOTHING OTHER than commitment to non-commitment? How can you establish a strong nation with solidified families that way? It’s almost impossible to even create a geneology tree anymore.
Getting back to homosexuality, I believe the bible is a book of common sense overall, written by someone more intelligent than we, and that there is sound reasoning behind most of it’s teachings.
This is such a difficult issue that the main reason I try to stay out of comments attacking or demeaning homosexuals is because I feel that “if I can’t claim expertise at dealing with any of these answers, I surely don’t have the right to believe I am so special, so intelligent, so righteous, and so blatantly arrogant that it’s alright for me to cause pain and rejection for others.” Arrogance and pride are also sinful.
Yes, there are many times when I feel like Pontious Pilate when discussing this, especially when I say “let God deal with it.”
Now that I’ve said my piece, I hope that any homosexual who reads this will also try try to understand the terrible pain and problems churches must endure in trying to deal with this and why so many Christians have such difficult times accepting it. It’s not much different from the type of pain and trauma gays endure.
Churches also are concerned about losing their parishioners. I once read that it was estimated that about 1 in every 15 people or so were gay. In the event that churches changed their attitudes and decided to accept this, they could risk losing 85% of their congregation almost overnight. So their concerns are every bit as serious as those of gays.
Understanding ON BOTH SIDES is essential if humanity is ever to come to grips with this issue. This one isn’t easy and could take a few years yet, hard as both sides may try.
I have no problem with gays serving openly in the military, my biggest opposition to lifting “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is all the new “sensitivity training” we in the military would be forced to attend.
One of the best Platoon Sergeants I had as a young Soldier, who really inspired me and pushed me to overcome the mental and physical blocks to Soldiering that all young Soldiers have was gay. I didn’t know it at the time…he never “came on” to me, he was a leader. Shortly after I left the unit he was outted as being gay and kicked out of the Army (this was before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell).
It was a shame. A real problem would occur if gays were allowed to serve openly would be if they became “in your face” about their sexual orientation. That being accepted, there’s no real reason to maintain Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I may disagree with the lifestyle, but that doesn’t stop a gay from being a great Soldier.
Let me ask this, if we do not condone certain behavior, if we believe it is wrong, then how and why should we be accepting of it? One of the social mechanisms for discouraging such behaviors is shame and isolation. It encourages the motivation to change. How does social acceptance of the person, regardless of their behavior, discourage their behavior?
I know this is an incredibly difficult subject to discuss and do not want to cause any undue pain and suffering. But we must deal with this moral issue in a reasonable way. I know that some of the members of this forum are gay and I invite their input on this. I really want to know how I should behave as a citizen, and as a Christian.
I just don’t understand why the military would want to keep out people who want to serve their country. It’s not a job young people are flocking to in droves! And here’s a hint: just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they’re going to make the people around them uncomfortable. Just like straight people, gay people aren’t attracted to everyone they see.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
There is no reason not to change the policy. It is clear that homosexuals can function in a military setting with no loss of mission efficiency; that’s going on now.
The public is strongly in favor of changing the policy.
And George Washington saw no problem with it. His commander in charge of training at Valley Forge was almost certainly a homosexual. It wasn’t as great a scandal in his homeland; his king (Frederick the Great) was a known homosexual.
Baron von Stueben did more to whip the Continental Army into a fighting force than anyone else.
[quote=Tracy10]You state that neither you nor anyone knows what causes homosexuality. Then you state that it’s not normal. If you don’t know what causes it, how can you state that it’s not normal? You are basing your logic on the fact that in order for something to be normal it must procreate
What you’re saying equiv to saying that there are diseases and such out there that we don’t know the reason for it, we shouldn’t call it abnormal ??
You don’t always need to know the reason for something to know that it’s abnormal, geez !
I spent almost 25 years in the military, 20 active and almost 5 in the Air National Guard; 1973 to 1999 (doesn’t add up because of a couple of short breaks in service). Believe it or not I never met any gay men, but I knew several gay women. They were very careful about who knew.
If our society is going to be open and accepting of gays and gay behavior, then the military has to reflect the general mores of society. If it doesn’t it will quickly lose support amongst the general population, and support is critical to the protections of our liberties. The military is not a training ground for moral behavior. The attitudes of the general population must be reflected in the military.
Once young men and women reach the military in their late teens or early twenties, morality is pretty much set. The military can train and enforce ethics as reflected in our laws, customs, and generally accepted behavior. They can even be more strict in certain situations, such as fidelity in marriage, but that strictness must come with defensible reasons that stand the test of law and experience.
It appears, if this article is accurate, that the reasons for keeping gays out of the military no longer apply.
If we as a society do not want gays in our military, then they must be denied the right to practice their lifestyle freely and openly in the general population. The Church (CCC) seems to state that they are not to be discriminated against as pointed out by:
It’s particularly upsetting to me because in looking for colleges to apply to, I would really have liked to apply to West Point, but I knew that DADT might get me into trouble. Not because I talk too much about my sexual orientation, but because as a fairly “butch” woman, many assume I’m gay, and they’re right. And also, it’s hard to remain completely silent about one’s private life when interacting with such a small group of people.