No opt-out for opponents of gays in military: Gates

Per Reuters:Defense Secretary Robert Gates bluntly told Marines on Sunday that they won’t be able to opt out of their enlistment just because they disagree with a government decision to end a ban on gays serving openly in the military.
I am of really mixed emotions with this.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
There are a number of major religions that disapprove of homosexuality itself, whether we consider a distinction between homosexual tendencies and homosexual behavior or ignore that distinction. Members of those religions are going to be in a very uncomfortable position until their enlistments are up.

Of course, those people who enlisted / re-enlisted after Congress lifted the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” restrictions last winter knew what they were getting into – they should have to live with the consequences of their decision.

But I have a completely different reaction for those who enlisted before DADT was repealed. Those people have a constitutional right to believe what they choose to believe. And the “rules of the game” changed half way through. At least as far as Judeo-Christian beliefs, it is very, very explicit:
[bibledrb]Lev 20:13[/bibledrb]
[bibledrb]Rom 1:26-32[/bibledrb]
As far as Islam, the pertinent reference is here:

“And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceded you has committed in the worlds?” (7:80)

Per Mufti Ebrahim Desai,In this verse, the word *“Fahishah”, *which means an atrocious, obscene, lewd, shameless act, is referring to the practice of homosexuality. After the people of Sodom ignored the warnings of Lut (Alayhis Salaam) to stop this act and to follow the true path, Allah Ta’ala wiped them out with a severe punishment by turning their towns upside down and burying them with stones of baked clay. This was a telling punishment by Allah Ta’ala for going against the natural order created by Him.

The big question, though, for me is this: Congress did not change military law on homosexual conduct. Article 125 of the UCMJ is still in force. This Article states,Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
The Manual for Courts Martial gives a definition for unnatural carnal copulation:It is unnatural carnal copulation for a person to take into that person’s mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person or of an animal; or to place that person’s sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; or to have carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except the sexual parts, with another person; or to have carnal copulation with an animal.
I wonder what they are going to do with that dichotomy.

Bottom line: dealing with this situation is reason #238,253 why I am glad to be retired from the military.

I’m not aware of any tenant of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism which prohibits their followers from serving in the armed forces just because they might serve next to a gay man or woman. And what dichotomy? The manual prohibits engaging in sexual activity PERIOD whether between soldiers of the same or opposite sex.

will chaplains be required to conduct weddings for gay enlisted?

Yeah, I’ve gotta agree, despite coming from the Catholic perspective. There’s absolutely nothing in our various religions that touches on serving in the military alongside people with whose behavior we disagree. Especially since we’re talking about continuing to serve alongside the exact same people, except now they might decide to tell you about their orientation.

The rule about unnatural copulation does indeed apply to all situations, but I can see a problem there, since “standard” genital/genital sex is … not so readily available to gay couples.


No. They’re not required to conduct weddings for heterosexuals, either.

That’s the $64,000 question!

Nor do those faiths prohibit their followers from working in an office or working in a sales environment alongside homosexuals.

thank God.

[bibledrb]1 cor 5:11-13[/bibledrb]
[bibledrb]Amos 5:15[/bibledrb]
Tolerating evil is unacceptable. There are many who have a “live and let live” attitude when others are in a state of sin. Per the verses above, there are many who feel absolutely compelled to condemn evil when they see it. Please note that I am not claiming that Catholicism states this. (Catholicism draws a clear distinction between homosexual tendencies – disordered, but not grave matter – and homosexual acts – clearly grave matter). But there are other groups who have sincerely held beliefs who do not make as clear a distinction.

And what dichotomy? The manual prohibits engaging in sexual activity PERIOD whether between soldiers of the same or opposite sex.

Well, I can understand how you would think that. Adultery is definitely prohibited per Article 134 (adultery being defined as sexual relations with married person not his / her wife / husband). Fraternization involving sexual relations between officers and enlisted or between those within the same chain of command is also prohibited per Article 134. Sodomy is prohibited whether heterosexual or homosexual. But “natural carnal copulation” is not prohibited between single military members or between military members and civilians. See my previous post for a definition of “unnatural carnal copulation” and you should be able to discern what “natural” copulation is.

Not yet.

As has been stated, no chaplain is required to perform marriages at all – but just as a chaplain would not be allowed to discriminate on performing marriages for people of different races, I can definitely foresee a situation where they will not be able to do a wholesale disapproval because of a couple’s “orientation.”

What is going to be the precursor to this is when a chaplain preaches vigorously against homosexuality and is called on the carpet for it (“inciting hate” or the like). Then their current protections will be gone.

A lot of heterosexual men and women are glad they’re not under the UCMJ, then! :wink:

You know I’ve never heard anyone complain about the possibility of serving next to an adulterer or a heterosexual fornicator and really, is one mortal sin somehow more redeeming than another? Or is it simply that some are more offensive to our own personal sensibilities than others? I suspect there’s a different sin in being selective which immoral behavior to be concerned about.

True enough.

But, face it, unless it was blatant, this stuff never got prosecuted for heterosexuals in the military either.

I knew several people who were counseled / reprimanded for adultery. When the offended wife made a stink about it. The only time I knew of somebody who was disciplined for sodomy was when it was particularly egregious (animals), resulted in injury (use your imagination), or utterly blatant. **

hey still should be treated justly and with kindness…you don’t have to condone it but they are to be treated kindly, and deserve not to be attacked because of their choices…Christ ate with sinners

Unfirtinately, I agree with this. :thumbsup:

As a point of comparision and out of interest in Ireland where I hail from there never was any official bar on homosexuals joining the defence forces. Mainly because I suspect no-one thought of it in 1922 or so when the nascent national army was been set up. However since the mid 1990’s the matter was clarified under law and homosexuals cannot be barred from the services. As of yet military chaplains are not been forced to perform gay marriages it should be noted.

It was pointed out by a poster earlier that not serving with homosexuals seems to be rather selective in what sins are tolerable or not. I have to agree, also the US army is as I understand the army of a secular state.

This thread is not about whether people with homosexual tendencies should be in the military or not.

It is not about whether people who wish to openly declare their homosexual tendencies should be allowed to serve in the military or not.

Both of those two issues were resolved by Congress and signed into law by the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC.

Rather, the thread is about whether people who have sincerely held and Constitutionally protected beliefs that homosexuality is a grave sin should be forced to continue to serve since the rules changed mid-way through their enlistments.

As an aside, discussion of the legal implications of violations of Article 125 of the UCMJ reported by somebody who may have objections to homosexual behavior is also on topic.

But discussion of whether or not people who have homosexual tendencies should be allowed to serve is, by law, a moot point and an utter derailment of the thread and is not appreciated.

Stay on topic.

Thank you.

My answer would be no they have no rights to ask to be realeased from their enlistment on these grounds whatsoever. Soldiers were not I imagine allowed to leave your military before their enlistments terms ended when segregation was abolished for example.

Total non-sequitur. The only religions in the US that doctrinally affirm racial differences are Christian Identity (white supremist) and Nation of Islam (black supremist); neither of which existed in any kind of numbers during the Truman Administration (when the services were officially integrated). So at the time when it occurred, a sincerely held, constitutionally protected doctrinal belief would have not been a source of conflict.

(Remember that ordinary bigotry is not constitutionally protected; religious belief is)

Further, 99% of the blacks I personally know are highly offended, by the way, when some white liberal attempts to equate homosexual tendencies with race, regardless of their attitudes toward homosexuality in general. The rationale I usually hear is that one can keep one’s sexual proclivities to oneself; it’s pretty difficult to keep one’s skin color to oneself.

The analogy is less than perfect, but that’s true of all analogies. My father who is a military veteran and no lover of homosexuality is of the opinion that it is irrelevant so long as the man serving next to him acts with professionalism in the field and in his duties. That said the Irish Army is so small that everyone has a good idea who is gay anyway as opposed to the huge numbers that serve in the US military.

Your statement on bigotry could be reworded thus:-

Remember that ordinary bigotry is not constitutionally protected. Religious bigotry is.

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