Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Don't Ask Don't Tell has been declared unconstitutional. Can we have a civilized discussion about it?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25799 points ) September 10th, 2010

In a New York Times article about the ruling, reporters quoted the judge as saying that the government had failed to show how banning gays in the military was “reasonably necessary” to protect “a substantial government interest.” The judge also wrote that the policy violated 1st and 5th Amendment rights of gay service members.

Are gays in the military a threat? If so, how? If not, why not allow them to serve openly?

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90 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Changing this in the middle of a war is just insane! It will have to change sometime, but now is not that time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is great news. Queer people aren’t a threat to anything including the military. One’s sexuality has nothing to do with one’s ability to serve. I feel like that’s a ‘duh’ kind of statement. @CaptainHarley I don’t think much will change – people who support their queer colleagues in the military will continue to do so and those who don’t support them will become even more embittered over this. Nothing, in particular, will happen that can affect the pull-out of troops/combat.

Trillian's avatar

Allow me to be the first to repeat myself; your sexuality does not define who you are. It is no more relevant to your job performance capabilities than your eye color.
Some flamboyant gay’s and Hollywood stereotypes have given a false impression of gay men. I repeat, it is a false impression. Does anybody remember Rock Hudson? You never know if the person next to you is gay or straight. Nor should it matter. We place far too much emphasis on an activity that has no business in the professional world. There is no place for sexuality in the workplace no matter which way you swing. If people would just leave off thoughts about sex while they are working, the issue should not come up to begin with.
My hat is off to that judge.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Trillian I agree with you, except that it’s next to impossible to hide ANYTHING from those with whom you share a foxhole.

zen_'s avatar

Before logging on, this question had this ad attached to it: www.fabulis.com

Just saying.

Trillian's avatar

@CaptainHarley Right, but that is also not a time to be actively seekig a sex partner. Probably people have other things on their minds at such a time.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Most soldiers are young, male and loaded with testosterone. Sex is ALWAYS on their minds!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley So? Then it’s on the minds of the straight men as well – yet, they manage…minus the raping of women that’s such an expected part of war.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Women are serving combat roles in the current conflicts alongside men. Why not gays?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Doesn’t banning gays or lesbians from the military for security or other reasons accomplish just the opposite affect. If we all say I dont care if you’re gay or not, doesn’t that remove all of the leverage that was the reason behind banning them? I never understood this policy.

Aster's avatar

Why were gays banned in the first place? Did the gov think gays would be having sex with one another during the war and it might reduce their performance?
Or do they simply not like gays.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Aster The original reason was security. If someone on the “enemy” side found out a soldier was gay, they could threaten to out him and get him to turn over secrets, etc

CMaz's avatar

Co-ed barracks! Yessss!

I love that idea.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t see how gays serving in the military is a problem. They have always served, and it was not a problem.

Homophobes just need to suck it up.

CMaz's avatar

“Homophobes just need to suck it up.” I.E. I do not want to have this discussion.

See that sucks. THAT kills good conversation.

“They have always served” COVERTLY.

zen_'s avatar

I’ve served for many, many years now. I think Gays and women are just as entitled to get killed as we are. And I really don’t understand homphobia at all. I like Gays – they leave more women for us.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO @Zen_

: D

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@zen_ : Homophobia is based on the fear that a man might want to do something with his willy that his parents, priests, ministers, friends, neighbors, government, and society told him he shouldn’t.

zen_'s avatar

@hawaii_jake I’ve been near-raped by a woman – never by a man. I think it’s a myth – I think hetero men are as, if not more, horny than homosexual men – and if I’ve learned one thing from my Gay friends – it’s they can smell a straight man from a mile away – and they would never ever approach him sexually. There’s no soap in the shower stuff – it’s a myth. Well maybe in prison, but not in any normal situation. And despite the army being a special situation, it’s not unlike the hetero men being far from their girlffriends and wives; you wait it out – you don’t become gay. The hetero men wait for, and miss their girlfriends – the homosexuals wait for their partners. That’s all.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@hawaii_jake

I’m going to have to disagree with you there. I don’t care what a gay man does with his “willy.” That’s between him and God and whomever he does things to with his “willy!” LOL!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zen_ Is your country more tolerant because of the smaller base of people to draw from?

zen_'s avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Nah. We have the same rule.

CMaz's avatar

” I’ve been near-raped by a woman ”

Don’t ya just hate that. ;-)

Aster's avatar

@ChazMaz I am anxiously awaiting his reply to your post. LOL

Sarcasm's avatar

I think it’s about time. I don’t understand why, under punishment of dishonorable discharge, people had to hide a major aspect of their existence. I don’t fear getting raped by the gays on the bus, or in class, or in the store.

I think the problem is that egos in the military are too big. They think they’re just too irresistibly hot and therefore they expect gay men to desperately want them. Increased senses of self-worth aren’t sexy.

Ben_Dover's avatar

The reason gays were banned from the military is because it was thought that they would offer flowers to the enemy as opposed to shooting them. This is probably untrue, but there you have it.

iamthemob's avatar

I agree with you, except that it’s next to impossible to hide ANYTHING from those with whom you share a foxhole.

If it is near impossible to hide anything, then most service members in a time of war should know who their gay fellows are.

Declaring that this shouldn’t be changed now, during a time of war, doesn’t make sense if we assume that wartime is the time where we can’t hide anything.

In fact, gay service members now do not have to spend any time worried about hiding who they are, and can focus on protecting themselves and their fellow soldiers.

There seems to be an assumption, though, that the fall of DADT will lead to significantly more out soldiers. Considering that it’s still an industry that is apparently rank with homophobia, I doubt you’ll have a pride parade through the barracks any time soon. All this does is allow those who don’t completely hide their lifestyle to keep the military pensions, pay, and other benefits they received while in service to the country.

PS – Although I’ve supported open discussions of God with you before, @CaptainHarley, I don’t see how God comes into the equation at all regarding my sexuality. It’s times like these where God’s judgment should probably be left at the door.

CaptainHarley's avatar

You know, I think a lot of people have forgotten one of the primary reasons soldiers who were openly gay were excluded from membership in the armed forces. There are a large number of homophobic people in the Army. I would imagine about the same percentage as in the population as a whole. Placing them in close proximity to openly gay soldiers, with all members of both groups having access to high-powered weapons would be rather like leaning into a left hook!

CaptainHarley's avatar

@iamthemob

“Although I’ve supported open discussions of God with you before, @CaptainHarley, I don’t see how God comes into the equation at all regarding my sexuality. It’s times like these where God’s judgment should probably be left at the door.”

Not sure I understand this. Can you eludicate, please? : )

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@CaptainHarley : You seem to be saying that the homophobia should be excused if it lashes out at the homosexuals. “Placing them in close proximity to openly gay soldiers, with all members of both groups having access to high-powered weapons would be rather like leaning into a left hook!”

Surely, you’re not going to excuse the abuse and murder of homosexuals because they might make someone uncomfortable, are you? I didn’t think so, but that’s the implication of what you wrote.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m going to have to disagree with you there. I don’t care what a gay man does with his “willy.” That’s between him and God and whomever he does things to with his “willy!” LOL!

Although stated in passing, this assumes that God has any interest in what anyone does with his willy – it’s much the same type of assumption things like the DADT policy has been based on.

I would also say that the primary reason for excluding a group from membership in a government controlled organization cannot be because the current members don’t like them. This is the very essence of discrimination, and if it was valid, would be why blacks, women, and other minorities might still not be able to join or progress in rank in the military. If the problem is current homophobic members, then it’s about time they “man up”, right? :-)

CMaz's avatar

I do not really care about weather or not there are gays in the military.

But if hetero women and hetero men have their own barracks. (I am sure most of the hetero ladies prefer it.)
Then so should homosexual’s have that right. As should all sexes have the right to bunk with individuals that will not produce “sexual tension.”

My concern is the infrastructure change that will be needed. ASAP to allow that change to happen.

Just like we had to do when women became “more involved” in the military. But that was a gradual thing.
With homosexuals integrated into the military at a greater level and across all responsibilities. There will be lots of debate as to how to distribute equality.

Plucky's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe ”@Aster The original reason was security. If someone on the “enemy” side found out a soldier was gay, they could threaten to out him and get him to turn over secrets, etc”

I feel that was just the main “excuse”. The real reason was fear of “the gay” :P

CaptainHarley's avatar

@hawaii_jake Homophobia, like any other sort of bigotry, should never be excused. What I stated was a fact, not something of which I approve in any way, manner, shape or form.

@iamthemob Ah! I personalized it too much, I see. I was speaking from the world-view that, if you believe in God ( and maybe even if you don’t ) anything you think, say or do is a matter of his interest, not just what one does with his “willy!” LOL! ( That word strikes me as hilarious for some reason! )

Plucky's avatar

I agree with ChazMaz about the infrastructure change. But I’m quite sure the american military can afford such expenditures.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@PluckyDog

That is certainly one reason… security. Another was what I said before: having gays and homophobes in close proximity, with both of them having access to loaded military hardware is inherently dangerous to good order and discipline. I’m not at all saying that’s ok or justifiable, just that it is a fact.

iamthemob's avatar

My concern is the infrastructure change that will be needed. ASAP to allow that change to happen.

The gays are already there is the thing. I doubt this makes them feel more comfortable talking about their orientation – just more safe should it be discovered. Since they’ve survived just fine in the barracks so far, I doubt anything needs to be done ASAP.

Plucky's avatar

@CaptainHarley Lol I didn’t say security….Adirondackwannabe did. I was quoting the person.

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley

That’s because willy IS a hilarious word. :-) I’m of the worldview that God thinks it’s hilarious too – and that we put so much importance on what s/he thinks about it just adds to the hilarity.

;-). Thanks for the clarification. Sorry if I got uppity (or appeared to).

CaptainHarley's avatar

@iamthemob

If you had seen a soldier who was thought to be gay beaten almost to a pulp by other, homophobic soliders, you wouldn’t be saying that “they’ve survived just fine in the barracks so far.” : (

LMAO @iamthemob ‘s last post! You already realize that God has a marvelous sense of humor… you are not far from true wisdom, Grasshopper! : D

@PluckyDog Opps! Sorry! Time for a break here, I guess! Heh!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Changing this in the middle of a war is just insane! It will have to change sometime, but now is not that time.

Ah, but the “War on Terror” is so nebulous and open-ended that it can be never-ending if those in power want it that way. I wish we took the “War on Cancer” as seriously—it would make my job so much easier.

CMaz's avatar

One more thing I would like to throw on the wall and see if it sticks.

So we have hetero Male and Female barracks. Homosexual Male and Female barracks.

The heterosexuals have separate living conditions. Preventing (controlling) fraternization. I mean that is why they are separated.
Honestly. Do you think there will be no fraternization in the homosexual barracks. Or for respect of the military, everyone will keep hands off?

And, would that not be unfair to the heterosexuals. Now protesting/demanding co-ed accommodations.

I mean there are rules for dating in general in the military. Having a potential partner sleeping next to you (in your bunk) every night could be an issue and a distraction to the other battle buddies.

Plucky's avatar

@ChazMaz Hmm… that’s a very good point.
That’s it…everyone needs to just live together – solution solved.

Oh wait… I know! Lets toss all the heteros out of the military.

Plucky's avatar

Also…I think the homosexual barracks would be the happiest bunch ever :P

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The idea of segregated housing is insulting. It plays on homophobic fears that all homosexuals want to seduce straights, which is a blatant farcical lie. It’s plain and simple: if you don’t want to have a homosexual encounter, then don’t. There is no need to separate due to race, so there should be no need to separate based on sexual orientation.

iamthemob's avatar

@PluckyDog

“But mommy – wouldn’t gay marriages be HAPPY marriages?” (from the magnet on my fridge).

CMaz's avatar

“t plays on homophobic fears that all homosexuals want to seduce straights”

That is heterofobic. And, just an excuse to avoid a civil discussion.

I know what Hetro men and women will do if left together. They will nest.
Are homosexuals any different?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@ChazMaz : Are you saying that all men and all women when left together will end up having sex? You are badly misinformed.

CMaz's avatar

“Are you saying that all men and all women when left together will end up having sex?”
No, but enough will try, plenty will succeed. It is natural. And being a man (a hetero man) I sure would be eager to get to know the ladies I will be bunking with.

So don’t dumb the conversation up.

Plucky's avatar

Seriously though… I really think the people that are allowed into the military should be mature and disciplined enough to sleep next to, eat with, change with… etc their soldier mates no matter what race, sex, orientation and religion/culture.

The military needs to be pickier on whom they let in (psychologically wise).

CMaz's avatar

It will be interesting to see how a co-ed military operates, completely co-ed.
It is the only solution.

It works in Hollywood movies. In real life, us humans do like to fuck an awful lot.

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

I like to think it will work just like it does in “Starship Troopers.” The co-ed barracks (and shower scenes) in that movie are awesome.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@iamthemob

“Sarge? Why is that man always pointing at me? ” LMAO!

bob_'s avatar

To answer your question, can we have a civilized discussion? No.

iamthemob's avatar

if you had seen a soldier who was thought to be gay beaten almost to a pulp by other, homophobic soliders, you wouldn’t be saying that “they’ve survived just fine in the barracks so far.” : (

I’ve seen gay men beaten almost to a pulp by other, homophobic men in everyday life, though. And I’ve seen police disregard the beatings the same as any other authority structure might when violence against a minority group is tolerated. I think, however, we’ve survived just find in real life as well, and there’s no need for a law demanding our silence for our own safety. The ability to prosecute men who commit violent and heinous acts is just as available, if not moreso, in the military (which is subject to its own jurisprudence) as it is in everyday life.

I also have faith in the men and women in the army and their ability to adapt. I would hold them to a higher standard than everyday society. If I can’t, I don’t want them holding guns and claiming to defend my rights.

Kayak8's avatar

From the beginning of time, there have been gays in the military. This is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the recognition that these folks who are defending our liberties have first amendment rights to free speech. Americans might not even have a country to fret about if it hadn’t been for a gay Prussian, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who helped train Washington’s soldiers during the American Revolutionary War.

The history of gays (and lesbians) in the military (and discrimination against them) is aptly described in Randy Shilts book “Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf.” As an example, Shilts’ book describes, in detail, the horrible stories of heterosexual women who told male soldiers that they didn’t want to have sex being drummed out of service after the various males accused the women of being lesbians. Just one example of how a poorly conceived policy can be turned on its head.

No one benefits when any member of our armed forces are asked to lie about their religion, sexual orientation, etc. The military invests large sums of money to train these personnel and to muster them out for private off duty, non-criminal behavior is reprehensible to me as a tax payer.

Untold numbers of gays and lesbians have given their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy today. I would say, “Shut the F*ck up” to naysayers, but I believe everyone has a right to free speech. My personal thanks to the gays and lesbians (and straight folk) who have defended this fundamental right with their service.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz I don’t understand – men and women that are attracted to each other should be separated…okay, let’s go with this sinking ship…shouldn’t homosexual men then be separated from each other and put with women whom they (presumably…. god forbid we allow for bisexuals or fluid sexualities) don’t find attractive…besides, don’t you get it: being gay doesn’t mean you must have sex any more than being straight means…having homosexual men and straight men together does nothing to encourage sex with straight men…bringing me back to my original point…are you implying there should be the following spaces: straight females, straight males…homosexual men separated from each other and lesbians separated from each other?

Plucky's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir That’s why Chaz was saying there should be “co-ed” barracks. I agree…co-ed is the way to go.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@PluckyDog Okay, so there would be co-ed barracks only for the homosexuals because I don’t get how co-ed barracks solves the issue of heterosexual sex.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@bob_

Was that jibe intended for me?

crazyivan's avatar

If I answer this, will I start getting all the gay questions?

…I mean, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gay questions… some of my best questions are gay…

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan

As long as the gay questions get their own barracks…I don’t care. ;-)

crazyivan's avatar

@ iamthemob How about their own [brackets]?

bob_'s avatar

@CaptainHarley It wasn’t a jibe and it wasn’t directed at you.

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan

A gay anything deserves its own everything. :-)

zen_'s avatar

America is supposedly about freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of choice and religion. The army is just its tool to conquer destroy—control oilfields- free the world of oppression, like in the ME – where there isn’t freedom of religion and speech.

Yet they won’t allow Gays and women to fight (sure, there are a few women who help out, and fly a helicopter or two – shush – I’ve met them – you’re not helping me by splittin hairs, girl) I say – rather than trying everything else first – and only then allowing them into the elite Submarine squads – start with them. But make sure the teams are equal parts Male hetero, Female and Gay men. Nothing bad will happen, I’m sure, except the boat will be very clean and neat and the bedspreads will always be matching.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

We’ve spent $1,000,000,000,000 on Bush’s war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan. Our economy is in a shambles, the political atmosphere here is nuclear charged, and jingoism and xenophobia are rampant. @zen_ : I wish they would give them matching bedspreads. At least, there would be one thing right.

zen_'s avatar

^ Yep. And still no Bin Laden. It’s about fucking time [Redacted]

Plucky's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir No…. it would be co-ed for all.

CMaz's avatar

@iamthemob – “I like to think it will work just like it does in “Starship Troopers.” ”

That is exactly what I think of, when I think of this topic. LOL

CMaz's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir -“okay, let’s go with this sinking ship…should’t homosexual men then be separated from each other and put with women whom they”

Well, it is an interesting pickle we have gotten ourselves into. THAT is the biggest problem. THAT is why men and women are not bunking together.
You might be one awesome, liberated and free thinking individual. But the rest of the country and world does not and currently can not accept that.

Like I said co-ed is going to be the only solution.
Or are the solders going to start calling the shots?
Let’s make the military into one big summer camp. Wait…

They separate the “boys” from the “girls” also in camp.

Ya know, I am not pulling this out of my ass. This is how society and human nature operates. (aparently) Now you can say it is time for a change. GREAT! I m with ya.

Now we have to decide on how to execute that change. That can be as difficult as no change at all.

Just so we do not step on politically correct toes. Let’s remove the gay issue all together.

Why are men and women separated in the military? And, is it wrong?

CMaz's avatar

“I also have faith in the men and women in the army and their ability to adapt. I would hold them to a higher standard than everyday society.”

Except when they get shore leave. Right?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz As much as I’d love to talk about why men and women are separated to begin with, this question doesn’t deal with that – if you’re trying to prevent sex from happening, co-ed barracks don’t solve the ‘issue’ that gay men will sleep with other men and gay women will sleep with other women.

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

On shore leave, they ARE everyday society.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz So, we’re agreeing?

CMaz's avatar

I believe so. Except, co-ed could provide enough diversity to police the situation.

Otherwise, there is no solution.

“this question doesn’t deal with that”
Sure it does. It’s suppose to be about equality. And, how to go about making it work.

To understand why men and women are separated. Is to to get a better understanding as to how to integrate the homosexual and heterosexual population to an agreeable standard.

Or, am I over thinking this? Is it expected to drop the don’t ask don’t tell policy. And let everything go on as usual? Now THAT would be wrong dishonest and unfair.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz Why, it was a stupid policy to begin with that didn’t address anything anyone actually feared.

CMaz's avatar

Well, if that is how you see it.
Then tell me why men and women are not in the same barracks. Or is that a stupid policy too?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz I have a pretty grim opinion of the military and what kind of an institution it is so I’d rather not get into it, on this thread. Women aren’t seen in the same fashion so they’re separated and that’s that.

CMaz's avatar

So there is no room for discussion. Why did you even get involved in this post?
Putting aside what the military HAS done. Your only point is to protest on the grounds of your way is the right way.

Just because you say so? It being stupid. Ok…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz I have discussed the getting rid of DADT satisfactorily. You’re asking my opinion on the separation of the sexes in the military which I do not agree with and you do so I don’t think we’ll make any headway there. So no, I’m not being stupid, I’m saving us both some grief.

Trillian's avatar

Um, I just want to say that men and women are quartered in the same barracks now. The BEQ’s are like big hotels and there are usually two people per room. The rooms are segregated, females with females, males with males, but there are both sexes in the barracks themselves. I keep feeling like you are both thinking in terms of open bay barracks, but those are really only in bootcamp.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Trillian I know little of how it’s all structured to be honest with you so I assume others know better- it’s really not a thing I want to look into.

CMaz's avatar

“I just want to say that men and women are quartered in the same barracks now. ”
“usually two people per room.”

Does that apply to boot camp too? Makes no difference.

Do you get a man and a woman sharing the same room?

Simone I was not saying you were stupid. You used the word “stupid” as an example.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@ChazMaz : Do you really think this is about sexual relations? Who’s fucking whom? It’s not. The OP is about addressing equality in the workplace and protecting rights guarantied by the US Constitution.

Can we get back to the OP?

thekoukoureport's avatar

As change occurs, the ever increasing minority struggle harder to demonize the change. As society becomes ever more accepting of said change the minority will fight harder and louder, until society reaches a tipping point and the minority is washed away.

I take heart in the knowledge that the next generation is moving past this point without us. Yes I am aware of the latest deaths and stories but I am also aware of the outreach, the complete lack of understanding that my children have for the labels. The open minds that they have for the world around them and yes they are in public schools.

I know as a veteran, (during the cold war) when I was freezing my ass of in a foxhole I didn’t care what color, size, smell, sexual orientation etc. I just cared that you where there.

The cost of this policy on the war on terror is huge. How many Arabic interpreters where discharged under this policy? Which one of them may have been able to save someones life by accurated interpreting the language for the military?

The funny thing is that when it ends there’s not giong to be any big change, no gay pride parade going round the square with unform shirts tucked up and over with short/shorts singing “It’s raining men”. Most soldiers will still continue to carry on with life under the uniform code of military justice. The other idiots that defy that code and misteat a fellow soldier, will spend his time turning big rocks into little rocks.

Plucky's avatar

@thekoukoureport I enjoyed reading that ..thank you for posting :)

thekoukoureport's avatar

my pleasure… just trying to help.

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