I read almost all the comments. Wow. Good discussion. I certainly appreciated the back and forth…lol.
As for the comment about it being just another job. Well, hahahahahaha. Can you be shot for walking off your job? Can you be imprisoned for quitting? Did you give an oath in the HR dept? How often are you asked to kill and to be killed, work with explosives, etc? Are you told what is becoming and acceptable behavior while you are not at work? Are you allowed to have a public opinion on politics in the civilian world? Maybe a semi-inflammatory bumper sticker on your car? Try flying that in the military…that comment was ignorant, too ignorant for the poster (who is not) to make.
Denying the special nature and unique circumstances of the military makes it easier to say it should be just like society. But it’s not. Military men and women sacrifice multiple “freedoms” and “rights” to serve, to accord the opportunity for others to enjoy those rights at home and on the job. Denying the unique reality of their situation does not further the argument anymore than saying, “Everyone is the same!” And since the whole don’t ask don’t tell thing is an issue, we KNOW everyone is not the same.
Yes. I think the military should have a voice in this decision. Not the only voice, but certainly a primary role.
I was military. My husband just retired this year after 24 years of service. I served with lesbians. I knew they were gay. Everyone knew. I showered with them in basic, in tech school, and at the gym. Maybe I’m just not attractive enough for a lesbian come-on, but I was never approached. Having them around never seemed weird to me. I never felt like they were checking me out. They were just one of the soldiers I served with.
Why is that important? It occurs to me that the whole argument against living in close quarters is like closing the door after the horse is out. It’s already happening. IF don’t ask don’t tell is repealed, there is no need for special dorms, special anything. Homosexuals serving in the military now don’t have those things, and it’s doable (for the most part). Three little words in the reality of living change nothing. Except they might be told to shut up because it is not appropriate to discuss sexual preferences on duty BY ANYONE.
Take any unit with a homosexual(s) and chances are most of the other soldiers know it. They still work, shower, live together. They’re still a functional unit.
I don’t think homosexuals should be given ANY special treatments or quarters. You don’t join the military expecting it to cater to your lifestyle; you change your lifestyle to suit the military. And if you can’t do that, it’s not the place for you. (I mean who really wants to get up at 0500? I’d have much rather slept in…but they just weren’t willing to accommodate me. And green? NOT my best color Still I joined them, they didn’t join me.)
Ok, now here is my perspective. Call me a homophobic, or a homo-lover, this is how I FEEL, right or wrong.
First of all, I do think there is a potential to undermine the public image and therefore the effectiveness of the military, if openly gay flamboyant homosexuals are “out.” Call me crazy, but I don’t see our enemies quaking (and that is half the battle) or our country getting motivated/teary eyed/off the couch over a Richard Simmons type personality.
Are all homosexuals flamboyant? No. But some are, and that specifically has the potential to harm effectiveness/image.
But if the military continues its policy and doesn’t make special accommodations for sub-cultures, and expects every G.I. to exhibit the appropriate military bearing, that won’t be an issue. If it is, (I knew a girl in basic who couldn’t stop giggling, I’m not kidding…she almost got me kicked out with her because it was so funny…but it was a nervous tick with her…and she was released from service because she could not exhibit proper military bearing no matter how much physical pain she endured.)
I know that’s not the same, but the idea behind it, many becoming one cohesive unit, is.
Second, I have a real issue with who is politicizing this agenda outside the military because none of these people really care about the military. How can I tell? Because for the most part they are silent on all other military matters, from pay, to length of deployments, PTSD, etc. And because, HELLO, they don’t think military members should have a say. Maybe the military should unionize like the rest of the gov….wouldn’t that be…IRONIC?
Anyway, it seems like just a step on a ladder, one of many sticks in their political fire, but no real dog in the fight.
This is where I say some of my best friends are gay. And it’s true. And you know what? Some of them would have made better soldiers.
I’m glad I don’t have to make this decision.