BLOG: DADT Repeal Is Big Mistake

Bryan Dubois
Dec 22, 2010

This is, of course, only my opinion.

The Unites States Armed Forces exist for one purpose and one purpose only:  To wage and win wars.  Anything that runs counter to that objective lowers the effectiveness of the armed forces.  Allowing gays in the military won't necessarily harm a war effort, but having them serve openly in a combat unit would be just as detrimental as having women serve in a combat unit.  We don't allow that because mixing sexes provides an atmosphere of possible distractions that runs counter to the overall goal of creating unit cohesiveness. 

The military should not be part of some kind of social experiment, though it appears that some folks think they can tinker with the system because "it's the right thing to do" in their spectrum of social righteousness.  Their priorities run counter to the purpose of the armed forces.

Big mistake.

Again, just my opinion.

Other veterans, what say you?

Comments

Salvatore

Put the gays in other areas like administration if it bothers the combat soldiers so much. That one attorney who sued the library was an army attorney if I recall. Not all military soldiers are in a war zone. Why are people so afraid of gay people?  What about the bisexuals? What about the straights who cheat on their wives and girlfriends? I will take an honest gay person over some cheating, lying straight crook anyday. For the record, I am completely straight. The Supreme Being loves honest gay people but doesn't like straight liars and cheats. Gays have served in the military for centuries. Their blood runs red also.

reader

The Israeli military seems to function quite well with gay service members.

What's your real issue?   

thinkagain

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Red Baby-Shoes

OK I really disagree with you. Think of it like this. You're in the foxhole with some fellow soldiers. some of them happen to be gay. what, you think they'llbe distracted because sense they are gay, they MUST be attracted to you? Don't flatter yourself. Gay men have Very high standards. If you want to serve your country it should not matter if your gay or not.

mjm

1. U.S. Armed Forces exist to defend our country, not "wage and win wars."  Yes, if war is needed then winning is the goal, but that is not why they exist.

2. You contradict yourself.  If gays would be "as detrimental as having women", then that would certainly "harm a war effort."  But regardless, your notion there is both sexist and wrong.  Keeping women from combat units is not because their propensity to distract weak-minded soldier boys...it's a result of some outdated paternal system that declares women unfit for the role and some other psychological reasons outlined here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wom... Otherwise, why not have all-women combat units?  For that matter, Christian soldiers praying in foxholes on Sunday might distract Jewish soldiers, so we better separate them, too.  And the redheads...big distraction.  (This is a joke, lest some blogger run with these ideas.)

3. Unit cohesiveness is a goal of not just military units.  Profit-making companies, i.e. news organizations such as the Register, need unit cohesiveness to maintain productivity and keep the revenue flowing.  Should your paper ban gays from working there because they might be a distraction to certain employees?  I mean, I can think of at least one Register employee who might be distracted by gays and go on to produce out-of-touch opinion pieces that won't generate loads of subscriptions.

4. The Armed Forces have a history of leading social change (i.e. integrating African Americans and women and allowing them to serve in leadership roles).  It is not "tinkering" and it is not the "right thing to do" ONLY for some limited "spectrum of righteousness" when the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a months long survey of the troops themselves indicate that allowing gays to serve openly is the way forward.

Now, this is, of course, only my opinion, but this veteran thinks the author is using the advantage of his electronic pulpit to sustain bigoted views that 17 years ago were the "Big mistake" when DADT was put in place.

Red Baby-Shoes

Whoa, mjm...you said it! Very nicely put. Yes, yes, yes...THIS.

answered

As I have seen this 'argument' a few times since the repeal, here is my blanket response.  Take from it what you will, and bear in mind what my father (ret, Army) said about the vote - 'When bullets are whizzing by, I just care that the person next to me has my back, and I have his.  I don't care who he likes'. 

1. Gays in the military will not cause America to go backwards. Gays have been in the military THIS WHOLE TIME. They just get to talk about their partners *openly* when you talk about your hetero gf/bf in the foxhole.

2. To those who are complaining and served:  Why is it always the 10 lbs of ugly in the 5lb sack that are worried that the gays will hit on them in the service? These are the same mouth breathers who think all women want them. I'm from a military family, I've seen some of you boys - you've got the face of a scrotum and the personality to match. NO ONE wants you. Gays have standards baby, and even in war, you ain't it.

3.  To those who are complaining and never served:   If you are so flipping unhappy that the gays get to serve their country, I suggest you winch yourself out of your Lay-Z-Boy and march down to the local recruitment office. You love America so much you can't stand to let others proudly serve? YOU dodge bullets in some God forsaken location for a few years. These people are making the ultimate sacrifice for your bigoted self, and every other American out there. They are TWICE the men and women you will ever be.

4. The arguments made right now about gays serving are the exact same ones made in the 50's when the military was desegregated (It's a social experiment that will harm rank cohesion, people won't be able to trust one another, etc). It was a pathetic stall tactic then, and it is now.

They're here, they're queer, and they're saving your country.

Get Over It.

buckeye15

Amen and thank you to mjm and answered!!!  The are still some sane responders left on this website.  Merry Christmas!

glassman

 As a former Marine, I don't care what someone's sexual preference is as long as they got my back when the rounds are coming my way. That is what Esprit de Corps is all about.

Bryan Dubois

glassman, as a former marine, I don't care what someone's sexual preference is as long as they got my back when the round are coming my way.  This is why DADT was a better policy than having them serve openly in combat units.  You didn't know, they didn't tell, and it wasn't an issue to distract you from combat duties.  Not a single response has challenged my position on that.

Sex - of any kind whether it's homosexual or heterosexual - is a distraction on the battlefield.  If it's not, why don't the armed forces allow women in combat units?  Is it because the United States government is sexist?

answered

Bryan;  So that was why under DADT almost fourteen thousand gay and lesbian military were *dishonorably* discharged for sexual orientation?  Fact is, the military was breaking their own policy over and over again. 

Frankly, if a soldier is so distracted by a woman or gay guy in their unit, I don't trust them to hold my groceries, much less a gun.  

It's pathetic that gays could not serve openly, but men and women with hetero partners could talk about their wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends.  Under your thinking, all of those people are distracting their fellow soldiers with their sex lives - why haven't you been fighting to force heteros to stop talking about their personal lives? 

mjm

Okay, Mr. Dubois, I'll challenge your position on this.  If anyone is too distracted by sexual thoughts in combat units, they are the ones who are not ready for that responsibility.  If you are distracted by a gay soldier in your unit who is performing their duties well, then YOU are the one unfit for combat, not the gay person.  Now, if anyone, gay or straight, are screwing around in a combat situation, or even in combat training, then they should be out until they are mature enough to concentrate on the task.  That is why DADT was NOT a good policy.  If it somehow became known or suspected that a soldier was gay, DADT favored the accusing straight soldier whether they were the better (more mature, effective, etc.) soldier, or not.

And no, the government is not sexist in general, but there is no question that sexist attitudes still exist within the ranks.  It is true that policies cannot change attitudes overnight, but how will they ever change if an inherently unfair and wrong-headed policy is still in place while everyone tries to figure it out?

Pundit said it best so far..."Let's punish conduct not orientation."

Bryan Dubois

MJM,  other posters have mentioned the large number of people who have been kicked out of the armed services because of their sexual orientation.  How does one learn of another's sexual orientation?

Answer:  Sexual conduct.

Command doesn't like the idea of sexual activity among combat troops in the field.  Sexual activity in the field is why women are not allowed in combat units - and why gays were not allowed to openly serve.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with competence as some people - like Mr. Sandusky - are pretending.  This is about the possibility of sexual activity in the field.  If you have an all-male combat unit, which troops are the only candidates who could possibly engage in sexual activity with fellow troops?

Again, this has nothing whatsoever to do with performance or competence.  The comments in this thread so far suggest that some are still attempting to fight this stereotype that has been defeated long ago:  Women and gays are supposedly incapable of fighting.  This, of course, is not true.  All of this pro-gay social justice drivel has zero to do with the reason women and gays were not allowed to serve in combat units.

MJM,  misconduct is the only thing that can be punished.  If you don't engage in sexual activity with fellow troops, you cannot be punished.

BTW:  Mr. Sandusky, which combat unit did you serve?  It wasn't a co-ed surface vessel, by chance was it?  I served on co-ed surface vessel too -- and one of the major events that happened on our ship during a Med deployment was a senior NCO getting court-martialed for running a heterosexual prostitution ring out of the ship's library closet.  I suppose your ship must've been much different than mine though, right?

mjm

There is no way to eliminate the mere possibility of sexual activity in the field or anywhere else.  If that was the goal of DADT, then is really was a terrible idea (not to say revisionist*) to try and legislate something so abstract as a possibility.  So, as you say, "misconduct is the only thing that can be punished."  Quite right, and until a woman or a homosexual engages in misconduct in the field they should not be punished by banishment from combat duties.  I say again, if a hetero man cannot keep his mind off the possibility of sex with some woman in his unit, or the possibility of sex among other soldiers (men and women), then that hetero man is the problem and the one unfit for combat.

Furthermore, if banning gays from combat eliminates the possibility of sexual misconduct, as you seem to suggest, then we should have exclusively hetero women combat units.  After all, you do state that women are perfectly capable.

Also, the way you characterize talk of social justice as "drivel" is not flattering.

*DADT arose only about a decade after AIDS was first reported and the culture wars of the 80's really kicked up.  It was a product of fears, rooted in stereotypes of promiscuity among gays (because that was the first population to be diagnosed, followed by drug users and transfusion recipients), that homosexuality would somehow spread and kill us all.  Plus, homosexuality had been banned in the military from pretty much the beginning based on sodomy laws, so those sentiments lingered.  The fact is under DADT, no sexual conduct needed to take place.  If a soldier simply expressed they were homosexual, or expressed tendencies that way, they could be discharged without any evidence of sexual misconduct. In other words, they could be discharged for simply coming out.  Clinton's original draft of the policy was watered down by Congress to allow that, but he and the policy were wrong from the beginning for trying to forge some sort of compromise on the issue.

 

goofus
Democrats Rush to Make Money Off DADT Repeal Thursday, December 23, 2010
By Susan Jones

 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is selling this photo of President Obama signing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. (Photo from DSCC Web site)

 

(CNSNews.com) - Wasting no time to raise funds, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is selling a photo of President Obama signing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The legislation eventually will end the military's ban on openly homosexual troops. 

"Ending this discriminatory policy is truly a monumental achievement," the DSCC wrote just hours after Obama signed the bill before a large and appreciative audience on Wednesday.

Supporters of the legislation are urged to "celebrate the repeal" by purchasing an unframed print for $25 or a "beautiful framed version" for $50.

The DSCC's fund-raising pitch calls the end of DADT "the biggest civil rights victory in years. It’s an example of America living up to our highest ideals of equality and fairness."

MoonDog44870

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goofus

Reader, your analogy of the Israeli Army does not result in the increase of confidence level. After witnessing the failed attempt to rescue soldier Gilad Shalit and the incursion into Gaza with the result of the Israeli Army running out with their tails between their legs when confronted by Hamas and the urban warfare scenario, does not give me the impression that it will help our military.

goofus

Answered and MJM if we have always had gays in the military, then why DADT. Why fix something that wasn't broken.

answered

Goofus;

The concept of DADT was originally that men and women were being hounded out of the military for being gay.  So the concept was raised that if the military leaders didn't ask, and the soldier didn't tell, gay soldiers could still serve.  Unfortunately, the military DID ask, and pry, and badger, and eventually hounded out almost 14K skilled soldiers for their sexual orientation.  What the repeal of DADT is doing is saying 'Your love of another man or woman does not matter.  It does not affect your ability to serve'.  A bullet and IED doesn't care who you love - why should the military?  The system was broken the minute people cared more about what happened in the bedroom, versus if an individual could do their job. 

MoonDog44870

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Erie Countian

I recently saw a political cartoon. It depicted 3 flag draped coffins and the caption read "Which one is the gay one?"  So please, cool it with the homophobia and get over it, people.

6079 Smith W
From my understanding, one of the major reasons why women are prohibited from a direct combat role is because American males have been socially taught and have a tendency to feel protective of them.   And because of this almost universal cultural standard, it could tend to place male combat personnel at unnecessary risk.   What's to stop hetros*xual combat personal from displaying the exact opposite concern and reaction toward their homos*xual comrades? And don't think that it hasn’t happened or won't.    We like to talk about gays having the straights backs in combat, how about the reverse?   In their hubris, the political ruling class likes to think that they have the power to dictate and change morality with the stroke of a pen. It takes decades and centuries – if ever.   For example, busing black children across town to mostly white schools failed to improve their test scores; how exactly will allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military help to improve it’s overall effectiveness?  

Also, as has been bantered about: With the repeal of DADT, will ROTC now be allowed back on many of our most liberal college campuses?  

brutus smith

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Pundit

 Let's punish conduct not orientation. Inappropriate sexual behavior in the military will always be punished, more harshly than in most workplaces, I'd imagine.

The racial integration of the military was one of the greatest "social experiments" of all time, by the way, and at that time people of Bryan's ilk were saying blacks would be a distraction.

I don't know about Veterans, but front line combat troops, including front line combat Marines, overwhelmingly do not care if their brother in arms is gay. So says the military's own surveys.  

Where did you see combat Bryan?

brutus smith

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goofus

Let me rephrase my question. If the consensus of the opinions is that gays are already in the military and people have served with them found no problem, then why repeal DADT? It couldn't be an attempt by the democrats to secure another voting bloc along with their monetary donations?

answered

No worries, Goofus.  As I said, the repeal was because the military was consistently breaking their own rules within DADT - they were prying, and dishonorably discharging people as a result of it.  Almost 14 thousand were discharged since 1997 because the military *was* asking, even when they weren't supposed to. 

goofus

Sorry answered I was typing when you were.

goofus

I was listening to a high ranking officer of the military on Frank Beckman"s show on wjr the other day and he didn't care what they were as long as they were good soldiers. He was concerned with discipline and performance reports. He was called to the carpet for a pretty much career ending negative performance report on a lesbian captain he explained she was a terrible soldier. The only thing that saved him was a glowing recommendation he gave to another lesbian officer. If a superior officer perceives one to be a bad soldier and this soldier is gay, what's going to happen. Are we going to have to put up with bad soldiers in our military?

MoonDog44870

 If anyone thinks that having overtly sexual young people around each other in any occupation will not lead to "hooking up" and a breakdown in discipline they are fools. If the parts fit and the people are able to fit together they will. The only thing that kept people off sex in the military, besides the saltpeter in the food was the fact that there were nobody to hook up with. I run a great big store and i have a ton of young people working here. I practically have to throw buckets of cold water on them time and again to keep them from copulating. It is just natural for kids growing up today with what is on tv and radio, they just do that. You take some fellers in the military, virile young men, push them to high levels of physical fitness and get all those hormones pumping and flowing and these fellers are going to be amorous. I think the biggest trouble you will have in the military with the gays is they will just be hooking up with each other all the time, and yes it worked for Alexander the great and his army but not today. But to think that it is just the military that suffers is foolish. Everyone of these factories, especially Whirpool in Clyde is a singles bar with machines. It is just what goes on when there is an opportunity. Unless all of your workers are saved they will be hooking up.

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