Year 49|Day 14: DADT & Irrational Fear

Senate Hearing on Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (Picture from Yahoo News)

Last night I watched the Senate’s hearing on the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. The discussion of the top brass and the Senators were extremely interesting. Here are a few observations:

  •  This extensive research study was focused on whether or not the military was ready to incorporate gays and lesbians in the armed services. The survey asked military men & woman, their spouses, and other key providers in the military for their opinion.
  • While military readiness is an important part, no one found value in surveying the experiences of gays and lesbians in the military. That absence showed a huge research bias in the study.
  • The head of the Marines basically opposed the repeal because of unit cohesion. He elaborated about the selectivity of the Marines and their close quarters would hamper the effectiveness of the Marines. He further stated that any sexual encounters would damage the cohesion of the group.
  • As I sat and listed to the leader of Marines’ concern, I was alarmed about the assumption that having gay men in close quarters with heterosexual men would cause sexual encounters. It assumes that gay men only want to have sex with heterosexual men and it would damage unit cohesion. That is about fear and homophobia. Every day, in sport teams, in the military, on college campuses, in gyms etc. — gay and heterosexual men take showers together and nothing happens. It is an irrational fear. If a man (heterosexual, gay, or bisexual) decides to have or make a sexual advance in the shower, he is breaching his own professionalism at that point. That poor judgement should be addressed and handled as any other misconduct.
  • For some reason, it feels like the moment the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell happens, the military will turn into a gay sex party and everything will be out of control. That is not realistic!
  • It also seems like the military is unaware that there are gays and lesbians in the military right now and unit cohesion is NOT hampered and the military is operating quite well. Why would it change when people don’t have to lie and cover who they are?
  • The forced closet status of military men and women is damaging to gays and lesbians. Having to cover, hide, be dishonest just to serve your country is counter to the essence of military honor.
  • This is really about gays and lesbians having an opportunity to be honest. Just like heterosexuals having opportunities post their pictures of their loved ones — or go to heterosexual clubs — why can’t gays and lesbians have that same opportunity. To reduce the discussion to sex trivializes the lives and experiences of the LGBT community. LGBT people are a bit more complex than their sexual behavior.
  • I also find it ironic that our military who are trained to kill and protect themselves are some how weak in an environment with gays and lesbians. It assumes that gays and lesbians are predators and have special powers to overcome heterosexuals. Frankly, that is an insulting thought to the LGBT community.
  • Some of the leaders fear that now isn’t the right time because several units are in active combat. If now isn’t the right time — when is the right time? You know these same arguments and defense strategies were used to halt desegregation of the military and incorporating women in the armed forces. Are we not functioning well with the addition of people of color and women? Why wouldn’t we function well with gays and lesbians —-who are already in the military and making significant contributions?
  • It’s time to REPEAL DON’T ASK DON’T TELL. We must be a bigger nation than that. So many other countries are ahead of us in this issues. We have to wake up and realize that the world consists of more than heterosexuals. Look around you — gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals enrich our lives every day.
  • Maybe if we would just kick all the gays, lesbians, and bisexuals out of the military we would be a better country — Right??? Well think again — we might not have a military — you will have a SIGNIFICANT BRAIN AND TALENT DRAIN.

Think About It. Enjoy your weekend.

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This entry was posted in Bruce E. Smail, LGBT, National/International, Social Justice / Diversity, Year 49 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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