Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Gays In The Military

Hi everyone! I’m new here. I want to thank the Slash & Burn authors for letting me join the group.

For those who don’t know me, I write erotic romances spanning a variety of sub-genres for both Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. While I have not yet written a strictly M/M story, my first book, Passionate Realities is a M/F/M ménage with M/M interaction. I have another book planned with a hero going through the discovery that he is bi-sexual, and another which is a M/M story. You can find out more about me and my books on my website.

I’m going to jump in, feet first, and bring up the controversial issue of gays in the military. No, I’m not big into debate, but this issue is making me nuts and I like to hear others opinions on issues that interest me. I was in the military briefly, and have been closely watching the news reports.

In recent months the issue of gays in the military has become a hot topic. General Peter Pace who heads the Joint Chiefs of Staff made derogatory remarks on homosexuality when responding to questions during an interview. He was arguing the merits of the 1993 “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which gives gays and lesbians the right to serve in the military only if they stay in the closet. Pace stated, “I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts.”

In 1994 President Clinton signed the policy into law. The military supports the law with the belief that homosexuality is detrimental to good order and discipline in the armed forces. Commanders may not ask, and gay service members may not tell sexual orientation.

I remember questions on the enlistment forms concerning sexual preference. I also remember seeing friends get discharged if anyone found out they were gay. This is no longer the case, and thankfully, the military no longer investigates claims of a person being homosexual. However, they do investigate allegations of homosexual conduct, which are still grounds for discharge. This includes homosexual acts while on active duty and telling others that you are homosexual.

Representative Marty Meehan of Massachusetts authored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Unfortunately, the act did not make it through congress last year, but he is still gathering supporters and working to get rid of this discriminatory policy.

In my opinion, this whole issue is ridiculous. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” keeps qualified, willing people from serving and defending our freedom. Gays have been honorably serving in the military for hundreds of years. All the arguments stating gays are a security risk and other frivolous justifications have been proven to be incorrect. When fighting for our country, who cares about the sexual orientation of the soldier standing next to you. It doesn’t matter if that person is black, a woman, or homosexual. What matters is that they stand by your side and have the necessary skill.

Please chime in and state your opinion. Do you think the military needs to wake up and realize society is changing? We now have states where gay marriage is legal. Heck, even Disney has been having “Gay Days” for years. Or do you think gays in the military are a problem? All those soldiers bunking in the same quarters, having to share tents and communal showers. Do gay people have any less control over their hormones than heterosexuals do?

Hmm…maybe I’ll write a M/M story where they fight against discovery and homophobia in the military. Yes, I like it. *g*

3 comments:

Amanda Young said...

Welcome, Nic!

Marty Rayne said...

Hi Nicole! I have to agree with you that this whole issue is ridicules. Even with the 'Dont ask, don't tell' rule, it's hard for a lot of homosexuals to deal with. As you said...who cares about sexual orientation as long as they are willing to serve their contry.
And don't you love how these issues really get the muse going? *G*

Vicki said...

The problem with "Don't ask, don't tell" is that it forces you to live in the closet. The closet is not a comfortable place to be. You are forced to live in fear that you'll be discovered and the consequencees will be grave.

Many, many kids these days are coming out in their early teens, and some of these teens will no doubt end up in the military where "don't ask, don't tell" forces them into a closet.

The policy implies that because you happen to be gay, you can't serve your country as well as a straight soldier. Your sexuality will be a distraction. It implies that gay people in general think only of sex, and that instead of doing your job, you'll be looking at the guy, or girl, next to you.

Of course, this is nonsense. GLBT people have served in the military for years, and they will continue to do so. I just read this article on planetout the other day about a gay soldier recalled to duty. The military should look at this example, and not sit back and judge people.

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