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Gays In The Miitary Essay, Research Paper

Gays in the Military

The subject of Gays in the military has been debated over many

times by many people. When dealing with whether or not gays should

be allowed in the military the simple question of, Do they want to be

in the military?, must be answered. After this question is answered you

can begin analyzing the problem.

The answer to the question, Do gays want to be in the military?,

is an unquestioned yes. Gays would be proud and determined to

protect this beautiful country in which we live. I personally am

confused as to why there is even a question of whether or not gays

should be allowed to protect and die for a country they love. I do

understand however the question of where should they live, both in the

field and at their home base. It is hard for a man or women to get

undressed in front of someone of the same sex, that may be looking at

them with different eyes. When I say different eyes I mean a man

looking at a man and thinking wow he?s cute, or a women looking at a

women and thinking the same thing. It would be very awkward for

non-gay soldiers to deal with this problem.

Any political issue deals with people, and the gays in the

military controversy is no different. Joe Steffan was kicked out of

Annapolis one week before graduation after revealing he was gay.

Alan Schindler was a gay man in the Navy. He was brutally murdered

when some of his shipmates found out he was gay. Events like these

can only be avoided by education and communication of what

homosexuality is and how to deal with people who are homosexual.

The segregation of gays and lesbians in the military should be limited

to living quarters and that should be the extent of it. The following is

the 1993 National Board Policy on lesbians and gays in the military;

1993 National Board Policy



WHEREAS, President Clinton has taken the first steps toward ending

discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the military; and

WHEREAS, the response to this modest initiative has included a vitriolic,

mean-spirited smear campaign designed to foster the impression that lesbians and

gay men are undeserving of basic human rights and simple dignity; and

WHEREAS, this shameful assault is directly linked to the continuing oppression

of women, members of racial and ethnic minorities, and others viewed as being

outside of the mainstream; and

WHEREAS, the actions of the administration and Congress on this issue will

provide a clear indication of the depth of their commitment to fundamental justice.

THEREFORE, the National Organization for Women demands that President

Clinton and Congress support an unequivocal ban on discrimination against

lesbians and gay men in the military and that they reject such insulting alternatives

as segregated units and restricted duties. Nothing less than full equality is


I do not believe that what this policy demands can be achieved

because of natural human tendencies. I believe that segregating gays

from straight people is as fundamental as segregating men and women.

If the gay and straight people?s living quarters are integrated then what

about men and women?s living quarters, are they to be integrated too?

I don?t see any arguments about that, it seems that the separation of

man and women has become such an integral part of our society that

we have come to take as a norm.

The sexual culture of the U.S. today is extremely terbulent for

human sexuality and this is proven by the hardships that gays and

lesbians go through on a day to day basis. On one hand you have the

?In group? which is non-gay people, and on the other hand we have

the ?Out group? which is the gay and lesbian community. This is a

classic example of how a prejudice is used to keep the out group down

and out. This is because any culture that tries to identify and prosecute

something as hidden as a secret homosexual identity can only do so by

creating a climate of fear and hypocrisy. It must encourage unfounded

accusations and it must submit unfairly accused people to brutal and

destructive interrogations. In the case of gays, this must be done

whether or not the suspected parties recognize themselves as gay or

lesbian prior to the interrogations. Military examples of these

interrogations sometimes sound like brainwashing.

There are currently gays in the military. A ban cannot keep gays

out. There are just as many gays in the military as there are in civilian

life. Policing the military to eliminate homosexuality does not

eliminate homosexuals but it does create a climate of anxiety that

causes a sexually toxic situation for everyone, straights as well as

gays, because straights can be mislabeled as gay in our current

military. Straights are also able to keep gays down because of this


The present view of our government on gays in the military is a

policy first brought up by the Clinton administration, and that is a

policy of ?Don?t ask, Don?t tell?, meaning that a persons sexual

orientation will remain secret. As we all know a person?s sexual

orientation can only be kept secret for a certain amount of time before

it is revealed. The policy, which has been in effect for some time now,

has been the governments way of dealing with the problem of gays in

the military. .

The new ban said you could be gay in the military, as long as

you never let it be known. Well, under the old one a soldier could

always be gay as long as it was never known. And under both bans,

you could be asked but need not tell. And under both bans, if you did

tell that you were gay it would be grounds for discharge. So the gays

had thought they would win this battle, but when the smoke had

cleared, the military had clearly won.

And this new ban, the new ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ban, ended all

the commotion, all the publicity. All this policy has done has made

gay people step back into their closets. The talk shows stopped talking

about gay rights. The newspapers stopped carrying front page stories.

The forces that had whipped it into a front page issue had lost steam

There have been many other proposals but none have been as

successful as the ?don?t ask, don?t tell? policy. I believe that this is a

good policy for the time being, but in the long run this policy will not

do. A new policy must be made, but before a new policy can be

incorporated into the system the views of the general public must

change and people must accept the fact that some people are different.

Both George W. Bush and John McCain are saying they support

the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that lets homosexuals serve in

the military as long as they don’t disclose their sexual orientation. This

goes to show that the issue of gays in the military has not yet been

resolved and may not be for some time now.

Carney, Ralph M.,Herek, Gregory M., Jobe, Jared B. Out In Force

Sexual Orientation and the Military . Chicago: U of Chicago

P. 1996.

Shawver, Lois. And The Flag Was Still There: Straight People, Gay

people and sexuality in the U.S. Military. New York: Haworth

Pub. 1998.

Scott Sandra, Wilbur. Stanley Carson. lGays and Lesbians in the

Military, Issues Concerns, and Contrasts. New York: Aldine De

Gruyter Pub. 1999.

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