02
Feb
10

Should openly gay soilders be welcomed into the military?

President Obama called for repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in his State of the Union address last week. Now, the U.S. military’s Adm. Michael  Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel that it was wrong to force people to “lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”

As the U.S. military prepares for the eventual repeal of its 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly, this topic has generated a lot of comment.

Admiral Mullen’s predecessors held very different views as this blogger points out.

Sen. John McCain, a former Navy officer said, “Has this policy been ideal? No, it has not. But it has been effective.” Republicans in general are opposed to changing the law.

Other sceptics wonder if this move is based on adequate research.

Often, in the cacophony of different viewpoints, the voice of someone at the centre of the debate is lost. What do gay US military personnel think? After all, over 13000 members of the forces have been dismissed under the current law. A gay military blogger hails this move and calls President Obama the greatest ally of LGBT people.  

As the world’s most powerful military is thinking of changing the law, one wonders what is it like for gay servicemen and women across the world. The UK, incidentally got rid of a similar law, 10 years ago.


37 Responses to “Should openly gay soilders be welcomed into the military?”


  1. 1 Dennis Junior
    February 2, 2010 at 22:19

    Well, yes, the US Military should be strongly encouraged to end the banned on openly gay (GLBT) Personal in the services branches…..

    -Dennis Junior-

  2. 2 Billy
    February 2, 2010 at 23:26

    Sure the ban should be ended.
    Meaning professionalism should still be maintained in the military, i.e. no fraternizing on duty whether heterosexual or homosexual.
    What soldiers do off duty and off base should be up to them however.

  3. 3 clamdip
    February 2, 2010 at 23:47

    Yes. There are more pressing problems like overt bullying and suicide that should concern the military.

  4. 4 nora
    February 3, 2010 at 00:20

    Men are men and women are women. Gay or straight doesn’t matter. The habit of truth should be something we encourage in patriots, yes, even gay patriots. A bullet never asks if you are gay.

  5. 5 loudobservant
    February 3, 2010 at 01:22

    Some men are gay from the day they were born,in other words, they have an inborn quality and instinct,and, it is not their choice or fault; similarly,women inherit lesbian tendencies,and it is not their doing or fault,either.
    So Obama is absolutely right in his choice.
    In fact, an interview by Charlie Rose of Obama’s financial and economic adviser and the former President of HARVARD,is an eloquent exposure of Obama;s doctrines and policies,which republicans as stubborn and hardcore as McCaine and party must learn a useful lesson from and start working hand-in-hand with the democrats to build the nation and do some good to the denizens of USA,and, stop being negative all the time.

  6. 6 Richard in Arkansas (USA)
    February 3, 2010 at 01:33

    Yes; absolutely DADT should be repealed. There are thousands of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces serving right now. The only thing is that they have to lie about who they are.

  7. 7 JanB
    February 3, 2010 at 01:51

    While I do understand the “don’t ask don’t tell policy” was invented with good intentions (protecting gays against abuse), it has become outdated. Gays now serve openly in countries like Australia, Israel, Canada and Great Britain and that has not lead to major problems or abuse. The United States should follow suit because they are culturally similar to the aforementioned countries and because not allowing openly gay people to apply to serve is a form of discrimination. Yes, there is still the chance of abuse taking place, but military service is voluntary so it is a choice gay people will have to make for themselves and the risk of abuse has not stopped the US government from allowing women to serve.

  8. February 3, 2010 at 03:57

    Oh, absolutely.

    I served in the U.S. Army in a medical outfit. There were throughout the time I served many folks I ran across who were gay. Some I directly served with, others indirectly. I never was concerned about the sexual orientation; it just was unnecessary. As with anyone, as long as they did their job – who cared? If they didn’t, then it had more to do with being a slacker and surely unlikely to be related to their sexual orientation. That was in the mid-70s, btw. Too long in coming.

  9. 9 Jeanne
    February 3, 2010 at 05:33

    Yes, because gays have always served in the military and never been acknowledged for their part, for fear of punishment. It’s always been assumed that there are none and everyone in the military is straight.

    That is not the case.

    It’s time to quit the pretending and making service men and women hide who they are.

  10. 10 Doug Hockenberry
    February 3, 2010 at 06:51

    It is time for this to be reconsidered. The first signal it will send is that a few of the same people these kids and men have reliably depended upon are the same ones they feared. These proven actions will speak more loudly of the worthiness of the few than any politician could.

    The religious right will take offence. I’d rather keep them out and away from military-grade arms anyhow.

  11. 11 Idris Dangalan
    February 3, 2010 at 07:28

    Let it be banned

  12. 12 whimsey
    February 3, 2010 at 08:40

    Actually I was against the idea but on second thought if the US army was filled up with gay personnel the world might just be a safer place.

  13. 14 Kenneth Ingle
    February 3, 2010 at 09:48

    No! Trying to make an illness a modern way of life is quite wrong. This has nothing to do with discrimination, it is a danger for others. In the armed forces there is already more than enough abuse of lower ranks without the risk of sexual abuse being added.

  14. February 3, 2010 at 10:03

    I love the term ‘openly gay’! What is that?! Can you be openly straight? If a ‘closed gay’ person does not advertise his sexuality, does an ‘openly gay’ person proclaim it from the rooftops? Maybe they can issue T shirts with a big message on the front to tell everybody which type of sex they prefer, because it’s just so important when you’re facing a barrage of machine gun fire.

  15. 16 @guykaks
    February 3, 2010 at 11:08

    Yes!but we should be aware of the repercussions it will bring to the world

  16. 17 username
    February 3, 2010 at 11:49

    Obama proves once again that he is out of touch with the public who are more concerned with jobs/crime/education/healthcare than the sexuality of soldiers

  17. 18 Dan
    February 3, 2010 at 12:11

    I have no issue with anyone being Gay and being in the Military but do they have to be identified as a separate group?
    Is the Military a social experiment or a force projection of American policy?
    What then do you do with transgender, lesbians, eunuchs, sexually dysfunctional, Methodists, Mormons, disabled, slow learners etc?
    My point is that there are all of the above plus more honorably serving in the military and if you single out Gays then are you opening the door to openly identify every other subgroup?

  18. 19 patti in cape coral
    February 3, 2010 at 14:01

    Yes.

  19. 20 T
    February 3, 2010 at 14:31

    Saying that this policy “has been effective” is insulting to all the gay and lesbian servicepeople currently on duty.

    Let’s take this a step further. If someone has PTSD and they try to get help, they are in many cases severly harassed for not being “tough enough.” The rest of the world has no problem with gays in the military. Yet, in the States it’s double standards everywhere you look.

  20. 21 Titus
    February 3, 2010 at 14:47

    D ban should be repealled

  21. 22 T
    February 3, 2010 at 15:11

    The military wants to repeal this. They want to get input from gay and lesbian troops re: this. Yet, if these people say anything their careers are over.

    How will they do this?

  22. 23 T
    February 3, 2010 at 15:19

    FYI:
    In 35 States, you can be fired. Just for being gay.
    Washington D.C. has the highest number of gay residents in the country.
    Obama says he supports dropping don’t ask don’t tell. Yet he refuses to support same-sex marriage.

    Which means what? You’re good enough to risk your life for your country. But you’re not allowed to be a human being, marry someone and be happy like everyone else?

  23. 24 Gary Paudler
    February 3, 2010 at 15:20

    Yes and I am very pleased to see the near unanimity among WHYS respondents. Since the US military is realizing that not talking about sexual matters doesn’t make them go away, Obama and the generals need to address rape among the ranks, make it a serious offense and resolve to treat it; investigate and prosecute it, as the crime that it is.

  24. February 3, 2010 at 15:20

    If my country and my people are being defended.does it really matter what the defenders orientation is? We should welcome anyone who is loyal to country.

  25. 26 JanB
    February 3, 2010 at 16:26

    “I have no issue with anyone being Gay and being in the Military but do they have to be identified as a separate group?
    Is the Military a social experiment or a force projection of American policy?
    What then do you do with transgender, lesbians, eunuchs, sexually dysfunctional, Methodists, Mormons, disabled, slow learners etc?
    My point is that there are all of the above plus more honorably serving in the military and if you single out Gays then are you opening the door to openly identify every other subgroup?”

    You don’t understand: it’s not about attention, it’s about the fact that under the current policy gays must hide their orientation. They don’t get fired for holding a gay parade on base, they get fired when someone higher up finds out they’re gay (even if it’s because they overheard civilian friends of the gay soldier talking about it at the local wal mart), even if the gay soldier has never spoken about it with his/her comrades and never dated anyone from the military.

  26. 27 archibald in Oregon
    February 3, 2010 at 17:42

    It should have never been enacted in the first place. By all means, repeal DADT.

    Kenneth Ingle—-I do not know what medical texts you have been reading, (possibly the “Holy Trinity Health Manual”, certainly not a medical), but, homosexuality is not an illness.

  27. 28 archibald in Oregon
    February 3, 2010 at 17:53

    YES!!!!!

  28. 29 John LaGrua/New York
    February 3, 2010 at 19:19

    The issue should be whether the military would be more or less effective if the current ban be lifted.Monty Python did a hilarious skit on gay soldiers ,perhaps some levity on this hot button issue might help.Old story of British India.two British officers in OC having a Pims .Officer A “Been up on the Kyber for a month ,Whats new? Officer B ,Have heard you about Frobisher “? A”No” . B ” Frobisher has been cashiered from the army ” Heavens Why asks A .He was caught copulating with his horse.answers B. A.” Mare or stallion” B” Mare of course ,nothing queer about Frobisher.

  29. 30 Josiah Soap
    February 3, 2010 at 19:27

    Its fine, who cares as long as they do their job. But I think gay people and non gays should realize they are a team working together and supporting each other. Hopefully their won’t be some organization that springs up such as “gays in the military”. We already have things such as the black policemans association in the UK, this causes faction rather than unites. Gays should be regarded as everyone else, but if one starts identifying them as a special or separate group I don’t think this will be good for the military. Instead of an “openly gay” policy in the military it should be “its your own business if you want to tell or not.” Not everyone (gay or straight) goes around telling others of their sexual exploits.

  30. 31 Chintan in Houston
    February 3, 2010 at 20:52

    I want men and women in uniform to vote if they want to work with them or not.

    But i do feel they should be allowed to serve.

  31. 32 Izaak
    February 3, 2010 at 21:51

    Of course gays should be allowed to serve openly. Being openly gay means that you can talk openly about your partner as a straight person would speak about their husband or wife. We just want to be equal, not special.

  32. 33 Alex V - Chicago
    February 3, 2010 at 22:28

    The ban should be lifted–anyone who wants to serve their country can, and shouldn’t be denied that because of personal reasons.

  33. 34 JanB
    February 4, 2010 at 11:02

    “I want men and women in uniform to vote if they want to work with them or not.”

    The military is not a democracy. I wonder if there would be women serving now if the military had voted on that, or whether the military would still be segregated? Sure, maybe today’s soldiers don’t have a problem with blacks in their unit, but unless there would be a requirement to vote every 10 years, nothing would change if a vote has been rejected in the past.

  34. 35 patti in cape coral
    February 4, 2010 at 14:13

    My brother was in the Marines and unfortunately holds much more conservative/discriminatory views on gays in the military. He told me that when your safetey is on the line in combat, you want to know that you can count on the guy next to you. I pointed out to him that if the guy next to you thinks you have a cute butt, he might go above and beyond to save it. Joking aside, I don’t know what would make a soldier think that a gay person would not serve as competently as any other soldier, is this a line they get fed by the military?

  35. 36 AZ
    February 6, 2010 at 04:22

    just wondering if the rest will feel weird or nervous of being working with gay people

  36. 37 loudobservant
    February 7, 2010 at 08:55

    Working together with others,unless they openly and loudly announce that they are gay or lesbian,nobody would know,as everyone is busy minding his/her own business in every day life.


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