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  • 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' to end?

    Anyone who knows me will have no trouble working out my opinion on this. I am, however, curious to get the perspectives of some of the WAB members who have served.

    I am especially curious to get opinions of peole who hever either served in a military where homosexuality was openly permitted, or under the 'DADT' policy (I suspect its too much to hope that we might have an openly gay serviceman hereabouts to offer yet another perspective).


    Obama pledges to repeal military's gay ban
    By Olivia Hampton (AFP) 8 hours ago

    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama promised gay and lesbian activists he will repeal a ban on gays in the US military, rebuking complaints he has not honored his promises to fight for equal rights.

    "I will end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' That's my commitment to you," Obama said during a rousing speech before some 3,000 activists at an event organized by the country's biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organization.

    "We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we're fighting two wars."

    Despite pledging his "unwavering commitment" to support gay rights, Obama did not provide a timeline for repealing the 1993 law, a hot-button social issue. He also did not details plans to end discrimination against gays.

    More than 12,000 US service members have been discharged under the policy that requires gays and lebians to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face expulsion.

    The president said he realized many in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) audience "don't believe progress has come fast enough." But he urged patience, saying: "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."

    Obama has extended partial federal benefits to same-sex partners of US government workers but he is under pressure from activists to deliver on his campaign promise to repeal the military ban.

    "This is also a time of great impatience," said HRC president Joe Solmonese, noting that thousands of gay men and women are expected to descend on Washington Sunday for a National Equality March.

    But he insisted that "we have never had a stronger ally in the White House, never."

    The Obama administration has said it supports repealing the rule at some point but has made clear no immediate action is on the horizon, as it attempts to manage an economic recovery, health care reform and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    "Despite the real gains that we've made, there are still laws to change and there are still hearts to open," Obama acknowledged, calling "painful and heartbreaking" the bias some continue to hold against gays.

    "This story, this fight continues now. And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight," said the president, as the crowd burst into cheers that echoed throughout the Washington Convention Center.

    Hate crimes legislation extending protection to the LGBT community has passed the House of Representatives and could reach the president's desk for signing into law in the coming weeks after it is approved by the Senate.

    Obama has said he supports civil unions but not same-sex marriage, which is still banned in 29 of the nation's 50 states. That position has riled a key constituency that helped put Democrats in power at the White House and in Congress in 2008.

    At the black-tie dinner, Obama urged Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law his Justice Department has defended and that denies federal benefits to same-sex married couples. He also pressed for legislation extending benefits to domestic partners.

    In a bid to tamp down criticism he has yet do deliver on his promises to push robust non-discrimination policies, Obama named Thursday an openly gay lawyer to serve as his ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

    If confirmed by the Senate, David Huebner would become the first openly gay ambassador serving under Obama. Huebner has served as the chief lawyer of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for over a decade.

    The Obama administration already boasts several high-profile gay members. The top-ranking gay official is John Berry, who heads the Office of Personnel Management.

    Republican lawmakers complained that tagging the hate crimes measure to a 2010 Defense Department authorization bill was an "abuse" of the legislative process.

    "Democrats have done a great disservice to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces today by using them as leverage to pass radical social policy," House Republican Leader John Boehner said Thursday, calling the move "unconstitutional and just plain wrong."

    Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.
    AFP: Obama pledges to repeal military's gay ban
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  • #2
    Well we're supposed to have a zero-discrimination policy, but I've yet to meet an openly gay man in the British Army. Wouldn't bother me to be honest, but I'm probably more progressive than a lot of blokes in the British Army. I think the younger generation would probably be less hostile to it than a lot of the old sweats, but yeah it'd definitely be a divisive issue, especially in a Regiment as religious as mine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by -{SpoonmaN}- View Post
      Well we're supposed to have a zero-discrimination policy, but I've yet to meet an openly gay man in the British Army. Wouldn't bother me to be honest, but I'm probably more progressive than a lot of blokes in the British Army. I think the younger generation would probably be less hostile to it than a lot of the old sweats, but yeah it'd definitely be a divisive issue, especially in a Regiment as religious as mine.
      A very difficult issue this one , lets face it , there have been , and always will be gays in the forces , i dont find an issue with it as long as they do the job they signed up for , their sexuality is not my bizz as long as it is done in the comfort of their own place with consenting adults and is not shoved into straight peoples faces , its best that it is kept to themselves and not flaunted as aggression and persecution will follow , in the military in the UK , if gays were caught they were dismissed ,which in this day and age of acceptance is sad , like i say , as long as they do the job , no problems , but other people may argue , shower time , barrack block undressing , inside turrets etc etc , very difficult issue , hey spoons , what reg are you ?? ;)

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      • #4
        I don't think there is a gay ban. They just don't want people to go around saying "I love men, I'm gay" just the way they don't want their soldiers to go around to the women and say "I love women, I'm straight, come shag me" just keep it to yourself, you know?

        I personally would have no problem if I was in the army and the guy beside me was gay. No problem at all. The army is strict as it is I believe, I don't even think they allow a man and woman to make out in public while on duty, so theres no worry for anyone else to do that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tankie View Post
          A very difficult issue this one , lets face it , there have been , and always will be gays in the forces , i dont find an issue with it as long as they do the job they signed up for , their sexuality is not my bizz as long as it is done in the comfort of their own place with consenting adults and is not shoved into straight peoples faces , its best that it is kept to themselves and not flaunted as aggression and persecution will follow , in the military in the UK , if gays were caught they were dismissed ,which in this day and age of acceptance is sad , like i say , as long as they do the job , no problems , but other people may argue , shower time , barrack block undressing , inside turrets etc etc , very difficult issue , hey spoons , what reg are you ?? ;)
          Z'ackly. Thats the whole issue I believe. Gays can be gays, but the problem arises when they want to flaunt it. Why do they want to do that? I will never understand that.

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          • #6
            Been gay in the Brit Firces became legal a year before I left. Not my cup of tea, but thats me. I don't I would be comfortable being in a the Commanders Seat of your Tank knowing the Gunner was a 'Up-Hill Gardener'. People in the Military in the UK attend 'Gay Pride Week' in their Uniforms. But I suppose we have to move with the times.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tankie View Post
              A very difficult issue this one , lets face it , there have been , and always will be gays in the forces , i dont find an issue with it as long as they do the job they signed up for , their sexuality is not my bizz as long as it is done in the comfort of their own place with consenting adults and is not shoved into straight peoples faces , its best that it is kept to themselves and not flaunted as aggression and persecution will follow , in the military in the UK , if gays were caught they were dismissed ,which in this day and age of acceptance is sad , like i say , as long as they do the job , no problems , but other people may argue , shower time , barrack block undressing , inside turrets etc etc , very difficult issue , hey spoons , what reg are you ?? ;)
              He is in the 'Royal Irish'; you would have known them as the 'Royal Irish Rangers'.

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              • #8
                well, serving on a sub is the closest one can get to being in a straight up 'gay unit' in the u.s. military...does that make my opinion eligible?

                so i'm gonna have to say it doesn't matter.
                USS Toledo, SSN 769

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chaobam Armour View Post
                  He is in the 'Royal Irish'; you would have known them as the 'Royal Irish Rangers'.
                  Cheers C/A ;)

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                  • #10
                    2000-2003 active duty here, All under don't ask don't tell. There were a couple of people in my squadron who it was strongly suspected they were gay. It wasn't a big deal and didn't come up much, even deployed where there were shared sleeping quarters and facilities.

                    On the other hand there were two people in the same unit, about whom it was an open though officially unacknowledged fact they were gay. One of them was a good airman in pretty much everyway and didn't cause any fuss, he got hassled a little from time to time about it but it wasn't bad or more than anything anyone else got for whatever their little quirks were. One or two guys were a little uncomfortable around him but not bad. The other was open about it flamboyant, and wen't out of his way to make other people uncomfortable. It was a serious problem, he was also a bit of a problem in other areas as well. We were assigned together for 3 years and it was a constant amazement to most of the people in our shop that he wasn't dismissed. He even went so far as to march in psuedo uniform in a local gay pride parade. He was also constantly making passes and double hints at people to make them uncomfortable. He was a 6 year enlistment guy and from what I understand the acting out was starting just about the time I arrived in the unit. He got out with an honorable discharge just about the same time I did.

                    In short I don't have a problem with gay people serving however I do feel it requires a little forethought and planning about how its implemented. Sadly in the US the homosexual minority has been shown to some extent to use the court system as a punative weapon. The military doesn't need to be embroiled in a bunch of high profile discrimination lawsuits about failure to promote someone who is gay, or to dismiss someone who isn't a good fit for the military just because they happen to be gay. I fear this happening far more than I have a problem with having someone who happens to be gay who is a good guy, who happens to be gay in the unit. Its partially why I like don't ask don't tell. It eliminates the difficulties that can occour when someone gay shows sexual interest in someone who isn't by forbidding the gay person from making that advance to anyone in the military. Its not really fair in someways because it prevents a gay person from sharing medical, and other benfiets with their lovers unlike with hetero members but that is currently the case across the entirety of american society. Especially as gay marraige acts and proposals get enacted and shot down in scatterings across the country.

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                    • #11
                      I never understood the DADT policy. I served before the policy was enacted but never saw a problem before. I only knew of one gay guy and that was in Basic training. We didn't care and evidently the command couldn't tell. He was OK around us and was just one of the guys so to speak. He didn't say anything about being gay either. My fellow soldiers and I had these kinds of in general and "what if talks" from time to time about lots of subjects, including gays. We knew there where guys in the Army who were because we handled the some of the charges when they got out of hand. However, heteros would have faced charges under the UCMJ if they had committed similar acts.

                      When the DADT was announced, I was a bit surprised because I never saw any real problems. Point is, there is a code of conduct for all armed forces. There is nothing wrong with it. The military is the one place in the world where I truly believe all people, regardless of sex, race or otherwise, are only classified by thier skill, intelligence or physical prowess. There are no races, everyone is Green. There are no genders, everyone is a Soldier.

                      I guess I just don't see a problem where some people do.

                      Who started all the questions in the first place?

                      What exactly was wrong with the way things where?

                      Because if its a problem now, why did it take 5000 years or so to get to this point?

                      Ever notice how just everything is a crisis in just the last 20 years or so?



                      Besides, I just read a report where its the lesbians who have it the toughest, and aren't women still prohibited from the combat units that really get into the shit anyway?

                      Lesbians suffer most from 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in U.S.

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                      • #12
                        I Encourage Homosexuality

                        Every man chasing a man is one less man chasing a woman.

                        I'm fine with it.

                        Had one cadet hit on me when I was a cadet. I laughed it off as he'd gone home the weekend before to get engaged (1977). Bummer for his wife-to-be but not my problem.

                        Two years later at Ft. Sill, commissioned, the elevator door opened and THERE HE WAS.

                        On seeing me, he was MORTIFIED.

                        I laughed again, said "howdy", and moved on.

                        No doubt he sweated bullets for a bit.:))
                        "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                        "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
                          What exactly was wrong with the way things where?
                          I may be wrong, but I think the problem was that the military was expending resources to investigate & remove people who were homosexual. At best a pretty poor use of limited resources (I'm sure everyone here can think of something their unit could have used those resources for); at worst active persecution of homosexuals in the military.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
                            I may be wrong, but I think the problem was that the military was expending resources to investigate & remove people who were homosexual. At best a pretty poor use of limited resources (I'm sure everyone here can think of something their unit could have used those resources for); at worst active persecution of homosexuals in the military.
                            Well I can't speak to the persecution because I simply never saw it. I have heard of some cases though. In the few I have read there was always other violations of the UCMJ that went along with the homosexual allegations. Right or wrong, I couldn't say without all the facts.

                            I was privy to two military cases however that showed equal judgement. One was a soldier who was cheating on his wife with another woman. The other was a soldier who was cheating on his wife with another man. Both where charged with adultery and sodomy. IIRC, they where both given thier walking papers. I do know that it was not uncommon for heteros and gays to get chaptered out of the service for conduct unbecoming.

                            As for wasting resources, well hell, that was part of the norm!

                            Live and let live I say. If they can do the job without distractions, I'm good with it. Besides, you really never know exactly who is straight and who's not. I guess I am actually bothered more by the closet folks than the open ones anyway. At least when its in the open you know where you stand.

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                            • #15
                              Well, I serve in the Canadian Forces where there's a pretty effective anti-discrimination policy, and gays and lesbians have been able to serve openly for some time now. Frankly, I've never had a problem with it personally, nor have I known any other service member to have one either. Sure, you hear the odd joke now and then, and no doubt some members do espouse serious hateful views towards homosexuality, but you could say the same about racism and anti-semitism. Unfortunately, some of the more ignorant elements of society are still with us, rare as they are (even up in Canada where some of us love to think we're more enlightened than the US... heh).

                              Mind you, the army, and in particular the infantry, unsurprisingly has a definitely more "macho" attitude than other branches, but I've done some training with infantry guys and there was at least one openly gay candidate and I never detected for a second any serious anti-gay attitudes or prejudice among the instructors or other candidates... with the exception of one guy who also happened to be by far the youngest guy on the course and right out of high school (rare for a predominantly non-ROTP officer course). I'll chalk that up to immaturity.

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