Could 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' survive a draft?

Could the US Army’s current postion on homosexuality (don’t ask, don’t tell last time I checked, though I could be out of date) possibly remain in place if the draft were reinstated? While I don’t think ‘selective service’ is likely to be reactivated any time soon, I think it’s an interesting point to ponder.

With homosexuality being far, far more accepted in general society than it was during Vietnam or earlier wars, wouldn’t it be trivial for any potential draft dodger to get out of the draft by claiming to be bisexual, or by finding a male friend who also doesn’t want to be drafter to engage in a little hand-holding or kissing? If it’s that easy for someone who wants to to get out of the draft (much easier than joining the national guard or sneaking to Canada), I can’t see the draft managing to fill it’s quotas without drawing too heavily from a more limited pool, which would lead to either the draft ending or the army having to take a less restrictive position on gays in the military.

I believe that the real key to this question lies in the fact that the vast majority of us are actually willing to do our fair share.

I suspect that people who really want to avoid the draft always have and always will find a way to beat it. Anyone can claim Conscientious Objector status, but very few have in the past. I think most people don’t care about what “society” thinks of them nearly as much as they care about what their family and friends think, and family and friends are a whole lot harder to fool than a draft board.

In addition;

In the last couple of decades gays have been working to achieve the right to serve in the military on an equal basis with everyone else. Having a lot of people use their homosexuality (real or feigned) to avoid service would not be good for the gay rights movement. This could well result in a general attitude of disapproval for these people that would be greater than any disapproval that was formerly aimed at gays. An attitude along the lines of “not only are you shirking your duty, but you’re slandering gays in order to do it.”

Why would you think dodging the draft by claiming to be gay is more likely with the “dont ask dont tell” policy than when homosexuality was banned outright in the military?


Was homosexuality banned? Or were homosexual acts banned once you were drafted? (a small but real difference)


Maybe we have come a short way in improving how our military deals with homosexuality.

Right now, soldiers who want to be released from their contract can find a fast way out by formally expressing their desire to sodomize their commander. It’s unclear how many of those discharged from military service are truly homosexual, however.

CO status is more complicated, as potential recruits are asked prior to enlistment whether they consider themselves a “CO” or not. Therefore, any later declaration is much harder to justify, at least with folks using that avenue in order to obtain release from military control.

Freedom, at one point homosexual acts were specifically against the rules. IIRC, at one point, they actually carried a death penalty, but I’m not finding the cite right now, so take that with a small grain of salt until I find it…

If that were true, why institute a draft? Doesn’t forcing people into military service pretty much presuppose that they don’t want to go? Granted, in a large-scale conflict like WW2 it was more of a system to manage when people came in to the army, but for smaller conflicts like Korea and Vietnam it seems that a call for volunteers could have been sent out to the people “willing to do [their] fair share”.

Actually, at least for Vietnam, CO status was pretty hard to claim. While there were people who claimed it, a lot of CO applications were denied, in some cases validly and in some cases for pretty shaky reasons. If CO status was so easy, why run off to Canada like so many did?

Because homosexuality NOW doesn’t have nearly as much stigma associated with it, especially among the ‘peace and love’ equivalents of today. Back in the late 60s/early 70s, admitting (or claiming) to be gay would cause a person a whole lot of problems, while doing the same thing today is not nearly as bad.

If a draft is necessary in order to prosecute a war, then that’s obviously a war that we shouldn’t be fighting. Even “fascist” Heinlein was vigorously against any kind of draft. He considered the concept of the draft to be involuntary servitude and therefore completely unconstitutional.


People don’t give clinton enough credit…

Of course don’t ask don’t tell would not survive a draft. If we ever got into a draft situation it would mean that we have run out of 18-20 yos. At that point nobody would care where a combatant put his penis.

Clinton was masterful in placating the right wing… a small percentage of idiots actually cared about where penises roamed. A small percentage of people demanded the right to stick them in whatever they wanted. He actually came up with a plan to keep everyone happy and level-headed. That was almost ten years ago and now this is not even an issue.

Anyway, of course dont ask dont tell will survive a draft. This is 2002. At least a half million teenagers would have to be dead in battle before we had to activly recruit homosexuals. and at that point, nobody would care what they did with their penis.

Don’t tell this to the veterans of WWI, WWII, or Korea…

[slight hijack]

The situation here, in laissez-faire Europe, is often claimed to be the same: Gays are being much more open, it’s not so shameful … yada yada yada. Yes, if you’re working in the media, artistic, restaurant, whatever…

How accepted is it, today, at a construction site? In a car-plant? And with people that are the closest to us, how about coming home to your unemployed, ex bricklayer dad and introducing your new boyfriend.

We still have a ong way to go.

[/slight hijack]

I have completely missed the “don’t ask - don’t tell” thing. Can someone enlighten me?

I’m not sure how to read your “-”, so I won’t invite you to the Pit, but what do you mean, jayjay?

The military would probably do what they did during Vietnam…suspend enforcement during the draft, and then after the draft was over, prosecute the draftees who violated it.

Until recently, the policy of the US armed forces was to prohibit homosexuals from serving. You were required to state when you joined the service that you were not homosexual and had never engaged in homosexual activity. If someone was discovered to be homosexual, he or she faced court martial, jail time, and dishonorable discharge.

Recently, the policy has changed. Homosexuals are still not allowed in the armed forces, but the services no longer ask that question.

Huh? Did I miss some subtlety here?


Those were of the species Quotus sarcastica. It seems like every time RAH is brought up, someone accuses him of being a fascist. I was merely noting that even someone whose ideas are often mistaken for fascist thinking opposed the idea of the draft. :slight_smile:

I’m a RAH fan myself.


Zuma, could you attempt to clarify what you just said? It really made no sense whatsoever to me.

(wars requiring draft are wars we shouldn’t be fighting)

With the exception of the Japanese theatre of WWII, those are all really good examples of wars we shouldn’t have been fighting. So I would almost be tempted to agree with the above theory.

In a true democracy, wars which are unpopular would not be prosecuted. The popularity of a war would seem to be determinable by the amount of volunteer turnout that public opinion generates. So if you can’t prosecute a war with your volunteer turnout in a democratic nation, that war should not be fought. It’s assumed, perhaps wrongly, that a defensive war on the home front would have no problems acquiring enough manpower.


RexDart, can you give me some reasons for that statement on why we shouldn’t have fought wars on other fronts during WW2, and fought in WW1 or Korea at all?

I’m slightly confused on your position here.

Why would you say that? We didn’t run out of 18-20 YOs in WW1, WW2, Korea, or (especially relevant) Vietnam. And the people currently proposing reactiviating ‘Selective Service’ don’t appear to think that the 18-20 yos have disappeared.