They've suspended Don't Ask Don't Tell.

The San Francisco Chronical said today that DoD has suspended the gays in the military policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in this time of war. It was done before the Gulf War in 1991 as well.

I’ve got nothing but respect for the military. My father, among numerous other relatives, is a Navy man, and those people who fight for their country are heroes not sung often enough.

I can’t help but think, though, that this shows the blatant hypocricy of those who instituted the policy- when is “the cohesion of a unit”- one of the biggest reasons for the policy- more important than during times of war? Yeesh.

I’m not sure I understand. So this means that gays now can join or they can’t? Sorry for not being up on current events.

Being retired military, and still working for the Air Force as a private contractor, I haven’t seen any official directive stating such. I think the latest Clinton standards still are in place.

Quite a few senior NCOs and officers like myself, in all services, have supported the careers of gay and lesbian servicemen that have worked for, or with us. Toward the last ten years, the trend has been not to waste precious investigative resources in the military on “gay witch hunts” and more of a focus on issues that really affect military readiness such as computer systems security.

I’ve known several gays and lesbians in my career in the Air Force. By and large, they kept quiet lives and did an outstanding job of serving their country. I was proud to serve with them and did the best I could to keep their private lives out of the official, public eye.

Andygirl, I don’t see a complete reversal of the current DoD policy anytime soon, gays in the military live in this “shadow world”. They have been doing this for a very long time, so an unofficial “status quo” has existed which values the measure of a soldier’s performance, as opposed to his or her sexual orientation. The Clinton directive wasn’t the solution that pleased everybody, but it was a very practical, workable and realistic compromise, and one that I could live with as a professional soldier.

Having been in the Navy, I can say that a shipful of women with PMS is a much bigger threat to unit cohesion than a scattering of gays and lesbians.

Robin

Tellllll me about it. Oh, I remember near-homicides in the berthing compartment many a time.

Gays were never allowed in the military, but don’t ask, don’t tell meant that a person would not be required to reveal that they are gay. If, however, they chose to reveal that fact they were thrown out. Now, once again, they are being required to reveal that they are gay, if I understand this correctly.

Actually, it means that openly gay people can now serve. Article.

In times of war, it was common for the army to ignore its rules against homosexuals. Randy Shilts did a good documentation of this back when the issue first came up. IIRC correctly, some of the examples given:

  1. Man claimed to be gay at an induction center. He was told he would need a marriage license to another man for that to get him off.

  2. Eisenhower wanted a directive to kick lesbians out of the army. He told this to his secretary, who said that she would have to be the first one he fired. Another woman in his office said she’d have to be the second. Ike relented.

  3. In Vietnam, gay couples were not uncommon in fighting units. Most of the others just looked the other way.

That’s more like it! You had me worried that the military had gone completely nuts for a moment there!

SUPPOSEDLY TRUE STORY FROM TEN YEARS AGO I HEARD ON NPR:

During the Gulf War, and before she shipped out, a nurse went to her CO and outed herself in hopes of being discharged. He said, “If I threw out every lesbian nurse in my command I wouldn’t have any nurses left. Resume your duties.”

Oh, sure. Call us in when you have an emergency.

I can see it now: Operation Human Shield and Operation Get Behind the Homos.

“Remember, protect our tanks and planes, too!”

I always thought that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a very poor choice of slogan. I would have suggested, “latent, not blatant.” It’s catchier, it rhymes, it would have led to more tasteless jokes about generals. If you’re determined to have a bad policy, at least maximize the joke potential, dammit.

Words that rule my life.

On a related note, does anyone know if any open gays have ever legally challenged being excluded from military service as a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights?

Huh? Not only are they thrown out, they’re forbidden to own a gun?

Maybe you’re thinking of 14th amendment, “due process” rights. But if a challenge is set up on the basis, couldn’t blind, deaf, and disabled people sue for their “right” to be in the military as well?

andygirl said:

I can only assume that somebody thinks no one will notice this. Otherwise the policy looks as ridiculous as it is.

MsRobyn said:

Hell, I’d think a shipfull of women with PMS would be a bigger threat to the enemy than cruise missiles. I’d sure surrender to 'em in a hurry.

Little Nemo said:

It wouldn’t work–the right to bear arms is not dependent upon being in the military, and gay citizens are not therefore being denied their Second Amendment rights.

Besides, the Second Amendment makes no mention of the military–the reference is to *militia,which is not the same thing. The militia is legally defined by 10 USC ¤311, and boils down to all male citizens between 17 and 45 plus members of the National Guard of any age and either gender. So by definition allmale citizens are/have been in the militia if they don’t expire before age 17, regardless of sexual orientation.

*In theory, if the right to bear arms became dependent upon membership in the militia, then perhaps gay womencould assert a constitutional right to join the National Guard. For right now, that’s an “if” and a “perhaps” too many.

IIRC, the Soldier of the Year in 1991, a Gulf War hero, came out the next year. Since he “told” he was kicked out of the service. How fucking idiotic was that?

Haj

To expand on my previous post, there’s a long standing argument about the intent of the 2nd Amendment. Some people argue that it’s intended only to guarantee the rights of people to participate in organized armed groups (aka the “well-regulated militia”); others think it also guarantees the right to own firearms as individuals. But regardless of what opinions are on individual ownership, I’ve never seen any dispute on arming militias; it’s undeniably protected.

In 1791, virtually the only armed force in the United States was the militia. So I think it’s clear that references to the militia in the Bill of Rights can be applied to the armed forces in general when looking for intent.

The writers of the Constitution knew that people who were denied participation in the armed forces were virtually always denied other rights as well. American history has proven this principle applies here as well; blacks, Indians, and women were banned from full military service during the same periods their second class citizenship was manifest in other ways. So, in my opinion, the 2nd Amendment was intended as a guarantee of the rights of all American citizens to participate in the armed forces and thereby have their other citizenship rights protected as well.

Obviously, I’m not the first person to ever think of this. What I’m wondering is, if anyone has attempted to apply this argument in court, and what the results were.

Well, geez Matt, you didn’t expect that we would let the homos get behind us, didja? :stuck_out_tongue:

Dammit! That’s my line!

As for the Gays and Lesbians in the service, well, They’ve been there since before Alexander The Great, who was Gay, and conquered the known world. Homsexuality doens’t make for a bad soldier, and a half-way decent education and little tollerance puts “paid” to the unit cohesion issue.

I’ve followed that belief during my time in the Nav, and most others I knew at the Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer level did so, too.

My thoughts on the subject, from this thread:

I said it then, it still applies today.

I wouldn’t. I hear they don’t take prisoners!