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TiggerBear
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US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

[ Edited ]

To all that are interested

 

 



Chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

WASHINGTON — Top Army and Air Force officers said Tuesday they would be reluctant to overturn a 17-year policy that prohibits gays from serving openly in the military without more time to ascertain it won't hurt the services.

 

"I do have serious concerns about the impact of a repeal of the law on a force that is fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight and a half years," Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told Congress. "We just don't know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness."

 

As Casey cautioned the Senate Armed Services Committee against moving too fast to repeal the law, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz made similar remarks before the House.

 

The carefully crafted comments indicate reluctance among the military's senior ranks to act anytime soon on President Barack Obama's plan to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

 

Obama says the policy is wrongheaded and should change. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees but wants to move slowly, and has ordered a lengthy assessment on how to lift the ban without affecting troops and their families.

 

Officials expect the study to be complete by the end of the year, but that it could be several more years before the repeal is fully implemented.

 

In the meantime, congressional Democrats are debating how to advance the issue. Some party members are reluctant to repeal the 1993 law, while others want an immediate moratorium on dismissals.

 

The testimony by the service chiefs is considered crucial to the debate. As the top uniformed officials in each service, the chief is in charge of recruitment and preparing troops for deployments. If the policy on gays is overturned, they would have to decide how to implement the changes.

 

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, already has said he thinks the law should be changed because it forces gay troops to compromise their integrity by lying about who they are.

 

On Wednesday, lawmakers will hear from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway, who is said to be an opponent of lifting the ban, and Adm. Gary Roughead, who is chief of naval operations.

 

At Tuesday's hearing, Schwartz said he was concerned there is "little current scholarship on this issue" and wants to wait until Gates finishes his assessment.

 

"This is not the time to perturb the force that is, at the moment, stretched by demands in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere without careful deliberation," Schwartz told the House Armed Services Committee.

 

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which advocates to repeal the law, said it's important to note that Casey and Schwartz didn't oppose Gates' study on how a repeal would be implemented.

 

"There will continue to be differences around the margins, but at the end of the day, I think the chiefs will salute" the president and other leadership, Sarvis said.

 

Casey said he would oppose legislation being considered by Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's Democratic chairman, that would force the military to immediately suspend dismissals. Levin, D-Mich., says he wants a moratorium on firings under the law until Congress and the Pentagon can agree on how to repeal the law.

Among the questions likely to be answered through broader legislation is whether the military would recognize gay marriages and extend benefits to gay partners.

 

Casey and Army Secretary John McHugh said a moratorium on "don't ask, don't tell" would put existing cases in legal limbo and introduce confusion.

 

"This process is going to be difficult and complicated enough," Casey told Levin. "Anything that complicates it more, I think I would be opposed."

 

McHugh, a former New York congressman and Republican, said he would support a repeal if that is what the president and Congress decides.

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L_Monty
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

Tigger, I just made this a new thread, because the other one you posted it in is pretty old, and old discussions tend to get weird for new people to come in and read, especially when a thread runs a course over 9 months. :smileyhappy:

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TiggerBear
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

Sure, wondered what happened. Fine by me, probably a good idea.

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dulcinea3
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

On a theoretical level, I wish that all the gay members of the military would come out en masse, and then the military would be so busy dismissing them all that the machine would be brought to its knees, and even if they managed to dismiss all of them, they would be left without many essential personnel and unable to function efficiently.  Then we could point out that if they had gotten rid of the ban in the first place, this wouldn't have had to happen.  Or they would just lift it right away rather than having to deal with it.

 

Of course, that is not realistic, as many people who still want to serve would not want to be dismissed, and crippling our military would not be a good idea.  But it would show that not lifting the ban could cripple them more than lifting it would, especially since the main argument put forward by those opposed to lifting it seems to be that lifting it would cripple them.

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TiggerBear
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

And following the first story, comes this one.

 

 

 



Marine Corps: Study gay ban but don't hurt force

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps commandant said Wednesday that the ability of U.S. troops to fight and win wars must trump other concerns as the nation considers whether to let gays to serve openly in the military.

In testimony before a House committee, Gen. James Conway said he supports a Pentagon assessment to determine how to lift the ban. But he also suggested that civil rights ultimately would have to take a back seat if it meant tampering with the military's ability to protect the country.

"That's what they have been built to do under the current construct and I would argue that we've done a pretty good job bringing that to pass," he told the House Armed Services Committee.

"My concern would be that somehow that central purpose or focus were to become secondary to the discussion," he said.

Conway is seen as the most resistant among the service chiefs to efforts under way in Congress and the Pentagon to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law. But his testimony indicates that he won't stand in the way as Defense Secretary Robert Gates undertakes a comprehensive study on how to lift the ban without hurting the force.

President Barack Obama has pledged to change the policy, saying it unfairly punishes patriots who want to serve their country. Congress would have to agree, and it's unclear whether Democrats would have enough votes to pass the legislation.

The opinion of the service chiefs, and Conway's in particular, is expected to factor heavily into the debate.

It's Conway's job to ensure that young recruits are prepared to deploy to dangerous and remote regions of the world. Because Marines frequently represent the military's first line of attack and are dropped behind enemy lines, unit cohesion and morale are considered vital to their ability to succeed.

In 1993, opponents of President Bill Clinton's proposal to lift the ban on gays argued successfully that it might hurt military effectiveness. Facing resistance in Congress, Clinton settled for "don't ask, don't tell," which allowed gays to serve so long as they kept their sexual orientation a secret.

Conway's concerns have been echoed by other service chiefs.

On Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said they had serious concerns about lifting the ban with two wars raging.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told House lawmakers on Wednesday that he, too, wants the study to be complete before any changes are made.

"That needs to be done because only with that information can we discuss the force that we have, (and) not someone else's," Roughead said.

Britain, Canada, Australia and Israel allow gays to serve openly. Other nations already allow women to serve on submarines; the Navy lifted its ban this month.

Both Conway and Roughead said they would oppose an immediate freeze on firings under "don't ask, don't tell" until Congress can consider broader legislation repealing the 1993 law.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has proposed a freeze as a way of allowing gay troops to fight without worrying that they could lose their job.

"Half measures, I think, would only be confusing in the end," Conway said.

Christopher Preble, head of foreign studies at the Cato Institute think tank, said that the service chiefs recognize that change is inevitable, but that the military shouldn't wait too long to determine its next move.

"The military as an institution should not find itself so out of step with the public at large that it cannot relate to the society it's defending," he said.

On Wednesday, the Defense Department turned down a request by a House subcommittee that the service chiefs return on March 3 to testify solely on the issue of gays in the military. This week's hearings were focused primarily on the 2011 budget.

In a letter to lawmakers, the Pentagon said it was "longstanding policy" to reserve the chiefs' testimony for the full committee.

 


 

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TiggerBear
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 


dulcinea3 wrote:

On a theoretical level, I wish that all the gay members of the military would come out en masse, and then the military would be so busy dismissing them all that the machine would be brought to its knees, and even if they managed to dismiss all of them, they would be left without many essential personnel and unable to function efficiently.  Then we could point out that if they had gotten rid of the ban in the first place, this wouldn't have had to happen.  Or they would just lift it right away rather than having to deal with it.

 

Of course, that is not realistic, as many people who still want to serve would not want to be dismissed, and crippling our military would not be a good idea.  But it would show that not lifting the ban could cripple them more than lifting it would, especially since the main argument put forward by those opposed to lifting it seems to be that lifting it would cripple them.


 

 

Reminds me of the comment I've heard on Gay Marriage. That if all the gay florists, wedding planners, caterers, ect... industry wide banned their services from straight ceremonies; the gay marriage ban would be lifted nation wide within the month.

 

 

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Psychee
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

I would like to know just how they plan to "study" this.  It seems to me that they should skip the "study" and get down to real planning!

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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

This policy continually surfaces and resurfaces in the news and it is to me an of indication of some kind of change that is needed and/or is occurring, either in the military or in the civilian population, or both- where there is a time and place for discussing our "personal" lives. Personally, I think we cannot have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a Democracy, but the policy is appropriately named. If I want to talk about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy itself, people will think that I'm gay :smileysurprised:,which in turn makes me think I'm not really living in a Democracy,

 

Is the "policy" issue just about a changing society that cannot let go of certain institutions within the military, or even the military itself? Sometimes I feel that if we lose the military, then we lose who we are as Americans. But warfare is changing, and so must the military...I'm sure they know this.

 

Chad

 

 

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chad
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

Just to add:

 

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy is not a "gay ban." The policy, as it stands, does not prohibit gays from serving in the military, but It does ban "openly gay" conduct- whatever that is. Defining "gay" or gay conduct" has been a bugbear for Americans both within and outside the military, My opinion is you're gay if you say you are.

 

Chad 

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TiggerBear
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Gay Discrimination

 

This is cause for concern, in my mind at least.

 

 

 



Report questions excluding gays from some studies

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP
 

A small but significant portion of medical studies exclude gays from participating, sometimes without an apparent scientific reason, several cancer researchers say.

In a letter in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, three scientists from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia cite several dozen studies requiring a participant to be "in a reciprocal relationship with a person of the opposite sex."

There are legitimate scientific reasons for excluding gays from certain studies. Scientists would want only heterosexuals if they were studying how HIV spreads during male-female sex, for example.

But the Fox Chase folks found cases where the reason for excluding gays is not clear: tests of a drug for attention-deficit disorder, a treatment for erection problems after prostate cancer surgery, and studies on sexual function related to diabetes, depression and benign enlargement of the prostate as men age.

Brian Egleston, a biostatistician at Fox Chase, made the observation while overseeing enrollment of patients into clinical trials at the cancer center.

"When I first saw this, I thought it was a fluke. The second time, I thought I'd dig deeper," he said.

Egleston and Roland Dunbrack Jr., a biologist, and Dr. Michael J. Hall, a medical oncologist, did a spot check of a government database of thousands of studies and turned up more examples, most of them private-industry trials.

Researchers seeking federal money for their work must explain why a study excludes a group based on gender, race or ethnicity, but no explanation is needed for exclusion based on sexual orientation, Egleston said.

Exclusion can become self-perpetuating: Researchers designing a study often "cut and paste" participation criteria from earlier trials on a similar subject.

"It becomes the way it's done," and any bias gets repeated, Egleston said.

Estimates of how much of the U.S. population is gay or bisexual vary widely; some polls have put it around 4 percent.

 


 

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L_Monty
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

I've said this in a bunch of threads already, but please forgive the late reply, as I've had a bunch of login problems similar to everyone else, in addition to having a death in the computer family.

 

chad wrote:

Just to add:

 

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy is not a "gay ban." The policy, as it stands, does not prohibit gays from serving in the military, but It does ban "openly gay" conduct- whatever that is. Defining "gay" or gay conduct" has been a bugbear for Americans both within and outside the military, My opinion is you're gay if you say you are.

 

Chad 

That is actually a gay ban. Banning conduct intrinsic to who someone is and claiming it's not a ban on them as people is a distinction without a difference.

 

Consider this, Chad:

 

You enlist in the army. Heterosexuals are not banned. You are free to be heterosexual. However, you are prohibited from engaging in heterosexual conduct. You know, the sort of thing that you would DO because that's what you ARE. But, really, it's not a ban on YOU, just your "conduct." That's fair, right?

 

Just make sure that you never:

 

- Express an attraction to a woman

- Flirt with a woman in sight of fellow soldiers

- Hold hands with a woman

- Date a woman

- Express that you want to or have dated a woman

- Get caught having sex or engaging in a romantic act with a woman

- Do any of the above even off-base and in your private time and then have someone see you or have someone else call someone you work with and mention it

- Get caught browsing pornography or arousing images or written content involving women

- Sympathize too enthusiastically with a fellow soldier who had/has/will have romantic contact with a woman

- Listen to music that expressly indicates that you are interested in having sex with women

- Attend a hetero-pride parade

- Attend a hetero festival

- Sign your name to documents supporting heterosexual sex

- Join a message board online oriented to heterosexual sex

- etc. etc. etc.

 

I mean, as long as you never did anything that a heterosexual person would do or evinced any demonstrable interests in the things that heterosexual people are interested in, this would totally NOT be a ban on heterosexuals. Because a ban on heterosexual conduct is not a ban on heterosexuals, because somehow the former does not define the latter. Right?

 

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chad
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

[ Edited ]

Many people feel that the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is a "banning" of homosexuals in the military. The military does make a distinction between "being gay" and "gay conduct." One term seems to be more obvious than the other. So, I can only agree with you as much as the two phrases are separable. My questions are the same: can and why do we define sexuality? The issues always seem to me to be about more than "who you are." Homosexuality (and also bisexuality and heterosexuality I think) has been classed as both a "sexuality" and a "lifestyle."

 

However, what you state about "heterosexuality" is not completely untrue, as you probably are aware. There are many "heterosexual" horror stories coming from the military that I cannot relate to you here. That is, heterosexual conduct or "sex" is something that the military must regulate (has regulated) in order for the military to be effective. Moreover, and more broadly, we, as a society, make a distinction between public and private lives.

 

Chad

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TiggerBear
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

chad wrote:

Many people feel that the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is a "banning" of homosexuals in the military. The military does make a distinction between "being gay" and "gay conduct." One term seems to be more obvious than the other. So, I can only agree with you as much as the two phrases are separable. My questions are the same: can and why do we define sexuality? The issues always seem to me to be about more than "who you are." Homosexuality (and also bisexuality and heterosexuality I think) has been classed as both a "sexuality" and a "lifestyle."

 

However, what you state about "heterosexuality" is not completely untrue, as you probably are aware. There are many "heterosexual" horror stories coming from the military that I cannot relate to you here. That is, heterosexual conduct or "sex" is something that the military must regulate (has regulated) in order for the military to be effective. Moreover, and more broadly, we, as a society, make a distinction between public and private lives.

 

Chad

 

Ok that only makes sense if you relegate it to "On Duty" behavior. But since DADT effects "Off Duty" as well, it is a gay ban. You want to limit resriction of sexual behavior on duty, sure try. But telling someone you also have to "not" off duty is a ban.

 

 

Defining sexuality nowadays is tricky. From my generation on catagorizing it into purly 3 catagories is a falicy. Or course read the first Kinsey study, in reality it always has been.

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chad
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

My understanding of the "Don't Ask, Don't tell" policy is that the policy is a compromise. The debate is about whether the policy is an effective compromise.

 

Chad

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TiggerBear
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

chad wrote:

My understanding of the "Don't Ask, Don't tell" policy is that the policy is a compromise. The debate is about whether the policy is an effective compromise.

 

Chad

 

 

(shaking head) I would call anything about DADT a compromise for anyone but politicians.

 

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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

Um, maybe it's just me but I don't see why it matters who's gay and who's not. I mean what does the DADT policy serve except to make insecure heterosexuals feel more comfortable? If they overturn the policy what changes other than a man could walk up to another man and say 'your cute' without getting booted?

 

The fact of the matter is that whether people like it or not homosexuals are in the military and they're going to be in the military either way. What difference does it make if people know someone is gay or not? Does that mean that a homosexual person won't have your back in combat? Does it mean that because that person is gay automatically they aren't able to do the same things or live up to the same potential of a heterosexual?

 

Come on people we aren't five anymore and still afraid of cooties, are we?

 

It's not a hard concept to grasp. Are people afraid to get hit on by a member of the same sex? Here's a hint: it works the same way if a member of the opposite sex hit on you and you didn't like it-- you tell them thanks, but no thanks. It's really not that complicated, is it? Am I wrong or missing something?

 

--Kayla

 

 

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
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L_Monty
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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

chad wrote:

My understanding of the "Don't Ask, Don't tell" policy is that the policy is a compromise. The debate is about whether the policy is an effective compromise.

 

Chad

Well, the point is that any policy that seeks a compromise by effectively criminalizing one type of personhood and not criminalizing another is not a compromise. It isn't about "inappropriate conduct"; for one group and one group only, it's about being

 

This brings up something that Kayla was getting at below, that the conceptual origins behind making the compromise itself are flawed:

 

 

 

crzynwrd4lf wrote:

Um, maybe it's just me but I don't see why it matters who's gay and who's not. I mean what does the DADT policy serve except to make insecure heterosexuals feel more comfortable? If they overturn the policy what changes other than a man could walk up to another man and say 'your cute' without getting booted?

 

As studies of integrated militaries have shown: effectively nothing. So long as commanders are vigilant about making sure that homophobic or discriminatory conduct is not tolerated, it's usually not a big deal. This is the bonus of having a hierarchical chain-of-command structure. People don't get to sit around and negotiate the things they like or don't like: they just do what they're told.

 

The problem with the "compromise" struck in the early 1990s was that it's one that molds expectations to accommodate bigotry and make it comfortable with itself. The proactive government solution was, "Well, we don't want to upset the people who hate gays." As Kayla suggested, it's one exists to make insecure or homophobic heterosexuals' lives easier. The solution here is to make people who don't like something not have to "deal" with it, instead of telling them that it's time to suck it up, deal with it and walk boldly into the latter-half of last century. This is why gay activists liken it to dealing with Jim Crow racism by telling black people to bleach their skin. Because what's seen as the optimal solution to dealing with hatred isn't to make hatred go away; it's to make the victims of it disappear themselves. That's not a "compromise." That's a forced surrender.

 

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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

 

L_Monty wrote:

 

As studies of integrated militaries have shown: effectively nothing. So long as commanders are vigilant about making sure that homophobic or discriminatory conduct is not tolerated, it's usually not a big deal. This is the bonus of having a hierarchical chain-of-command structure. People don't get to sit around and negotiate the things they like or don't like: they just do what they're told.

 

The problem with the "compromise" struck in the early 1990s was that it's one that molds expectations to accommodate bigotry and make it comfortable with itself. The proactive government solution was, "Well, we don't want to upset the people who hate gays." As Kayla suggested, it's one exists to make insecure or homophobic heterosexuals' lives easier. The solution here is to make people who don't like something not have to "deal" with it, instead of telling them that it's time to suck it up, deal with it and walk boldly into the latter-half of last century. This is why gay activists liken it to dealing with Jim Crow racism by telling black people to bleach their skin. Because what's seen as the optimal solution to dealing with hatred isn't to make hatred go away; it's to make the victims of it disappear themselves. That's not a "compromise." That's a forced surrender.

 

 

 

I totally agree with you Monty. The chain-of-command structure is effective-- when it's used. The fact that the 'higher-ups' have an image to uphold make them cowards and by as you said "Making the victims of it disappear themselves" they not only turn people into victims, they lower the morale of the people (causing divisions when there should be unity) and make themselves weak by giving into the people 'underneath' them. The problem I see is that most people won't read between the lines and see the underlying motives of said 'higher-ups'.

 

Kayla

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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 "it's about being." 

 

But homosexuality is a type of sexuality that sometimes means "being" something more than about sexuality. That is, sexuality is political, as Tiggerbear responded.

 

The military has changed its orientation to homosexuality throughout its history, ranging from a banning of "overt" homosexuality to stating that homosexuality is "incompatible" with military life. The latter was taken prior to the DADT policy.

 

I'm off this topic with one last reminder of the draft, the TV series and movie, "MASH" ,and Cpl Klinger, who, although unsuccessful at recieving a disharge in the Vietnam War, would not have had a purpose to dress so lavishly in Iraq were he to recieve a draft notice.

 

Chad

 

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Re: US military chiefs warn against lifting gay ban too quickly

 

chad wrote:

 "it's about being." 

 

But homosexuality is a type of sexuality that sometimes means "being" something more than about sexuality. That is, sexuality is political, as Tiggerbear responded.

 

The military has changed its orientation to homosexuality throughout its history, ranging from a banning of "overt" homosexuality to stating that homosexuality is "incompatible" with military life. The latter was taken prior to the DADT policy.

 

I'm off this topic with one last reminder of the draft, the TV series and movie, "MASH" ,and Cpl Klinger, who, although unsuccessful at recieving a disharge in the Vietnam War, would not have had a purpose to dress so lavishly in Iraq were he to recieve a draft notice.

 

Chad

 

 

 

Well sexuallity is political in so much as race is political, religion is political.... and yes one of these days we'd be better off if none of those things were an issue. They should not be.

 

Yes, and it still needs to change.

 

MASH was the Korean War, not Vietnam. And Klinger was trying to be considered crazy, homosexually was at the time wrongly considered mental illness.