This is the fourth part in a four part series. What were the first three parts?
- HOMOSEXUALS IN OUR MILITARY: THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES
- HOMOSEXUALS IN OUR MILITARY: ARE HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS A SIN?
- HOMOSEXUALS IN OUR MILITARY: IS HOMOSEXUALITY A RIGHT?
This post will attempt to answer the following question: Should homosexuals be banned from our military?
What Is The Current Status Of The Law?
We have well defined prohibitions against active homosexuals serving in the military. Check the guidance Air Force provides its commanders here (Military Commander & the Law, 2009). At page 286, the document provides the ground-rules for discharging a homosexual from the military. ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has nothing to do with the policy. The focus is homosexual conduct. If a commander has creditable information that one of his (or her) subordinates has the propensity, the intent, or has actually engaged in homosexual acts; that commander can initiate inquires or proceed straight to the initiation of the separation process.
Note that the process for separating homosexuals from the military is not designed to be punitive. What the separation process is designed to do is to exclude the practice of same-sex sex by personnel within the ranks of the military.
How Often Are Homosexuals Separated From The Military?
Compared to the overall number of personnel in the military, the military separates relatively few people for homosexual conduct. In Don’t ask, don’t tell, Wikipedia provides statistics but not much perspective. In Homosexuality and the Military: What “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is and Why It Matters, Concerned Women for America provide such a perspective, and they provide reasons for keeping the prohibition in place. That includes this quote from the 2005 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
From the passage of the homosexual conduct policy statute, in fiscal year 1994, through fiscal year 2003 the military services separated about 9,500 service members for homosexual conduct. This represents about 0.40 percent of the 2.37 million members separated for all reasons during this period.
The point? The military expends almost no effort keeping homosexuals out of the military. If potential new recruits were asked (on the application) about their sexual orientation and told that the military prohibits same-sex sex, the number of people discharged for homosexuality would most likely approach zero.
How is the Law Enforced?
How a law is enforced depends upon who is in charge of enforcing the law. Compare, for example, how our nation enforces the law against illegal immigration. The majority of American clearly want our laws against illegal immigration enforced, but the power elite, the people we have elected to public office, show almost no interest in enforcing our laws against illegal immigration. So illegal immigrants troop across our nations borders.
Similarly, we have well-defined law against homosexuals in the military. Unfortunately, we elected a president and a Congress who want to see the law repealed. Thus, we have no good reason to expect the president will enforce the law. In fact, by creeping degrees President Obama’s administration has already taken action to weaken enforcement. See Pentagon Makes it Harder to Expel Homosexuals from US Military and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Snags Decorated Veteran Air Force Aviator.
Note that the last link includes a discussion of what happened when a senior officer voiced his opposition to ending the ban on homosexual conduct in the military. When Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon expressed his opposition in a letter to the Stars and Stripes, a respected publication that serves military personnel, he received a verbal reprimand. Here in Pentagon rebukes general for opposing repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law is the full story.
What Effect Would The Acceptance Of Homosexuality Have On Military Readiness?
Our military exists to defend our nation. It does its job by killing our enemies and breaking their things, thereby forcing our enemies to surrender. The military does not exist as a laboratory for social experimentation. The mission comes first. In testimony before Congress, General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, made this point by saying the following:
Sir, my professional perspective, first of all, is that our Commander in Chief has spoken and the Secretary of Defense has a way to examine, I think based on data and gathering of perspectives from the force, just how we should proceed. My personal opinion is that, unless we can strip away the emotion, the agendas, and the politics and ask, at least in my case, do we somehow enhance the war-fighting capabilities of the United States Marine Corps by allowing homosexuals to openly serve, then we haven’t addressed it from the correct perspective. At this point, I think that the current policy works. At this point, notwithstanding the results that the study will bring forward, my best military advice to this committee, to the Secretary, to the President, would be to keep the law such as it is. (from here)
The Secretary of Defense and many generals, all political appointees, have acquiesced to the pressure to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military, but the Commandant of the Marine Corps reminded everyone that the mission comes first. Unfortunately, the people at the very top do not want to listen.
What are the issues with homosexuals serving in the military?
- The Center For Military Readiness (CMR) provides a briefing here that summarizes the consequence of a new LBGT law. CMR observes that such legislation requires the following: “radical social change is assigned higher priority than military necessity.”
- Carried to the logical extreme, “straight” military who oppose homosexual sex would be silenced. That is, we can expect homosexual rights activists to push for an ironically named policy, “zero tolerance.” That is, zero tolerance of intolerance for homosexual conduct. If past is prelude, promotion consideration would eventually require actively condoning celebrations of “gay pride.” Undoubtedly, such efforts to thought police Christians would drive many out of the military.
What Is The Current Situation
Same-sex sex advocates are active on every front.
- Executive Branch: The Obama administration has directed the military how it might best end the prohibition of same-sex sex. To see what Secretary of Defense says about the review to the troops, see DON’T ASK DON’T TELL.
- Legislative Branch: Congress is considering the matter. However, the elections in November has Congress nervous. See Advocates nervous over pending DADT vote. What is worrisome here is what Congress might do after the election during the lame duck session.
- Judicial Branch: The judiciary cannot be depended upon to interpret the law as written. See Judge declares U.S. military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy openly banning gay service members unconstitutional [updated] and Judge: Military’s ban on gays is unconstitutional. Based upon the two judges President Obama appointed and the past behavior of the Supreme Court, the court could go either way. Pun intended.
Homosexual rights advocates have yet to address the practical problems; they claim discrimination similar to discrimination based upon race. What the military prohibits is homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct is by definition behavior. Because combat operations require that military personnel live and work closely together 24 hours a day, the American military has traditionally considered homosexual conduct disruptive to good order and discipline.
To win their case, all advocates for the current policy should have to do is establish that people will behave like people. When confronted with unrelenting temptation many people with a propensity towards homosexuality will give in to the temptation to behave poorly. Unfortunately, many people seem unwilling to accept the obvious.