Homosexuality in the Military

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, Bisexuality Pages: 5 (1795 words) Published: November 12, 2013

Homosexuality in the Military. Agree or Disagree?
Serving in the military is for many the most honored position they will hold in their lifetime. Many dedicate their entire lives to serving their country. For some soldiers however their dream of proudly serving their country was cut short because they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. America’s attitude towards acceptance of homosexuals has continued to grow over the past couple of decades, but full acceptance and equality is still far off. Nowhere are attitudes towards homosexuality more conservative than in the U.S. military, yet even here attitudes are slowly evolving towards acceptance and equality. Human sexuality is complicated, yet we live in a society that tries to only see such issues in a black and white fashion. Homosexuals have been a part of society since the dawn of man and are an accepted and integral part of many cultures. Likewise homosexuals have also served in militaries throughout history as well. For the ancient Greeks homosexuality was an accepted part of life and members of the military were encouraged to embrace this lifestyle, especially while on the battlefield. Such acceptance historically is not widespread; in fact just the opposite has been the experience of most gays serving in a military. The military forces of the world have differing approaches to the enlistment of homosexual gay and lesbian and bisexual individuals. Nations that permit gay people to serve openly in the military include the 4 of the 5 members of the UN Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia), the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Israel, South Africa, Argentina, and all NATO members excluding Turkey. The armed forces of most developed countries have removed policies excluding non-heterosexual individuals with strict policies on sexual harassment. President Obama declared that he would work to "finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." However, I agree with the sanction to tolerate homosexuality in the military. Sexuality has no bearing on one’s ability to be a good soldier or on the cohesion of a military unit. Gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military, because the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is harmful to both soldiers and the military. The history of this concept is unfathomable and all of society should educate themselves and take it under consideration. People who choose to have a different sexual orientation from society still have rights. The first time homosexuals were differentiated from non-homosexuals in the military literature was in revised army mobilization regulations in 1942. Additional policy revisions in 1944 and 1947 further codified the ban. Throughout the next few decades, homosexuals were routinely discharged, regardless of whether they had engaged in sexual conduct while serving. In response to the gay rights movements of the 1970s and 1980s, the Department of Defense issued a 1982 policy stating that homosexuality was clearly incompatible with military service. Controversy over this policy created political pressure to amend the policy, with socially liberal efforts seeking a repeal of the ban and socially conservative groups wishing to reinforce it by statute. A legislative policy was enacted in a 1993 bill signed by President Bill Clinton. The new policy continued the ban under which homosexuals were prohibited from serving in the military and their discharge was required. The main change that the new policy made was to prohibit investigation into a member's sexual orientation without suspicion. The new policy was known as "Don't ask, don't tell" and was seen as a compromise between the two political efforts. Furthermore, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy can be better understood in historical context. A historical perspective is also relevant to comparing policies toward service by gay and...
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