Post Classifieds

If You Don't Want Homosexuals, Then Don't Call it "the Service"

By Sean Lynch
On October 12, 2010

True or False? Homosexuality is a part of society. Unless your name is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and you live in Iran, the answer is true. America is a society for all individuals, homosexuals included. We are here! We are queer! Now give us our rights, America!

On Tuesday, Sept 21, the senate turned down the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy, a law that was created to prohibit actively enrolled members of the military from disclosing their homosexual or bisexual orientation, as well as prohibiting such individuals who are open about their sexuality from enlisting.

Military discrimination against homosexuals is long withstanding in American history, but the DADT policy is fairly recent. It was enacted by President Clinton in 1993 as a compromise to allow homosexuals to enlist. As long as they did not tell anyone about their sexuality, they were allowed to remain.

Supposedly DADT was enacted to ensure cohesion amongst military personnel, as homosexuals will cause disruption amongst the ranks and make heterosexuals uncomfortable. To that I say, what says cohesion more than a group of members who are of various ethnicities, religions, genders and political parties? If the military is so worried about cohesion, then why does it not mirror the military of Nazi Germany, as it was comprised of individuals who were exactly the same. They certainly did not have to worry about conflict based upon an individual's background.

The American military, however, is nothing like that of the Nazis. In fact, the American military has made great strides to diversify. African-Americans and women are two prime examples of minorities that were not allowed to enlist, but have since been found to be as capable recruits as Caucasians and men. If it has been found that these groups can be invaluable members of the service, then why is it that homosexuals are still under speculation?

One of the reasons that repealing DADT has become such a big deal recently (other than popstar Lady Gaga leading a campaign) is the increasing practice of the military outing homosexuals. While the policy states that individuals will be discharged if they publicly announce that they are homosexual or bisexual, the military, as of late, has been essentially searching for them. Cases such as Lissa Young, a 48 year old former pilot, who was discharged in 2003, are becoming more frequent. Not only did Young not announce her sexuality to a superior, but she did not even state it. Her orientation was found when her private email was searched.

This surge in outing military personnel is even more alarming given that America is still at war. I would think, since our country is stationing troops overseas in other countries, and we no longer have a draft, that it would make sense to have as many soldiers fighting for us as we can. Apparently this is not the case. In 2006, Sergeant Bleu Copas was discharged from the military after one of his private emails was read. Copas had one of the most crucial positions for our current war: Arab linguist. Personally, If I was at war in a country with a language so different from my own that everything sounds like a swear word, I would not care about my translators orientation, as long as he can converse and keep me alive.

DADT is a policy that desperately needs to be repealed. It is fundamentally un-American in that it does not guarantee equal rights to all. It is time to accept the fact that being a homosexual makes you no less of a soldier than being female, Asian or Jewish. Homosexuality is not a choice, discriminating against homosexuals is.

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