Two weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled “Will the Military Cut and Run on the Homosexual Issue.” It concerned flack over language in a 1996 policy document (reauthorized in 2003) that outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service members. The document, which was unearthed by a gay advocacy group, the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, listed homosexuality along with a group of mental disorders as reasons for discharge.The Center used this discovery to orchestrate a media campaign designed to browbeat those in charge of our military to reword the document in order to perpetuate the myth that homosexual activity is normal healthy behavior. I predicted the brass would cave. This prompted the following e-mail from an Air Force officer serving in Baghdad. I sought and received permission to share it with you.
I hope you are wrong, but the signs I see would seem to indicate you are right. We in the military have no voice, and professionalism prevents us from expressing political views, but it seems that no one is fighting for us. Everyone seems content to chant, “I support the troops” without ever considering what the word “support” means. I often feel I am at the center of an armed social experiment, rather than a military service. (Name withheld)
Does that break your heart? It should. Nearly every day that passes, young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan give their lives in the line of duty. Others are injured. Some are maimed for life.
Every one of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines suffer hardships that many of us never could imagine in order to fight terrorism and keep us safe. But their service is a lot harder than it ought to be. Fighting insurgents, sand storms, heat, fatigue and living communally are things these soldiers have to endure. Being viewed as objects of sexual desire in their most private moments is not. This is one stress that can and should be eliminated.
As predicted, the Bush administration took the bait from the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities and issued the following statement to PageOneQ, a gay website:
“Homosexuality should not have been characterized as a mental disorder in an appendix of a procedural instruction. A clarification will be issued over the next few days. Notwithstanding its inclusion, we find no practical impact since that appendix simply listed factors that do not constitute a physical disability, and homosexuality, of course, does not.”
Where does that leave our men and women in uniform? It leaves them between a 1993 law passed by Congress that excludes homosexuals from the military and the unworkable “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the Clinton administration, which was left in place by President George W. Bush.
Furthermore, this latest move could be used to help pave the way for homosexuals to serve openly in our armed forces, putting even more pressure on our men and women in uniform.
If homosexuality is not a physical disorder or a mental disorder, it must be perfectly normal. If it is perfectly normal behavior, why deny homosexuals the opportunity to serve their country, or so the reasoning goes.
The most problematic element of the Clinton policy is this statement “Sexual orientation is considered a personal and private matter, and homosexual orientation is not a bar to service entry or continued service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. ?”
If a “homosexual orientation” is not a disqualification for military service, how can authorities justify the dismissal of a service member who merely reveals (tells) that he or she is a homosexual? Ah, here’s the rub.
Presently, gays can join the military in peacetime, take advantage of all that expensive training, soak up benefits and, if there is a war, all they have to do is declare their homosexuality and say, “See you later guys.” Taxpayers are left with the bill. Their units are left shorthanded. They even get out with honorable discharges!
The dirty little secret is that 95 percent of gay discharges are “self-referrals.” It has been reported that the number of gay discharges has gone way down in the past two years. Not surprising, those who join the military for the wrong reasons simply don’t sign up in times of war.
Before you utter the words “I support the troops” again, make sure your support is genuine. Ask the president to scrap the costly “don’t ask, don’t tell” Clinton policy and demand that your representatives in Congress enforce the 1993 statue. It is the very least that you can do for our men and women in uniform.