Some good analyses and observations from the field on the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy at here:
Here is why DADT functions: Gays don’t get protected status for being gay. They can’t sue or otherwise demand special treatment because of their status as homosexual because they can’t admit to it.
Repeal DADT and that goes out the window. Now, any part of the military, from calling a cadet a “pansy” in boot camp to the whole macho ethos will have to be eliminated because it’s “discrimination.”
I hate to bring out my “the focus of evil in the modern world is the legal profession” card but it’s true. Gay soldiers will become an untouchable protected class. To see how that works, see Hasan, Maj. Nidal.
The best thing about DADT is it allowed gay people to serve but let everyone maintain the polite fiction that there is nothing “wrong” and everyone could get along. It forced the bigots to keep their mouths shut, and let the brass punish them if they didn’t, and it allowed gay people to serve as long as they didn’t cause any waves. It’s a win-win situation right now.
Do you have any idea how much Sexual Harassment training I had to endure due to a Drill Sergeant raping a female trainee half a world away, and me being in an MOS barred to women?
It was f*cking witch hunt time, as female soldiers used the new policies to file or threaten charges against superiors, ex-lovers, or coworkers they didn’t like.
How many claims of harassment and/or discrimination will today’s soldiers have to endure due to gay soldiers deciding filing a complaint would be a good way to get revenge, or a quick ticket back to Ft. Living Room?
In practice, gays will not be assigned to combat units, where they would be more of a problem in unit cohesion; instead, they’ll be given non-combat jobs.
Which means that straight men, who would expect to have the occasional non-combat assignment, will just get more combat assignments — which isn’t fair. Another poster brings up that this is just what happened as more women joined the Navy; the women got the land assignments, meaning men wouldn’t get them, and would tend to spend almost all their time at sea. Whereas before they’d swing the occasional patch of land-based duty.
There is a certain unseemliness in all this. Liberal-leaning people (socially liberal, even if otherwise conservative) campaign to get the the law changed to allow gays to serve openly.
But it is not, in the main, socially liberal people who actually sign up for the military. No, it is the socially conservative people who tend to fill our military.
So to some extent I feel that a lot of people are offering strong opinions about the conduct and entry requirements of an organization they refuse to join, basically overruling the opinions of those who keep the organization going.
But I am a worried about the pure numbers here — if allowing gays to serve openly in the military means that many more who would otherwise volunteer to serve don’t volunteer, well, our experiment in changing social norms will have a detrimental consequence on the military’s mission.
Let’s say the people who don’t want gays to serve openly are, as their angrier left-wingier critics would have it, homophobic, backwards, bigoted, etc. Let’s concede all that, for the sake of this point. Here’s what they also are: Ready to lay down their lives in defense of their country.
There is no avoiding the connection between traditionalist values about homosexuality and traditionalist values about service in the armed forces.
And I don’t think critics of the policy are giving sufficient thought to what may happen in many of the people inclined to military service decide it no longer represents their values.
The guys who make up the club should have most of the say about the rules of the club. I really doubt that many of the policy’s critics are willing to sign up to make up for drops in recruitment, should that come to pass.
See also My Views on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.