Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Seiji, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. It's a big issue right now, being regularly discussed on all the major news stations. It's so big, in fact, the Pentagon has done a study on the issue, and certain members of congress is making demands that the policy be changed. As a matter of fact, there was a judge who recently that ruled that the policy was unconstitutional.

    Gays in the military, is what I'm talking about.

    Is it acceptable to you? Why, or why not?

    Why do you think such a big deal is made about it?
  2. I see it (the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy) as unacceptable and basically promoting anti-homophobic ideas. To me, the US army, perhaps the deadliest army in the world, comes off to me as a bit...odd if something that basically narrows down to "men liking men" or "women liking women" utterly sends them into complete uproar. As for the big deal, well, seeing as the times are-a-changing and minority groups have been increasingly gaining more attention and rights, this is only an extension of that.
  3. I think it's perfectly acceptable to have gays in the military. They are people just like you and I and if they chose to fight and defend their country they should be allowed to. What I don't find acceptable is the policy in general, a person's sexual preferences are their own personal business and it should be of no concern to the military, or anyone really (unless the person comes out and tells them, which is a big deal ).

    I think it's talked about because a lot of people see it as 'unnatural' and 'wrong', but in reality I think they are just too insecure in their own sexuality. I'm completely heterosexual, but I've got gay friends and have gone to gay nightclubs with them. Being gay is an important part of their lives, and they're my friends so I support them. It shouldn't matter who they are attracted to, but who they are as a person.
  4. I think its a big deal because a HUGE amount of the American population are still homophobic. I mean, seriously>? Get over it.
  5. I hate, Hate, HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE the don't ask don't tell policy!

    Warning: Strong Language after this point
    Show Spoiler

  6. Don't ask, don't tell. It raises serious issues within the military, both logistically and from a perspective of tolerance. My take on it is that they are not yet ready to do away with it. Why? Because people just want the immediate results without thinking things through.

    Where are you going to house these service members who claim that they are gay or lesbian? Do you room them with women for the gays, men for the lesbians? What showers do they get to use? And in the case that someone claims they are gay or lesbian, how do you prove that they are gay or lesbian before putting them with other gays / lesbians, potentially jeopardizing their right to privacy by placing someone claiming to be gay or lesbian among them? Where do you place bisexuals?

    These are only a few of the questions that need definition. Every branch of service has a strict policy on sexual harassment, sexual assault and equal opportunity. Bearing that in mind, all of these functions of the armed services have to be prepared for the influx of new rules and training, as well as being able to educate the rest of the armed services. Once you tackle that then you get down to the gritty part of categorizing the rest of your housing needs, such as more than doubling the categories of latrines.

    The armed services are simply not prepared for the change that politicians and others are so eager to implement.
  7. And if there really was such a detrimental effect on morale or unit cohesion on having gays in the miltiary, then wouldn't forcing them to conceal it make no difference?

    Does the -5 to Cooperation count only if they reveal their Gay Card in their Magic deck?

    I dunno about you, but I think it'd be best to simply *do what other countries not in the 19th century would do*, like Canada, which doesn't have such a policy and isn't exactly falling apart military wise. Same with the Netherlands, Denmark, Britain, Germany, Australia, and the Czech Republic. America is pretty much the only really noticeable country upholding this Homo-Jim Crow esque nonsense.

    Honestly, if I don't think simply segregating everyone based on gender would exactly help a whole lot unless you want more us-versus-them mentality, which the US military in general doesn't really need. Not giving a damn about sexual orientation sure beats giving a damn; grown men should be more interested in staying together as a unit rather than seperating into sub-units because of socially conditioned irrational fears.

    Change is better than no change. Get some shit done and move forward I'd say. We can continue to implement a very questionable system that only fortifies standing anti-gay sentiment and does a poor job of creating unity amongst the military, or we can do away with ages old fears and get out of an dumb, useless way of thinking. It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be instant, but it's a step forward that the military needs.

    If people keep telling themselves that it'll be too hard to change and simply only looking at the supposed difficulties and not the achievements they can make, then yes, it will be too hard.

    Take a look here too:

    Don't forget this one too:

    TLDR: Segregating units is a great idea if you really like how decreased combat efficiency sounds, as the Americans learned in the Korean war. Cliche as hell, but divided we fall, united we stand you know.

    Here's another example of integration working:

  8. Ok, I'm about to clear up a few misconceptions here

    First, gays ARE allowed in the military, always have been. "The don't ask, don't tell" policy specifically states that if an individual is homosexual, we don't want to know, short of some combat arms Jobs, not a whole lot will happen to you if you're gay, so long as you aren't caught balls deep in someone's ass (Or vice versa) Because anything other than heterosexual missionary is illegal.
  9. I dunno know about you man, but this report seems to speak otherwise:

  10. An issue with society as a whole. Just because gays are allowed in the military in the UK and other European nations doesn't mean that homophobia or misunderstandings don't still exist. Britain has a high number of gay bullying cases than the US does.

    Social constructs and culture can perpetuate homophobic attitudes and unfortunately when one belongs to a minority group, and is viewed as a danger to cultural norms gives them the "excuse" to abuse their power. It goes hand in hand with anti-Semitism and racism, which are likely bed partners with this affair. Case in point, humans fear things they don't understand, it's by far easier to fear thy neighbor than love them, and typical human arrogance.
  11. Doesn't change the fact that those nations are making and have made major steps to combat that in institutions normally unfriendly towards people bearing such supposed "weaknesses." Progress is a slow and painful road.

    I think homophobia is ultimately going to be linked to various other forms of discrimination; I wouldn't be surprised if people who hate on homosexuals target minority groups or people of minority religions either. See: most hate groups.
  12. Don't ask, Don't tell seems to be "If I don't look at it for long enough maybe it will just go away."
  13. Societal constructs, sexual insecurity, etc. If it's deemed unconstitutional, get rid of it already!

    Homosexuals have spread to almost every aspect of society that it's hardly surprising by now to see them take their place in the military.
  14. You missed the point a bit. As it stands right now, women and men are housed in separate living quarters within the US Military. The reason for that is simple... DoD doesn't want a bunch of sexual assault cases on their hands and other "added complications" due to the fact that we have lonely 18 year old men and women living together, and they may or may not be brushed up on their social etiquette just yet, you follow?

    It's also not about "irrational fears" or "segregation", it's about these individual's right to privacy. For instance, men can't shower with women right now while on mission/deployed because obviously, one or the other is going to be sexually attracted whether they want to or not. We're not even intermingled on a gender level as it is right now. Plus being without sex for a year does wonderful, terrible things to a person's mind... such as lower inhibitions and causing imagination to run wild, where the ugliest meat doll on the planet starts looking good to you (I'm speaking about the train of thought "God I just want to ____ that ___ right now"). And moreover, if you did decide to give gays and lesbians their own shower facilities, how do you ensure that good discipline and conduct is maintained in these facilities without it turning into an area of discomfort? If I wasn't single and I knew that I couldn't shower without someone grabbing my ass and having to explain it to my significant other later, it would be a source of discomfort for me (regardless of orientation). Just one example.

    So then you'd give them the choice to use such facilities, I suppose. Which brings on a whole new slew of questions. I don't have time right now.

    So even though big Army, or congress, or whomever may be fully ready to remove the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, how do you reach out to Joe Snuffy and tell them, "You know... it's okay if they love the same sex. They are not out to get you." Joe Snuffy, who may have had twenty years of full exposure / experience / training / RELIGION towards hating gays or lesbians. How do you reverse that kind of social intolerance? It simply doesn't start with your military. As Rory said, society has to be on board first, and it very simply isn't at this point. Perhaps painting an unfair picture of the military at the moment, but I have met individuals in my time who simply would never accept these changes, no matter how "whatever" I feel about it. They are not ready for the change and it will be abrasive if they do change it right now, with no preamble or warning, and people will get treated unfairly as a result.

    But I guess if you don't give a shit about doing things smoothly, which the American public never does, you could simply rip it to shreds and force your way with it.
  15. Actually, you're technically missing the point here as well as changing the subject. Yes, women and men are housed seperately, but women and men aren't exactly the same thing as heterosexuals and homosexuals or minority vs. majority racial/ethnic group, and as far as I'm concerned, the mechanics of the first issue aren't exactly a hundred percent similar as to those of the other two, biological differences between genders and all especially.

    I dunno, perhaps through the same used to keep heterosexual ones in control? I don't think simply becaue they're homosexuals that the shower facilities are going to be locations of wild bum-grabbing orgies. They're human beings like the rest of you and as such, can be kept in control the same way. There's no evidence as far as I'm concerned to show that homosexual harassment in the military would be terribly prevalent either.

    Did you actually pay attention to the fact that nations like Canada and Britain, who don't bother with policies like DADT, don't actually suffer any similar problems? There are programs you can implement, statistics you can show, information you can pass around, and various other undeniable facts that will point out that homosexuals aren't really the monsters some people like to imagine them to be. Even then, I doubt within the army they'll be willing to go around openly hitting on other people. It's not like they find every straight man attractive anyways.

    As if the military is suddenly seperate from the rest of society. The LGBT movement has been picking up steam and all the struggles of homosexuals are getting more and more media attention. Society is becoming more and more aware and "on board", and it's about time the military started catching up and changing alongside.

    Then I guess they'll have to suck it up and get ready. Sitting around and simply being afraid of change and constantly telling yourself that "you aren't ready" is a poor reason to not abolish DADT. As far as I'm concerned a lot of people were unhappy about the idea of serving alongside men of colour, but now it's a normal everyday thing that people aren't really giving a damn about. Homosexuals in the military should be next on the list of things to change from being controversial issues to things that people won't really care much about.

    Or perhaps I give a shit about giving outdated, dumb, nonsensical systems of belief that should be dead, cold, and non-existent no more such as DADT what they rightfully deserve. Perhaps the American military is okay with promoting the idea that homosexuals do not deserve to be seen as homosexuals, that they should be unable to express their unique identity, and that homosexuality is something that should be seen as less-human-than-human and feared, but an increasingly high number of people fortunately are not fans of dark ages style laws that are better suited for religious conservative fanatics. I don't deny that this may not go smoothly in the sense that no one is going to be not upset, but a few whiners complaining that "oh noes teh gays are coming" is a very poor reason to not have gays in the military. The rest of the world has moved or is moving on. America and its military should too.
  16. ...why the fuck should sexuality matter when there is "no fraternization" rules (as in 'DONT GO OUT WITH/FUCK EACH OTHER').....then again, that may just have been cadets.
  17. I think the concerns Tain raises about things like housing, showers, etc. are interesting, but largely irrelevant to the debate about DADT. Gays and lesbians are already in the military - they're just not allowed to be out. So whether you agree with it or not, they are living in your barracks and taking showers with you already. Repealing DADT isn't about forcing gay people into the military, or instituting some kind of pro-gay agenda; it's just about allowing gay servicemembers to have the same right as straight ones: to live a normal life and not have to hide a major part of their lives from their colleagues.

    If you're a male soldier, you are allowed to have a picture of your wife and kids in your wallet. But if you're a male soldier, and you have a picture of your husband and kids in your wallet, it is grounds for discharge. That's unjust and that's what repealing the DADT policy would address.
  18. Alright now before I get shot or something for saying this, I just want to say this was the way I looked at it when I was younger. Maybe it still makes sense and maybe it doesn't make any sense at all.

    But everyone in here seems dead focused on the DON'T TELL half of this policy that's been around for a while. And everyone seems to have forgotten the rule which proceeded DADT. No one wanted ANY homosexuals in the military no matter what. It was a law Harry Truman signed in 1950 [Back during all that hilarious "Red Scare" stuff] basically saying that homosexuals were "incompatible" with military service. None of them were allowed in BY LAW. It was under that law the military could question and pursue an investigation into determining someone's sexuality if suspicions were aroused.

    And if you were outed either by your own actions or the MILITARY'S INVESTIGATION INTO YOUR SEXUALITY, YOUR PRIVACY, your ass was out without any way to repeal it or take it back or anything like that.

    So as a younger me I thought it was the Don't Ask aspect that was actually kind of nice. If you look at it from a defensive point of view, it means no one can go on a damned witch hunt for people just because of their sexual orientation. Of course to everyone here that sounds like it should be a given. No one should go on a witch hunt because this is America & this isn't the Spanish Inquisition. But the truth is they COULD do something as unconstitutional as that for 43 years until DADT was introduced in 1993.


    Damn we're a progressive country aren't we? >_>

    It was the best compromise at the time possible, one that was smooth and made gradual headway. One that at the time, President Clinton could offer the Gay Community who was pressuring back then JUST FOR A CHANCE TO FUCKING SERVE. I'm not saying Gay & Lesbian people don't deserve to be treated equally, after all this is supposed to be the land of the free. But it really gets on my damned nerves sometimes when people IN GENERAL forget about the way things used to be and act ungrateful that progress in any form has been made. Or act like they've forgotten anyone has even tried at all to help. And while I love my country, I know it isn't perfect. We all know it isn't perfect and right now the rest of the world is making it look like we're playing catch-up on this issue.

    But the fact is that DADT at least made it possible for gays to serve in the military more easily. Because of this at least something was accomplished. They cannot ask and expect an answer from the questioned person about their sexual orientation in the military. Something is in place to at least attempt to protect Gays and Lesbians in the military. Is it completely fair? No, of course it isn't.

    At least it is THERE though.

    Now I'm sure everyone would like to claim we're all a better society now that it's 2010 [Nearly 2011] & some people especially that think consequences be damned let's get this show on the road. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their approach. It's already been nearly 20 years since DADT was implemented. All I'm saying is if it took 43 years JUST to get some tiny improvement like DADT implemented . . . how long do you think it's going to take to get the entire package of Gays & Lesbians able to serve openly in the military?

    So other than that little rant, I agree with Charbovari.

    Cause I mean seriously, US military, going after wallet pictures as "telling"?

  19. It's one thing to give people the chance to serve but it's another to do so while spitting on their faces and hiding "acceptance" behind a veil of homophobic red-tape bullshit. Yes, it's "better than before", but we might as well be saying "the shit smells cleaner than it did a few years ago, never mind that it still smells like shit." Simply going "oh well I *guess* it's better" simply isn't enough, but you forget that DADT brings in immense problems of its own, not to mention that the rules the policy works by pretty much by nature insult gays all over the world and openly promote homophobia and the continued message that homosexuality is something that is not to be valued, seen as natural, or socially acceptable. People aren't being ungrateful.They're being socially conscious and refusing to take half-ass comprimises that keep America behind while nations like Britain and Canada just give meaningless bullshit that makes no sense like DADT the boot.
  20. Great point, Orion. Progress is often a long, hard slog, and taking baby steps is often better than trying to force too many changes all at once (think of the French Revolution versus the American Revolution)... so the question really becomes, as you said, "Are we ready?"

    Here are the basic findings from the Pentagon report that Seiji mentioned in the original post:

    So, it would seem that the military itself is ready.

    But it's an interesting point nevertheless, the question of "how do we know when we're ready?" Is 70% to be high enough, or should be 80%, 90%, or 100%? It's a hard question to answer, and I think it really depends on the nature of the issue, the degree of injustice being committed, and the amount of harm to being done the people who are being treated unfairly. I think we can all agree that DADT is an improvement on the past 50 years, and that it isn't as grave a problem as were slavery, Jim Crow laws, lynchings or unequal suffrage.

    On some issues, the level of injustice isn't so intolerable, and gradual reform might be the best approach. But sometimes, not wanting to stir the pot, and telling people to just be patient and waiting for public opinion to change, can be painfully, tortuously slow - and in those cases, a strong push for reform can be a very good thing (the women's rights and African American civil rights movements are good examples). Which side of that continuum the gay rights movement is closer to is an open question.

    I think that gays and lesbians actually face far more numerous issues in the home and social environments, rather than in problems that the government can actually legislate away. So there's something to be said for the fact that our government has become much more equitable since the civil rights movements of the 60s, and the true battleground now is in the areas of public perception and social acceptance. As more people have the courage to be out, hopefully that'll help "Grampaw" realize that gays aren't the devil, they're just people who are born differently, want to have the same rights as their straight brethren, have an opportunity to experience the happiness found through love, and live their lives in peace.

    Finally, as a side note, here is another interesting point from the Pentagon report on the "bathroom" issue (emphasis mine):