Homosexuality is not something new to the military of any nation. After all, Alexander the Great, one of the most admirable generals of ancient times is believed to have been openly gay and yet, was a notable conqueror of his era. So perhaps there is nothing wrong with allowing homosexuals to serve in the military?
Taking into consideration that at least 20 members of the NATO allied countries allow homosexuals and lesbians to openly serve their country as a valuable member of their armed forces, why then, should the United States of America — the land of the free and the home of the brave, have a policy of sexual orientation secrecy within its own armed forces? In the United States, this topic has become a hot political debate mainly because the military history of the nation had to deal with the crime of Sodomy during its early inception.
Sodomy within the ranks became a rampant part of the lives of the troops during the American Civil war thus, I believe, leading to the deeply ingrained fear of homosexuals within the military ranks. The right of homosexuals to serve in the military has become a long drawn out issue mainly because our country is a melting pot of traditions, cultures, and beliefs. These opposing beliefs have seemed to have always managed to find a way to get along or integrated into each other so much that it should not have been a problem to integrate the homosexuals into the military.
The problem is that homosexuality stands against everything that we have been taught to perceive as the normal functions of a man and a woman. Therefore, the acceptance of homosexuals in the military will remain a battle for many of those concerned. We have to recognize the fact that at present, we do have homosexuals and lesbians serving as productive members of the armed forces who simply do not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation.
The reason for this is because back in the 1980’s, when homosexuality in the military was slowly coming out of the shadows, there were certain purists in the military who disliked what was happening and began to take the matter into their own hands. This led to the open harassment of those suspected of being homosexual within the military ranks. Those who disliked having people of a different sexual orientation in their ranks became abusive and often times held the murderous “Blanket Parties” that led to the death of a number of military personnel who were deemed to be “queer” by their peers.
These violent encounters led then president Bill Clinton to sign the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy in the 1990’s. This was the policy that laid down the rules for the service of the homosexuals and lesbians in the military. This policy dictated that as long as a homosexual person did not openly perform acts that would confirm their sexual orientation, they would be free to serve in the military organization of their choosing without fear of harassment from their peers. This policy would be the closest the United States has ever come to allowing homosexuals to become part of the military world.
Most gays and lesbians will argue that they should be allowed to openly acknowledge their sexual orientation and that their sexual conduct has absolutely no bearing on their capability to serve the nation during times of war. The problem does not lie within the gays and lesbians but actually within the conditioned mind of their military brothers or sisters. Prejudice and homophobia? Perhaps. In truth, it is hard to accept their existence within the military ranks because of the stigma associated with the homosexual community and the fears spread by the belief that they are carriers of all types of disease.
As well as the myth that homosexuality is a contagious illness. The military is a well oiled machinery that works on the trust and cooperation of the platoon members and leaders. Homosexual relationships within the ranks tends to disturb the psyche of the heterosexual members of the troop because it destroys the balance of trust and brotherhood. A unit, company, or battalion can only effectively fight a battle when their thoughts are concentrated on discipline, order, and keeping the moral of everyone high.
There is an implicit need to be able to trust your partner and be confident that he will not be trying to take advantage of you during certain inappropriate situations on the battlefield wherein conditions dictate that you share such cramped spaces that you practically have your faces up against each other. The United States is at war with a race of people who openly detest and murder homosexuals in their own country. We can therefore surmise that having an openly homosexual soldier in a unit serving overseas would pose as a huge security threat for his company.
Mainly because while the battle is being fought to end terrorism, the soldiers also have to make sure that their homosexual co-soldier is not discovered by the enemy and used as an example to the rest of the homosexuals who may be in hiding in the shadows of the company. In such a situation, the homosexual will pose as a security threat and adds to the already difficult task of the unit because aside from fighting the war, they also have to keep an eye on and protect the homosexual soldier.
Something that is not part of their job description. I will submit that homosexuality can easily be accepted outside of the military scenario because the situations surrounding the existence of the homosexual is totally different. Outside of military life, homosexuals can be free to experiment and declare their homosexuality because it will not have any adverse effect on anybody else as it would have if the person were actively serving in the military.
War is a game of mental stability and cunning. Homosexuals do not think like the men that they should be since a part of them is female and thinks in other ways. Therefore, when push comes to shove, there is a possibility that the homosexual member of the troop will drop the ball and let his comrades down. Our soldiers are the epitome of manhood. They do not falter, they do not show emotion when on the battle field. Their mind is only concentrated on the completion of the mission.
The military has already conceded to allow the homosexuals to serve within the military ranks provided they do not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. Therefore the issue should not longer be turned into a gay rights platform by those who believe that the military should change overnight and allow the homosexuals to openly practice their sexual orientation while serving on active duty. Serving in the military should never become a political tool nor a platform for gay rights. Military service has no room for error.
It is not a right but a privilege to serve your country during its time of need. Our military codes have stood for centuries and has worked flawlessly for all those concerned. As our country battles to free the world from the threat of terror attacks, now is not the time nor place for the gay rights groups to try and experiment regarding how openly gay soldiers will be accepted by the military because when the homosexuals end up serving in the Middle East, they will have a bigger problem that just getting the military to recognize and accept their sexual orientation.
Bromberg, S. E. (1997). Homosexuality, ethics, and military policy. Retrieved October 28 from http://www. militaryethics. com/. Hughes, Brian. (2000). Should homosexuals serve openly in the military?. Retrieved October 29, 2007 from http://www. speakout. com/activism/issue_briefs/1222b-1. html. Wallace, James. (1994). The military’s ban against homosexuals should remain. Retrieved October 27, 2007 from http://www. compleatheretic. com/pubs/essays/gayban2. html.