Gays In The Military. Essay

1998 words - 8 pages

Very often political institutions reflect the will of society and set the precedent for norms that will be expected of its members. The United States Military is still enforcing archaic policies which threaten to harm the principles our nation was founded upon. The principles of freedom and equality are those that every American hold closest to their hearts, which is unless you are in the military and are gay. The issue of gays in the military has developed into a case of whether our country should discriminate against a group merely because of involuntary sexual orientation. Two persistent principles are evident within this topic: homosexuals are ever present throughout all branches of the military and a persistent hostility against this group is in American society and the military. In order to effectively examine this topic the following concepts will be discussed: an analysis of the current Department of Defense policy concerning gays, solutions to reduce homophobia in the military, a policy model concerning homosexuals in the military (Lepicer 1-14).Prior to the arrival of the Clinton Administration with its agenda to radically revise military policy regarding the acceptance and treatment of homosexuals, Department of Defense policy was well established and clear. Legal questions began to be raised in civilian courts challenging the military exclusion and discharge policies in the 1960's and 1970's. The services were forced to explain and clearly justify specific limits and procedures used in relation to service members claiming to be homosexual or convicted of such behavior. During the Carter Administration a clear policy was signed into law.It reads:Homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The presence in the military environment of persons who engage in homosexual conduct or who, by their statements, demonstrate a propensity to engage in such conduct, seriously impairs the accomplishment of the military mission. The presence of such members adversely affects the ability of the Military Services to maintain discipline, good order, and morale: to foster mutual trust and confidence among service members; to ensure the integrity of the system of rank and command; to facilitate assignment and worldwide deployment of service members who frequently must live and work under close conditions affording minimal privacy; to recruit and retain members of the Military Services: to maintain the public acceptability of military service; and to prevent breaches of security. (Lepicer)Everyone agrees that gays were already in the military, but gays want to serve their country out of the closet. This concept pitted the gay community against the traditionalists who want to keep them out. The result is a compromising "Don't ask / Don't Tell" policy which prevents recruiters from inquiring about an enlistees sexual preference. The purpose of the military is to kill people and complete the mission at hand. Therefore anything that hinders the military...

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