Gays in the Military





Gays in the Military


In 1999, more than 1,000 men and women were discharged from military service due to their sexuality. That number has actually decreased compared to recent years. (Suro NP) Homosexuals were purged from federal employment in 1950, with Bill Clinton updating that policy in 1993 by adding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” policy. (Deicher 176) This policy doesn’t work and needs to either be updated again or the ban against homosexuals lifted. Gays should be allowed to fight for the military for employment reasons, the right to fight for one’s country, and because they are no different from anyone else. The fact of the matter is that not even experts can argue in favor of keeping the ban on gays in the military. With such strong evidence, lifting the ban should be the first priority for the newly elected president of the year 2000.
Throughout the years, homosexuals have been the targets of embarrassment, harassment, and criticism from society. The most dominant and publicized way this is shown is by the ban on gays and lesbians in the military. We are one of few countries that forbid homosexuals to serve in their country’s armed forces. Germany, Japan, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Spain, and many other dominant countries in the world allow and encourage everyone in their culture to fight for their country. (Hogan and Hudson 185) We are actually hurting our country’s military by forcing possible volunteers to stay home and watch the news when they could be fighting for our country, just because of their sexuality. It is so ridiculous that letters are sent out to recruit U.S. men to fight in the army, but they wouldn’t accept you if you are not a heterosexual.
The ban on gays in the military started in 1950. It was unchanged for 43 years until President Clinton came to office. He said in his campaign that he would abolish the ban on gays in the military. When he said this, he triggered a wave of homosexuals, previously in the armed forces, and currently enrolled at that time, to state their homosexuality, and “come out of the closet”. With thousands of gays doing this in a span of two years, Clinton’s promise was shot out of reach. His only hope was to improve on the law already in place, and he did so by adding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 1993. This policy made it legal for homosexuals to be in the military, as long as they didn’t state their sexuality. It also made it against the law to ask openly if a person is a homosexual or not. The policy was supposed to be law and obeyed, by everyone in the service.
This policy turned out to be a flop and wasn’t taken very seriously, as the higher ranked officers did not punish violators of the rule and some didn’t abide by it themselves. So later on, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was modified to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” policy, to try and cut down on violators of this law. This has been working to a point, but needs to be changed to teach and inform all members of the army about gays and lesbians, and to also discipline quickly and severely the members of the military that would be considered harassment, including verbal abuse, sometimes known as gay bashing.
The U.S. Military provides a very extensive line of employment. Whether it is an 18-year-old trying to pay for collage, or an older citizen working to support their family, the military is a great place to work. By having a ban against gays in the military, thousands of homosexuals can just eliminate the army, navy, marines, etc. from a choice in employment for them. Some of those people might not be able to pay for collage and hoped that the military would provide money for their education and because of the ban could not expand their education. Hundreds of gays in our country may not have an extensive line of skills to go into the work world and make a living for themselves. The fact is that the military’s