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Openly gay soldiers now allowed in the US Mil

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
US military accepts openly gay recruits | World news | The Guardian

And the US military drags itself slowly into the latter half of the 20th century.

'Don't ask, don't tell' policy suffers another blow, but activists still warn applicants not to reveal sexuality
(did you see what the Guardian did there?)

America's military yesterday began accepting openly gay recruits into its ranks for the first time in its history as the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy suffered another serious blow.

The move comes after California judge Virginia Phillips ruled last week that the policy – which had previously seen openly gay soldiers kicked out of the US armed services – was illegal, and ordered a global injunction to halt it.

Though the Obama administration is seeking to appeal against that legal decision, the Pentagon has now told its recruiters across the country to accept applications from openly gay men and women.

However, the situation remains dogged by uncertainty. Some gay rights activists have warned that gay applicants should still not reveal their sexuality for fear that the policy may be reinstated if the government's appeal is successful. At the same time, the Pentagon advice to military recruiters directs them not to inquire of a person's sexuality, and not to disqualify any candidates who openly admit to being gay. It also adds that any such recruits should be warned that "don't ask, don't tell" could come back into force if the legal injunction quashing it is overturned.

"If they were to self-admit that they are gay and want to enlist, we will process them for enlistment, but will tell them that the legal situation could change," Douglas Smith, spokesman for US army recruiting command based at Fort Knox in Kentucky, told the Associated Press.

Getting rid of "don't ask, don't tell" has long been one of the main aims of gay rights groups in America, who argue that it is highly discriminatory in a way that would not be tolerated of any other social group. But it has now become a political headache for the Obama administration.

The president has frequently publicly committed himself to ditching the ban, but has stated he wants it to be removed by a vote in Congress, not by the actions of a judge. As such, the department of justice has committed itself to appealing against the injunction halting the policy in the hope of getting rid of it later with a political vote.

Many Republicans, including former presidential candidate John McCain, have spoken out in favour of keeping the ban. Previous attempts to ditch it with a congressional vote have failed and Obama's political influence on such a controversial subject is waning as Democrats gear up for a potentially devastating defeat in November's midterm elections.

That has left gay groups arguing that the best option to get rid of an unjust practice is simply not to appeal against Phillips's ruling, which the judge herself reinforced yesterday by refusing a government legal request to delay enforcement of her injunction. That was met by further delight among gay rights organisations.

"[We] applaud Justice Phillips for her leadership helping end such a discriminatory policy," said a statement from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The uncertain status of the law has caused much confusion within an institution that has historically discriminated against gay people. Before the 1993 law, the military banned them and declared them incompatible with military service.

There have been instances in which gays have served, with the knowledge of their colleagues.

Twenty-nine nations, including Israel, Canada, Germany and Sweden, allow openly gay troops, according to the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group and plaintiff in the lawsuit before Phillips.
 
#2
Going via the courts is generally the wrong way to go about such things (see Roe vs. Wade in relation to abortion), but I don't think that there was any choice left. The US system means that these days it is damn near impossible to get anything done.
 
#3
Going via the courts is generally the wrong way to go about such things (see Roe vs. Wade in relation to abortion), but I don't think that there was any choice left. The US system means that these days it is damn near impossible to get anything done.
If this stands, it will be one of the chapters in a future book "The Rise and Fall of America."
 
#6
JJH, to be fair the British Military went through much wailing and nashing of teeth before allowing serving homosexuals to "come out". There was the usual talk of 'impact on operational effectiveness' this and 'male rape in the showers' that etc etc. What was the impact? Well, none that you would notice to be honest because we have maintained objectivity - the sexuality of the rifleman in the slit trench next to you is irrelevant. All you worry about is his/her marksmanship! I don't believe this step marks the beginning of the end for the US Military - they are far to a professional organisation to allow that to happen.
 
#7
Despite my profound disagreement with JJ on this issue, lets not fall into the old trap of think the US is just another county of England, but with a funny accent. To do so is both a disservice to them, and ignores the complex socio-historical make-up of his country.
 
#8
JJH, to be fair the British Military went through much wailing and nashing of teeth before allowing serving homosexuals to "come out". There was the usual talk of 'impact on operational effectiveness' this and 'male rape in the showers' that etc etc. What was the impact? Well, none that you would notice to be honest because we have maintained objectivity - the sexuality of the rifleman in the slit trench next to you is irrelevant. All you worry about is his/her marksmanship! I don't believe this step marks the beginning of the end for the US Military - they are far to a professional organisation to allow that to happen.
I realiz(s)e that UK forces have already endured this. As I have said on other threads and continue to say, comparisons between the US and UK must be carefully done as they can be very misleading due to the differences in our respective "cultures" (history, traditions, "values" etc.) in spite of other shared characteristics and at least to some of us, long-standing and heartfelt affinity and appreciation.

I happen to be "pre-modern" in that I do not believe, on the basis of my Christian faith and other factors, the post-modern "progress" to which the original poster in this thread (IMHO snidely) alludes in his reference to the latter half of the 20th century, at least in regard to something like homosexuality," is in any way "good."

As a student of history, I see a great many parallels in these post-modern developments and the various factors that led to the demise of the Romans and other "civilizations" when their inhabitants became increasingly hedonistic, self-absorbed, immoral/amoral, slothful etc. etc. One aspect of this deterioration and the reason for my original post on this thread is the apparent inexorable pressure (as we now see in the US) by advocates of homosexuality and all the other "isms" of gender identity and whatever other IMHO perverse iterations are now popular that their "lifestyles" not merely be tolerated but rather be regarded as "normal" by everyone else.

As we are now witnessing, this pressure, enhanced by the documented well financed and placed lobbies that advocate such things, has not come to the US military and I do no think its otherwise professional ethos will outweigh the moral corruption that will follow.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
As a student of history, I see a great many parallels in these post-modern developments and the various factors that led to the demise of the Romans and other "civilizations" when their inhabitants became increasingly hedonistic, self-absorbed, immoral/amoral, slothful etc. etc. One aspect of this deterioration and the reason for my original post on this thread is the apparent inexorable pressure (as we now see in the US) by advocates of homosexuality and all the other "isms" of gender identity and whatever other IMHO perverse iterations are now popular that their "lifestyles" not merely be tolerated but rather be regarded as "normal" by everyone else.
Not to pick an argument, but to further discussion I would suggest that the above highlighted is not a result of sexuality and tolerance of sexuality but something else altogether, homosexuality can be as ascetic, disciplined and productive or more so (with one obvious exception) than the heterosexuality. The issues you suggest have their origins in other socio-cultural phenomena including increasing wealth and privilege, or indeed increased poverty and exclusion for that matter, the access to wider forms of self-gratification in the form of consumerism driven by capitialism. Would you not agree?
 
#10
You have to also realise that the UK is now a majority agnostic society, with little influence now of religious dogma. Therefor when these questions come about over here, the answer comes from a personal and individual point of view, ie: 'how will it effect me?'.

Unless you're a beardy, what is with face fungus and fundi nutters, christian, jews, muzzies?
 
#12
Must admit to being anti the policy in UK when it happened but to be honest the first openly gay soldier who ended up in my old unit was such a F*cking good shot that I put him straight in the shooting team. He was actually a good lad so I abandoned that particluar predjudice relatively easily.

And on a plus note I never had to compete for women with him!

My only concern is with issues like the Padre when normal banter is restricted so as to not hurt anyones feelings.
 
#13
I realiz(s)e that UK forces have already endured this. As I have said on other threads and continue to say, comparisons between the US and UK must be carefully done as they can be very misleading due to the differences in our respective "cultures" (history, traditions, "values" etc.) in spite of other shared characteristics and at least to some of us, long-standing and heartfelt affinity and appreciation.

I happen to be "pre-modern" in that I do not believe, on the basis of my Christian faith and other factors, the post-modern "progress" to which the original poster in this thread (IMHO snidely) alludes in his reference to the latter half of the 20th century, at least in regard to something like homosexuality," is in any way "good."

As a student of history, I see a great many parallels in these post-modern developments and the various factors that led to the demise of the Romans and other "civilizations" when their inhabitants became increasingly hedonistic, self-absorbed, immoral/amoral, slothful etc. etc. One aspect of this deterioration and the reason for my original post on this thread is the apparent inexorable pressure (as we now see in the US) by advocates of homosexuality and all the other "isms" of gender identity and whatever other IMHO perverse iterations are now popular that their "lifestyles" not merely be tolerated but rather be regarded as "normal" by everyone else.

As we are now witnessing, this pressure, enhanced by the documented well financed and placed lobbies that advocate such things, has not come to the US military and I do no think its otherwise professional ethos will outweigh the moral corruption that will follow.
well... maybe... but the parades will be FANTASTIC !!
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#14
Must admit to being anti the policy in UK when it happened but to be honest the first openly gay soldier who ended up in my old unit was such a F*cking good shot that I put him straight in the shooting team. He was actually a good lad so I abandoned that particluar predjudice relatively easily.

And on a plus note I never had to compete for women with him!

My only concern is with issues like the Padre when normal banter is restricted so as to not hurt anyones feelings.
Yup fully agree and it's not normal for our behaviour to be stifled in such a way and banter is about fun and making friends and keeping them. If someone over-steps the mark then we are all big boys and girls.
 
#16
You have to also realise that the UK is now a majority agnostic society, with little influence now of religious dogma. Therefor when these questions come about over here, the answer comes from a personal and individual point of view, ie: 'how will it effect me?'.

Unless you're a beardy, what is with face fungus and fundi nutters, christian, jews, muzzies?
A key point.
 
#17
Not to pick an argument, but to further discussion I would suggest that the above highlighted is not a result of sexuality and tolerance of sexuality but something else altogether, homosexuality can be as ascetic, disciplined and productive or more so (with one obvious exception) than the heterosexuality. The issues you suggest have their origins in other socio-cultural phenomena including increasing wealth and privilege, or indeed increased poverty and exclusion for that matter, the access to wider forms of self-gratification in the form of consumerism driven by capitialism. Would you not agree?
I am unabashed in taking my cues on this issue from the Bible. The other aspects may or may not be causative or contributive factors. I believe (key phrase) that the moral character of an individual and the nation corporately plays a much more critical role in both out day to day lives and the "trajectory" on which those lives are lived than the post-modernists who scoff at such outmoded silliness.
 
#18
Must admit to being anti the policy in UK when it happened but to be honest the first openly gay soldier who ended up in my old unit was such a F*cking good shot that I put him straight in the shooting team. He was actually a good lad so I abandoned that particluar predjudice relatively easily.

And on a plus note I never had to compete for women with him!

My only concern is with issues like the Padre when normal banter is restricted so as to not hurt anyones feelings.
I suppose we differ on such things. I have know several who are very good shots, parachutists, unarmed combatants, knife throwers, fitness nuts, etc. etc. who were each in their own strange way psychopaths, sociopaths or other oddities that I would never trust in spite of their prowess at some military skill.
 
#19
On a theological note, would you condone people suppressing their sexuality and pretending not to be gay? Because it always struck me that God was a lot sterner on bearing false witness than on acts of gayness.
 
#20
I have no doubt it will come-that does not make it good or right. I also do not think your comparison to slavery is especially apt.
Slavery, now, is seen as a bit of a no no. In time preventing people from serving their country because of who they fancy will be viewed similarly.

Britain beat America to allow gays in to the Forces, openly... and we beat America in denouncing slavery.

Thought it pretty good tbh.
 

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