Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gay rights: Don't ask, don't think

The central argument in favor of same-sex marriage or overturning "don't ask, don't tell" contains a fatal flaw. In fact, this is the flaw at the heart of the entire gay rights movement. Joint Chief Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen dutifully proclaimed the flaw as truth the other day when speaking in favor of ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. He said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Lie about who they are?

Sorry Admiral, but as a former ROTC instructor and legal officer in the United States Navy, I helped deny entrance to potential recruits and prosecuted existing service people for all sorts of behaviors that were incompatible with unit cohesion and military readiness. As you know, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice prohibits numerous behaviors that are not criminal offenses in civilian life (including adultery, fraternization, and gambling with a subordinate), yet I never once saw anyone excused for their behavior by claiming that's who they are.

The military is essential to our survival as a nation. It's not a social experiment, and serving in it is not a right. People have to qualify and then make sacrifices. Military people must subordinate many of their individual rights to advance the national interest. Recruits must agree to give up some of the freedoms that civilians enjoy, including certain sexual freedoms and even the freedom of speech! So even if homosexual behavior is permitted in society, that doesn't necessarily mean it should be permitted in the military.

Having served, I believe that the military needs as few sexual distractions as possible, be they from men and women serving together in combat or open homosexuality. The job is too difficult and critical to be complicating matters sexually. …
Perspectives --Frank Turek, Guest Columnist


Anonymous said...

The author talks about not permitting "homosexual behavior", but under "Don't ask, don't tell", anyone who simply says the words "I'm gay" can be dismissed without ever engaging in any homosexual behavior.

Cura_te_ipsum said...

You're going to have to define "homosexual behavior" if you think that ought to be considered in accepting a homosexual to the military.

Is it only limited to sexual acts with another person of the same sex? What about just looking at gay porn or hanging around in certain places? What about little things like a comment, a request--those things that may not actually constitute homosexual behavior to certain people, but may very well affect people/things that pertain to the military.

Furthermore, if being gay is "who they are" it seems unlikely that there wasn't something, somewhere, sometime in their behavior that was affected by their being homosexual.