Another Penatagon report
March 25, 2000 3:23 AM   Subscribe

Another Penatagon report indicates that there is no forseeable relief for gays in the military? When 85% of respondents (of the 71,500 U.S. military service personnel polled worldwide) state that they believe that anti-gay words and behavior is tolerated and 80% claim that they've heard an offensive remark (in the ranks) about homosexuals in the past year, is another onslaught of talking heads and pointless summits the answer? will it take another barry winchell to shake this administration into real action?
posted by jburr (6 comments total)
Umm, this is just a question, but have you ever *been* in any branch of the military? What on earth do you imagine 'this administration' can do about 'anti-gay words and behavior' in the armed forces? I'll give you a hint: just about nothing. The administration can threaten and cajole and promise zero-tolerance, and it will not make a lick of difference.
posted by CalvinTheBold at 9:53 AM on March 25, 2000

Damn! I knew he would comment!
posted by EngineBeak at 10:38 AM on March 25, 2000

Oh man! Don't curse me for commenting. :-)

I'm just cynical about these things. I just know that people are going to think that I'm anti-gay or something, which is far from the truth.

Besides, I *have* been in the military (USAF), and my experience was that the environment was openly hostile toward gays. (Don't let anyone lie to you and say it's subtle) My opinion, based on my experience, is that homophobia is nothing less than institutional in the military. They're *proud* of it. What exactly do you think the President can do about it? Try to keep in mind that regardless of what face they put forward, the brass are just as chauvanistic about these things as the grunts, and the entire institution from top to bottom will resist change.
posted by CalvinTheBold at 1:40 PM on March 25, 2000

Well, it took a while, but they finally accepted girls in their treehouse. I say grow up and get used to it, but that's just me. Who do they think they work for, anyway? Where else in the nation do they think they could get away with such behavior?

I'm not so concerned with the morons with one stripe who think it's their duty to kick somebody's butt based on mere hint or supposition. I'm concerned with the policy that allows dismissal of military careerists, often very talented, loyal, and effective soldiers. As long as that policy exists, the Morlocks we hire to carry guns around will feel justified in their behavior.
posted by dhartung at 11:29 PM on March 25, 2000

Well, it is legal to be a homophobe, and Title VII does not protect homosexuals from discrimination in the workplace, so they could "get away" with such behavior elsewhere.

I don't see the big deal with gays in the military. There have been gay men in the military since there was a military. The Greeks even thought that gays made the best soldiers. The new idea which hasn't been tried before is having women in the military.
posted by andy at 7:10 AM on March 26, 2000

What on earth do you imagine 'this administration' can do about 'anti-gay words and behavior' in the armed forces?
Issue an order and have it followed. Similar things have been done with female servicemembers and with the issue of ethnic diversity at West Point, where trainers are no longer permitted to make fun of recruits' names, ethnic origins, and the like. In fact, based on a New York Times Magazine article I read, trainers go to some trouble to get recruits' names right.

The military is the one place where you can legislate morality, or, failing that, legislate behaviour.
posted by joeclark at 9:25 AM on March 27, 2000

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