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The Financial Cost of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

Under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," more than 10,000 Americans serving the country in the military have been expelled for homosexuality. A new study sponsored by the University of California has found that in the period from 1994 to 2003, the cost of discharging and replacing gay service members was at least $363.8 million. That figure, which the researchers say is a low-ball estimate, is 91% higher than the estimate released by the General Accounting Office a year ago.

I'll look through the report in detail and report more later. In the meantime it can be found at http://www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu/Publications/2006-02BlueRibbonFinalRpt.pdf.

Bob Bobstein (mail):
Freedom isn't free.
2.15.2006 9:39am
go vols (mail):
I would imagine that the loss of the homosexual Arabic translators was a good example of this problem. How much good could have been done with these individuals in the service?
2.15.2006 9:40am
Public_Defender:
What's all the fuss about? Hating gay people is more important than an effective, efficient military.

What could be worse than a gay man in the military? Only a gay man who stops dating around and forms a life-long monogamous relationship. Those men are true threats to us all. Worse than Al-Qaida, in fact. Which is why we need to attack gays even when that makes our military less effective.
2.15.2006 9:52am
Kevin P. (mail):
While I am no fan of Don't Ask Don't Tell and feel that gay Americans should be able to serve just like anyone else, you may want to check on the mission statement of the "University of California" that created the study:
http://www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu/MissionStatement.htm

Quote:

What role do state institutions play in shaping identities and constructing beliefs about deviance that privilege some groups and pathologize others? In Nazi Germany, nationality laws specified the precise ratio of Jewish blood that differentiated German citizens from aliens. ... These instances suggest that understanding the state's role in constructing and demonizing identities can be an important part of studying subsequent regulation and elimination of persons.
2.15.2006 10:12am
Medis:
Kevin P.,

Although in my view, the GAO's number makes the same basic point.
2.15.2006 10:19am
Cornellian (mail):
The ban will be gone within 40 years, when soldiers in their early 20's today are running the military, or on the date when the draft resumes, whichever is earlier.
2.15.2006 10:38am
ajf (mail) (www):
it seems to me that any decent analysis would also look at the costs of separating military members for homosexuality pre-DADT. looking at this in a vacuum tells me very little.
2.15.2006 10:40am
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Just to play Devil's Advocate, what would be the attrition rate of non-gay soldiers if there were no don't ask don't tell? How much would it cost to replace them? And to adjudicate (even on the administrative level) charges of sexual harassment? (which, even if mostly unfounded, would undoubtedly increase if "Don't ask, don't tell" were eliminated)

I don't think you can say that "program A costs $X/yr" and have that argument be dispositive on its own for eliminating program A without ALSO determining what the ongoing costs of eliminating the program would be.

I'm not saying that it wouldn't be cheaper overall -- just that it's FAR from proven.
2.15.2006 10:46am
ajf (mail) (www):
i should find my copy of "conduct unbecoming" - shilts looked at the trends in separation for homosexuality pre-DADT.
2.15.2006 10:48am
Nobody Special:
I too tend to be skeptical of much research produced by universities' advocacy centers, which are often simply shills for the academics' causes.

For example, the Williams Project at UCLA is not going to give you objective information regarding the benefits and costs of gay marriage, as its primary goal is to obtain the establishment of that.

Everyone can get in on the fun, too- complaining about Monsanto funding biology departments was a pretty popular pastime at Cal when I was a student there.
2.15.2006 10:49am
JohnAnnArbor:
The ban will be gone within 40 years, when soldiers in their early 20's today are running the military, or on the date when the draft resumes, whichever is earlier.

It's mandated by Congress, not the military itself. The military can't change it on its own.
2.15.2006 10:51am
Dusty (mail) (www):
This meme last came up, as far as I noticed, in blogs about a month ago, using the GAO report. The GAO report, if I remember correctly calc'd $95M for the 9,500 separated.

In comments at that time, numbers such as $150,000 were put out as estimates for training replacements in critical occupations, which I took to mean up and operating after 4 or 5 years. But I have a problem with using that kind of number as a replacement cost (I don't remember seeing one in the GAO report) when one considers the wide range of statuses of those separated, e.g., 10% (just numbers for comment purposes) separated during basic training; 20% half way through, say, basic language school, etc.

It will be interesting to see the paramters of this study.
2.15.2006 11:09am
nk (mail) (www):
This is better than talking about ancient Thebans. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy is irrational. A good soldier who happens to be homosexual becomes a bad soldier when he tells others he is homosexual. I know all the nonsense about effect on morale, etc.. That's what sergeants are for: "Just get on your feet and pick up your pack soldier and don't worry how other people get their jollies". The Israelis have a "don't tell us we don't care" policy. Does anybody think that the Israeli Army are a bunch of sissies?
2.15.2006 11:09am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Does this study take into account the fact that DADT is basically a "get out of the military free" card for anyone who *really* wants it? I have a friend (not a rumor... I know the guy personally) who hinted to the chaplain that he was having "inappropriate thoughts" about his CO. He was gone within the month with an honorable discharge.

His girlfriend was amused.
2.15.2006 11:10am
Sailorcurt (mail) (www):
"what would be the attrition rate of non-gay soldiers if there were no don't ask don't tell?"

Excellent point. This "research" is a case study in how to look at only one side of an issue to reach a predetermined conclusion.

Those people who think ending the Don't ask Don't tell policy would have little or no adverse effect on morale, retention or battle efficiency either have no military experience upon which to base their opinions or are simply lost in their own little world.
2.15.2006 11:12am
Public_Defender:
Those people who think ending the Don't ask Don't tell policy would have little or no adverse effect on morale, retention or battle efficiency either have no military experience upon which to base their opinions or are simply lost in their own little world.
Are your saying that the entire Israeli and British military "have no military experience upon which to base their opinions or are simply lost in their own little world"?
2.15.2006 11:18am
Nobody Special:

Are your saying that the entire Israeli and British military "have no military experience upon which to base their opinions or are simply lost in their own little world"?


Social attitudes in Israel and the UK are vastly different from those in the portions of the US that supply soldiers to our military.

I don't think you can draw conclusions from them that are generally applicable to ours.
2.15.2006 11:24am
Dusty (mail) (www):
Okay, here's a couple of pertinent quotes from the GAO "Brief" section:


The total costs of DOD's homosexual conduct policy cannot be estimated because DOD does not collect relevant cost data on inquiries and investigations, counseling and pastoral care, separation functions, and discharge reviews. DOD does collect data on recruitment and training costs for the force overall. Using these data, we estimated that it would have cost DOD about $95 million in constant fiscal year 2004 dollars from fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2003 to recruit replacements for enlisted servicemembers separated for homosexual conduct. [...]

The military services separated 9,488 members pursuant to the homosexual conduct policy statute from fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2003, some of whom were in critical occupations or had important foreign language skills. Seven hundred fifty-seven (about 8 percent) of these separated servicemembers held critical occupations10 ("voice interceptor," "data processing technician," or "interpreter/translator"), as defined by the services. About 59 percent of the members with critical occupations who were separated for homosexual conduct were separated during their first 2.5 years of service, which is about 1.5 years before the expiration of the initial service contract of most enlistees. Such contracts are typically for 4 years. Also, 322 members (about 3 percent) had some skills in an important foreign language such as Arabic, Farsi, and Korean.11 A total of 98 members separated under the homosexual conduct policy statute completed language training at the Defense Language Institute and received a proficiency rating; 62 members, or 63 percent, were at or below the midpoint on DOD's listening, reading, or speaking proficiency scales.


Now on to looking at the UC study.
2.15.2006 11:24am
Public_Defender:
Social attitudes in Israel and the UK are vastly different from those in the portions of the US that supply soldiers to our military.

I don't think you can draw conclusions from them that are generally applicable to ours.
How? Be specific. The anti-gay crowd just repeats "unit cohesion" and "moral" like a mantra without giving any support. When pressed, they say, "if you weren't in the military you can't understand." It sounds like they just can't articulate a defense for their view.

Why are Israeli and British, but not American, soldiers, capable of doing their duty regardless of how the gender of the spouse of the guy next to them?

I think your argument insults the morality, competence and professionalism of American soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors.
2.15.2006 11:34am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
I was in the Army before the recent wars, and I readily concede the possibility that combat soldiers are less squeamish about who they share a foxhole with.

However, in 97-2000, the Army was hugely homophobic. When I was in basic training in Ft. Benning, GA, two soldiers were caught having sex. They narrowly escaped a beating, and had to be immediately separated for the remainder of their time in the Army - which was only 5-6 more days.

Right or wrong - and to be sure, it's wrong - many soldiers are deeply homophobic. The Army's chief concern is of course efficiency. The only relevant question therefore is what is more efficient - to re-educate soldiers' beliefs, or to let their prejudices rest, and keep gays out of the military?
2.15.2006 11:35am
Medis:
Frankly, by 2046 we will probably be able to decide the military efficiency issues just by looking at the results of the border wars between the USPNA (United States and Provinces of North America) and Jesusland.
2.15.2006 11:44am
ajf (mail) (www):
Right or wrong - and to be sure, it's wrong - many soldiers are deeply homophobic. The Army's chief concern is of course efficiency. The only relevant question therefore is what is more efficient - to re-educate soldiers' beliefs, or to let their prejudices rest, and keep gays out of the military?


gee. if that's the relevant question, it's a wonder the army was ever race-integrated.
2.15.2006 11:47am
Fishbane (mail):
KevinP: While I am no fan of Don't Ask Don't Tell and feel that gay Americans should be able to serve just like anyone else, you may want to check on the mission statement of the "University of California" that created the study:
http://www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu/MissionStatement.htm


Equally worth looking at is the list of commission members (on the report itself):

Professor Frank J. Barrett
Naval Postgraduate School

Professor Coit D. Blacker
Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for
International Studies, Stanford University

Professor Donald Campbell
U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Professor Kathleen Campbell
U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Dr. Ralph M. Carney
Defense Personnel Security Research Center

Professor Mark J. Eitelberg
Naval Postgraduate School

Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret.)
Former JAG, U.S. Navy, 1997-2000

Dr. Lawrence J. Korb
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense,
1981-1985

Honorable William J. Perry
Former Secretary of Defense, 1994-1997

Col. Timothy Ringgold
U.S. Army (Ret.)

Glenn T. Ware, Esq.
Military law expert

Professor Aaron Belkin
University of California, Santa Barbara (Chair)
2.15.2006 11:48am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
ajf,

The Army is clearly more efficient through having been integrated. You also don't need to be military historian to recall the difficulty and costs of integration. Similarly, re-education, and integration of gays into the military may very well be the best long term strategy. But don't think of it as a moral question. The question with respect to the Army must be - Under what conditions, will this Army be best at killing the people we want it to kill?

In Statecraft, Thatcher wrote about integrating women into the military. She pointed out an instance where women complained that the grenades were too heavy for them to throw, so the British Army made lighter (and less powerful) grenades. This has the obvious consequence of making the military less efficient, putting its members lives at greater risk, etc.

The point is that the question of "who gets to serve?" must be decided on the basis of who the military needs. It's not a question of "rights," or shouldn't be in any case.
2.15.2006 11:53am
submandave (mail) (www):
I haven't poured through this particular agenda-driven "study", but others I've seen before calcuate costs in the following manner:
  • X number of military members have been discharged for homosexuality
  • it costs $Y to train a linguist (one of the more expensive training programs around)
  • therefore, this policy has costs us $(Y x X)
The easy to see falicy is, of course, that this estimate assumes that every single member lost was a linguist.

Also, I've been in the militay, active and reserve, for almost twenty years and even before DADT all the members I've ever had personal knowledge of being discharged for homosexuality either reported themselves or their sexuality was discovered and incidental to other circumstances (e.g. the guy is AWOL and subsequently found to have run away with his lover). In today's military while I'm sure one may be able to find a case where a member's sexuality was pursued in an effort to remove him, I'd bet a paycheck that 90%+ of these discharges happened because the member walked into the boss' office and said "I'm gay". Like it or not, DADT has been established as the rules under which we try to avoid having to enforce the law that requires homosexual members to be discharged, but like any lawyer will tell you if only one party fulfills their obligations the deal if off.

Which brings me to my final point. While you may not like the DADT policy, everybody waiting for "soldiers in their early 20's today [to be] running the military" needs to understand that these same soldiers will have no choice but to conform to the same laws we have today unless the civilian body with legal authority to regulate the Armed forces (i.e. Congress) changes it. Anybody who uses DADT to beat up on the military is operating from an anti-military predisposition, woefully ignorant of the controlling legal authority or likes having the issue more than they really want to resolve it.
2.15.2006 11:55am
Hans Bader (mail):
This provides the best argument for eliminating the military's ban on gays. This study should be given serious consideration by Congress and the military.
2.15.2006 12:10pm
ajf (mail) (www):
...integration of gays into the military may very well be the best long term strategy. But don't think of it as a moral question. The question with respect to the Army must be - Under what conditions, will this Army be best at killing the people we want it to kill?
...
The point is that the question of "who gets to serve?" must be decided on the basis of who the military needs. It's not a question of "rights," or shouldn't be in any case.


given the expanding role of the military in... PEACEKEEPING efforts, it's a tad disingenuous to distill the mission of the army (or any other branch) down to "killing the people we want it to kill."

your second point -- who the military needs -- is a bit more accurate, IMO. but it doesn't support banning gays from the military, or DADT.

that said, however, as long as there are taxpayer-funded, post-service benefits for military members, i think the question of "rights" is quite relevant.
2.15.2006 12:20pm
Taimyoboi:
"Why are Israeli and British, but not American, soldiers, capable of doing their duty regardless of how the gender of the spouse of the guy next to them?

I think your argument insults the morality, competence and professionalism of American soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors."

Public Defender,

And I think your feigning indignation for a lot people with whom you don't actually share similar values.

Currently, the people who are most willing to support gays in the military, gay marriage and the like are also the least willing to serve, while those who are least likely to support these causes are the most willing to serve.

And I don't think Israel is a fair argument to make, since service is compulsory. People there have to serve irrespective of how they view gays, and last I checked, I don't believe gay marriage is allowed in Israel.

As for Britain, I think others have made the substantive point that their cultural attitudes have diverged greatly from ours. Additionally, while those who serve under Union Jack have my respect, I wouldn't willingly replace the US military with theirs--a consideration that should also be weighed when making these appeals to other countries.

Would you be willing to swap the US military for Canada's in trade for the opening of the military to gays?
2.15.2006 12:25pm
Public_Defender:
Right or wrong - and to be sure, it's wrong - many soldiers are deeply homophobic.
Now, if only the anti-gay crowd were as honest as you, we could have a real debate. Part of the problem is that the anti-gay crowd likes to focus on the disruption gays would allegedly cause by coming on to non-gay soldiers, as if it were the gay people's problem. If you are correct, the real problem is the bigotry of many soldiers.

Can anyone explain how the military integrated black people into units with white bigots? Eventually, white bigots learned to work with black people and even to take orders from black NCO's and officers. Why can't the anti-gay bigots do the same?
2.15.2006 12:29pm
Taimyoboi:
"...given the expanding role of the military in... PEACEKEEPING efforts..."

AJF,

I think you make a fair point here, but I would also add that their is more to the distinction than you are letting on.

The military also, I believe, allows women to serve in a number of non-combat related but not combat roles, for precisely the point you raise. Their are functions of the military that are not directly related to combat where women can and do serve and add value to our military.

But, the crux of Mike's point was with respect to the combat effectiveness of our military, and so I think his point remains valid.
2.15.2006 12:31pm
e:
DADT needs to go, but from my experience in the military, I would say that good order and discipline Can suffer when people of any orientation wear their sexuality or religion on their sleeves. The idea of keeping bedroom activities private isn't terrible, but it isn't realistic for hetero or homosexuals.
The efficiency argument seems weak - similar arguments could be made by looking at the costs of heterosexual problems and pregnancy as women have become more integrated. Such arguments ignore the costs of what didn't happen. Racial integration still causes violence and disorder, even though all of us would hopefully agree that such inefficiency is worthwhile for both the military and society.

Public_Defender wrote:

What could be worse than a gay man in the military? Only a gay man who stops dating around and forms a life-long monogamous relationship. Those men are true threats to us all. Worse than Al-Qaida, in fact. Which is why we need to attack gays even when that makes our military less effective.

Marriage has been proven to keep people monogamous? People need the word "marriage" to be sanctioned by the government to determine their fidelity? I suppose civil union for both homo and heterosexuals would lead to more failed unions, and not disturb enough religions.
2.15.2006 12:42pm
Neal Lang (mail):
What's all the fuss about? Hating gay people is more important than an effective, efficient military.

What could be worse than a gay man in the military? Only a gay man who stops dating around and forms a life-long monogamous relationship. Those men are true threats to us all. Worse than Al-Qaida, in fact. Which is why we need to attack gays even when that makes our military less effective.

That is the problem when someone let's their sex life define who they are. The solution is not "do ask - don't tell", which the problem. If someone wishes to make "sex" (either homosexual or heterosexual) their main priority, then they are unfit for military service.
2.15.2006 12:53pm
Some Guy (mail):
Hmmm. And where is the study on how much it will cost to make up for lost straight soldier recruitment when you succeed in integrating homosexuals into straight units? I understand YOU aren't interested in how much it will cost to destroy the institutions and build them back up, but if you are making an argument that homosexuals make ECONOMIC sense, why aren't you providing both sides of the story?

My guess is that this is because this study and argument, much like every word that comes from the homosexual "rights" lobby, is so much hot air.
2.15.2006 12:57pm
Neal Lang (mail):
What role do state institutions play in shaping identities and constructing beliefs about deviance that privilege some groups and pathologize others? In Nazi Germany, nationality laws specified the precise ratio of Jewish blood that differentiated German citizens from aliens. ... These instances suggest that understanding the state's role in constructing and demonizing identities can be an important part of studying subsequent regulation and elimination of persons.

The difference, of course, is that German Jews could not change their "ratio of Jewish blood", unlike one's sexual orientation, which is a personal choice.
2.15.2006 12:58pm
Neal Lang (mail):
I know all the nonsense about effect on morale, etc.. That's what sergeants are for: "Just get on your feet and pick up your pack soldier and don't worry how other people get their jollies". The Israelis have a "don't tell us we don't care" policy. Does anybody think that the Israeli Army are a bunch of sissies.

Which all fine up until you get into the shower and drop the soap. BTW, what happens when the sergeant "takes a shine to you"?
2.15.2006 1:07pm
Mobius (mail):
Ugh. Okay, I don't like Don't Ask, Don't Tell also, but NO Federal or Military employee has the RIGHT of Free Speech. During the 90's, when this came about, the debate was so politically charged that allowing open homosexuality was seen as equivalent to political speech. The military and the government regularly restricts the right of federal employees and military members to freely speak; hence don't ask, don't tell. You can be homosexual in the military as long as you don't make a big deal about it. Homosexuals are NOT disallowed from serving; they are disallowed from making it a POLITICAL issue.

Also, the military is more diverse than any law firm. Look at the NALP forms and it's sad how terrible the legal community reflects the national norm. In Seattle, nearly all the law firms are composed of less than 15% minorities. The local minority population in Seattle is 25%. Should law schools not allow these law firms that have this defacto racism and discrimination?
2.15.2006 1:10pm
Mr Diablo:
Neal, It's as much my personal choice to be gay as it is my personal choice to have been born. Sorry, I'm not one of the masses who signed up to be gay just so I could live a life full of endless ridicule from neanderthals.

And enough with this "make their sex life their main priority" -- it's a ridiculous notion to say that any out gay person is making their sex life a priority. Unless you'd say that for a black person to not wear a white mask, or for a woman not to hide her breasts and get a short haircut, was also making some indemic quality about him or herself "their main priority."

Being out has nothing to do with how I do my work as a lawyer, but screw anyone who thinks I shouldn't have the right to photo a photograph of my partner on my desk at work.

Soldiers are supposed to be lean, mean machines that follow orders and are tough and incorruptable. But for some reason, anti-gay bigots and conservatives insist that our noble soldiers need constant coddling and comfort zones and that the slightest infringement into that area will make them unsafe, unstable and unable to carry out their duties.

They are soldiers. They don't care about Cindy Sheehan or of the man in the foxhole is gay. They care about this nation and about protecting one another from the enemy. On a battlefield, your country, your mission is really just your fellow soldier. Why is it that conservatives fail to give our troops the respect they deserve? If someone cannot handle fighting next to someone gay, then they shouldn't be defending a nation with the freedoms that ours has. They should be joining the Taliban.
2.15.2006 1:12pm
Cornellian (mail):
Anybody who uses DADT to beat up on the military is operating from an anti-military predisposition, woefully ignorant of the controlling legal authority or likes having the issue more than they really want to resolve it.

Congress enacts rules governing military conduct after considering input from the military. They're less inclined to enact a rule that the military thinks is a bad idea and more inclined to enact a rule that the military thinks is a good idea. Therefore, one is perfectly entitled to criticize the military for supporting or opposing a particular rule, even while acknowledging that Congress has the final word. But the fact that Congress has the final word doesn't immunize the military from criticism for supporting the policy in the first place.
2.15.2006 1:14pm
Neal Lang (mail):
gee. if that's the relevant question, it's a wonder the army was ever race-integrated.

Race isn't a personal preference.
2.15.2006 1:14pm
Cornellian (mail):
Which all fine up until you get into the shower and drop the soap. BTW, what happens when the sergeant "takes a shine to you"?

What happens, from the point of view of military discipline, is exactly what happens when a male sargeant "takes a shine" to a female enlisted solider. Are you opposed to allowing women to serve in the military for that reason?
2.15.2006 1:16pm
Mr Diablo:
Well, Neal, I think NOTHING happens when a sergeant "takes a shine" to you... unless, of course, you want something to happen... and either way, the military policy against sex harassment, that should work for straight superior officers would also apply.

Honestly, this is like debating Sesame Street with a four year old. It's easy, but he doesn't know anything, so what's really the point?
2.15.2006 1:23pm
Neal Lang (mail):
This provides the best argument for eliminating the military's ban on gays. This study should be given serious consideration by Congress and the military.

Actually, it makes a better argument for enforcing the "ban on gays". If someone lies on their military application about their sexual orientation, back-charge them for the cost of their training upon separation for violation of the "ban".
2.15.2006 1:23pm
Omar Bradley (mail):
Neal,

How do you know that sexual orientation is a choice?

What evidence can you cite?

If it were proven that orientation was as immutable as race would you change your mind?
2.15.2006 1:27pm
Neal Lang (mail):
Can anyone explain how the military integrated black people into units with white bigots? Eventually, white bigots learned to work with black people and even to take orders from black NCO's and officers. Why can't the anti-gay bigots do the same?

Being "black" is natural, being homosexual isn't. If it were, the human race would have disappeared long ago. Unfortunately for homosexuals, you can't fool Mother Nature.
2.15.2006 1:29pm
Neal Lang (mail):
The military also, I believe, allows women to serve in a number of non-combat related but not combat roles, for precisely the point you raise. Their are functions of the military that are not directly related to combat where women can and do serve and add value to our military.

Unfortunately the "combat" - "non-combat" line is being blurred, hence the number female casualties/POWs in the Iraq Operation.
2.15.2006 1:32pm
Omar Bradley (mail):
That natural argument is absurd. It's perfectly natural that a small % of the population be gay, just like it's perfectly natural that a small % of the population be infertile or that a % of pregnancies miscarry. The human race won't die out if 2-3% of the population at any given time is homosexual.

It may not be batural to have a 100% homosexual population, but there's nothing unnatural about a 2-3%homosexual population.

Again, what evidence do you have that homosexuality is a choice and not an inherent characteristic, just like race, skin color, or eye color?
2.15.2006 1:45pm
Mackey:
Neal,

Shouldn't blacks, like homosexuals, have simply ignored any urge to defend their country if they concluded it would damage military morale? Whether homosexuality is a choice or not, isn't association with either blacks or homosexuals a matter of choice itself? Also, how about religious minorities? Or am I wrong in assuming you would recognize religious beliefs as matters of "choice"?

While we're at it, what's the basis for concluding homosexual servicemembers will lead to a spike in sexual harassment? Some studies--though admittedly from those dastardly people who want to change the policy--note how many DADT actions appear to be initiated against female servicemembers in response to their pursuit of complaints of sexual harassment. If there are fifteen guys in the shower waiting to beat the crap out of someone who even thinks about same-sex relations, what do you think they're going to do to the guy who actually sexually assaults a fellow (male) soldier?
2.15.2006 1:49pm
Public_Defender:
Neal Lang, you've explained why you think gay people should be discriminated against, but you haven't explained why anti-gay bigots in the military couldn't learn to work with gays the way that anti-black bigots in the military learn to work with blacks.

Or do you agree that the soldiers could learn to work with gay people, but you just think they shouldn't. If that's the case, then you're the one trying to use the militaty to fight the culture war.
2.15.2006 1:54pm
Neal Lang (mail):
Neal, It's as much my personal choice to be gay as it is my personal choice to have been born. Sorry, I'm not one of the masses who signed up to be gay just so I could live a life full of endless ridicule from neanderthals.

If it were hereitary, the "gay gene" would have died out long ago. Until the early 1970s, homosexuality was treated as a pschological pathology, which it is. Claiming that it is "natural" only exacerbates the problem. Homosexuals need help, not encouragement.
And enough with this "make their sex life their main priority" -- it's a ridiculous notion to say that any out gay person is making their sex life a priority. Unless you'd say that for a black person to not wear a white mask, or for a woman not to hide her breasts and get a short haircut, was also making some indemic quality about him or herself "their main priority."

I guess I must have missed the heterosexual rights rallies and parades. Gays let their sexuality defind them - heterosexuals (with a few exceptions like Bill Clinton) don't. Again, being black is natural and not a pathology - being homosexual isn't! Your sex is determined by nature - sex change operations don't change ones sex, merely their plumbing. Sexual orientation is a preference, which like smoking, can be changed.
Being out has nothing to do with how I do my work as a lawyer, but screw anyone who thinks I shouldn't have the right to photo a photograph of my partner on my desk at work.

I rest my case!
Soldiers are supposed to be lean, mean machines that follow orders and are tough and incorruptable. But for some reason, anti-gay bigots and conservatives insist that our noble soldiers need constant coddling and comfort zones and that the slightest infringement into that area will make them unsafe, unstable and unable to carry out their duties.

I suppose it only matters when your "DI" insists on the "right to photo" of you on his desk.
They are soldiers. They don't care about Cindy Sheehan or of the man in the foxhole is gay. They care about this nation and about protecting one another from the enemy. On a battlefield, your country, your mission is really just your fellow soldier. Why is it that conservatives fail to give our troops the respect they deserve? If someone cannot handle fighting next to someone gay, then they shouldn't be defending a nation with the freedoms that ours has. They should be joining the Taliban.

I believe that those who truly "fail to give our troops the respect they deserve", are those who think that homosexuality is natural, so showering with someone who finds you attractive is the price you must pay to be able preserve liberty.
2.15.2006 1:59pm
Neal Lang (mail):
What happens, from the point of view of military discipline, is exactly what happens when a male sargeant "takes a shine" to a female enlisted solider. Are you opposed to allowing women to serve in the military for that reason?

But male and female soldiers don't normally shower together, do they? The reason is of course 18-25 years have hormone overload. It makes about as much sense to have homosexuals in male units as it does having "co-ed" showers.
2.15.2006 2:03pm
Neal Lang (mail):
Well, Neal, I think NOTHING happens when a sergeant "takes a shine" to you... unless, of course, you want something to happen... and either way, the military policy against sex harassment, that should work for straight superior officers would also apply.

Perhaps I could see your point is homosexuals were confined to all female units!
2.15.2006 2:05pm
Public_Defender:
I believe that those who truly "fail to give our troops the respect they deserve", are those who think that homosexuality is natural, so showering with someone who finds you attractive is the price you must pay to be able preserve liberty.
Yeah, that's soooooo much worse than being shot at.
2.15.2006 2:06pm
Kendall:
If it were hereitary, the "gay gene" would have died out long ago. Until the early 1970s, homosexuality was treated as a pschological pathology, which it is. Claiming that it is "natural" only exacerbates the problem. Homosexuals need help, not encouragement.

Why do you misstate genetic theory? By your logic Sickle Cell Anemia, which happens to be genetic, would have dissappeared long ago, especially in earlier times when it was less treatable. For that matter, other genetic disorders like hemophillia by your logic would tend to not exist. obviously though this is not the case.

I believe that those who truly "fail to give our troops the respect they deserve", are those who think that homosexuality is natural, so showering with someone who finds you attractive is the price you must pay to be able preserve liberty.

What makes you think a gay person will find a man (or woman in the case of lesbians) attractive just because they shower with them? I'm not denying they'd look, just as heterosexuals would look at the opposite sex, but I fail to see why simple voyeurism is an issue. Certainly in highschool there are no separate showers for homosexuals or heterosexuals and there don't seem to be many reports I'm aware of involving major incidents of sexual harrassment by gays of straight students in those showers.
2.15.2006 2:09pm
Neal Lang (mail):
That natural argument is absurd. It's perfectly natural that a small % of the population be gay, just like it's perfectly natural that a small % of the population be infertile or that a % of pregnancies miscarry. The human race won't die out if 2-3% of the population at any given time is homosexual.

Do you have any idea how hereditary genes work? Darwinism suggests that a counter-productive trait like homosexuality must die out as it adds nothing to the "survival of the fittest". Where is you empirical data to support your theory that homosexual orientation is naturally occuring, i.e. hereitary by gene?
Again, what evidence do you have that homosexuality is a choice and not an inherent characteristic, just like race, skin color, or eye color?

Your sexual orientation can be changed - your race can't. This is not "rocket science"!
2.15.2006 2:13pm
Kendall:
Do you have any idea how hereditary genes work? Darwinism suggests that a counter-productive trait like homosexuality must die out as it adds nothing to the "survival of the fittest". Where is you empirical data to support your theory that homosexual orientation is naturally occuring, i.e. hereitary by gene?

not true at all, hereditary genetics can also work if there are certain beneficial traits associated with having components which combine to give a particular trait.

I also find interesting your request for empirical data. There is of course the twin studies which show a high correlation between genetics and sexuality well about 60%. If you're unfamiliar with genetic theory you might assume because it's not a 100% correlation that means sexuality is changeable and a choice.

In fact, the high correlation rate suggests there is a strong biological component and also a strong enviornmental component. Because the correlation is also strong in younger brothers as opposed to older siblings in non-twin studies there is a strong suggestion that the pre-natal womb enviornment is the primary non-genetic factor involved in shaping orientation.
2.15.2006 2:19pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 2:20pm
Omar Bradley (mail):
why hasn't infertility died out? why haven't other diseases and conditions died out? your understabding of genetics is misinformed at best and bigoted at worst
2.15.2006 2:21pm
cathyf:
According to Ed Morrissy, over the same period the number of women who got out early for pregnancy was about 20,000, and the number of service members forced out because they couldn't make weight was about 30,000. I think the economic argument is just weak -- they have constructed misleading statistics to make DADT seem terribly expensive, but in the context of military spending, it just isn't.

And Neal just sucked you into the same old stupid argument about homosexuality and choice. Whether or not sexual orientation is a choice is irrelevant. What you say about your sex life is certainly a choice.

cathy :-)
2.15.2006 2:25pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Kendall, while I agree with you, Sickle Cell is a strawman, as its heterozygous carriers have vastly increased resistance to malaria. In contrast, what are the "benefits" of homosexuality, if it is a recessive genetic trait? Note that it cannot be dominant, or it presumably wouldn't be passed on. Unlike malaria/sickle-cell, disease-resistance cannot be a justification, as male homosexuality is a much higher vector for disease transmission than heterosexual sex.
2.15.2006 2:26pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 2:27pm
Neal Lang (mail):
Yeah, that's soooooo much worse than being shot at.

You try to avoid being shot at - why not avoid bunking and showering with someone who might find you sexually arousing?
2.15.2006 2:30pm
Kendall:
Kendall, while I agree with you, Sickle Cell is a strawman, as its heterozygous carriers have vastly increased resistance to malaria. In contrast, what are the "benefits" of homosexuality, if it is a recessive genetic trait? Note that it cannot be dominant, or it presumably wouldn't be passed on. Unlike malaria/sickle-cell, disease-resistance cannot be a justification, as male homosexuality is a much higher vector for disease transmission than heterosexual sex.

I don't know the genetic benefits of having recessive homosexuality, they haven't been discovered yet if they do in fact exist. However, their non discovery does not necessitate their non existence. Perhaps (as example hyptheses, NOT at all established facts) increased fertility rates might occur, or perhaps the stereotypical image of gays implies a greater nurturing instinct or potential for a nurturing instinct. Certainly there IS a reason why many women say that "all the good men are gay or taken" and I've read some jokes/poems that make the same point. I'm NOT implying that this IS the answer, I'm saying that we don't know and twin studies suggest we can't rule out a biological component.
2.15.2006 2:33pm
Medis:
It is beyond me why people are letting Neal hijack this thread. Suppose it was true that homosexuality was no more genetic than religion. Would that really make any difference in whether excluding gay people from the military was a good idea?
2.15.2006 2:33pm
Mr Diablo:
I really wish Neal's parents hadn't been so "in-my-face" about their sexual orientation by giving birth to Neal.

A gay man mentions he has a partner and nitwit conservatives say that is "being in your face" about being gay. The substance of that argument is sufficiently retarded (and I use the word knowing full well what it means, but since Scalia put "idiots" on the table, I'm going one step further with bigots like Neal) that I'm through responding.
2.15.2006 2:36pm
Neal Lang (mail):
Why do you misstate genetic theory? By your logic Sickle Cell Anemia, which happens to be genetic, would have dissappeared long ago, especially in earlier times when it was less treatable. For that matter, other genetic disorders like hemophillia by your logic would tend to not exist. obviously though this is not the case.

Actually, when the so-called genetic trait in question effects reproduction (unlike Sickle Cell Anemia and hemophillia) it would tend to solve the abnormality over time. Again, I have no problem with getting those suffering from homosexuality help. I believe they can be be and should be cured. Of course, if you insist on celebrating this abnormal behavior, the serious effort needed to cure will not be attempted.
What makes you think a gay person will find a man (or woman in the case of lesbians) attractive just because they shower with them? I'm not denying they'd look, just as heterosexuals would look at the opposite sex, but I fail to see why simple voyeurism is an issue. Certainly in highschool there are no separate showers for homosexuals or heterosexuals and there don't seem to be many reports I'm aware of involving major incidents of sexual harrassment by gays of straight students in those showers.

What makes those who determine that showers in the military should not appropriate establish such a policy? Generally, you don't bunk with those you shower with in highschool. Again, the 18-25 year olds that make up the military have the highest sexual urges - perhaps that explains why co-ed showers are not encouraged.
2.15.2006 2:38pm
Public_Defender:
Medis,

You have a great point. We shouldn't encourage Neal because his comments to drag down the quality of the thread.

But he does inadvertantly make the point the the real reason many conservatives don't want gay people in the military has nothing to do with military readiness. They just don't like gay people, and they will use any institution they can to hurt gay people.
2.15.2006 2:40pm
Mackey:
Neal,

I could extend all of the issues I raised in my initial post but I know you're fighting many fronts so I'll focus on just two.

First, would it be legitimate for the U.S. military, or any other, to prohibit individuals of particular religious backgrounds or beliefs from joining? Any example you'd like should do.

Second, I asked you:

While we're at it, what's the basis for concluding homosexual servicemembers will lead to a spike in sexual harassment?

You replied:

Co-ed showers are generally not permitted. There must be a reason.

This seems somewhat to suggest that the reason for sex-segregated showers was concern for sexual harassment, which seems to me somewhat like suggesting that the reason for electricity was the internet. Sexual harassment, particularly in a workplace, has been a social concern only for the last few decades. Sex-segregated showering is a social more preceding the regulation of sexual harassment by perhaps thousands of years. Didn't sex-segregated showering arise out of the begrudging inclusion of women in previously sex-exclusive facilities?
2.15.2006 2:43pm
Kendall:
Neal - One last thought before I join the nonresponsiveness to your posts. You've said that homosexuality is "abnormal" and a "pathology" and the like, which I assume means you disagree with the APA de-listing homosexuality from the DSM in 1973. Would you mind explaining the rationale that was used for including it in the first place and the scientific support for its initial conclusion?
2.15.2006 2:52pm
Neal Lang (mail):
not true at all, hereditary genetics can also work if there are certain beneficial traits associated with having components which combine to give a particular trait.

That is doubtful if the hereditary genetics lead to traits that curtail reproduction.
I also find interesting your request for empirical data. There is of course the twin studies which show a high correlation between genetics and sexuality well about 60%. If you're unfamiliar with genetic theory you might assume because it's not a 100% correlation that means sexuality is changeable and a choice.

In fact, the high correlation rate suggests there is a strong biological component and also a strong enviornmental component. Because the correlation is also strong in younger brothers as opposed to older siblings in non-twin studies there is a strong suggestion that the pre-natal womb enviornment is the primary non-genetic factor involved in shaping orientation.

Of course, twins generally share the same environment. If homosexuality were truly genetic the correlation with regards to twins would be 100%, by definition, if genetic twins.
Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced inescapably by the genes (e.g. eye color), then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the cases his brother would be too. But we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin brother homosexual. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly believes the opposite.

Identical twins had essentially the same upbringing. Suppose homosexuality resulted from some interaction with parents that infallibly made children homosexual. Then if one twin was homosexual, the other would also always be homosexual. But as we saw above, if one is homosexual, the other is usually not. Family factors may be an influence, but on average do not compel people to be homosexual. From: The Importance of Twin Studies

At the worse, your data suggests that abnormality of homosexuality is at least controllable by the individual, and thus it would be wrong to encourage the errant behavior.
2.15.2006 2:56pm
Taimyoboi:
In following Medis's direction, I think one area Mr. Carpenter could expand on is proposing a tentative policy for allowing gays to serve.

Perhaps it is as simple as letting gays serve, but would there be other considerations? Like, for example, should a gay be kicked out of military if he made a pass as a member of his unit? How would the military now handle fraternization and relationship rules between members of the same unit?

An interesting related question that I think others have alluded to earlier: how many gays have been kicked out because they were caught having sexual relations while on duty, as opposed to mere allegations of being gay?
2.15.2006 3:00pm
BU2L (mail):
Whether we term homosexuality to be a disease, a 'condition,' a divine gift, or whatever else, that shouldn't really bear on how we treat it in society. A hare-lip, we all agree, is a fairly uncommon medical aberration, in the sense that people who have it are biologically a little different from the rest of us. But what does that really mean? you find hare-lipped people unattractive? Don't date them. You find people of your own sex unattractive? Don't date them either.

But I absolutely fail to see how being gay, or having a hare-lip, has some impact on a person's moral worth, regardless of whethe we classify it as a medical disorder, or a - umm - testament to biological diversity.
2.15.2006 3:06pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 3:07pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
1) I was in the army for 13 years as a gay man and this claim of over the top homophobia just wasn't evident. Occasionally someone would get curious and ask me if I was gay - I would just go dead pan and say "Are you asking me for a date?" Always ended the discussion quickly and cleanly. When some fundamentalist Christian CID agent got a hair up his rear and started an investigation on me everyone in my unit closed ranks around me - he was lucky to get my name from anyone.

In the military these sort of things come from the top - if the brass said that gays are ok, then that's just how it would be. If someone resisted then the military already has the exquisite torture of remedial 'Equal Opportunity Training' all in place. (doesn't change anyone's opinions but they will never risk being sent again after the first time)

Oh and the reference to the showers - if there was a gay person in the shower and someone didn't like it they'd deal with it the same way they would if there was someone they owed money to in the shower - they wouldn't go in until they left. Problem solved. And you'd deal with unwanted amorous advances the way all the woman in the world have since time began - 'just say "no"'.

As far as Neal's poor understanding of genetics he is assuming that homosexuality is directly genetic or that the gene promoting it was carried by the gender it affects. Example: one gene study noted that all the guys who had the gene were either kinsey 1s or 6s, none in between. Such gene would produce more than enough randy heterosexuals to give their gay brethren a free ride on the evolutionary train. Other potential modalities are easily constructed.

Further we are finding increasing incidences of brain structure sexual dimorphism and finding that gay men often have structures more closely associated with heterosexual women. In animal models its found that sex hormonal levels just before birth fix how some of the structures develop. The more we know the more the idea that it is a 'choice' like what socks I'm going to wear today is just plain silly.
2.15.2006 3:08pm
Mobius (mail):
Taimyoboi,

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding; gays are allowed to serve. They just can't make a political statement over it.

I know of many military personnel that are gay; but don't use their sexual orientation to make politcal statements. Most of the people that claim they are gay, say so just to get out of the military; much like when it was illegal to be a communist in the military. The military doesn't kick them out for being gay per se, they kick them out because they would be bad workers if they stayed in the military.

And those that are kicked out because they are gay; usually involves more than just being gay; it also involves fraternization between leader/subordinate relationship or other factors.
2.15.2006 3:09pm
Mr Diablo:
Taimy,

Do we currently have laws regulating sexual harrassment of all kinds in the military? (Yes.)

Would we be able to effectively apply those laws to gay and lesbian soldiers as we do to officers? (Yes.)

Do we currently permit straight couple soldiers from meeting and "hooking up" while in service? (Do a degree, yes, we do.)

Would we be able to apply those rules equally to persons of the same sex engaging in willful, open relations with one another? (Yes.)

So, it would seem that the policy would be as simple as you first stated... in fact I'll write all the policy that the military would need, aside from some pronoun changes:

"No one will be denied equal opportunity to serve in the military based on their sexual orientation. All rules, including those relating to relationships, physical contact, and sexual harrassment will apply to all members of the military."

Seems pretty damn easy.
2.15.2006 3:10pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 3:10pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 3:14pm
Mr Diablo:
Mobius, the problem with your quick summary is that gay military members are not allowed to tell people that they are gay. Also, in one recent incident, the military was cruising gay internet sites to find homepages or profiles of servicemen who were looking to have sex with other men, and then kicking them out over it, not really caring if such conduct was being done secretly, with citizens, and/or without making a "political statement."

The problem with "don't ask don't tell" is that it suggests that simply being openly gay is a political statement. I've got a photo of my partner five feet from me on my desk at work. It's because I love him, not because I'm making any kind of statement about politics.

If being who you are is a political statement, then we need to make women members hide their breasts and black members of the military paint their faces white.

I'd suggest we could all just wear sumo wrestler inflatable suits and hoods, but then we'd just be one big fat unhappy klan.
2.15.2006 3:15pm
Neal Lang (mail):
This seems somewhat to suggest that the reason for sex-segregated showers was concern for sexual harassment, which seems to me somewhat like suggesting that the reason for electricity was the internet. Sexual harassment, particularly in a workplace, has been a social concern only for the last few decades. Sex-segregated showering is a social more preceding the regulation of sexual harassment by perhaps thousands of years. Didn't sex-segregated showering arise out of the begrudging inclusion of women in previously sex-exclusive facilities?

Actually, it is society's acceptance of the reality that is the sexual drive of 18-25 year olds. Ignore this drive at your peril.
2.15.2006 3:18pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 3:23pm
BU2L (mail):
Would it be ironic (not to say antithetical), for a blawg whose focus is largely freedom of speech, to actually screen comments and edit out the degenerates? It probably would be, but after reading this thread, I feel it might nonetheless be a good idea.
2.15.2006 3:42pm
Neal Lang (mail):
As far as Neal's poor understanding of genetics he is assuming that homosexuality is directly genetic or that the gene promoting it was carried by the gender it affects. Example: one gene study noted that all the guys who had the gene were either kinsey 1s or 6s, none in between. Such gene would produce more than enough randy heterosexuals to give their gay brethren a free ride on the evolutionary train. Other potential modalities are easily constructed.

Of course, by definition a "homosexual" attempts to reproduce with someone of their own sex. This is impossible. However, actual gender would not make a difference, as a true homosexual could never reproduce.

BTW, just which study was that?
2.15.2006 3:43pm
Dusty (mail) (www):
Nice try cathyf, Medis. It's disappointing that the object of discussion -- the GAO/UC Reports -- have been ignored. Wading through 79 comments to find almost nil on the topic. Sheesh.

cathyf: I'm not sure of Ed Morrissy's point (that data and more is in a DOD attachment to the GAO report) but I do not think those numbers should, of themselves, indicate a defense of the money wasted re: current gay policy. I do think the magnitude of cost is important (such that you might be correct is noting the economic argument is weak) which may be why it is being studied again (just a cynical guess). That, to me, is the substance of what Medis suggests with his comment -- is there an effort to compare the apple cost of releasing a semi-raw recruit with the orange cost of training another to fully independent, fully funtioning status.

The devil(angel?) is in the details of the report. I wish I had had the time to look at UC by now.
2.15.2006 3:48pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 3:51pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Hi Neal:

Long time, no debate.


The "de-listing" was a political move and not a clinical one. Right now the APA is exploring "de-listing" pedophila and some other abnormal sexual deviances. Go figure!


I refuted this notion in my post on the death of Charles Socarides, which was prominently link to here.
2.15.2006 4:05pm
scepticalrepub:
I agree the policy is foolish, and I was ashamed of Clinton's cowardice in not being decisive about it when he first took office. That said, I think these figures are massaged for effect. I served in the Air Force from '75 to '79 and was repeatedly propositioned (more than 10 times) very openly and blatently by the homosexuals. Granted, that was immediately after Vietnam when the US military was at it's nadir, but I can't believe the culture changed that much. This survey does not say how many of these discharges were due to the service members "pushing the envelope" -- acting too flamboyant, or just plain obnoxious, for unit cohesion. It also doesn't address the "Corporal Clinger" effect of this being a cost free contract breaker for many people. It also doesn't address the cost of socially conservative troops that would leave if forced to put their religious or moral beliefs in the closet in order to be "sensitive" to the activists that would try to create contraversy.
2.15.2006 4:24pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"I served in the Air Force from '75 to '79 and was repeatedly propositioned (more than 10 times) very openly and blatently by the homosexuals."

Oh my gosh - did you say yes or no? I ask because in the Army we were always told that everyone in the Air Force was gay. ;)
2.15.2006 4:31pm
scepticalrepub:
I was stationed at Lackland and Shepard in Texas, and Castle in Merced, CA. For what it's worth to you, I'm staight and not considered (by myself, friends, or wife) effeminate. Homosexuals in the Air Force were as accepted at that time as they are in the Catholic Church. Remember this was when it was extremely unfashionable to be associated with the US military, the pay was poor, and they desperately needed skilled tech workers.
2.15.2006 4:44pm
BU2L (mail):
Neal:

"I disagree. I believe that homosexuals has [sic] as much right to voice their views as any other "degenerates"."



Umm - I didn't mean homosexuals.
2.15.2006 4:46pm
Bernie (mail):
I personally think DADT is worse than useless, that said financial arguments against it don't add up. The cost of training a person is very low. I am at a training command and if you take the instructors pay and divide by the number of students it is expensive. The problem with that approach is that I get paid no matter what. Unless you eliminate the program completely I keep getting paid. Ten students more or less per month don't affect the cost of the program. The real cost is none reusable equipment (bullets, ect) and these costs are low.

The next point is that the important billets discussed are severely undermanned. Someone who gets out following training through DADT has no effect. They were not taking up a space that someone else could have used. The military is looking for anyone with linguistic ability and is pulling people out of their current jobs to move them into this field regardless of what they currently do.

That brings up the next point; these losses under DADT hurt our national security. We are desperate for linguists. We don't have enough. Financially they are insignificant but they are vitally important.

Last, the gay man in a foxhole argument is exceedingly dumb when discussing the job these people do. Linguists, computer techs, and other high demand ratings stay as far from foxholes as possible. At best you could make a weak argument to treat homosexuals under the same combat job limits as women.
2.15.2006 5:08pm
ipsley:
With regard to the genetic value of having some individuals who do not procreate:

Humans originated as hunter-gatherers, and in such a society, until a member is about five years old, he or she is requires more resources from the community than they're able to produce. Nevertheless, the community needs babies. Having a higher proportion of adults made the community better able to survive as a whole, and hence, for a variety of reasons, some adults are less able or less likely to produce babies. The issue is not whether a particular individual has descendants--it's whether the society has descendants.

As to "recessive traits": Blue eyes are also a recessive trait (and I have them). It simply means that you need more ancestors with the recessive trait than a dominant one in order for the recessive trait to manifest itself in a particular individual. Geneticists do not treat "recessive" or "dominant" as a value judgement.

And for the record--repeal DADT, and decriminalize the behavior. We don't need to be making criminals of the brave soldiers who are making considerable sacrifices to defend us. We need to honor them.
2.15.2006 6:04pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 6:21pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 6:22pm
Rob Crocker (mail):
Since we're arguing about military discrimination then what do we think about policies that blatantly discriminate against heterosexual couples?

I refer you all to the regulations against fraternization. Relationships between military members of differring ranks are frowned upon and can even lead to discharges. (There was one story a few years ago about an Air Force pilot who was ordered to stop having an affair with a superior officer and then discharged when she failed to stop.)

Does this justify DADT? Not really, but I'd point out that the issue is more complicated than simply "ignorant gay haters".
2.15.2006 6:28pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 6:32pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 7:04pm
Kendall:
Rob - absolutely, and of course heterosexuals can in theory be discharged for committing sodomy in a heterosexual relationship or adultery. The military has provisions against things that might in theory cause unit disruption or undue stress or stain the honor of the military.

However, a heterosexual servicemember is NOT violating the policy as far as I'm aware by carrying a picture of their girlfriend or wife, nor are they violating any policies if they tell someone they are married or are dating a woman.

The thing that some people focus on, sexual practices of homosexuals is utterly irrelevant to this discussion (although it should be said that sexual prohibition against heterosexuals are enforced less often except of course in the noted case of unmarried pregnancy). You aren't allowed to have sex while on duty. That however shouldn't figure in to not having a sex life and it certainly should not perclude you from having a romance that might even be known about by your unit.

All the above comments by someone referring to showers and dropping soap and anal sex are stereotypical percepions about the nature of homosexuals. that homosexuals are sex mad, lacking self control and lacking the committment to their partners. I do not deny the promiscuity of some homosexual men, but I would enquire if any study has been done on unmarried heterosexual male rates of sexual relationships, for it is clearly the case homosexuals are individuals and should be treated as such.

In reality the issue of allowing openly gay service members would not be a stain on our nation, rather it would reaffirm our committment to equality fairness, and basic decency.

I'd also like to briefly share a link on a somewhat related topic I found very disturbing. I find the relevance of this article to be related to the attitude demonstrated by Neal. For whatever reason the attitude seems to be that homosexuals are disordered and rather than acknowledging a logical progression of state law (as that burial statute was logical in light of the DP registry) it has to become an issue of attacking a republican governor and a symbol of pushing the "homosexual agenda"
2.15.2006 7:23pm
nk (mail) (www):
I wish the rest of you guys would stop provoking Neal Lang. You are not going to go anywhere with him. The question is: Is every able-bodied American citizen entitled to take up arms on behalf of his country? Is the Congress entitled to arbitrarily exclude a certain group? Are we going to have second class citizenship when it comes to who can defend our country based NOT on sexual orientation but FOR disclosing the "wrong" sexual orientation? That's what makes DADT not only nonsensical but in my opinion un-American.
2.15.2006 8:02pm
Californio (mail):
This thread is dull. No one is going to convince someone with an opposing viewpoint. To my knowledge, there is no massive wave of gay men who seek military service - and frankly, if it comes to the point that the standards are lowered so that even 40 year olds like myself are needed, then gentlemen and women - we are going to be cannon fodder. The arguments above are like my crying that the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles lacks "economic diversity" meaning it does not have many poor members. Duh.
2.15.2006 8:02pm
nk (mail) (www):
Follow up: Assume the narrowest possible view of the Second Amendment -- that it means only that the respective states can have a national guard. Can the DADT constitutionally apply to a National Guard Unit mobilized and placed under command of the Army in Iraq or Afghanistan. Let's go back to law geek stuff and not "what makes a person gay".
2.15.2006 8:07pm
Neal Lang (mail):
1. The National Guard

Most commentators have concluded that the organized militias of the states, which together comprise today's National Guard system, are the only groups that fit within the constitutional [p.981] definition of "militia." [169] Regardless, the National Guard has thus far needed no constitutional protection since Congress has explicitly excluded it from all federal firearms restrictions. [170] However, if Congress were to restrict the states' National Guard units from possessing certain weapons, the states would likely succeed in a Second Amendment challenge since the Guard's role in today's society is much like the eighteen-century militia's role in early America.

The National Guard clearly fulfills the first purpose of the eighteenth- century militia, that of protecting the nation against foreign aggression. The Constitution's drafters hoped that the militia would preclude a federal standing army; however, technological changes in the twentieth century made that hope impractical. [171] Yet today the National Guard, as a reserve force for the United States Army, [172] provides the bulk of the nation's military personnel available for service abroad. [173] The National Guard has proved itself necessary and effective as recently as the Persian Gulf War. [174] Therefore, the Second Amendment should protect the National Guard against disarmament as long as it continues to serve effectively in this role.

The National Guard has filled the second role of the eighteenth-century militia, that of providing law enforcement, in a variety of situations. [175] States have often called upon their National [p.982] Guard to provide control during times of crisis or civil unrest. [176] The National Guard has also proven effective in assisting police agencies to retard the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. [177] Thus, the members of the National Guard have a strong claim to Second Amendment protections based on their law enforcement roles.

2. State Police Agencies

A state's police force is not commonly recognized as a branch of its militia. However, the professional police organizations so familiar in twentieth-century American society did not exist in the eighteenth-century. [178] In their place, the militia served in the role of protecting the public from criminal activity and bringing criminals to justice. [179] Since modern police forces have substantially replaced the law enforcement function of the eighteenth-century militia, the Second Amendment should provide protection against federal firearms regulations to state agencies that perform law enforcement activities. [180] Like the National Guard, police units have thus far been exempted from federal weapons restrictions. [181] However, if federal firearms regulations should become more pervasive, a state police force should be able to invoke Second Amendment protection against a federal regulation that restricts its access to weapons which have utility for law enforcement. [p.983]

3. The Unorganized Militia

The federal government has afforded the unorganized militia no protection from federal firearms regulations. [182] Since the unorganized militia's membership comprises much of the general citizenry, [183] Congress has indirectly applied all federal firearms regulations to this group. [184] While the unorganized militia may be entitled to some Second Amendment protection, the small role that states have given their unorganized militias limits the extent of this right.

The unorganized militia is wholly incapable of protecting the United States from foreign aggression, and thus cannot receive Second Amendment protection for this militia purpose. The unorganized militia has been called upon to fill this role in the past: governors have deployed their unorganized militias as recently as World War II to repel foreign invasion. [185] However, the rapid advance of weapons technology since that time has left untrained, lightly-armed individuals unable to resist any significant foreign threat. [186]

Modern police forces have generally replaced the eighteenth- century militia in the role of law enforcement. [187] However, governors [p.984] have occasionally called out their state's unorganized militia to quell civil unrest. [188] Sheriff's Departments across the country still use the common law posse comitatus concept to augment their law enforcement capabilities. [189] Additionally, individuals still use personally-owned firearms to prevent criminal activity or detain criminals until the arrival of police. [190] Thus, the Second Amendment may extend some protection to the unorganized militia in the role of law enforcement. However, the extent to which professional police provide for law enforcement today severely limits the unorganized militia's role.

4. Private "Citizen" Militias

Members of private militia organizations gain no Second Amendment rights by virtue of such membership. The debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution make clear that the drafters' definition of "militia" did not include private armies. [191] The Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed over how militia control would be divided between the federal and state governments, but no one argued that the militia should be independent of all governmental control. [192] The concerns of the Anti-Federalists pertaining to the militia all involved retaining control over the militia for the state governments. [193] Thus, the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights rose out of concerns over federalism, not the protection of individual [p.985] rights. [194] The Second Amendment should protect the individual state militiaman in the performance of his duties; however, that protection is ancillary to the protection afforded to the state militias. Thus, once a militia member steps outside of his role as a state actor, his Second Amendment protection ceases to exist. The private "citizen" militias, which generally have no state affiliation, [195] can therefore receive no special Second Amendment protection.

CONCLUSION

The definition of the term "militia" is a critical first step toward determining what protection the Second Amendment provides. This task is more complex because the eighteenth-century militia, which the drafters intended the Second Amendment to protect, no longer exists. In its place, a number of state organizations have evolved which provide comparable services in the twentieth century. Thus, the definition of the militia must involve an analysis of not only what governmental structures exist, but also what roles they play in society.

The individual-right view of the Second Amendment, that the amendment protects the right of everyone to own most any weapon for any purpose, is clearly incongruent with the intent of the Constitution's framers. However, the modern militia is not nearly so limited as recent federal court decisions have indicated. A number of organizations, including the National Guard, various law enforcement agencies, and the state unorganized militias, fulfill the eighteenth-century militia's purposes in today's society. Therefore, the Second Amendment should extend protection to members of all of these organizations while in the performance of their militia duties. From: THE MINUTEMEN, THE NATIONAL GUARD AND THE PRIVATE MILITIA MOVEMENT: WILL THE REAL MILITIA PLEASE STAND UP?
2.15.2006 8:38pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 9:04pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"I do not deny the promiscuity of some homosexual men, but I would enquire if any study has been done on unmarried heterosexual male rates of sexual relationships, for it is clearly the case homosexuals are individuals and should be treated as such."

Ahhh I used to run the VD clinic - there are some very promiscuous straight men too ;) Again, this is a tempest in a teapot - far too many other nations have integrated gay service members without a problem. The cry that the US military is too sensitive and disorderly to do the same doesn't exactly cast them in the best light.

I know I left because I wanted to start a family and it was impossible in the US military. Their loss.
2.15.2006 9:20pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 9:20pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 9:53pm
nk (mail) (www):
Good job, Neal. You drove everyone away from this thread myself included. Pat yourself on the back (unless of course you think that's too homoerotic).
2.15.2006 10:20pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Good job, Neal. You drove everyone away from this thread myself included. Pat yourself on the back (unless of course you think that's too homoerotic)."

So true - 'cut and paste' trolls can drain the life out of any thread. We could start a contest on what % of these propaganda posts use data fabricated by Paul Cameron, that's always fun... ;)
2.15.2006 10:37pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 11:34pm
Neal Lang (mail):
2.15.2006 11:43pm
Public_Defender:
It's interesting that the military doesn't make the arguments Neal makes (except for the fantasy that gay men might find him attractive if he showered with them). Neal, like much of the right, just wants the military to enforce his personal bigotry.
2.16.2006 8:49am
Neal Lang (mail):
2.16.2006 10:51am
jvarisco:
Why fault the government? Homosexuals are aware they are not welcome in the armed forces, they should simply not join. That's like citing the costs of deporting the illegal immigrants we catch and then using that as a reason to have open borders.
2.16.2006 5:05pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Why fault the government? Homosexuals are aware they are not welcome in the armed forces, they should simply not join."

Many don't know they are when they join, simple as that. I didn't.
2.16.2006 5:53pm
Mark F. (mail):
I was wondering if anyone here would be in favor of having heterosexual men and women bunk, shower together and use the same restrooms in the military. If not, why not?

Isn't putting people together who might be sexually attracted to each other problematic in the unique situation of the military? Of course, I do realize that gay people can always hide their orientation, so total enforcement of an anti-gay policy is always impossible. You can only boot out ~known~ or ~proven~ homosexuals.
2.17.2006 2:03pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Isn't putting people together who might be sexually attracted to each other problematic in the unique situation of the military?"

Do you go to the gym? Use the locker room? You do know you are dressing and showering with gay men probably every time you go, right?

Men have never been segregated by sexual orientation before, and yes gay men can control their urges even in communal living relationships. If they can't then that is an actionable behavior. But the idea that they can't serve because it MIGHT happen is silly. Like I said before, someone uncomfortable with showering with gays would handle it the same way he handled showering with someone to whom he owed money - i.e., he wouldn't.
2.17.2006 6:16pm
jvarisco:
"Men have never been segregated by sexual orientation before, and yes gay men can control their urges even in communal living relationships. If they can't then that is an actionable behavior. But the idea that they can't serve because it MIGHT happen is silly. Like I said before, someone uncomfortable with showering with gays would handle it the same way he handled showering with someone to whom he owed money - i.e., he wouldn't."

Your argument doesn't follow. By the same reasoning, we should have coed showers and locker rooms. How is a gay man dressing/showering with me any different from me showering/dressing with a woman? I can control my urges, but that doesn't mean she will be all right with it; nor, for that matter, would I want a woman in the men's locker room. The point is that you are NOT supposed to be attracted to each other.

Notice that we do not have coed military units, as far as I know. And I would oppose those for the exact same reasons. If people attracted to each other live together in stressful situations (e.g. combat), some of them will end up having relationships. That should not happen in the army, it can only cause problems.
2.18.2006 3:39pm