Mind Candy

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Gays in the US military

Posted by mandyf on December 6, 2008

Being in the United States military is a great sacrifice. Forget about being bounced around from duty station to duty station and the lower than civilian pay for commensurate work. The potential risk of life makes this a truly difficult and stressful career choice in and of itself. People that serve the country are heroes and deserve to be treated as such with honor, dignity and respect, even those of us that are now and have served whom are gay.

Gay, lesbian, and trans-gendered service members are nothing new to the U.S. military. Since the first Continental Army was raised by George Washington we have been there and served our nation. We have been behind the scenes and on the front lines and many of us have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms of all Americans. Why is it then that when it comes to our freedoms, the freedoms of the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender) community in the military the playing field isn’t even?

A gay soldier is expected and capable of doing everything a straight counterpart does. Whether it be working as an air traffic controller or serving in the special forces the demands are not any different based on a persons sexual identity. A person still has to study, physically train, and perform in the field or office the same as everyone else. Sexual identity provides no advantage or disadvantage when it comes to the execution of duties, however a stigma has been placed on gay service members as being undesirable for duty.

Personally I served prior to the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell- Don’t Harass/Don’t Pursue (DADT/DHDP)policy being put in place and after as well. Initially I thought this was going to change everything and pave the way towards equal treatment for LGBT soldiers, sailors, and airmen, but the reality could not be further from the truth. The reality is the only thing that changed is that in the recruitment process the question “Are you homosexual or have you ever engaged in homosexual activity?” was removed. This meant a gay recruit did not have to lie when asked this question to legally enlist.

The DADT/DHDP policy did nothing else. It did not end LGBT service members from being removed from service based on their sexual or gender identity. To this very day, on average two service members are separated from the armed forces every day for being gay according to the Serviceman’s Defense League Network. It did not change the fact that although it is technically wrong to try to forcefully “Out”…. Read the rest here at: http://www.helium.com/items/1035292-gays-in-the-us-military


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