Throughout the history of the country, the United States has banned gay and lesbian citizens to serve in the military, and serve the land of the free. Even today, the United States is one of the two countries left in the world that still refuses gays to be open and honest with their sexual preference in the military. Something is obviously wrong, and it is no wonder that the issue has always been a controversial one. Up until 1993 , no one has questioned this ban, but then a heated national debate arose, and the country had to reach some sort of a compromise. This compromise, set fourth by President Clinton and Congress , has consistently caused as much controversy as the original ban. “ Don’t ask , Don’t tell , Don’t Pursue. “ was challenged by the courts , but even today they deem it unworthy to consider it constitutionally. The current
U. S. policy is the only law established by our government that prohibits a gay / lesbian citizen to be honest about their personal lives and puts them at risk for being fired or to face a jail sentence. If we examine this thoroughly, it’s easy to see that it is hypocrisy. Our country, supposedly created by the people, for the people, set up our national government on the sole idea of freedom. Our Bill of Rights , erected to protect of from injustice, clearly states in it’s first amendment that we are guaranteed the freedom of speech. Now in the year 2001 apparently things have changed. The same country built on freedom is stripping that freedom away from its gay and lesbian citizens. They’re forcing people who are willing to die to protect their country in the military to lie. In the Bill of Rights, along with freedom of speech, comes the freedom of religion. In the Christian religion, chiseled into its commandments, it states it is a sin to lie. The government of this country is forcing us to lie, cheat our faiths, and be denied rights granted to us by them. How would a gay/ lesbian soldier affect the morale over the rest of the unit? This is the question that has remained unanswered.
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On March 16, 2000 the Defense Department released the results of a survey conducted by the inspector general. It showed that 80% of service members responding admitted to have heard offensive speech, derogatory names , jokes or remarks about homosexuals in the previous 12 months. It also shows that 25% have stated that such remarks are tolerated. It is obvious that the general American public is uneducated about homosexuality and apparently afraid of it. In July 1999 , Pfc. Barry Winchel, was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime, committed by his fellow servicemen, have testified that the murder came after months of hateful remarks, name-calling, and rumors prying into his private life. This is clearly going against the whole spirit of the “ Don’t ask, Don’t tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass. “ Policy. In fact, studies have shown that homosexual military members have no place to go for safety. Psychologists and psychotherapists have turned in service members dealing with harassment, parents have been interrogated about their children, and service members and their friends have been threatened to confess their homosexuality or face imprisonment.
Another question in the heated debate is whether a homosexual is as effective as a heterosexual in battle. Many will argue that a homosexual man will be stereotypically feminine, not able to fight, and be too emotional to fight in war. This is ridiculous, what does sexual preference have to do with their performance ? Being homosexual has nothing to do with the ability to serve in combat situations, and them being feminine is irrelevant considering women are allowed to serve in the military.
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The issue of how it affects the heterosexuals in the military is really not the issue that should be the concern. If gay and lesbian soldiers are being harassed ,mistreated, and insulted, that is the issue. The issue that should be addressed is why are there such homophobic people serving our country. Is it not them that have the issue? The negative stereotypes about gay behavior affect troop opinions of its gay members immensely. It is false stereotypes and generalizations that intensifies people ignorance about the gay community. Such stereotypes as them being feminine, butch, overly outspoken and sexual.
Along with sexism and homophobia comes numerous other injustices that have been placed by our American pseudo-culture upon all kinds of people for years. There will always be people who hate other people, be it blacks, homosexuals, women, Jews, Asians, and those of any other ethnic backgrounds. If we can see the Nazis were wrong ; if we know that women should have equal rights, and if we know that a black man is no different than a white man, then why does the majority of Americans believe that homosexuals are any different that heterosexuals? This is the issue that should be addressed.
In conclusion, we can plainly see that it’s time for a change. American needs to grow into a new age period. Something has to spark the light that was set over 200 years in the name of freedom. It’s time to realize that we are all human and we’re all the same, we shouldn’t even have to debate the issue of homosexuals in the military. We should address why we continue, as a nation, to discriminate upon fellow human beings for their beliefs, sexual preference, and the color of their skin while we supposedly live in a country built on freedom.