We all know a straight guy on a three month submarine tour would rather hot bunk with a co-ed, but for the glory of his country or the promise of seeing the world, he’s taken a deal he doesn’t like much: he’s bunking, in shifts, with dozens of smelly guys he’d rather only play poker with. As folks grow older and wiser, they look back and can’t even understand how they managed to live with their fraternity brothers in the “good old days.” This resiliency of youth should be guarded and protected. This resiliency, the ability to live as brethren with those who are nearly strangers, is, among other things, an ability to ignore sexuality, whether it’s gay sexuality or heterosexual sexuality. Those that want gay rights in the military would force sexuality into every inch of these dormitories of patriotic celibacy. However, we are to believe the those who want gays to serve openly in the military are selfless, kind, caring and good. I guess gay rights are more important than the rights of our young patriots to the last vestiges of their personal privacy.
Homosexuality is about expressing rather than ignoring sexuality. The esprit d’corps critical to military service, especially where heterosexual men and women serve together, is about ignoring sexuality. There is no reason for it to be a “gay right” to inject sexuality into that mix. If it is a need for individual homosexuals to do this, they shouldn’t serve. This is as it is for heterosexuals as well. Heterosexuals who cannot contain themselves, who must overtly express sexual intentions in the workplace, end up out of today’s military also. The sacrifice of our youth in the service of our nation is heroic enough. Their unit cohesion depends on brotherhood and trust. That brotherhood (and, where applicable, sisterhood) depends, to a great extent, on the ability to overcome the need to make overt one’s sexuality and sexual intentions. Making “gay rights” an issue by injecting sexuality into dormitories, showers, and foxholes is not in the best interests of the military.
There are many areas of life and society in which America willingly chooses to help those who are, in any way, limited by the conditions or birth or nature. We willingly place wheel chair ramps for the handicapped and provide braille for the blind in public education. We are a kind and magnanimous people. We consider the effects of poverty on educational development and seek to compensate so that the playing field is level for all. We even allow for mental disease to mitigate in our judgments of criminal offenses. However, in the military and in emergency services, ability, and only ability, should be the criteria for service. Weakness, whether heterosexual or homosexual, should not be enshrined in the military codes as “protected” in any way.
A domestic partner is not the same thing as a spouse. If an entire branch of government wants to open up the flood gates of the “government treasury” (what’s the national debt –18 trillion?) and allow people to freely sign up for benefits with any single friend they know, the tax payers have a right to know about it and vote on it. It is a matter of somebody’s rights. It is a matter of the right of taxpayers to their property.
Nor is demanding gays openly serve in the military like integrating blacks and whites. To insist that it is, is racist. Insisting on such an analogy, when the comparison is unmasked and shown for what it is, is to say that being black is a disability.