Monday, October 09, 2006

Gay Groups Fight "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

From the International Herald Tribune:

Three young men who tried to enlist at a U.S. Army recruiting station here appeared to be first-rate military material. Two were college students, and the other was a college graduate. They had no criminal records. They were physically fit and eager to serve at a time when wars on two fronts have put a strain on U.S. troops and the need for qualified recruits is great.

But the recruiter was forced to turn them away, for one reason: They are gay and unwilling to conceal it.

I don't know enough about military politics and policies at the moment to be comfortable saying "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is good or bad. I understand that many soldiers would have trust issues with unit members with SSA, and I do recognize that trust is very important in combat, but I also wonder why more people don't advise them just to get over it. It generally seemed to work for racial integration of the armed services.

Yes, I know race and orientation are completely different issues, but I'm not confident I'm seeing the compelling arguments for personal tastes really mattering in the trenches. If the policy is not to talk about it at all, then I'm thinking none of the arguments is really durable.

Whatever; I'm not interested in sussing out that point at all. I just want to ask Justin Hager, one of the three attempted enlistees, a question about his reaction to the recruiter's rejection:

Don't judge me because of my sexuality. Judge me because of my character and drive.

Why, then, did you tell the recruiter about your sexuality? It's a nonissue as long as they give you want you want? Pretty clear case of the "If it weren't for you" fallacy, if you ask me.

The recruiter obviously wasn't going to ask. Soldiers who are married to each other aren't given any concessions on duty. Even straight sex talk in the mess hall is a no-no. Aside from the matter of SSA itself, they still made themselves unappealing candidates by violating "Don't ask don't tell." The policy means that orientation isn't going to come up, so approval or disapproval shouldn't even be on the scopes.

Did these guys have some weird idea of what would or should have been accommodated to them, or did they just get assigned enlistment from the gay agenda?

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