The military is comprised of men and women who devote their lives to protecting us. They achieve this not only through strength of arms, but through intelligence, strategy, management and research.
Since 1993, our armed services have discharged around 10,000 men and women from service to their country because it was discovered that they love members of their same sex.
According to the BBC, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that 757 of these people expelled were in “critical occupations” such as interpreters and intelligence analysts.
They go on to say that “Some 322 had proficiency in strategically important languages that the Pentagon has said are in short supply”.
In terms of raw dollars, the Pentagon policy toward gay people has eaten into our defense budget by over $200 million – and that cost is only the cost to replace these personnel.
The Pentagon policy is justified because they claim that having gays serve can undermine the performance of the military.
In contrast, historically, societies have been known to encourage gays to serve in a military context because they would fight wholeheartedly and without fear to save and defend their comrade.
The BBC also reports that three high ranking military officers, after their retirement, have declared that they are gay, and are speaking out against the absurdities inherent in this Pentagon policy – not only logistically and economically, but within the very fabric of the military social context.
These admirable people are Brigadier General Virgil Richard, Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, and Brigadier General Keith Kerr.
“Neither Dr Steinman or General Richard fully realised they were gay when they joined up, and both said they had “struggled emotionally” as a result.”
There is no actual basis for the Pentagon’s justification of banning men and women from military service based upon whom they love. Gays are allowed to serve in the military in many countries, without adverse effect.
In 1999, the UK lifted its ban on gays in the military after the European Court of Human Rights ruled it was unlawful. And since that time, the armed forces of the UK have demonstrated that no diminution in military combat effectiveness has resulted.
It is time that we stopped segregating, alienating and marginalizeing people. The military and sports are the last great bastions of male self doubt and insecurity left – these bastions of “masculinity” where self-hating men can run to and hide themselves away in bravado and the manifestation of self-loathing by attacking others.
Let the military be for military, sports be for the sport, and the love possible between people grow as much as possible.