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Readers Back Repeal of Gay Ban for Military

Our Readers Who Comment are unified at this hour in rejecting the arguments of an op-ed by two retired generals and a retired admiral who warn that "grave harm" will come to the all-volunteer military if the law that bans homosexuals from military service is repealed.

Many of the readers say they have military experience and have served with gays. Several note that military services in other countries have no such ban and seem to be effective. And many writers said that the arguments against gays sound exactly like the ones that were used to oppose integration of blacks and women in the military.

There are few voices in the string that has been growing rapidly in the last hour that support the position of the retired officers.

We'll star with brickerd, who wrote, "...I thought soldiers were supposed to be tough. They hurtle themselves into enemy fire, throw themselves out of airplanes... yet gay men scare them?..."

KatieAtl, one of the few posters at this hour who supported the op-ed, said, "...You have only to read the political correctness patrol's responses before mine to realize how threatened the rabid left is by men willing to speak the truth in the face of howls of "bigot" and "homophobe." These same people insulting you would be the first ones screaming for your protection should the situation warrant it."

overquoted wrote, "...Yes, having openly gay soliers in the military would likely cause problems. But only in the same way that accepting blacks and women into the military did... eventually, the military will have to adjust..."

AlanGoldberg54 said, "There are already homosexuals in the military and, if soldiers quit, do they think they are going to be somewhere homosexual free? It sounds too much like the articles against desegregation of the military..."

senigma wrote, "Psst! Guys. The "gays" are already in the military. Have been, will be. Have served honorably, be decorated. And have come and gone without notice or complaint, did their duty and all for the love of their country, your country, our country. If you old men have have honor, then honor the service these men and women have rendered; defending liberty and justice for all."

cpwash said, "Lets see, we fire gay military translators at a time when they can't be replaced. They are playing a critical role in our nations defense and are needed to save American lives. Get over your homophobia."

MickeyMouseInTheHouse wrote, "...U.S. allies such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom who have been fighting alongside U.S. soldiers...have long permitted gays in the military. Australia has allowed gays in since 1992 with no problems - 17 years with no problems..."

OIFVet said, "...My unit had two gay soldiers; everyone knew they were gay and no one gave a damn about their sexual orientation. I'm quite certain many other military units were and are in the same situation...."

JayHurstAtty wrote, "...This is a defense of the U.S. military's homophobic culture, and an admission that it must change to move into the 21st Century... If we lose good soldiers because they refuse to work around gays, oh well - at least we can re-enlist some of the Arabic translators who admitted sexually orientation."

beeman7 said, "Yes we know how damaging gays in military service are by looking at how effective other nation's military is, say that of Israel. I'd say that this is just another indication of how widespread homophobia is in much of America..."

coloradodog wrote, "These tired old relics of the cold war could have written this piece 30 years ago with the same argument. The fact is there always has been and there will always will be gays in the military. The witch hunt and scapegoat is the trademark tactic of ignorance."

OIFVet said, "...My unit had two gay soldiers; everyone knew they were gay and no one gave a damn about their sexual orientation. I'm quite certain many other military units were and are in the same situation...."

EnemyOfTheState wrote, "I'll bet if you looked back, these would be the same arguments advanced keep blacks and women out of the military."

rdco said, "With the "don't ask, don't tell" policies in place, its hard to tell how many gays are in the military... Repeal of section 654 would not necessarily cause more overtly sexual behavior, which seems to be the fear, for much the same reason that including women in the military has not. Other rules limit such behavior to the margins of military life."

Schweg wrote, "The best part of this commentary is that the authors are all retired..."

We'll close with rexkc, who said, "Now is not the time to let gays serve openly in the military? I agree, the time was over 20 years ago... We have a great military with capable leaders. If they receive an order to integrate gays into their ranks, I have faith they will follow those orders and there will be minimal disruption. Five years after everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  April 15, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Military  | Tags: Gays, Military  
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