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'Don't ask, don't tell' survey released

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 10:02 p.m. ET
The Pentagon doesn’t want to know whether troops are gay or lesbian, but is curious if they ever shared a room or the showers with homosexual colleagues, according to portions of a questionnaire sent this week to 400,000 active duty and reserve troops.

A copy of the survey was provided to The Washington Post by the University of California’s Palm Center, which studies gays in the military. The group said it obtained the questionnaire from an active duty service member who received it.

The Defense Department confirmed the copy’s authenticity and called its unauthorized release unhelpful.

“We’re not playing games here, we’re trying to figure out what the attitudes of our force are, what the potential problems are with repeal,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. “We need this survey and we need people to participate in this survey to get a sense of the attitudes of the force.”

It is part of an ongoing study of the potential repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in uniform. House lawmakers repealed the policy as part of their version of the annual defense spending bill and observers expect the Senate to take similar action soon.

Military officials leading the study wrote the survey’s questions with Westat, an independent research firm based in Rockville. The survey has cost the Pentagon about $4.5 million, Morrell said.

It includes about 20 questions regarding marital status, housing, family perceptions of military service, career intentions and whether the participant socializes with members of their unit. The next series of questions asks about a service member’s interactions with gay or lesbian colleagues, subordinates or unit leaders.

Questions include, “Do you currently serve with a male or female service member you believe to be homosexual?” and “In the unit where you had a leader you believe to be gay or lesbian, about how many other unit members also believed the leader to be gay or lesbian?”

The survey also asks participants how repealing "don't ask, don't tell" might impact the military's ability to enforce its personal conduct policy and maintain good order and discipline.

Questions next focus on personal interactions with gay or lesbian colleagues, including "Have you shared a room, berth or field tent with a service member you believed to be homosexual?" and "Have you been assigned to share bath facilities with an open bay shower that is also used by a service member you believed to be homosexual?" They are also asked how they might behave in such situations in combat.

The review team identified bathing and housing situations as potential areas of concern, Morrell said.

“We don’t know scientifically at least, the attitudes of the force until we ask them,” he said.

Family and housing considerations are also probed:

"If don't ask, don't tell is repealed and a gay or lesbian service member attended a military social function with a same-sex partner, which are you most likely to do?"

-- Continue to attend military social functions
-- Stop bringing my spouse, significant other or other family members with me to military social functions
-- Stop attending military social functions
-- Something else
-- Don't know

"If don't ask, don't tell is repealed and you had on-base housing and a gay or lesbian service member was living with a same-sex partner on-based, what would you most likely do?"

-- I would get to know them like any other neighbors.
-- I would make a special effort to get to know them.
-- I would be uncomfortable, but access to the exchange, commissary, and MWR facilities is more important to me than who my neighbors are when deciding where to live.
-- I would be uncomfortable, but the quality of on-base housing is more important to me than who my neighbors are when deciding where to live.
-- I would be uncomfortable, but the cost of moving makes it unlikely I would leave on-base housing.
-- I would probably move off-base.
-- Something else.
-- Don't know.

Service members have until Aug. 15 to complete the survey. Results will be included in the working group’s final report, which is due to President Obama and top military leaders by Dec. 1.

Troops may also provide their thoughts on the policy by accessing an online forum established by the Defense Department. Allaying the concerns of gay rights groups, Gates on Thursday ensured gay and lesbian troops that the Pentagon will protect their privacy and confidential answers.

But Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest group of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, said the survey includes “derogatory and insulting wording, assumptions, and insinuations.”

“The Defense Department just shot itself in the foot by releasing such a flawed survey to 400,000 servicemembers, and it did so at an outrageous cost to taxpayers,” said the group’s executive director Alexander Nicholson.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a nonpartisan legal services group providing counsel to troops discharged under the policy, said the survey’s design may yield skewed results.

“Surveying the troops is unprecedented; it did not happen in 1948 when President Truman ended segregation and it did not happen in 1976 when the service academies opened to women,” SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis said. “Even when the military placed women on ships at sea, the Pentagon did not turn to a survey on how to bring about that cultural change.”

In response to such criticism, Morrell said Gates asked military officials to systematically engage the force in multiple ways. “We’re doing so through private online communications and we’re doing so through this survey,” he said.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest gay rights groups, provided tepid support for the survey.

“While surveying the troops on an issue like this is problematic from the start and the questions exhibit clear bias, the fact remains that this study exists,” said HRC spokesman Michael Cole. “We urge the department to analyze the results with an understanding of the inherent bias in the questions and use it as a tool to implement open service quickly and smoothly.”

RELATED: U.S. military says questions about gays would help if 'don't ask' were ended

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Copy of portions of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" questionnaire:

2010 DoD Comprehensive Review Survey of Uniformed Active Duty and Reserve Service Members

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 9, 2010; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
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Comments

Oh good a poll on bigotry.

Truman, you missed a huge chance to ask the troops how much they hated blacks in the 40s.

Posted by: bobbarnes | July 9, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Gays are fine, African American I can deal with, heck I might even serve with a Mic, but the reason I never joined the armed forces was that i might have to bunk or shower with a redneck. I might be willing to die for my country, but I think it is too much to expect me to do it in the same foxhole as a redneck.

Posted by: crete | July 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

These questions are asking how a person "feels" as opposed to asking relevant questions like: "Were you ever threatened in any way by a gay or lesbian and how?" These questions seem to justify and condone prejudice. If I say my neighbor gives me the heebie-jeebies, is that enough to deny him some of his rights?

Posted by: gordon7 | July 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@ gordon7, if you are a fundamentalist christian, the answer is, yes.

Posted by: bobbarnes | July 9, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a copy of the survey the military took when African Americans were intergrated.......what? a survey wasn't taken? How could the military possibly assess the negative impact of intergrating units without a survey.

Posted by: msmith371 | July 9, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The survey about how women would affect unit cohesion didn't happen either. The sample questions mentioned are all loaded questions.

Terrible.

Posted by: Fabrisse | July 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"If don't ask, don't tell is repealed and you had on-base housing and a gay or lesbian service member was living with a same-sex partner on-based, what would you most likely do?"

I'd invite them to brunch, of course.

Posted by: jakemd1 | July 9, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

They ought to also run a sample survey of 500 or so troops using the same exact survey among one or two of our already integrated ally armies - to see how soldiers already living with gays think and feel about this kind of research.
The cultures may be different, but human nature is pretty much the same continent to continent...

Posted by: thanksforfish | July 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean to be openly gas in the military? I'm still waiting for that question to be answered.

Posted by: 45upnorth | July 9, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean to be openly gay in the military? No one has answered that question.

Posted by: 45upnorth | July 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's a survey question for you. Why does the DOD think our military is full of mental midgets who can't deal with openly gay service members? Stop wasting time and money on useless surveys like this, there are more important issues to focus on. Spousal benefits, protecting our troops in countries where their orientations may be crimes, things like that are much bigger deals than this touchy-feely BS.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 9, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that they don't survey Vets, especially those who served during the sexual revolution of the late 60's early 70's.

As an enlisted guy in the USAF who served as a medic during the Vietnam era (fought the war in South Carolina though), I was at one point struggling with my sexuality and mentioned it to my NCO. He said, " Don't say that....thgoughout the service and especially in the medical corps we have a 'don't ask, don't tell policy'. "

When Bill Clinton came up with that policy officially (even though I was a Democratic supporter and Al Gore Democrat) I was furious precisely because the poilcy did nothing to advance what had long been unofficial policy. I traced it to the fact that Bill Clinton had never served in the military.

Posted by: BobAllen1 | July 9, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Could the questions be any more skewed? Honestly, I can guarantee that my active duty military spouse wouldn't care one way or the other about whether someone he shared a room with, an office with or a tent with was gay. However, sharing his room with a racist, sexist, "Christian" when he was in Iraq caused him some heartburn. I think it was the Led Zepplin songs re-written with "Christian" lyrics that sent him over the edge.

Posted by: DCJenninTX | July 9, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing in this survey the Pentagon doesn't already know from having discharged thousands of gay and lesbian servicemembers.

The questions are loaded, they presume the survey respondent is heterosexual, and they ask about feelings rather than facts. Its purpose is clearly to delay and perhaps prevent DADT repeal. It is obnoxious, in violation of traditional notions of the military chain of command, and utterly unfair.

Posted by: Meridian1 | July 9, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

They're just trying to gauge how big a problem they're going to have if DADT is repealed. It's a volunteer force now so if people are skeeved out and leave they want to know how many.

Posted by: ronjaboy | July 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, if someone's uncomfortable with serving alongside gays, how comfortable will they be with getting shot at, blown up, or simply deployed somewhere that's boring or not so nice? Think about it: a gay member of the military is willing to hide part of who they are as well as partially or entirely cut off their support network (i.e., a same-sex spouse or SO) in order to continue serving in conditions that may be grueling, dangerous or both, whereas someone who dislikes gay servicemembers is frightened that someone is looking at their butt or breasts. Who would you rather serve with?

Posted by: dkp01 | July 9, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement with the comment written by "crete".

Homosexuals are no problem. Rednecks and Bible pounders would keep me out of joining the service for sure.

Posted by: limpscomb | July 9, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

1. Not all Christians are anti-gay.

2. The old farts are in charge at the DoD and will not accept/want change. They want to remain hypocrites and keep usable GLBT in the forces until they can toss them aside like trash.

3. All GLBT persons in the forces should fill out this survey or let their commander know they are gay. What are they going to do if all the 66,000 GLBT personal come out during two wars that the American people don't want anymore (thank you Bush/Cheney/Gates/GOP).

Posted by: CGDB | July 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Questions include, "Do you currently serve with a male or female Service member you believe to be homosexual?"
===================================
I think it is okay to answer it. They are only asking for an opinion. It doesn't have to be right or wrong. Perhaps all service members should answer it "Yes" and then see what happens.

Posted by: kishorgala | July 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

1. Not all Christians are anti-gay.

2. The old farts are in charge at the DoD and will not accept/want change. They want to remain hypocrites and keep usable GLBT in the forces until they can toss them aside like trash.

3. All GLBT persons in the forces should fill out this survey or let their commander know they are gay. What are they going to do if all the 66,000 GLBT personnel come out during two wars that the American people don't want anymore (thank you Bush/Cheney/Gates/GOP).

4. The Commander in Chief should be making this decision alone. Not make a decision by Committee.

Posted by: CGDB | July 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Is there a difference between showering with gays and showering with members of the opposite sex? Should there be segregation in housing or should coed housing be the norm?

Bottom line, will there have to be accomodation made for gay and lesbian service members?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | July 9, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Human rights should never be the subject of an opinion poll.

Posted by: WickedRose | July 9, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the leaders of the armed forces would undertake such a test only shows how prissy, un-informed, and narcissistic HETEROsexuality can be. Who would want to eat, sleep or shower with any of you b-ches?

Posted by: d-robertson | July 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I really wish there were a political party in this country which represented my views on life. I'm a fiscal conservative (Republican) but I'm a social liberal (Democrat). Basically, I don't care what you do, I just don't want to pay for it. Think about this. If you're a happily married man (or simply a man who isn't interested) and a woman who isn't your wife lets you know in one way or another that you can sleep with her, can't you just tell her politely no? If you're a happily married woman (or simply a woman who isn't interested) and a man wants to sleep with you, can't you just politely tell him no? Well, what's the difference? If a gay man let you know that's he'd love to perform some erotic acts with your body and you aren't interested, can't you just politely say no? If you're thinking, I would be disgusted by that, well, I can tell you that I've been disgusted by women thinking I'd be interested in cheating on my wife, too. GET OVER IT, WORLD! I'm personally sick and tired of people thinking gay sex is so terrible when they don't seem to mind out-of-wedlock sex or adulterous sex.

Posted by: georges2 | July 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

First, it is crazy to survey on bigotry. Second, it is obvious that this survey was not created by anyone with significant experience in structuring such instruments. Lastly, why in the world are we considering someone's feelings about attending a social function???? My employer could does not give a crap about whether or not I want to attend because some may bring their same sex partners!

Posted by: SW-Waterfront | July 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

A spokeswoman said the Pentagon does not plan to release a full copy of the survey.

Why not? We are paying for it!

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 9, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the 1950's......
"Would you shower freely with a Negro, or would you be concerned about them making the shower too dirty?"

Posted by: BOBLA90069 | July 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Uh.... where are the questions for gay people?

Like "have you ever showered with another person you believe was heterosexual?"

Or "If you and your partner are allowed to live on base, how will you deal with the insufferable bigots who spray-paint your front door"?

So many questions...

Posted by: rmnelson | July 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The only fear that any of these young people will have are the fears that their politicians, parents and neighbors pass onto them. As soon as we stop teaching kids to be hateful and intolerant the sooner adults will be less hateful and intolerant.

But we can't look to politicians for this. These are the same liars that would prefer to destroy people rather than compromise or worst yet lose an election.

Posted by: Brigadere | July 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The only fear that any of these young people will have are the fears that their politicians, parents and neighbors pass onto them. As soon as we stop teaching kids to be hateful and intolerant the sooner adults will be less hateful and intolerant.

But we can't look to politicians for this. These are the same liars that would prefer to destroy people rather than compromise or worst yet lose an election.

Posted by: Brigadere | July 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Are you suggesting there should be no accomodation for gender OR sexual preference? I'm sure most of the 18 year olds are ready for coed showers and bunkmates.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | July 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the 1950's...

"Would you shower with Blacks, or are you afraid they would make the shower too dirty?"

Posted by: BOBLA90069 | July 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Palm Center is the institution that Nathaniel Frank is associated with in writing his excellent book, "Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America." Strangely enough, I believe quantifying bigotry is just what we need to do. This survey won't be used to stop the repeal. It will identify problem areas that will require leadership to mitigate in implementing a full repeal. What also must be repealed is the Uniform Military Code of Justice's obsolete antigay statutes. They are ridiculous in 2010.

The 1993 RAND study on openly gay members serving openly with their straight counterparts showed that there were no undue deleterious effects as long as leadership clearly sent the unified message it supported the policy shift.

That's the rub. In every other nation around the globe where their bans were lifted the transition was smooth for the most part.

American Christian Evangelical Fundamentalism is the real problem here. The upper ranks are rife with members of The Family. Read Jeff Sharlet's book on them.

Frank makes plain the continuance of DADT and antigay bias in the military is foolish, wasteful and hampers readiness.

Last thing. You are a fool if you think you haven't been a locker room with gay counterparts. Gay and Straight shower together just fine. This is so stupid. Gay males are MORE courteous and respectful not less -- because they don't want undue attention brought to themselves. Any man who is uncomfortable around a gay male is the one with the problem. A homophobic man is most likely a closeted gay male hiding his true sexual identity and being around males causes him great anxiety of being found out. That's the real problem.

Posted by: archyboi | July 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

(SORRY for duplicate comment -- I got a screen that the first was rejected)

Posted by: BOBLA90069 | July 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

My main concern is that housing and bathing facilities would have to be changed just because of the nature of these relationships. Whether it be offensive to you or not, the homosexual community appears to have no qualms about showing their affection in public.

Posted by: brysnvck | July 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

kitchendragon50: Is there a difference between showering with gays and showering with members of the opposite sex?

Yes. People are used to showering with members of the same sex. Straights and gays already do this without it turning into an orgy.

Posted by: jake14 | July 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

brysnvck: the homosexual community appears to have no qualms about showing their affection in public.

The heterosexual "community" is actually far more willing to display their affections in public.
Soldiers are professionals. I think they can handle ending DADT.

Posted by: jake14 | July 9, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As a retired Army officer who served in the combat arms for 20 plus years, I can say that such a survey is unprecedented. The military isn't in the habit of concerning itself with the religious, attitudinal and "feeling" biases of it's service members when it comes to setting its policies and procedures. It generally sets policy based on the operational needs and requirements of the force and not on the comfort level of the men and women who serve. Ask any of them and they can set you straight on that point. The pentagon did not survey the troops when the services integrated the races and when women were assigned to combat units. This is a stalling tactic to hopefully garner more ammo to resist the repeal of this archaic policy- at least that what the hierarchy is hoping. It may even backfire who knows. I am pleased to say that the die has been cast. This survey will not stop the ultimate repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" because, just as the integration of the force was the right thing to do, so is this. I firmly believe that we have "right" on our side this time.

Posted by: paulmsmith | July 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The problem with homosexuals is that they want to hit on who ever appeals to THEM. I have been approached by homosexuals several times in my life, when I was in the military and an also as a civilian. I am not a homosexual and I do not appreciate a homosexual hitting on me. I am sure that our service men don't want it either. Don't ask don't tell is the best policy. As far as I am concerned queers and lesbians are despicable.

Posted by: mac_rob | July 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

PaulMSmith, outstanding response, sir. I commend you. Thank you for your service. You just stated exactly what Frank states in his book with numerous personnel quotations to back him up. I respect you and you make me respect our military more, if that's possible.

Posted by: archyboi | July 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

That's because you are closeted, Mac_Rob. You have the problem. "... queers and lesbians are despicable"??? Really. Sounds like you're the one who's despicable. And the one with the sexual identity problem.

Posted by: archyboi | July 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

This is RIDICULOUS! Did President Truman send out a survey when he de-segregated the troops? NO! End DADT and be done with it, stop polling people as if it's a game.

Posted by: kcflood | July 9, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

mac_rob, I'm a hetero female in a LTR with a man, and I get hit on by men all the time. Some of them don't stop even after I tell them I'm already in a relationship and not interested in them. This also happened to me both while I was in the military and now as a civilian. Do you think that the military should ban pushy heterosexual men? Or is it okay that y'all are allowed to be annoying and pestering even after a woman tells you explicitly that she's not interested?

I've noticed that hetero men who like to whine about gay men hitting on them often see no problem with badgering women who have told them no already. Are you one of those men?

Posted by: dkp01 | July 9, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is an absurd rhetorical question that has absolutely no merit. Homosexuals have served honorably and with distinction in the military even before Alexander the Great - who, incidentally, was one of them. . .

The questions should be rephrased to read. Can I trust my backup to back me up when I'm in harm's way.

That is the question!

Posted by: chamateddy | July 9, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

How would this go over: Have you ever showered with a black person?

Bigots get to answer a poll - when will we ever learn?

Posted by: AJBF | July 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

DKP01, excellent observation. Misogyny and patriarchal sexism goes hand in hand with homophobia and heterosexism. In fact it is shown to be in direct proportionality.

Posted by: archyboi | July 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

When I served in the Army there were a couple of real oddballs that everybody seemed to know were homosexuals. They were kinda creepy looking and looked like the kind you would see hanging around X-rated bookstores, late at night or creeping out the back doors of gay bars.

Not the kind of persons you would want to get close to in a fox hole or on any sort of night maneuvers.

The normal guys steered clear of these weirdos and mostly ignored them. Where they went and what they did was a mystery we did not want to solve.

Posted by: battleground51 | July 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a veteran whos served with homosexuals and that did not affect my life in the least. When in KOrea the US Army was joined by Korean soldires, known as KATUSAS (Korean augmentation to the US Army) in Korea homosexualism is and has been socially accepted. The GI's knew it and lived through it. AS an officer I never heard one complain from the GI's. Gay's have been in the military throughout history and they have served honorably and many of them gave their life for their country,

Posted by: ninarafael | July 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't ask, don't tell.

Posted by: treedbrent | July 9, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The thing is that most straight military members have showered in the same shower room as gay soldiers. They just don't know about it because, contrary to mac_rob's assertion, most lesbians and gay men have self-control. If they don't, call the MPs and file a harassment charge, just as any female soldier would do when the target of unwanted advances from male soldiers. mac_rob has every right to have whatever bigoted beliefs he wants--the point is that his bigotry, and the bigotry of others, should not dictate policy.

Posted by: binaryboy | July 9, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I also served int the military with 13 months of that in Korea - yeah, there were a 2-3 guys who got caught fooling around and were kicked out - 1 of them tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. They were good soldiers too and didn't bother anyone. It was common for the st8 GIs to have their Korean girlfriends off base and some of them actually lived with these girls, but that was all OK.

This survey is ridiculous and during the 3 years I was in the military if we had gotten a survey asking about our "feelings" or "thoughts" we would have been scared to death of it. Hell, they didn't bother to ask us when they wanted to change our hats.

Posted by: willisforrester | July 9, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Did it ever cross their minds that the service members might lie (and "game" the system), and check off every box that indicates that they wouldn't want to serve with an (openly) gay person? This survey is an absolute waste of time.

Posted by: obtusegoose | July 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why are they ignoring bisexuals?

Posted by: jhs49 | July 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

This is as bad as getting a survey from my congressman where the questions asked are almost slanted towards the congressman's view point. Here's the deal. If anyone is now uncomfortable with gays, GET oVER IT!!! Move on.

Posted by: dave131 | July 9, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Being a former serviceman, I do not have a problem with gays in the military. What I did have a problem with was having to share accommodation with gay individuals. While serving in the US Navy, I was subjected to sexual harassment by a gay person while I was sleeping. We never did find out who this person was. This happened twice. I subsequently stopped sleeping in the berthing compartment. Since gay individuals sexual orientation is toward the same sex, their living accommodation should reflect that, just as men and women in the military have separate showers etc.

Posted by: usscanopus | July 9, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

As a Black women, I am so sick and tired of gay rights issues being compared to Black issues. Gays aren't relegated to kitchen, toilet and/or clean-up duty. They also haven't had to fight in all gay units, with a straight male as the commanding officer, because gay's aren't intelligent enough to achieve the rank necessary to lead.

A survey wasn't needed when "Negroes" were integrated into the military, because it was no secret how most of the personel felt. Black folks couldn't change their color. White folks were open about their hatred without fear of reprimand.

Posted by: smariesc | July 9, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

At first glance, these are interesting queationa. But the very same questions could have been asked in 1946 from the very same people about consorting with blacks in the military. Wthout Truman, the DOD might, indeed, have carried a similar survey.

Posted by: paulmathieu11 | July 9, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

To the guy who was groped in his sleep:
Millions of Gays have served, and there were obviously a few bad apples. Separate berthing for Gays is a ludicrous idea, as they would be constantly assumed to be "doing it", and it would destroy cohesion.

To the Black lady who resents comparison of the struggles: another point of view is that ANY loss of rights hurts all minorities, so you might well decide to be for all rights. Many Gays find Blacks homophobic, and in fact, California Blacks made the difference in Prop 8, the humiliating removal of marriage rights.

Posted by: BOBLA90069 | July 9, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

If the Draft was in place as in the 40's no survey would be needed as the boots are going to be filled regardless. In fact anyone think that the US could of waged WWII with an AVM? Korea? Vietnam? Anyone want to guess who the prime trigger pullers are (demographics)? Any business people out there willing to make changes that could result in a 10-20% loss of market?

With the Army recruiting losers several years past prime military retirement age just to make mission, someone better look before leaping.

Posted by: waltk1 | July 9, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The all volunteer military does make a difference. No, there wasn't a survey about blacks in 1948, but that was a draftee military which was much lower tech, and therefore enlistment or retention weren't as critical. Attitudes on serving and being quartered with openly homosexual personnel could effect recruiting and retention and that effect is something the military needs to know. Bias in the survey should be corrected, however DoD isn't noted for it's experience or expertise in surveying troop attitudes; perfection the first time is unlikely, and getting better assistance in creating the poll would be wise. It might also be wise to survey High school seniors and college students on this and other factors that would make them more or less likely join the military. Serving military might also be asked the same question regarding remaining in the military. Some groups might not like the answers, but policy makers should know the attitudes of those serving and the recruiting pool. It should be remembered that the military is an instrument to fight wars if needed, not a tool for social engineering.

Posted by: M1Rifleman1940 | July 9, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@M1Rifleman1940

Are you suggesting that if the 1948 army had been all-volunteer and hi-tech, the military might have been justified in deciding whether to integrate on the basis of a survey about attitudes toward blacks?

Posted by: guez | July 9, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in base housing my entire military career, and I resent the immoral left for imposing their perversions on my family. We will move off base rather than subject innocent children to the brainwashing leftist agenda of the homosexual radicals. What an incredible failure of leadership to foist this despicable social engineering on our already stressed Armed Forces in the middle of a two-front war. It has NOTHING to do with increasing military readiness. It has eveything to do with leftist politics and pandering to a debauched fringe. America, wake up. Your very security and freedom are being weakended in the name of so-called tolerance. You can be assured that the quality and dedication of your Armed Forces will be affected as thousands of good men and women vote against this policy change with their feet. Don't let the anarchists win.

Posted by: Publius76 | July 9, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

M1Rifleman1940

Excellent "on the nail" comments esp about surveying the prime recruiting market for an attitude check.

Posted by: waltk1 | July 9, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Army officer with more than 15 years of service, two tours in Iraq, and one in Kosovo. Here are some of my thoughts.

1) The average soldier doesn't really care about sexual orientation. While most view homosexuality as immoral, most (like me) don't really care what a service member does on his / her own time. That said, our soldiers don't want new rules and policies (to include sensitivity training) shoved down their throats. Just leave it alone. Soldiers sometimes go to prostitutes, which is also immoral. But few people care.

2) DADT and Desegregation: I think the comparisons between homosexuality and race are absolutely silly. In fact, black Americans should be insulted by the comparison. One cannot do anything about one's ethnicity. Sexual orientation is a preference. Apples and oranges!

3) DADT is not an ideal policy, but it also isn't as problematic as some people like to portray it. Yes, many service members have been discharged. However, for the most part, these individuals were not singled-out in some sort of witch hunt. This is a gross misrepresentation of the policy and its procedures. You can serve in military and be gay, but if you start hitting on other service members or openly describing yourself as gay then commanders have to follow the rules. However, most commanders are very happy to ignore or even discourage rumors, innuendo, and even allegations until the situation becomes overblown. Most of the time, overblown situations are deliberate, especially when the service member wants to leave the military expeditiously and not fulfill his / her enlistment contract.

Posted by: lowellhoward | July 9, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

One more point: Does anyone here understand what the word "homophobia" means?

- Acrophobia = fear of heights
- Brontophobia = fear lightning and thunder
- Dentophobia = fear of dentists
- Nosocomephobia = fear of hospitals
- Pentheraphobia = fear of your mother-in-law

In the same vein, homophobia is the fear of homosexuality or becoming a homosexual. It does NOT mean you hate or are prejudiced against homosexuals. How the definition of this word has been warped really puzzles me.

Posted by: lowellhoward | July 9, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to heterosexuals in the military, homosexuals should be SEGREGATED from heterosexuals.

Otherwise it's unfair to segregate heterosexuals from those they sexually desire, but not the homosexuals.

In much the same way as no decent parents would want their daughters cohabiting with men and showering with them in the same living quarters, so too no decent parents would want their 18 year old sons cohabiting with and showering with homosexual men. That's only fair.

So, since the military can't allow male soldiers to sleep and shower with females, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to allow homosexuals special privileges that heterosexual men aren't allowed of living together and showering with those they desire sexually.

Posted by: tncdel | July 9, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

lowellhoward's response demonstrates precisely how discrimination and biased behavior and rules keep a particular group surpressed. I'm sure the good soldier doesn't realize it, but he/she too is biased.

"While most view homosexuality as immoral..."... says who? Him/Her? Cite your source. I'd be very interested to see the statistics. Your statement is simple discrimination and marginalization flapping it's loose lips.

"...black Americans should be insulted by the comparison. One cannot do anything about one's ethnicity. Sexual orientation is a preference." ...oops. Big biased opinion here as well. Do you read anything current?

[DADT] "isn't as problematic as some people like to portray it. Yes, many service members have been discharged." What arrogance and simplistic thinking lowellhoward displays.

To top all insults, he/she blames the gay service member for wanting to leave the military quickly and not fulfill his "enlistment contract."

Oh, and Uh? No gay officers? Remember, those who protest the loudest are most likely fighting surpressed internalized homophobia.

It's okay if you want to come out as gay, lowellhoward. I just wouldn't want you as a neighbor, gay or straight.

Just keep his head in the sand and get out of the military because I'm tired of paying your salary.

Posted by: kerley809 | July 9, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I do not want gays to serve in the military. In the past I refuse to let someone who is gay work on my house or my car, being gay is morally wrong and we should never support moral wrongs. Being gay is a choice and they make the choice. I have read several articles written by our Black sisters and brothers and even though I am white, I totally agree with them that comparing gays to the black race the Hispanic race or any other race is morally wrong, I have absoulty no problem with people of Negro, Hispanice or any other race working on my property or working with them, but I will not work with a queer.

Posted by: twomullens | July 9, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Kerley809, I think you misunderstood my comments. I don't care whether or not I am serving with homosexuals. I believe most soldiers feel the same way. We object to being asked to accept it on a moral level. That's all.

Yes, I'm biased and find homosexuality immoral. However, that's not enough (in my book) to keep someone out of the service. A lack of discipline or failure to follow orders is what normally constitutes chapter proceedings under Army regulations. I've served with many gay men and women, and most are fine soldiers. That does not mean I have to accept their private, personal proclivities.

As for my sources... I am my own source, of course. I think 15+ years in the military gives me expert status in any courtroom in the nation.

As far as my salary is concerned, post your address and I will gladly send you a refund check.

Posted by: lowellhoward | July 10, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Lowellhoward's response is on the mark. I'd like to add another point. Some of you have gotten the idea that ALL FORMS of discrimination and bias is immoral. IT IS NOT. You discriminate EVERY time you ask someone out on a date or must answer when asked out. You discriminate every time a salesman asks you to buy his/her product. Some of you who would never think of being rude to a homosexual would knock the block off a skinhead if you could. Many of your characterizations of hatred is, in fact, religious bigotry--if we use YOUR way of looking at things. Homosexuality is dysfunctional and immoral. We should be prejudiced against behaviors that damage individuals and society. Now, let's see if you are prejudiced and biased against me...

Posted by: vanhook99 | July 10, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

If you were about to be treated for a severed artery from a combat wound by a gay medic, you would:

1. be glad a qualified medic could save your life
2. have no opinion, just thinking of mom
3. hope the medic saves my life, but tells me he is straight while doing so
4. rather die than have one of them save me
5. run like hell, ummm, well that is if I could, I mean, well....

This is another waste of money. And if the survey company didn't realize it shame on them. And if they did, shame on them. Maybe this survey is part of the gay agenda? :-)

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 10, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

When I served, gays were never a problem. Could usually spot one, but they were always okay people.

Now the folks who did feel threatening were these ex-cons the Army would recruit because some judge said, "I sentence you to six years in prison or you can join the military." Those kinds of guys would hit on their same gender sexually all the time and on one occasion I remember hearing about a guy getting raped, prison-style, in a barracks. In a barracks!

It's character, not preference, that makes the person.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | July 10, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@lowellhoward

If sexual orientation is a preference, then it's a choice. Make a deal with you. Choose to be gay for a month. Or tell me how and when you made your choice. Did you make a list of pros and cons? Flip a coin. Try a bit of each, then decide. If its a choice, how often do you choose? Every year on your birthday, so it's easy to remember? Every time you see a cute man? Stop blushing! Well, just let me know what factors and metrics you used to make that choice. Whoops, I mean preference...

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 10, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

For heaven's sake, other countries have crossed the 'gays in the military' bridge way before the US. As heretical as it may be to suggest that the US is really no different than any other country, I think we can take some comfort from seeing that many other countries, (e.g. the UK, Israel or the Netherlands ) have managed to drop their institutionalized bigotry against gays without compromising their military's effectiveness.

Posted by: davidjryan | July 10, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

One thing the military does is plan, plan, plan. Why not plan to see if recruitment would plummet with the end of DADT?

Posted by: GeneWells | July 10, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Im retired military and served from 1985-2006. The comments from people who have not served there country in the military are unfounded.
The reality is sharing showers, rooms tents living on ships in sharing racks are very close and sharing them with hetersexuals is tough enough. but to share them on a day to day basis with a homosexual is totally uncomfortable and uneasy to heterosexuals. "Heterosexuals have rights too". If the military places all homosexuals in a separate sleeping area and by keeping all the same UCMJ rules as to no fraternization then it might work.

Posted by: cscisso | July 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

It saddens me to write this but I truly believe that President Obama has no idea how to lead this country or the military. I for the life of me can't understand why as the leader of the free world that he can't make a simple signing statement allowing gays to openly serve in the military. After reading this survey, I've never been so upset at our government and with a president that I help get elected. It's time we make a hard choice and decide to withhold our support for his administration.

Posted by: kyle0377 | July 10, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, for God's sake, people, can we GROW UP ALREADY???

Posted by: ancientpollyanna1 | July 10, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@csisso: Please take no offense at my comment, none intended. But times have changed. The younger generations have a new perspective on working with gays and lesbians. And while the military is not civilian life, neither is living in firehouses, or hunting down killers in the police force. Both entail close living quarters. Open gays and lesbians in these professions and well as other military forces worldwide has not been a problem.

As others have mentioned, let's take a poll of high schoolers, potential recruits and get their attitudes. As Dylan said, "get out of the road, the times they are a changing."

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yet another reason why the Pentagon budget needs to be cut by at least 25%. What a waste of taxpayer's money.

Posted by: jap219 | July 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I am a gay civilian. I dont' have a problem with this survey, if it makes people realize that they are probably not going to change their military career plans because of a few openly gay soldiers. The questions about the showers are a bit silly, but you know some people are thinking about them. As long as someone isn't watching you and masturbating, I don't see what the big deal is about taking a shower in the same room. Besides, it's the guys who know one wants to look at that are always paranoid about being watched.

If people answer honestly that the gay soldiers they know about didn't affect their unit's performance in a negative way, I think that is what should be focused on. We already know that there are people who are squeamish about gay people. That's not the real issue. What is is important is does the unit still work effectively. If it does, then it doesn't matter if you approve of everyone else.

Bottom line: you are allowed to have all the racist, homophobice, sexist, or whatever opinions you like. But if people who are different from you don't hurt effectiveness, too bad. You're there to get a job done, not to have a happy social hour.

Posted by: xcrunner771 | July 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Barry Goldwater, one of the most conservative politicians, said years ago that you don't have to be straight to shoot straight.

Plenty of gays serve in the military, most notably in the medical corps and many, whether you care or not, are chaplains or serve in the clergy. Chances are, they serve in every category of the military.

If you are bleeding to death on the battlefield are you likely to ask whether that corpsman who applies your tournaquet and gives you morphine to stop the pain if he/she is gay? If the person carrying you over their shoulder to safety or to a medevac helicopter is gay would you ask him/her to put you down? I doubt it.

Posted by: gr8wx | July 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I love those that preach the 'immoral' aspect of being gay. Do they also preach to those servicemen, married or not, that visit prostitutes? That seems to be immoral also. And these servicemen that think they know ALL the gays that they have served with is a bit funny. They must have very good gaydar. And those offended by getting 'hit on', as I read earlier in the comments I am sure those same guys are the ones that hit on women with unwelcomed advances but the shoe is on the other foot then.

Posted by: keithhjohnson | July 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

So what do the troops do when they come across troops from ally nations that have dropped discrimination against gays? Are the US troops operating under special orders that allow them to not interact with potentially gay and gay-infected allies?

If the military isn't capable of trashing this discriminatory relic, can we at least please quit hearing that the forces are made up of the "best and brightest" that America has to offer, as such a claim is transparently ridiculous under a discriminatory regime?

Posted by: plooger | July 10, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

In response to mac_rob:

I'm a woman and I've been approached by heterosexual men many times in my life, and I was often disgusted by it. I bet a lot of women can relate. :) It seems heterosexuals also want to hit on whoever appeals to THEM.

mac_rob said:
The problem with homosexuals is that they want to hit on who ever appeals to THEM. I have been approached by homosexuals several times in my life, when I was in the military and an also as a civilian. I am not a homosexual and I do not appreciate a homosexual hitting on me. I am sure that our service men don't want it either. Don't ask don't tell is the best policy. As far as I am concerned queers and lesbians are despicable.

Posted by: ellekay13 | July 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@jakemd1: "I'd invite them to brunch, of course."

ha! good one.

though I'd take a different approach and make sure I was in their good graces... to ensure I was invited to *their* place for brunch!

Posted by: plooger | July 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hands off DADT! The U.S. military should not engage in social engineering. DADT was enough of a concession.

Posted by: mrmusique | July 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Not all homosexuals are born homosexual; some are converted to homosexuality or bi-sexuality by their first sexual experience. Among all men, which sexual orientation is most likely to be attracted to children? Is bi-sexuality or cross-dressing an aberration? Are male homosexuals likely to enjoy lasting, mmonogamous relationships? Sex is a very emotional subject about which most decisions are not made rationally. And most opinions about sexual orientation are emotional. There are very few experts on the subject.

Posted by: vethokie | July 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@CGDB: "The old farts are in charge at the DoD and will not accept/want change. They want to remain hypocrites and keep usable GLBT in the forces until they can toss them aside like trash."

It's hard to deny this -- which is why I initially interpreted the issuance of this survey as a tool to aid in their rationalizing continuation of existing policy. The fact that no similar surveys were done in the past for racial and gender integration strengthens my impression.

@CGDB: "All GLBT persons in the forces should fill out this survey or let their commander know they are gay. What are they going to do if all the 66,000 GLBT personal come out during two wars ..."

Sure, except that these people wouldn't want to leave their fellow soldiers behind, in danger. Not to mention the benefits that they'd risk losing if they left the services earlier than planned. It's not as "simple" as going on strike, eh.

Posted by: plooger | July 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@mrmusique: "Hands off DADT! The U.S. military should not engage in social engineering. DADT was enough of a concession."

Ummm... Isn't the current policy, where the military is attempting to filter-out otherwise exceptionally qualified individuals based not on skills but a social metric, the actual social engineering? Scrapping the discriminatory anti-gay policy would actually be bringing the military in-line with the general public, thus discarding the existing social engineering.

Posted by: plooger | July 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Vietnam-era vet and in my late 50's.
Oh, and I'm gay[yikes!]
Anywho, asking straight guys about showing with gay guys? WTF?! What is our military anyway, a bunch of silly 12 yr. old boys! Worried that another guy might, maybe, be checking out your pee pee in the showers.
Who the hell are these people anyway?!
Hell, I had more straight guys checking me out in the showers than gay guys. Ever.

A better question should be: Do you have any problem showing with straight guys?

Posted by: mrswiggins | July 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I was U.S.A.F. and my attitude was that there was a job to do, that was primary importance - people's preference's weren't. Like having a man or woman apply for a job with me - I'll go for the one most qualified. I had to serve with people I didn't get along with because they behaved like they were trying to act out some gung ho character in a war movie... immature. But that didn't change the fact there was a job that needed doing, I put personal bias aside.
There was another issue however (the gay thing aside) that romantic relationships could put you into a position to be blackmailed - I think this is a more salient issue than who I would shower with - people already have showered with with gays, are doing it now - If there's no ogling or physical contact, what's the difference? When I was in Basic there were guys playing grab-ass I don't think they were gay but I found that behavior offensive because I was trying to learn discipline.
I don't believe they choose it, because I wouldn't - but I also know that it's much easier to hide something like that than one's skin color so I understand some of the objections I've read.
As for Christians "If we say we have no sin we make God out to be a liar and the truth is not in us" - "There's none righteous, no not one" "All have sinned an fallen short of the glory of God".
Kinda puts us all in the same boat - the only one qualified to judge is Christ who is perfect. I think we need to re-evaluate our biases... Again!

Posted by: VAH777 | July 10, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever served with an openly heterosexual service member? Were you ever creeped out or hit on by a heterosexual service member? If you could, would you wish them into the corn field?

Assuming all the currently serving gay folk fill out this survey, and many rednecks won't, what will the skewed "survey" results "prove"?

Change is coming. America cannot tolerate bigotry anymore, and those old and sad bigots must try to get help, or get out of the way. That's it. There's really no more "discussing" this as "an issue", because it's not an issue anymore. America has decided on human dignity, and against hate, if for no other reason than it's in our collective best interest to do so.

Posted by: morehumane | July 10, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Whether our men and women in uniform wish to realize it or not, they are all ready showering with and bunking alongside gay comrades. Roughly one in twenty people in the population is gay. There are good reason to expect that gays and lesbians might be attracted to the military, which would make the percentages somewhat higher.

Posted by: davidjryan | July 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse


Would you shower with a homosexual? VOTE

http://www.youpolls.com/default.asp

.

Posted by: usadblake | July 10, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I oppose homosexuals in the military.

Posted by: wthomsjr | July 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The generals seem to be more worried than the soldiers. I'm sure they have all showered and bunked with gays without knowing it. They need to quit "thinking" about it and just get on with it.

Posted by: crazypieces | July 10, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this correct. Our military personnel are not afraid of Al-qaeda, the Taliban, or Iraqi insurgents, but the are afraid of being naked in a shower with someone who is gay? That is just insulting to our military.

Posted by: mondoray8 | July 10, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The survey is utterly absurd and a waste of money.

The Israelis and the Brits dropped these discriminatory practices years ago with no diminuation in combat effectiveness or unit morale.

Posted by: Twinx | July 10, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

No. I would not shower with a known homosexual. I would mot shower with a lesbian.

These disgusting people, along with the roman catholic and other ludicrous religious paedodophiles need to be sent to plastic-land (it floats in the Pacific Ocean.)

It is so disturbing that society has given these creatures a point of view when it is so terribly wrong and disgusting.

It is abhorrent and spreads lack of ethics. Homos (batty boys - per the Jamaican saying) are just quite nasty.

Print this if you dare!

Posted by: captcct | July 10, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I go to work everyday and deal with all kinds of people. I have never thought to myself about anyone's sexuality. I go to work to do my job. I work with people I strongly disagree with on a variety of core beliefs/issues, e.g., religion (which, by the way, is a choice), but never once has it affected my ability or theirs to work together.

There is clearly a great deal of immaturity and prejudice in our daily lives. We all deal with it. Imagine if all of the world were to succumb to rules set by immaturity and prejudice. How would we manage to get anything done?

The 'reasons' gays and lesbians should not be allowed to serve are immature and bigoted. If ANYONE is really that concerned (read 'obsessed') with whether someone is gay, you have deeper personal issues to resolve.

Grow up and move on. By the way, I don't want to shower with ANYONE.

Posted by: kelehe | July 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me, the point of these questions is to reinforce that 'gays' are 'others'.

Why wouldn't one attend
a function with a gay couple?

Is 'gay' contageous.

Posted by: charlesalmon | July 10, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@Vethokie
You don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by: charlesalmon | July 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh joy, another attack by the gay agenda. If troops were to answer honestly to whatever questions, and it was discovered that they didnt like or want gays living with them, the Gays would have a problem with the survey, and not the troops honest answers. No matter what anyone says, this is going to be pushed down our throats, despite our religious beliefs and concerns. Maybe, just maybe, some troops, or a vast majority think that homosexuality is a nasty sin that they dont want in their rooms. many think this, but sure dont want to say it out loud and get attacked.

Posted by: astanley1 | July 10, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Attractive and downright hot guys are USED to being flirted with by BOTH genders and know how to deal with it.
As a gay man, I have found the biggest homophobes are usually, externally, the least attractive, downright Yoooogly, guys you can picture.

Posted by: charlesalmon | July 10, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@astanley1
Sin?
It's called separation of church and state for a reason.
Why don't you wipe your assss with that collection of myths, fairy tales and ancient prejudices you call the Bible.

Posted by: charlesalmon | July 10, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@mac-rob
Dumb X 1,000,000

Posted by: charlesalmon | July 10, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This survey is ridiculous. Why is the GLBT community being humiliated just because they want to serve for our country? Has the government ever surveyed straight people on the amount of time they check each other out? Like user, Crete, I also would be terrified to serve with rednecks. Rape is mostly committed by straight men. Why isn't that a concern? Frankly, I don't know why anyone "wants or chooses" to go kill people, and I would expect better of my GLBT community anyway, but they should be able to enlist if they choose.

Posted by: monkeegurrl | July 10, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

dezlboy1
back to the subject of the military, has had many legal cases of unwanted advancement from homosexuals towards heterosexuals(still today)
If you are heterosexual do you want a homosexual sleeping in your be with you night after night?No (only homosexuals want that)Thats how close the living qtrs are for 180 days or more on deployment. So separation of sleeping qtrs & showers is needed to protect the heterosexuals rights.

Posted by: cscisso | July 10, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a MacChrystal moment. What in he h were they thinking? The survey is more than flawed in terms of the results it will produce. It also reveals a deep seated desire to make sure gays stay out of the military.

Gates and Mullen were not speaking the truth. They do not want this policy and as politicians they knew exactly what to do. Feign agreement,push for a survey to help with implementation,guarantee bad results for the survey and then use it as an excuse to maintain the status quo. Just think back two generations.... if the military had surveyed soldiers after WWII and asked if they would be comfortable showering with a black man, what do you think the result would have been. Instead, Harry Truman forced them to do the right thing. Shame on the Pentagon. One more time they think they can play the President. And you can guarantee that the survey results will leak just before the election: a time when candidates want no controversy. I have lost all faith and trust in the Pentagon's ability to be honest and truthful. Time to trim their sails a bit and the Ron Paul/Barney Frank legislation is just the place to start. We need a combat ready force that cares about the average soldier, not all the fat butt generals and admirals and bloated bureaucracy sitting on the Potmac River spending huge portions of our tax dollars on toys that cannot be used in today's battles. We spend more on these guys than the military budgets of most countries in the world combined. Mr. Gate and Admiral Mullen, you have poked a tick in a hornet's nest..... needlessly.

Posted by: tarryh | July 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

For most of you who never served in the military, let me try and clarify a few things for you. Civillians and politicians like the Defense Secretary and the President authorize and mandate these studies.

Military commanders follow civillian orders to implement and perform surveys like this. Most of you are probably aware who the Commander in Chief is. The secretary of defense (same one under Bush - Robert Gates) would be the one passing this down through a chain of command.

As such, another common misnomer is that soldiers afforded the same "rights" as a civillian. One of the first things you do as a soldier, is understand that many "rights" do not apply to you when you enlist. Your rights are now encompassed by the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). This is not a civillian judicial authority. The military's job is to defend people's rights, but you don't get to question the authority of the people making the rules for these types of surveys.

By the way, all of these types of mental readiness surveys were instituted by many of the liberal progressives who you still believe champions all of your rights.

Anyone who has never served wouldn't necessarily understand most of this, so I'll make it clear to you. Blame the civillians like the Commander in Chief, not the soldiers following their orders.

President Obama could stop all of this today with an executive order, but he won't. While many of you still assume he cares for you and your rights, the real truth is that he must balance those beliefs, and the commitment to maintain the readiness capabilities of our military interests and security.

By the way, as a proud military veteran "redneck", I'd be proud to serve with anyone of any orientation, with the guts and fortitude it takes to volunteer to put on the uniform, and be prepared to really give your life for your country.

Most of the readers of this blog wouldn't be prepared to leave the couch during a commercial, much less endure the sacrifice it takes to be a real soldier.

Posted by: raydeanturner | July 10, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

These comments are funny. They reveal a bias against supposed 'bias'. I am a vet. I understand that DOD has an interest in assessing force levels, and any policy that may affect the ability to recruit, train, and maintain troops must be examined. Any policy that can affect morale must be examined as well.

Hence, the survey. Why no survey with blacks or women? Contrary to what probably many on here believe, no one has a choice about being black or a woman. But, I do have to say that integration of women has created its own problems- especially in light of the 60s sexual revolution. I can't repeat most of the comments I've heard about women in my one tour. But, I'm not saying integration was a bad thing. Only there are consequeces to choices and they all need to be examined; not filed under the term 'bigotry' just because we don't like results that may challenge our paradigm.

So, it's fascinating that wanting to know about troop feelings serving with gays is labeled as 'bigotry'. Perhaps that's a form of bigotry in and of itself.

Here's another form of bigotry: anyone who doesn't agree with a homosexual lifestyle is a bigot. Wow. Talk about encouraging debate and discussion in a free society! Awesome! I guess the blood donor form I filled out yesterday that asked if I'd had sex with a man even once since 1977 was bigoted, too- yes, I'm unequivocally male.

Now, how many responders will bash me and call me a bigot? I'd like to keep a running count, please. Thanks.

Posted by: hiya1234 | July 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise me that we've been in Afghanistan for 10 years. If the men running the operation are as ignorant as the stooges that made this survey we will be there 20 more. Hey Uncle Sam, no one want to look at your wee wee.

Posted by: Kudzu1 | July 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The military is not a democracy. And I am ashamed that the issue of gays in the military had to come down to a survey of what, and I’m assuming here, enlisted and officer service members think about gays openly serving in the military.

No. I don’t view gays serving in the military as being the same issue as was African Americans’ integration into the military during the 1940s. During the forties, there was no law on the books prohibiting African Americans from equally serving in the military. Today, there is a law passed by Congress prohibiting gays from openly serving in the military.

Conducting a survey is not an answer to solving this problem. However, it is now Congress and not the president who have the power to take the next step toward integrating gay into the military so that gays can openly serve in the U. S. armed forces. Defining “openly gay” still remains another issue.

Posted by: seventhrama | July 10, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Huffington Post headline to THIS ARTICLE,
"Would you shower with a Homosexual?"

First, it is none of Arriana's business.

Sscond, she has a lot of nerve to post a headline such as that.

Third, for safety purposes 'Don't ask, and don't tell'.

Fourth, in locker rooms all across America men and women are taking showers. How can you tell a homosexual or lesbian from the others if they are naked? Is it by a tattoo? Do they hold the soap differently? Do they cleanse one area before others?

Fifth, approximately 10-20% of men and women have homosexual tendencies. Whether they act on their urges is up to them. Whether it is right or wrong, they have to answer and explain for themselves.

I am sure I have showered with more than a few gays in my life, and as long as they stay on their side of the shower and don't try to hit on me; it is their water as well.

Posted by: jakesfriend1 | July 10, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The questionnaire is stupid and the "this is not helpful" statement of Gates is dumb. Did he think he could run a survey in a vacuum? Did he think that we don't know how easy it is to add bias to a survey?

I served in the military and knew many who were gay. As a matter of fact, I was going to move off-base with a co-worker and they told me, it was probably not in my best interest.

All the chest beating about immorality is from the bible thumpers who somehow think they are better than everyone else because the selectively quote verse to prove their misguided view. Back when I was in bootcamp, I told them I was agnostic so that I could do my laundry while everyone else was at church...yep, after some gasps and my question to them, if they knew how to spell it, I even have in printed on my dog tags!

What would be better was a truly secret survey, Are you gay: Y/N and then the military would finally figure out that they haven't a clue. Don't remember which General testified that even he knew he had served with High Ranking Officers who are gay and Oh MY, the world is still turning.

Sterotypes abound with the idea that gays are weird looking. As a straight women, I was always dismayed when socializing with gay men who where a heck of a lot better looking that their straight counterparts. But stick with your sterotypes, it truly shows your ignorance!

One more thought: the military recently made some submarines co-ed...now that will put pressure on all you wusses to figure out that individuals can co-exist, despite all your fears...oh yea, the DoD did not bother to have a survey on that either... just wrote the rules and said "deal with it". That is exactly what will happen when DADT is repealed!

Those who say they will end their military career because DADT is repealed are not as dedicated to the military as they try and make us believe.

Posted by: axf56730 | July 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This is great. If they reinstate draft, I would claim I'm a flaming closet homosexual to excuse myself from "serving."

They guy is bleeding to death and all you think about is his sexual preferences? Where is that Libertarian "common sense" we keep getting bombarded with?

Hey, why not ask whether military personals are ok with "atheist" or "agnostics" because then I'd have another reason not to serve.

Posted by: quoxi | July 10, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

captcct comments:

"No. I would not shower with a known homosexual. I would mot [sic] shower with a lesbian.

"These disgusting people, along with the roman [sic] catholic [sic] and other ludicrous religious paedodophiles need to be sent to plastic-land (it floats in the Pacific Ocean.)

"It is so disturbing that society has given these creatures a point of view when it is so terribly wrong and disgusting.

"It is abhorrent and spreads lack of ethics. Homos (batty boys - per the Jamaican saying) are just quite nasty.

"Print this if you dare!"


I wholeheartedly agree with captcct. Repealing DADT, as with DOMA, would be a slippery slope. If Sodomites are allowed to serve in the military, marry one another, and do other things we normal people are allowed to do, before you know it folks will be wearing clothes with mixed fibers, consuming shellfish, touching menstruating women, sacrificing their animals improperly, and the like. Such wanton impropriety leads to anarchy.

As for the survey, it has a glaring omission: nothing about the danger of bending over in the shower to pick up the soap. Now that's an abomination.

Posted by: Grokenspiel | July 10, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I would not shower with a teagagger or an Oatkeeper. I'd take a gay soldier over a traitor.

Posted by: ChristianLibrul | July 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is quite simple - and obvious. The Pentagon creates a biased instrument, masquerades it as an unpredjudiced survey, when it's really just a witch hunt. Some times military exercises are unbelievably transparent.

Posted by: Informed7 | July 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

For any reasonable folks who are reading this and think the DADT might be good...

A- The "barn door" on sexual harassment, etc, was opened when women were admitted to more types of service (not just nurses, clerks, etc). Meanwhile the Gays, who had been there all along, were still required to fabricate lies, etc, to stay in. As has been stated, EVERY SOLDIER who went to High School has showered with a Gay person -- THUS THE QUESTIONS ARE JUST ENCOURAGING BIGOTRY.

B-- Repealing DADT allows service members who follow military discipline to be their true selves socially. It does NOT allow in crazy-behaving people who are Gay, nor encourage non-military attitudes, nor sex on base.

C-- One reason for the fight to keep it may be that Gay persons will soon be able to marry, thus request married housing, even at bases in redneck states. This makes the worried rednecks more worried.

D-- REMEMBER -- those guys think Gay = Sinner, and are jealous that Gays get to sin, while they like to pretend they do not. If Gays can be honest and accepted, maybe your wife will talk about her affair, and your daughter will think it's ok to bang boys of color -- ETC

Posted by: BOBLA90069 | July 10, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with lifting the ban on DADT. I like it to stay where it is. I believe the young people that join the armay and professe to be Gay may still feel deep inside them they maybe this lifestyle isn't for me. They may feel that maybe I'm not really Gay. And If I am Gay what am I doing in the Army. The Army is for real men. If I'm Gay am I a real man?
It'll just lead to more confuse which will result in depression, lack of concentration which will result in more military personnel getting killed on the battlefield. Keep DADT. Keep our Country safe.

Posted by: tony831 | July 10, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

No one has responded to my question of "why are bisexuals being ignored"? When I was in the military I met a number of them, including those of BOTH sexes who were married and had children. What is the point of all this when most of us have experienced some type of homosexual encounters as young children? The only difference is that some moved away from it, some stayed with it and many people still remain "on the fence."

Posted by: jhs49 | July 10, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend in the Army, and he said there was a gay soldier in his unit and no one knew it until he was put out.. He even said that no one cared...the man seems just as concerned about being killed as we all were

Posted by: flowymac | July 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

My problem with the survey is that those who have not associated with gays may well have prejudices not based on fact but rather on the prejudices that many of us were inculcated with during our upbringing, prejudices which might well melt away for the person had the opportunity to associate with gays. Such people might be making a peremptory strike based on prejudice. For many people, it is only by getting to know gays well that their prejudices against gays gets questioned, although there are others whose prejudices will remain intact or even increase.

Posted by: grandpaw7 | July 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The questionnaire is designed to keep folk going back and forth on this topic. It is useless. DADT should remain and service men and women should go along serving like they've being doing from time immemorial. For the most part , people already know their sexual orientation and even if they are gay/lesbian, might not want to declare it. Why dredge it up? Also, seems like the millions of dollars used for the survey could have been better used to pay unamployment benefits. We are always focusing on the wrong things.

Posted by: acmiller2 | July 10, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

vethokie
Yes we do enjoy long term monogamous relationships. I have been in one for 19 years.

Posted by: kpmacatl | July 11, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Given some of the comments posted here, it is obvious many of you do not know a gay or lesbian person.

You do realize, gays and lesbians have been and are fighting and have died for the freedoms we all take for granted too? They've been there since the beginning. In fact, there are countless stories of heroic men and women throughout history who happen to be gay who have fought.

The father of computer science and WWII German code breaker, Alan Turing, did so much to help end that war... heck, without him you wouldn't be able to post your bigotry to the net.

The irony about it all is that gays and lesbians do not get to enjoy those same freedoms they fight for. When you look at all of the laws on the books in the US, not just in the military and realize that in 30 states a gay person can be denied housing or get fired because of who they are, that there are amendments to state constitutions to deny them the ability to protect their relationships and families, (yes there are more than a million children being raised in Gay and Lesbian household in this country,) it makes me very upset that an entire group of people are not given any dignity and in some cases talked about like they are not even human.

History has recorded gays and lesbians as philosophers, artists, scientists, politicians, doctors, musicians and yes, soldiers... gays and lesbians have been productive members of our society and have contributed greatly to all civilizations on this planet.

Regardless of the arguments of "choice" or showers or "the ick factor". There will always be gays and lesbians in the military. It is sick that almost 14,000 of them have been discharged since the inception of this awful policy.

What affects unit cohesion more? The loss of linguists (who actually know what the enemy is saying), engineers, field medics and a myriad of other specialties? Or bigotry and intolerance?

I have no doubt if you are being saved by a comrade in arms you are not going to to care who he or she loves.

Personally, I find it despicable and not all that surprising that humans still need to kill each other but for those who are willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect our freedoms, they should be given ALL due respect, dignity and honor as any straight person who would do the same.

Shame on those of you who would sully the memory of those brave men and women. The same men and women who make it possible for you to have the freedom to say what you want, the same men and women you discriminate against.

Posted by: mm_hmmm | July 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

One simple question for you str8 folks that think being gay is a choice....
Simply ask yourself,"When did I decide to be hetrosexual?"
Then you should realize, in fact you didn't choose, you just were.
Gay people are not hetros, that then choose to become gay
Gay people simply are gay.

Posted by: tbpred | July 11, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Cry me a river boys. It seems to be the males worried about the repeal of DADT, worried about what openly gay men might do. No one wants to be assaulted and it is wrong in any circumstance. Inappropriate sexual advances are wrong. Period. Men should not be victimized this way. Personally I don’t believe that you men are at increased risk of sexual assault by the repeal of DADT but even if you were, I have to admit that I have a hard time expending a lot of concern that grown men in the military, who are presumably physically fit and trained in fighting, fear being assaulted. Welcome to the club, boys.

Posted by: BethInBibleBelt | July 11, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I am an American ex-pat living in Australia, a country that has moved comfortably and confidently into the 21st century.

I find this survey insulting and degrading to the US and to all Americans. We are so much better than this. I find the distribution of this survey sad and shameful. A complete lack of politcal will and real leadership.

United we should stand.

Posted by: ExPatAUS | July 11, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Publius76 "It has eveything to do with leftist politics and pandering to a debauched fringe. America, wake up. Your very security and freedom are being weakended in the name of so-called tolerance."

The tyranny of the Left is destroying this great nation by trying to re-define morality to fit their socialist agenda. It is impacting every area of American life - and even life itself.

Posted by: 2012frank | July 11, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

How absurd! Is this the state our armed forces command structure is in? Unreal. Bigots and homophobes?
Former Marine HMM-268

Posted by: vance1 | July 12, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that none of the younger, unmarried soldiers, including myself, received this survey (in my unit). I'd like to know if there was a predetermined, and preferred 400,000 soldiers that were choosen to receive the survey. Hm...

Posted by: H1985 | July 12, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's my wife's comment:

"This is insane. If you insert another adjective instead of gay, like Jewish or Black, everyone would be up in arms, fuming mad."

I married a smart one!

Posted by: AV-Davey | July 15, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

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