If I simply produced a website devoted to all of the pro-homosexual activism of US President Obama, I would have little time to work on anything else. He has been relentless and single-minded in pushing the radical homosexual cause at every opportunity.
His latest crusade is to overturn the current policy regarding homosexuals in the military: the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy introduced by Bill Clinton in 1993. This allows homosexuals in, but not deliberately or knowingly. If they are there, OK, but don’t make an issue of it. Sexual orientation does not have to be disclosed upon seeking to enter the military, but homosexual conduct is a dischargeable offence. Obama is not happy with this compromise position, and he wants to take things much further.
He recently told a crowd of homosexual activists, “I will end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That’s my commitment to you. We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we’re fighting two wars.”
But is this a good idea? And does talk of discrimination and equality even apply in the military? Many military experts and social commentators don’t think so. They offer plenty of reasons why we do not need to head down this path of open slather.
For example there have been numerous cases of homosexual rape in the military, well before it was partly legalised in 1993. I have read about some of these incidents. It makes for sickening and disgusting reading. To open the doors completely will simply result in many more such cases.
But it will be objected that a ban on homosexuals in the military will reduce the number of servicemen. Not necessarily. There are already homosexuals in the military, and we don’t know how many more would enlist if Obama gets his way. And it can well be argued that the number of military personal gained by the complete inclusion of homosexuals could well be offset by the number of heterosexuals who might leave as a result.
The objection is often raised about the exclusion of blacks in the military. But the truth is, at least in the US, blacks have always served in the armed forces. And the fact of the matter is that skin colour, like gender, is a benign characteristic. It cannot be helped, and it is unjust to discriminate on the basis of such characteristics.
Of course homosexuality has to do with sexual preference and activity. It is not a benign characteristic, and it is not immutable. Many choose to move into homosexuality and many choose to move out of it. It is not unjust for societies to show preference to lifestyles that are more in keeping with the good of the community.
As Colin Powell, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff remarked in 1992, “The presence of homosexuals in the military is prejudicial to good order and discipline. Skin color is a benign, non-behavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.”
Of course talk of rights and discrimination are always thrown around at this point, but we are here dealing with national security, not social engineering. The military exists first and foremost to protect its citizens, not to be a hothouse for social experimentation.
Indeed, as Brig. Gen. Richard Able (Ret.) of the US Air Force explains, selectivity as to who is allowed in the military is crucial for at least four primary reasons: unit cohesion; health; morale; and discipline. He argues that all these areas will be undermined by the wholesale inclusion of homosexuals into the ranks of the military.
In fact, a 1974 US Supreme Court decision affirmed that the military is “a specialized society separate from civilian society”. As another high-ranking military officer noted, “The military has to exclude people who are too short, too fat, too tall, not smart enough, not literate enough, and those with infectious diseases or certain physical handicaps”.
These and other common objections raised are comprehensively dealt with by one authority who has written a whole book on the topic. US Army Major Melissa Wells-Petry wrote an important volume which examines all the ins and outs of this debate. Entitled Exclusion: Homosexuals and the Right to Serve (Regnery, 1993), this much-needed volume provides a very detailed look at the issue.
It is worth quoting at length, so let me offer a few choice snippets. First, US Navy Admiral Thomas Moore sets the stage for the detailed analysis which follows: “Our armed forces are not a paradigm of American democracy, and they are not meant to ‘look like America’.”
He continues, “There is no such thing as a constitutional right to serve in the military, just as there is no such thing as a constitutional right not to serve in the military. As Major Wells-Petry points out, to serve is both a privilege and a burden, but it is not a right.”
She nicely makes this case in over 200 pages of well-documented and finely-reasoned argumentation. This is how she summarises her case: “The profession of arms is unlike any other. It is not a profession of individual aspiration, nor is it a profession of social pro-action. In evaluating military personnel policies or decisions about the composition of the armed forces, the touchstone cannot be how the policy or decision furthers the interest of the individual or the enlightenment of society at large.”
Her final words are these: “There is no sensible or sufficient reason for the military – as a social and constitutional institution, much less as a warfighting force – to attempt to go first in forging rights for homosexuals. Social reformation is neither the province nor the mission of America’s fighting force. Rather, the mission of America’s fighting force is a constant, costly, and consuming vigilance – both internal and external – that is unknown outside the profession of arms. Indeed, as General MacArthur poignantly observed, the military has a single, fixed, determined, inviolable mission – ‘it is to win our wars’.”
The defence of a nation is far more important than implementing the dictates of the social engineers, or placating activist minority groups. As Commander-in-Chief, President Obama should know this. But clearly he does not – or more likely, does not want to. It will be the nation as a whole which will suffer as a result.