Looks as though

nothing has changed

This is going to be a column regarding the new policy concerning homosexuals in the U.S. military.

Let’s get a few things straight first so as to avoid some misunderstanding of my intentions and argument. I am not (let me repeat that) I am NOT going to argue on whether homosexuals should or should not be in the military. I have never been nor will I probably ever be in the military so even though I do have an opinion on it, I do not feel it is a very informed one so I keep it to myself. Now that we have that said let’s get on with it.

Well folks the new policy for gays in the military will take effect tomorrow, but to me it doesn’t look much different from the old one. And I don’t like it.

As I understand it, the old policy was for recruiters to ask about sexual orientation at the initial recruitment meeting and if the person stated that he/she was a homosexual then the recruiter said, “Thank you but we don’t need your kind.” If the person lied and said no they were then forced to conceal their homosexuality and live as though they were heterosexual (in other words a lie). They were not free to live as they like on or off base for the fear that someone would find out, tell and then they would be kicked out. This is the way things were before.

This is the way things run today. “Homosexual conduct will still be banned on and off base and gay troops can still be dismissed for declaring their sexual orientation. However, recruiters will no longer inquire about sexuality; nor will troops be investigated unless there is evidence of homosexual conduct.” (This was taken from the Sept. 28 issue of New York Times)

Can anyone out there see why I have a problem with calling the policy just stated “new”? I hardly see anything new about it besides not having recruiters ask about sexual orientation at the initial meeting. Besides, I do not think that this “new” policy is fair.

First of all homosexuals are banned from sex or any sort of intimate relationships both on and off base. I cannot argue too much with the on base restriction. If we have people who are supposed to be guarding our country then they should have their minds on that and not on nookie; be they homosexual or heterosexual.

But what I do disagree with is the off base restriction. We would never ask that heterosexual soldiers keep from having relationships or refrain from intimate interludes when off base and if this is the case then we should not ask it of homosexual soldiers.

Do you remember what a warm reception was given to the suggestion that heterosexuals have counseling before marriage? Everyone went ballistic and screamed how the military had no business inquiring into someone’s decision about relations off the base. So I ask why should we allow the military to do it in the lives of homosexuals?

My second beef with this “new” policy is with the no investigation unless there is evidence of homosexual conduct. What constitutes enough investigation and how is the military going to prevent witch hunts from occurring? This is sick and wrong and reminds me very much of a certain ugly period of our history when McCarthyism was the rage—when people’s lives and reputations were ruined from people finding enough suggestion to do an investigation of conduct.

Finally, my opinion of this “new” policy is that it’s just a game of mirrors. In the wording of this “new” policy it is stated that homosexuality is “unacceptable” in the military. If the military wants to keep out homosexuals then they should come out and say it and let the wars begin from there. What is wrong with the military’s policy is that they are pretending to be what they are not—and asking their soldiers to do the same.