Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Marines Considering Separate Quarters If DADT is Repealed

The premier organization of the U.S. Armed Forces has sunk to a new low...in a Pentagon Press Briefing today Marine Corps. Commandant General James Conway stated the following, from MSNBC...
Conway suggested that if the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law is repealed, the Marines may consider allowing Marines not to share quarters with homosexuals.
Conway said the Marines may make such housing arrangements "voluntary" to accommodate any "moral concerns." He said many Marines are "very religious" and because of their moral concerns "don’t want to room" with homosexuals.
And from Fox News...
 Marine Commandant General James Conway told reporters, "We have some people that are -- that are very religious, and I think in some instances -- I couldn't begin to give you a percentage -- but I think in some instances we will have people that say that homosexuality is wrong and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs."
In response to why Marines appeared to have more of an issue with changing the policy than perhaps other branches of the military, he offered, "That's a tough question to answer because I'm not as familiar with the other services as I am my own Corps...we recruit a certain type of young American, a pretty macho guy or gal, that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country."
He added, "We are forced to live in close proximity aboard ship, in the field for long periods of time and that type of thing...and we'd just as soon not see it change."
I have already been over this in a previous post, but I feel as if i must go over it again. For the military to even consider this "separate" housing arrangements for those with "religious" concerns it gives us shows two things.

1. It establishes that your personal religious ideals are an acceptable excuse to avoid something you don't want to be around. There is nowhere in any religious view that says that you should not even be around someone who is gay. Yes many religions call it a sin, and that you should not practice it, but to be around a gay person is not a sin at all. Is being around said gay person going to make you gay yourself? Because religion does not say not to be around gay people, what is the actual reason.

2. The actual reasons for not wanting to be around gay people is both anti-gay animus and personal security. Because there is no true religious reason for anyone to not associate with gay people (in fact, the vast majority of military members are Christians - a religion whose founder associated with the dredges of society), it has to be for either of these two purposes. If it is the first, being anti-gay, then the soldiers are going to have to put their big girl panties on and learn to play with the adults. In the REAL world, not some fake world like these soldiers want to think they are in, you don't get to choose who and who you don't get to work with. So my message to the anti-gay soldiers is this - just grow up.  Now the other reason that they might object to sharing housing with gay service-members is because of their own lack of sexual security. Now this is a potent fear...because maybe they are afraid that if a gay man made a move on them (which btw in the military any sort of unwanted sexual advance is grounds for dismissal) that they might like it...Oh the Horror!! These soldiers are not secure in their own sexuality, so therefore they view openly gay service-members as a threat to their "sexual stability".

2 comments:

  1. It is stunning to me that an Officer who wears the uniform of this country would make this statement while in service.

    As a homosexual Sailor who served for eight years in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force the thought of DADT being repealed leading to this type of action has me gravely concerned.

    While my life was strictly governed by the U.C.M.J. while in service, there were certain sacrifices I willing made and an oath that of my own free will I entered, in order to serve my country.

    One of these sacrifices was to not participate in a homosexual relationship and to not reveal my sexual orientation to my fellow Sailors or chain of command.

    The very act of not revealing ANY orientation to my peers was the overt signal that they were serving, working, living, showering, eating, sleeping, playing, waging warfare and praying with a gay male. We always knew who was whom. Life on base and at sea lends itself to no secrets. Trust must be built on communication and only seven percent of that is verbal.

    To see a branch segregate into factions due to orientation places the unit cohesion at greater risk than the personal animus some may feel towards those different than themselves. I would not choose to live exclusively with other gay Sailors in order to "protect" myself from my heterosexual compatriots.

    Would I like to see DADT repealed?

    Yes, I would.

    My time spent in uniform was an exercise in personal restraint, the selective use of judgment and careful decisions made due to my orientation. I willingly chose this Military opportunity, knowing full well what the consequences of my choices were.

    My shipmates who were exclusively heterosexual, did not bear any such burden in their personal lives. They could date, have sex with, marry and live openly with their significant others. They did not have to edit their pronouns, watch their stories or choose not to display pictures of friends and partners in their living quarters.

    They did not live under the threat of constant dismissal and ruin of career if they fell in love, or misspoke, or became the victim of a witch hunt. The thought of physical violence towards their person due to sexual orientation never entered their minds.

    There are many things to consider when looking at the implementation of repeal of DADT, but the last thing the Corp should worry about is where to berth their "christian" heterosexual soldiers.

    I know that us homosexual Christian Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines might have a few suggestions.

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  2. Thank you Daemon for that very insightful and personal post!! As one who was in the Navy and had to serve under the DADT policy your voice gives perspective that people such as myself do not have...actual experience with the policy. Though your entire comment was amazing to say the least...the most though provoking for myself would be...

    "My shipmates who were exclusively heterosexual, did not bear any such burden in their personal lives. They could date, have sex with, marry and live openly with their significant others. They did not have to edit their pronouns, watch their stories or choose not to display pictures of friends and partners in their living quarters.

    They did not live under the threat of constant dismissal and ruin of career if they fell in love, or misspoke, or became the victim of a witch hunt. The thought of physical violence towards their person due to sexual orientation never entered their minds."

    Though you "chose" to subject yourself to that type of atmosphere when you joined the military, the fact that you had to make that choice is unconscionable. It is story's like yours that are leading the way for actual repeal of the policy, and thankfully people like yourself are telling their story and not keeping silent.

    Bravo!!

    Kyle

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