War and Military History
US in WW2
Gay Lesbian and Bisexual
US Army

Are gay people banned from the military or is this just an assumption because you only see straight men in the military?

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11/09/2017

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Some of the toughest, and battle-ready, militaries in the world accept openly gays and lesbians without any problem. Gays and lesbian soldiers proudly marched in the 2009 Pride Parade in London; in Sydney they even had their own float. In Israel (where the armed forces are in constant readiness) the June 2009 issue of the military magazine's cover featured 2 gay soldiers, arm-in-arm. Countries as diverse as Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany and Uruguay permit openly gay and lesbian personnel.

At one time, members of the US military were at risk of being dismissed for being openly gay or lesbian; indeed, during the "Don't ask. Don't tell" era (1993-2011), over 12,000 had been booted out.

If one reads the Pentagon's official explanation for why gays and lesbians were not permitted to serve openly in the US military during the DADT era, it was because of the need for unit cohesion. Unit cohesion is essential for any military to function effectively. Soldiers must be ready to act as a unit and to know that their buddies are there for them through thick and thin. A soldier needs to believe that his comrades will fight to save his/her life. This makes perfect sense in a military situation. Therefore, for the sake of all soldiers concerned, anyone who is unwilling to operate in this way needs to be banned from the military or removed from the unit if already a member. But this has nothing to do with gay people.

These are the facts, now let me give my opinion and then provide a scenario:

The issue of military cohesion makes perfect sense in a military situation. Therefore, for the sake of all soldiers concerned, anyone who is unwilling to operate in this way needs to be banned from the military or removed from the unit if already a member.

Now my scenario:

A unit is fighting in Iraq, and one of its members is gay. This gay soldier believes in his country and even in the mission in Iraq. He obeys orders immediately and efficiently. Further, if necessary, he is willing to lay down his life in order to save those of his comrades.

However, in the same unit is a soldier who despises gays and does not believe they should be in the military. He correctly suspects that the other guy is gay. Further, he would hesitate to place himself in a position of danger to save the life of his gay comrade.

Who is the real threat to unit cohesion? Surely, it is the heterosexual soldier not the gay one. His prejudice prevents him from being an effective part of the unit. It is the heterosexual soldier who needs to be removed; immediately. Heterosexual soldiers do not have to hide their orientation, so why should those who are gay or lesbian?

Many years ago the issue of unit cohesion was used by the US to justify not merging its black units with those which were white; such a thing would be unacceptable in the US today. The real irony is that, in NATO and UN operations US soldiers sometimes take instruction from non-US officers who are openly gay.

Conclusion:

The US Pentagon's reason for banning openly gays and lesbians was hollow.

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Answer

I was in the Army during DADT, and I was openly gay with many people in my unit including commanding officers. You WOULD NOT be booted from the military for saying you were gay. So Whoever said that " Anyone that is admittedly gay is not allowed in the military" is very wrong.

The don't ask don't tell policy was voluntary. It was believed to be for the safety of all military personnel.

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Anyone that was admittedly gay was not allowed in the military at all. But then they adopted a "don't ask don't tell policy" so if someone kept it to themselves, and it did not become a problem then it was cool, and no one would ask you if you were gay in order to disqualify you. After 2011, DADT became a non-issue.

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People were being fooled! Apparently they were not looking closely enough. There were always gay people in the Military, however, Bill Clinton said "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". If you told that you were gay, you would have gotten booted out. You couldn't be asked if you were gay, so they only knew if you told them. It was against the law for anyone to ask your sexual orientation. Gays were in the military, before, during, and after DADT.

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Being a former Military man myself I know for a fact you could have been booted out under DADT if you were gay. Well that is to say you did not have to tell, but if some way or another you were outed they would have booted you to the curb. I would know because I was outed by a former friend who mailed pictures to me, and one of the DS saw it and I was forced to make it look like I wanted out. Today young gay people do not have to suffer this indignation.

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Wiki User
11/09/2017

Since 2011, gay people are not banned from the US Military. Also, there's no way to know if you're seeing only straight men in the military. You can't determine sexual orientation by looking at someone.