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Should the military rescind its 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy?

Type: General

Submitted by careylowell (18)
Yes 47% 20 Votes
No 28% 12 Votes
Undecided 26% 11 Votes

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43 Votes Total

Mar 25, 2009

Poll Replies (24)

Replies to the user poll above.

Msg # User Message Date

1

Drooler (218) I'm pretty ignorant about this and I haven't thought it through very much. If the policy were rescinded, I think that would mean that members of US armed services would be able to make known their sexual orientations.

Personally, though I'm straight and pretty conventional in terms of sexuality, I don't see why gays, lesbians, and bi's can't be accepted for what they are. I don't feel threatened by them at all.

But some people do, and that's why I'm undecided. Rescinding the policy would be a kind of breakthrough in social acceptance, but as with all such matters, violent opposition is something to be concerned about.

I might change my response after reading what others say.

03-25-09  01:42am

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2

mbaya (356) While I am straight, I beleive very strongly about equality for gays. If other countries can successfully allow gays to serve openly, so should we.
03-25-09  03:51am

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3

lk2fireone (194) I am straight. But that does not mean I'm automatically anti-gay.

Gays and lesbians (I really think that gays should include lesbians) should have equal rights with non-gays. Discrimination should be illegal, whether based on color of skin (race) or religion or sexual orientation.

There is no reason gays and lesbians can't serve in the military. Contrary to what some people believe, being gay or lesbian is not a sin or a mental disease, and it's not supposed to be contagious.

03-25-09  04:52am

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4

Jay G (65) Sexuality should be totally personal and not government controlled unless it interferes with someone else's freedom.

Military discipline should punish those who disrupt in any way, "straights" who disrespect gays, as well as gays who would disrupt by being disrespectful to non-gays (and yes, that happens, also). A culture of respect and obedience is necessary for our men and women who carry lethal weapons.

03-25-09  05:15am

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5

Colm4 (10) Here in Holland, they actually encourage gay people to join the army.
03-25-09  05:27am

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6

james4096 (126) It's crazy that in 2009 in USA we will deny people who are willing to risk their lives to serve their country that right.
03-25-09  09:28am

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7

exotics4me (463) I voted no. I voted based on experience. I don't think anyone should have any rights taken away based on their sexual preference, but that can work both ways in a military setting. I will post the experiences so you all can think about these.

A co-worker of mine came out of the closet a few years ago. No one treated him any differently. Breaks at work, he is still hanging out with us straight people, as he jokes about, and he gets all the rights we do. Nothing changes in this setting.

When in college, as a football player, two players came out of the closet to a couple of players, not all. It was a school in the deep south of the United States, and truth was, most everyone on the team "thought" they were gay, but never said anything. As word started spreading, problems started coming up. These two players were never picked on for being gay, one was a 290 pound Defensive Linemen with what we called a "Mean streak" so maybe that played a part in him not being made fun of, but the other one was small in build and he was never picked on either. We still would hang out after practice, grab a pizza and do everything we always did.

BUT when it came time for showers, things became uncomfortable. Some of the straight players would say they wondered if the gay players were looking at them, the gay players even said it made them uncomfortable because you could see that some of the straight players were uncomfortable being nude around the gay players and they didn't want to do that either by coming out of the closet.

It caused problems, and though I don't think most people would look at the situation and think anything about it, it is much different when put in that position. I remember one of the straight players even saying, "Would I be allowed to shower with the female cheerleaders?" and he had a good point. That would be seeing your sexual preference nude.

The military also has times like this shower time that could cause problems for the straight soldiers, so the compromise of don't ask, don't tell, to me, was a good one based on my experience in a very similar situation. Just a different view than what most would say.

03-25-09  10:56am

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8

Wittyguy (95) I have three views on this. First, the military is rejecting a bunch of potential recruits because they're too damn fat !!! At least 25% of American youth got too many cheeseburgers hanging off their butt cheeks to even meet the military's weight criteria. So, by expanding to gays you're opening up your recruiting base by about 6% (about the national average of gay people in society) to help offset against the lard butts.

Second, I've never really bought into the whole concept that you got to watch your behind in the foxhole or the shower mentality. There were gays at the gym I used to go to and frankly I didn't really care if they saw me naked or not. Hey, if they're interested in my bod then I figured I mut be hot to trot for the ladies too. Ultimately, when you go to war it's trust that your fellow grunt won't let you down that counts. Whether or not that fellow grunt rubs loins with the ladies or the guys makes no difference to me when you're staring the wrong end of an RPG.

Lastly, there seem to be a lot of women in the military now in front line support positions yet somehow it seems our military continue to function with the female equation added in. I guess what I'm getting at with the last 2 points is that the modern military takes young people from all walks of life and molds them into a professional fighting machine. I think it's sort of silly to think that the machine is going to break down because of someone's sexual preference.

03-25-09  11:58am

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9

careylowell (18) REPLY TO #7 - exotics4me :

It caused problems, and though I don't think most people would look at the situation and think anything about it, it is much different when put in that position. I remember one of the straight players even saying, "Would I be allowed to shower with the female cheerleaders?" and he had a good point. That would be seeing your sexual preference nude.

He didn't have a good point as showers are seperated by gender not sexual preference.

03-25-09  04:19pm

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10

TrashMan (Disabled) The what now?
03-25-09  05:12pm

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11

PinkPanther (46) Interesting - are we voting on the budget next?

Mr Speaker - I've got some ammendments to propose..

03-25-09  05:51pm

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12

pat362 (367) I've never been a member of the armed forces and therefore do not feel I can comment on the subject.
Regardless that I believe that gays should have the same rights and responsability as straights folks. I an sitting here thinking: What does this have to do with porn?

03-25-09  06:05pm

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13

Khan
PU Staff
REPLY TO #12 - pat362 :

"I an [sic] sitting here thinking: What does this have to do with porn?"

That you would need to ask the submitter of the poll question. ;)

But as we've said before, there's nothing that says *all* poll questions have to be porn related.

03-25-09  06:34pm

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14

lk2fireone (194) REPLY TO #13 - Khan :

Khan, "I an [sic] sitting here thinking: What does this have to do with porn?"

Khan, thinking about porn too much makes me sick at times as well. So don't feel bad, hopefully you will soon get better.:)

As far as polls and threads, as Khan notes, we are now open to both porn and non-porn issues. The main focus of the site is obviously porn, but I think it's nice to be able to ramble on about other issues besides porn.

03-25-09  06:57pm

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15

Khan
PU Staff
REPLY TO #14 - lk2fireone :

actually, the quote was from pat362's previous post ... but your pun is accurate.

For those not aware... (from Wikipedia)
Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "just as that". In writing, it is placed within square brackets and usually italicized—[sic]—to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling

03-25-09  07:15pm

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16

exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #9 - careylowell :

Carey, you dummied down my entire post. The post is about sexuality, not gender and the situation was hypothetically asked, not something that was tried to be seriously passed.

In life, a male or female is based on their reproductive organs at birth. Over time, puberty strikes and sexuality is born.

Somewhere around this point, it is not okay for males and females to take showers together. It really isn't just because one has a dick and one doesn't. It is because of the possible bad situations that could come from it. Most likely, but not completely, based on the males possibly sexually assaulting the females.

Going by that, if a gay man, who is sexually aroused by naked men is allowed to stand in a room full of naked straight men and get his jollies, then it is no different, hypothetically, then a straight man standing in a shower room full of nude women, getting his jollies.

Oh and by pointing out gender, it does go against the very question that was asked since homosexuals blur the line that gender is defined by. A gay man is a man by gender because of his penis, but is attracted to the same things sexually that a female is attracted to.

03-25-09  07:44pm

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17

turboshaft (24) I spent 3 1/2 years in the military and saying that they have some antiquated and intolerant policies is a considerable understatement.

Because of my job, I was in a combat unit (all male), and, yes, you could say being straight was a requirement. In fact, being outright homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and just generally intolerant were all pretty standard. I understand people when they say "well, that's just the culture" or "it's to be expected," but there is simply no excuse for intolerant policies in what we so loudly like to tout as a "free" country.

I think part of the problem is people confuse sexual identity for sexual aggression; that is, someone who is gay is supposedly more sexual than someone who is straight. It is sort of like how some fear Islam is more violent than Christianity, but today many of the barriers to religious tolerance have come down, or are at least much lower than, say, during WWII or even Vietnam.

I am afraid I don't know what the best solution is, though getting rid of the stopgap non-solution of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is a good start. The military has been ahead of civilian changes in social policy in the U.S. in the past -- like starting desegregation before civilian institutions did -- but sexuality, and our obsession with it, has a long way to go.

03-25-09  09:05pm

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18

Toadsith (48) REPLY TO #16 - exotics4me :

If isn't clear why there is gender separation, then doesn't that argue that it should be eradicated entirely? If an institution is going to force its members to cleanse themselves in a group setting, then it shouldn't put different rules upon those members due to different sexuality, gender, race, religion, et cetera. The point of such activities is generally to emphasize the group and deemphasize the individual. By segregating a group based on individual attributes, it is sabotaging the agenda of the institution. In the future the military may imitate Paul Verhoeven's co-ed showers in Starship Troopers (1997).
03-26-09  06:51am

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19

careylowell (18) REPLY TO #16 - exotics4me :

You have posted hundreds of replies (Not all worthy of a Demosthenes)to the cts of others, yet my single sentence reply draws a heavy-handed response. You're the only one on PU permitted to be a bastard?
Let's keep this in perspective:
I was not advocating the free distribution of heroin in schools
nor roasting babies in a furnace. I could argue your 2nd post but that's rewarding posts that are over-wrought.

03-26-09  11:51am

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20

exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #19 - careylowell :

See Carey, I had a feeling this was going to go this way.

First, you are not required to read my posts if you don't like them or if they are not rhetorical enough or too rhetorical for you and Demosthenes.

Second, you say to keep perspective. You submitted this poll question, and haven't even posted your stance on it. So, for you to say that you were not advocating babies in a furnace, really has no meaning whatsoever, you haven't advocated either side of this very topic! A few of the members even showed some curiosity towards the topic, but you still didn't expand on it, explain it, or give your opinion. The question also does not give your stance away.

Third, you submitted a poll question, meaning you wanted opinions on this topic. I gave my opinion and for whatever reason, you admit in this (#19) reply that you were being a bastard towards me because of my opinion, which must differ from yours, even though I had no clue what your opinion was, see your words, "You're the only one on PU permitted to be a bastard?"

Fourth, of my hundreds of replies, which you are of course free to skip over, I've never been called a bastard or thought I replied in other way except to be helpful or to joke around with the member I replied to.

Of course you aren't going to argue my 2nd post, you would prefer playing flame wars like we were in the 5th grade. If my stance on the point hasn't been clear, it is nothing more than a rule that nearly all businesses have. It asks soldiers to "Not tell your sexual preference and we won't ask". Now, somehow this became about gays, but the rule is saying no one tell, so it isn't just about gays, until the wonderful American media put their typical sensationalistic twist on it and made it into discrimination. Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Jackie Robinson and millions of others roll in their graves about what is considered discrimination these days in America.

03-26-09  01:18pm

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21

lk2fireone (194) Flame wars don't accomplish much in helping anyone. They don't let off anger, they just raise it. Can't we try to be polite and/or helpful and open to one another's difference of opinion?
03-26-09  03:02pm

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22

Woodruff (37) Like turboshaft, I spent some years in an all-male combat arms unit. I completely agree with his characterization of military repartee, which is too homophobic for words, among other things. Having had some serious conversations about this with various people in the military, however, I was surprised how many were very open to having openly gay people serve, even in the combat arms (which raises the issue - should physically qualified women be next?). I think the military's ready for a carefully done end to Dont't Ask Don't Tell.
04-10-09  06:06am

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23

careylowell (18) REPLY TO #20 - exotics4me :

"Of course you aren't going to argue my 2nd post, you would prefer [i]playing flame wars like we were in the 5th grade."

I did not argue your second post 'cause I am not interested in flame wars. The guy who yacks on for 30 lines complains that the dude who type in all of 100 words is out to breach the peace.

07-12-09  04:23pm

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24

exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #23 - careylowell :

Man, get over it, it was months ago.
07-12-09  08:31pm

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*Message rows highlighted in light orange are replies to replies.

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