Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why Americans Will Accept Gay Troops Before They Accept Gay Marriage, Washington Post Opinion, 5 Dec 2010

Whenever I read an article and the author goes out of his way to misrepresent or slant facts to support his thesis, I have to doubt his conclusions. Such is the case with this Washington Post Opinion piece ( ). The author, Mr. Eskridge, states: “Sixty-nine percent of the respondents to the Pentagon's recent survey said they served with men and women they knew to be gay, and almost all of those respondents reported that the sexual orientation of their colleagues made little or no difference to them.”

I invite readers to view the entire study (at: ) and you will find no question asked about service members serving “with men and women they knew to be gay.” There were questions about serving with service members “you believed to be gay” or “how much did that believe” affect the unit… you … morale… etc.? After serving in the Military for 30 years and leading units from Sergeant to Lieutenant to Colonel, I thought my “Gay-dar” got pretty good but I never thought it was infallible. Under DADT, I needed more than “a belief” to act and so as long as Service members kept their sexual orientation to themselves and did not flaunt it, it never became a problem. “Flaming Gays” don’t flock to the Military and especially the Combat Arms so the “belief” was always a questionable “belief” and DADT kept it that way – hence, usually not an issue.

I did read the entire report and the conclusion I drew from it was DADT was working as intended so I have to agree with Gen Amos/Marine Corps Commandant and GEN Casey/Army Chief of Staff when they recommend not repealing it. I was also struck by how closely the Army and Marine Corps Combat Arms responses tracked giving credence to the argument for not making a radical change for Combat Units when stressed by war.

With 40 years of active duty and another 22 as an Army Brat, GEN Casey might have just a little more experience with Soldiers than the author so I might be inclined to give his informed opinion a little more weight than this author’s. As the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, Mr. Eskridge has made a career of championing gay causes so he is hardly impartial and as someone who has never served, he has no idea what it means to be a Soldier.

Just for the context, GEN Casey’s father was a Major General who served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and was commanding the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam when he was killed on 7 July1970. He was the highest ranking officer killed in Vietnam.