Saturday, March 27, 2010

Military Housing After Don't Ask Don't Tell?

The Military dorms are about to get more interesting if the proposal to allow gays to have their own rooms takes effect. This would only happen once the Military’s long standing “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) is repealed.

Yesterday, one of the Military’s highest ranking officers, Gen. James Conway, said he would not force his personnel to sleep in the same dorms with gay members. Gen. Conway is a vocal opponent of lifting the ban which has been in place since 1993. He is not alone, as there will be a hefty amount of controversy regarding the repeal. Earlier this month Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, a three star army General in the U.S. Pacific command called on his troops and their family members to “speak up” against allowing gays to serve openly. The majority of the Armed forces in the World allow gays to openly serve.

There are other high ranking officers who support reversing the ban, including current President Barrack Obama, Colin Powell and Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. These are only a few who are in favor of ending the discriminatory rule under which over 13,000 service members have been discharge since it’s inception. Just recently it was announced that the rules for discharging a gay member of the Armed Forces will overgo an overhaul, as reported here.

If DADT is indeed repealed, it will no doubt bring a whole new set of controversy and political maneuvering. One of the things I see happening when the rule is repealed is another slew of attacks on gays. Although they might not be physical attacks. I am in favor of the rule being repealed, but it will not be a “walk in the park”. The Military will no doubt place gays in what are called “bachelor dorms”. Those who oppose the ban will try to segregate the gay population from the straight, much like the ban between blacks and whites, or even male and female. There is also no guarantee that should this happen, all gays will be neatly packaged and set apart, as is the case with any sort of discrimination. I foresee many confrontations and lawsuits, seeing as the military leaders will undoubtedly initiate surveys and reports on the gays in such sleeping quarters. Then there is also the fact that because gays will be allowed or forced to sleep in “gay quarters” doesn’t mean that all of them will. There will still remain gays who for their own personal reasons won’t come out. Whether from fear of retribution, societal, religious or family pressure. There are many in civilian life that don’t. The military won’t be any different.

Regardless of what happens with the living arrangements, I am sure there will certainly be a room with a view, and many points of view as well.


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