Am I the only full-blooded social conservative to be glad to see an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell?”
The policy seemed designed to encourage deceit and place military men and women in a position to be blackmailed.
If homosexual practice is a vice, then it is incompatible with being an “officer and a gentleman/lady,” but I do not see that we have ever required very genteel behavior from our officers. Surely if we were not going to discharge those soliciting prostitutes abroad, then it was hypocritical to remove those engaged in this particular vice?
I think homosexual behavior is morally wrong. It is dangerous, however, to make every wrong the basis of employment or participation in parts of society. Just as all vices need not be illegal, all vices are not relevant to all jobs.
I also have no background in the military and must be open to the idea that certain vices are particularly onerous in combat zones, but the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was pure Clinton. It was a policy built on lies and lies make rational decision making hard.
Let’s assume contexts exist where serving with a homosexual person is difficult. Surely many in a unit would know or guess the “not telling” person’s orientation? If serving with a practicing homosexual is a problem in some contexts, then isn’t it better to know when those contexts occur than have to guess?
If there are good reasons that make this particular vice incompatible with military service, then I do not understand the historic success of the British navy. Churchill assures his readers that the Royal Navy could not have expelled every person participating in it.
Of course, one potential problem is that the military will now demand all members approve of homosexual behavior. I trust not. Ignoring vice not relevant to service is one thing, but forcing religious people to approve of it is another. That is the place to fight on this issue, I think.