Homosexuals In Military

Homosexuals have been excluded from our society since our country's beginning,
giving them no equal protection underneath the large branch of the law. The

Emancipation Proclamation gave freedom to blacks from slavery in the 1800's and
women were given the freedoms reserved for males in the early 1900's with the
women's suffrage movement. But everyone still knows the underlying feeling of
nation in dealing with minorities and women, one of contempt and disgust. Hate
crimes are still perpetrated to this day in this country, and most are
unpublicized and "swept underneath the rug." The general public is
just now dealing with the struggle of Homosexuals to gain rights in America,
although this persecution is subtle, quiet and rarely ever seen to the naked eye
or the general public. The big question today in Homosexuals rights struggles
are dealing with the right to be a part of our country's Military Forces. At the
forefront of the struggle to gain access to the military has been Female's who
have tried to gain access to "All Men" facilities and have been
pressured out by other cadets. This small group of women have fought hard, and
pressured the Government to change regulations dealing with the inclusion of all
people, whether female or male, and giving them all the same opportunities they
deserve. The Homosexual struggle with our Nation's Armed Forces has been
acquiring damage and swift blows for over 60 years now, and now they too are
beginning to fight back. With the public knowledge of "initiation
rights" into many elite groups of the military, the general public is
beginning to realize how exclusive the military can be. One cadet said after
"hell week" in the Marines, "It was almost like joining a
fraternity, but the punishments were 1000 times worse than ever imagined, and
the Administration did not pretend to turn there back, they were instrumental in
the brutality." The intense pressure of "hell week" in the

Marines drove a few to wounding themselves, go AWOL, and a few even took there
own life. People who are not "meant to be" in the Military are usually
weeded out during these "initiations" and forced either to persevere
or be discharged dishonorably. The military in the United States has become an
elite society, a society where only few survive. In a survey taken in 1990, the

United States population on a whole is believed to consist of 13-15%

Homosexuals. This figure is believed to have a margin of error on the upward
swing due to the fact that most homosexuals are still "afraid" of
their sexuality and the social taboos it carries along with it. With so many

Homosexuals in the United States, how can the military prove its exclusion
policy against Homosexuals correct and moral? Through the "long standing
tradition and policy," says one Admiral of the U.S. Navy. But is it fair or
correct? That is the question posed on Capitol Hill even today, as politicians
battle through a virtual minefield of tradition and equal rights. Historically,
support for one's military was a way to show one's patriotism, if not a
pre-requisite for being patriotic at all. Society has given the military a great
deal of latitude in running its own affairs, principally due to society's
acknowledgment that the military needs such space in order to run effectively.

The military, in turn, has adopted policies which, for the most part, have lead
to very successful military ventures, which served to continually renew
society's faith in the military. Recently, however, that support has been
fading. The Vietnam War represented both a cause of diminishing support for the
military by society as well a problem. The Vietnam War occurred during a period
of large-scale civil disobedience, as well as a time where peace was more
popular than war. Since the effectiveness of the military depends a great deal
upon society's support, when society's support dropped out of the war effort,
the war effort in turn suffered. The ultimate defeat of the United States in the

Vietnam War effort only lead to less faith in the military's ability. This set
the stage for society becoming more involved in how the military was run. The
ban on homosexuals serving in the military, was originally instituted in 1942.

Though some of the reasons that were used to justify it at the time have been
debunked since-that homosexual service members in sensitive positions could be
blackmailed, for instance ("Gays and the Military" 54)-the policy was
largely an extension of the military's long-standing policy against homosexual
acts. At the time, the prevailing attitude was that