By Jack Minor
While the lame-duck session of Congress persists in attempts to repeal a Revolutionary War era ban on homosexuals serving in the military, some have used the Wikileaks controversy as proof the ban should be upheld.
Supporters of repealing the ban claim they wish to overturn an executive order dating back to 1993. The order issued during the Clinton administration is known as, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” It did not change military policy in regards to homosexuals serving; it simply prevented commanders from pro-actively asking about a person’s sexual status.
During the recent Colorado senate campaign, Ken Buck stated he was in favor of keeping the ban in place. Sen. Michael Bennet said he was in favor of repealing “Don’t ask Don’t tell (DADT), however doing so would still not permit homosexuals to serve.
Repealing DADT would simply cause the military to revert to the previous policy where recruiters and commanders could enquire about the sexual status of applicants. In actuality, the issue is not repealing DADT, but rather to overturn a policy that is over 235 years old.
The most recent attempt by the Senate to overturn the ban failed by only three votes. As the Gazette reported, the Pentagon study revealed that 85 percent of Marine and 64 percent of overall combat personnel believe that allowing homosexuals to serve would have a negative impact on unit trust while only 9 percent believed a gay or lesbian leader would have a positive effect on a unit’s performance. Only 5 percent believed repealing the ban would boost morale.
While the debate continues, the Wikileak controversy regarding the theft of classified documents may have given supporters of the status quo more ammunition. Julian Assange, who was recently arrested for two rape charges in Stockholm, published the documents. However, PFC Bradley Manning is the individual charged with stealing the information. Manning was a well-known homosexual soldier who had a grudge against the U.S. government.
Experts in the security field have long held that homosexuals pose special security risks. They say homosexuals are subject to blackmail and more often suffer from emotional disorders. While some in the psychiatric field dispute these allegations, a large study from the Netherlands indicates that homosexuals typically have depression and other mood disorders at four times the rate of heterosexuals.
Linda Harvey, of Mission America, said research shows that even in areas where homosexuals have a high degree of acceptance they continue to experience high rates of emotional instability. Lt. Col. John Eidsmoe, a retired Air Force officer at the Foundation for Moral Law, said that, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the military began to move from a policy that gays were a security risk. He went on to say one of the unintended consequences of DADT is that there is now a larger group of people who do not wish to be exposed as homosexual, possibly be subjected to blackmail, and face being discharged.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has been a vocal opponent of repealing the ban fearing it could affect troop readiness and morale. He also indicated he would not impose a gag order on any Marines who disagreed with revoking the ban. The previous commandant, Gen. James Conway, stated he would not force straight Marines to bunk with homosexual Marines if the ban were to be lifted.