by Jack Minor
Training troops for the repeal of a Revolutionary war ban on homosexuals serving in the military will extend to front line troops in combat zones rather than wait for their return stateside despite no urgent reason for doing so.
The original law banning homosexuals from military service dated back to an order signed by General George Washington. That law was repealed, but the ban was not immediately lifted.
Prior to the law taking effect, top military leaders must find or certify that the change “must not affect troop readiness, cohesion or military recruitment and retention.” Until this is done the ban effectively remains in place. The lifting of the ban will not take effect until 60 days after the certification.
In order to hasten the certification, the Pentagon has announced that training to prepare the troops will include front line units deployed in combat zones. The pentagon has announced several changes that will take effect with the repeal.
Part of the lifting of the ban will require straight troops to berth and shower with homosexual soldiers regardless of personal feelings. It is forbidden to allow separate berthing and shower facilities based on sexual orientation.
Following the lifting of the ban, Rep. Barney Frank was asked if this would mean that men and women could be forced to shower together. He said that would be wrong, “because that would disrupt people.”
There has been widespread opposition to the ban’s repeal. All of the military service organizations have taken positions opposing the repeal. Kathy Ravthis, a Greeley member of both the Marine Corps League and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, emphatically opposed the repeal as well as conducting sensitivity training for troops active in combat zones. “It is unthinkable that we would force our men and women in an active combat environment to take time for indoctrination of a policy many of them are opposed to. They need to be focusing on the mission, not going to sensitivity training.”
The Marine Corps has been the most vocal in opposing lifting of the ban. Gen. James Amos, Marine Commandant, said lifting the ban “would absolutely have an impact on combat units.” and, “The potential exists for disruption of our current combat missions should repeal be implemented at this time.”
Additionally, over 1100 retired generals and admirals have urged retention of the ban. Among those protesting the rushed vote in the lame duck congress is Admiral Jeremiah Denton who spent seven years and eight months as a Vietnam POW. Denton famously blinked his eyes spelling out the word, “ torture” in morse code during an internationally broadcast TV interview revealing that the Communist regime was torturing American servicemen.
Tags: Admiral Jeremiah Denton, ban, barney frank, environment, Foreign Wars, General George Washington, interview, James Amos, Kathy, law, line, Maine, Marine, Marine Commandant, Marine Corps, member, time, TV, Veterans, Vietnam