Gay Britons Serve in Military With Little Fuss




  1. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ritain.600.jpg

    I love my friends across the pond. I am very happy to read that Gay Britons can serve in the military. I strongly believe that anyone qualified should be able to serve in the U. S. Military. I strongly believe that the ulgy prejudice that now exists against the gay population should be weeded out from our military and our country.

    But this picture. . . I mean come-on! It's so. . . so. . . How can put it??

    Way too much make-up! You've got to admit it!

    Here's the article. . .

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/wo...21britain.html

    Seriously, though, this is an interesting article. I found this to be quite heartening and hopeful. . .

    Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears — about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness — have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.
    It's about time our military and general population learn from our dear friends across the pond.
    Last edit by Ted on May 22, '07
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  2. 76 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from efiebke



    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ritain.600.jpg

    I love my friends across the pond. I am very happy to read that Gay Britons can serve in the military. I strongly believe that anyone qualified should be able to serve in the U. S. Military. I strongly believe that the ulgy prejudice that now exists against the gay population should be weeded out from our military and our country.

    But this picture. . . I mean come-on! It's so. . . so. . . How can put it??

    Way too much make-up! You've got to admit it!

    Here's the article. . .

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/wo...21britain.html

    Seriously, though, this is an interesting article. I found this to be quite heartening and hopeful. . .



    It's about time our military and general population learn from our dear friends across the pond.
    As a military vet, I say AMEN and ABOUT TIME indeed, TED!!!
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    As a military vet, I say AMEN and ABOUT TIME indeed, TED!!!
    I agree.
    And Ted looks great in make up.
    Not too much at all.
    More tasteful than the Pirates in the movie!
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    I continue to admire the British.
  6. by   indigo girl
    For sure. There should be zero tolerance for prejudice. It can only flourish because we allow it. Shame on us.
  7. by   DarrenWright
    To be fair and maintain perspective, Gays are permitted to serve in the US military as long as it doesn't define them; i.e. don't talk about it, and we won't ask.

    This law was passed by a Congress hosting a much larger Democrat majority in both the House and Senate than it enjoys now, under a Democrat President at that time. And while I don't think this defines the Democrat party, I also don't think a persons sexuality should be what defines them publically, either. For that reason, I'm not opposed to encouraging people to keep private things private.
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from DarrenWright
    To be fair and maintain perspective, Gays are permitted to serve in the US military as long as it doesn't define them; i.e. don't talk about it, and we won't ask.

    This law was passed by a Congress hosting a much larger Democrat majority in both the House and Senate than it enjoys now, under a Democrat President at that time. And while I don't think this defines the Democrat party, I also don't think a persons sexuality should be what defines them publically, either. For that reason, I'm not opposed to encouraging people to keep private things private.
    A person is largely defined by his or her sexual orientation. Saying, "Don't talk about it" is unrealistic. How often do heterosexual people mention their spouses...boyfriend or girlfriend? It is discriminatory and down-right toxic to tell gays and lesbians to live secret lives. Imagine having to keep your loved one a secret. How do you do that when an emergency comes up, and what about when you slip up and mention in the break room where you went (and with whom) last Saturday night? What about when a co-worker buys a house on your block and sees your same-sex partner living with you?

    Living in secret is toxic. The time has passed for "Don't ask, don't tell." It should only serve as a bridge to a more modern policy. If we continue with such discriminatory practices, then we may as well give up and just call this the "United States of Fundamentalist Religions." Religious beliefs and prejudice need to be kept out of government and employment. Look at the British. It is possible.
  9. by   DarrenWright
    I'm not defined by my orientation.

    BTW, Gays have been allowed to serve in the US military longer than gays have been allowed to serve in the British military, and the only reason GB changed it's policy was because of a European Court.

    I was in the military, and I enjoy the sight of a young female body, even if it's not a woman I am in love with, and even if she's not interested in me. It's attractive, and I like it. So did nearly all of the men I served with. I'm pretty sure that given these circumstances, that creating the situation where we were constantly put in common areas together (sharing showers, barracks, etc), unfortunate things would've happened, and it would've been far more uncomfortable for the women. I respect that.

    Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a gay man is probably attracted to the sight of a young male body. We allow gay men to serve in the military, but since we wouldn't be able to segregate them, we have to include them in like-gendered accomodations. Asking them to keep quiet about it serves two functions; it keeps them from even remotely considering expressing their homosexuality to the closely-quartered men that he will see naked routinely and be involved with in emotionally stressful and intense situation (training, combat). It also protects the men who are put out by the idea of being forced to expose themselves to an openly gay man. We would never force women to tolerate a hetero man showering with them.

    We also cannot use the military as a proving grounds for this issue; we have to work this out within our more democratic institutions before we take it for a test run in a largely non-democratic organization like the military.

    BTW, my thoughts on this issue are not religiously motivated, but what I find ironic is that you say "Religious beliefs and prejudice need to be kept out of government and employment." but unconditional tolerance of gays should not. Looks an awful lot like reversing the discrimination.
  10. by   Tweety
    I'm a bit weary of the "shower" argument. But I am sympathetic. Men have showered and roomed with men forever, and that's the way it is and always have been. If you need a "proving ground" look at health clubs. Gay men are addicted to gyms and shower regularly without much incident. Gay men use the showers for what it is: a place to get clean, not an orgy room. Also if you don't think the straight guy next to you isn't looking at you, comparing or just curious, then that's denial to the max.

    Male on female harrassment, hitting on, eyeballing, inappropriate jokes and comments are much more common in the military and out. But yet a few gay people do it, out of the millions of us functioning in the real world on a daily basis, then it's "don't ask and don't tell".
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 10, '07
  11. by   indigo girl
    We are defined by what we are saying, and why we are saying it.
  12. by   DarrenWright
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm a bit weary of the "shower" argument. But I am sympathetic. Men have showered and roomed with men forever, and that's the way it is and always have been. If you need a "proving ground" look at health clubs. Gay men are addicted to gyms and shower regularly without much incident. Gay men use the showers for what it is: a place to get clean, not an orgy room. Also if you don't think the straight guy next to you isn't looking at you, comparing or just curious, then that's denial to the max.

    Male on female harrassment, hitting on, eyeballing, inappropriate jokes and comments are much more common in the military and out. But yet a few gay people do it, out of the millions of us functioning in the real world on a daily basis, then it's "don't ask and don't tell".
    Someone's fatigue over a discussion item doesn't make it irrelevant. The history of men's showering activities is also not a supporting argument; if it were a valid point, then I'd simply have to counter that gays have been expected to keep quiet in the military, and "that's the way it is and always has been."

    The idea of using gyms as a "proving ground" is...ridiculous. I tried to think of something that wouldn't be remotely insulting, and I apologize, but that is just silly. People have the option to join a gym, and members don't have to use the showers in the gym if they don't want to.

    And could you please explain what kind of denial a man might be in if he doesn't agree that every straight man in the military or gym showers is "looking, comparing or curious?"

    I don't agree that male-on-female harrassment is more common in the military than out, especially since I was in the military (medical, where there is a higher percentage of women compared to the rest of the military). I do agree that women still easily become targets, and that is why men who desire women don't shower or bunk with women.

    I know it's about the preferences of gays, but I don't think it's unreasonable to consider the concerns of straight men who don't want to be in that situation.
  13. by   indigo girl
    One tenth of the population must continue to be silent to make the other nine feel comfortable.

    All we are asking is tolerance.

    But in the meantime:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKSE0ou67TI
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 12, '07
  14. by   DarrenWright
    What you are asking...actually demanding, is to be allowed to define 'tolerance.'

    Gays are allowed in the military. No questions asked.

    BTW, the CDC says that the gay population is 2.3%, not 10%. And essentially what you are saying is that 97.7% of the population should be asked to be placed in uncomfortable positions just so the other 2.3% of gay military personnel can simply announce they are gay. Utilitarianism in a sensitive critical organization is far more important than expression, and utilitarianism is an essential consideration in many situation.

    I personally don't want the military asking me about my sexual orientation, so I'm not sure why gays need to announce theirs.

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