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Tue, Mar 13 2007

Is it about a state of being or is it about actions?

General Peter Pace's views on gays in the military have really brought on a flurry of comments from people. He seems to be standing by what he said, but I have to admit puzzlement. I've never really understood the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that Gen. Pace says he is in favor of. If homosexual orientation is going to be declared immoral in military circles, shouldn't it be banned outright? Why would the general (and others) approve of such a thing as "don't ask, don't tell", which basically tells people to be whatever they are or do whatever they wish as long as they keep it a secret. No matter how one feels about the morality of homosexuality or adultery (or other sexual matters), it's scary to me when we start telling people that if they just keep quiet about what they do they will be accepted. Is child molestation treated the same way in the military? Would a person with a sexual attraction toward children be welcome to join the military as long as he or she participated in a "don't ask, don't tell" policy? (And no, I'm not personally comparing homosexuality to child molestation. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of military personnel trying to use secrecy to define morality and fitness for duty.)

No matter how one feels about the issue of homosexuality in broad terms, it's just too confusing to compare adultery to homosexuality in this particular instance. Adultery is defined by some fairly specific acts. If a person has a known bent toward committing adultery I would guess that they aren't prosecuted until, and unless, specific behaviors occur (and are reported) that show them to be an adulterer. If adultery and homosexuality are considered alike in military life, why are they not treated the same way? If it's not the orientation, but the act that matters, how can we compare sexual orientation to adultery? Is there a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for adulterers? My confusion isn't so much moral as practical. Maybe some of you who have served in the military can clear it all up for me. It just really seems to me as though the policy needs to be defined in clear terms for anyone contemplating a military career. The current policy language serves only to muddy the waters and comes off as both hypocrital and disingenuous.

posted at: 08:26 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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