Saturday, June 15, 2013

The honorable thing

Before the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, some service members were subjected to dishonorable discharges because they were gay.

And as WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported Saturday, Long Island U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced legislation Saturday to repeal those dishonorable discharges, and make sure the veterans get the recognition and benefits they deserve.

Servicemen and women who were dishonorably discharged simply because they were gay were treated horrendously. Their discharges should be upgraded immediately to honorable, and they should recieve full benefits, as is appropriate for men and women who risked their lives for our country.

Full compensation for the time that they were unfairly denied benefits would be appropriate as well.

I abhor the gay agenda-- I think that it is a real locus of evil in our society. But I do not in any way abhor gay people. Gay heroes rest in all American military cemeteries. Gay Americans have served our country with honor and courage for over two centuries. Being gay per se is not reason for discharge from the military, let alone dishonorable discharge.  Gay conduct that harms military preparedness is reason for dismissal. Being gay or living a gay life in a way that does not impact the soldier's military responsibilities is not reason for dismissal.

Don't Ask Don't Tell was the wisest and most just policy. The military needs to be protected from a destructive sexual agenda, but people have a right to their private lives.

We need to tell gay Americans who served our nation and who were discharged simply for being gay that we were wrong and that we are sorry, and we need to make amends for it.

And we should thank them for their service.


  1. One of the great benefits (depending on your perspective) of the newer policies is that strait soldiers, sailors, and airmen, no longer have the option of claiming they are gay simply because they don’t want to serve out their time.

    When I was in the Navy I don’t know of a single gay person that was kicked out, and I was aquatinted with a fair number of all but openly gay sailors. (Tight sleeping quarters with 375 men in the compartment, for months on end; you’ve got to work things out.), and not a one of them to my knowledge was kicked out. On the other hand, I knew 4 sailors that simply went to the command and said they where gay because they couldn’t stand being on a ship and were desperate to get out. I get it, and I kind of feel sorry that that escape hatch has been closed.

    The funny thing is, you would also be giving the people who lied to get out of their contract the same benefits as those who were wrongfully discriminated against.


    1. None of them were "wrongfully discriminated against." They broke the rules.

      You do, however, bring up a good point. That's why these people's discharges should not be upgraded. Some soldier who simply wanted out of his contract deserves every bit of his dishonorable discharge.


    2. TRISH:

      You know how I feel about the gay agenda. But gay people, as individuals, are another matter. They are sinners, as each of us is, and I don't believe that their sexual orientation should be used against them in situations in which their conduct is appropriate.

      I knew gay soldiers when I was in the Army. They were good soldiers-- not a single one that I knew was a problem in any way. One of our sergeant majors was gay, and he was our best sergeant major. He always was an advocate for the enlisted men, was fair and honest, and if I had gone to combat, he's the sergeant major I would have chosen to go with.

      Discharging a soldier simply because his is gay is wrong, as long as her keeps his sex life private. Same goes for teachers, police officers, anyone. In the military, these folks are putting their lives on the line for us, and I think that unfairly discharged gay soldiers should be compensated. The practicality of the compensation could be a problem, admitted. But discharging them only because they were gay was morally wrong.

      If they were discharged for conduct reasons-- soliciting sex from other soldiers, etc, that is another matter entirely. But that would apply to heterosexual soldiers as well.

    3. Wasn't that sergeant major having an affair with his male driver? That's a problem, isn't it? Even today, such a relationship wouldn't be permitted, and not because it's homosexual in nature but because of the superior-subordinate dynamic.

      Your sergeant major's problem wasn't his orientation, it was his behavior. He couldn't keep his hands off of young soldiers, which was against the rules then and now.


  2. Egnor, I can't believe you're standing up for this guy who was banging his driver. That's not "orientation." If he was discharged, he deserved it, and I'd hate to see his discharge upgraded to honorable.

    KW, all rules discriminate against rule breakers. Rules against adultery (and the military has those, I'm sure you know) discriminate against adulterers. Rules against perjury discriminate against liars. Rules against stealing discriminate against thieves. Rules against sodomy discriminate against sodomites. The rule was the same for everyone: No same-sex sexual contact. It was a rule that you didn't like, but it was not discriminatory.


    1. Joey and TRISH:

      I know it sounds as if I've gone all soft and everything, but hear me out.

      The jeep driver affair was a rumor. If true, it would warrant discharge for fraternization, irrespective of the sexes involved. A sergeant major banging his female jeep driver would be guilty of the same infraction.

      If the rule were applied fairly to all, I couldn't object. But I do believe it is wrong to single out gays in this fashion, while leaving heterosexuals who do the analogous thing without punishment.

      My respect for the sergeant major was due in large part to his decency (in other respects except for the jeep driver) and his war record (he had a 20 year career and served with valor in Vietnam-- that's how he reached the rank of sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank). His replacement was a nasty little guy who treated the enlisted men horribly, always siding with the officers (he kissed ass in a figurative, rather than literal way, which is often worse).

      I knew gay soldiers, as I know gay students and doctors and staff. They're as good a group as straights, generally speaking, and I don't think they should be singled out for punishment specifically because of their sexual orientation. Of course they should also not be singled out for leniency either-- the same standards should apply to all. If fraternization in the military is not permitted, then banging your male jeep driver is just as wrong as banging your female jeep driver. But both situations should be handled equally.

      As I have made it very clear here, I detest the gay agenda. It is deep evil, and very destructive. But people who are gay need to be treated with love and respect. I'm a sinner too, and I need forgiveness and grace as much as gay people do. A soldier who is serving his or her country shouldn't be discharged for being gay, and if they are discharged for conduct, the rules should be applied to heterosexual conduct as well.

      Fight the agenda. Love the people. Sounds like the New Testament, rlght?

    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 16, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      As my spouse, who is a lawyer, says:

      The rules are the rules. If you don't like the rules, there are rules describing how to change the rules.

      That is, in a nutshell, the Rule of Law. It's what makes - well, made - America different from, say, Zimbabwe.

      It's also amusing how the word "discrimination" has acquired a negative connotation. If we were incapable of discrimination, we'd be dead. It's one of the most basic perceptual processes, hardwired into the brain (c.f., Hubel and Weisel, 1962, for a Nobel Prizewinning explication of this simple fact).

      One easy way to discriminate idiots from regular people is to sort them into piles depending on whether they appreciate the survival value of discrimination. Those who end up the pile that don't are the idiots.

    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      The comments above were directed to Joey and Popeye.