Recently I was handed a promotional brochure created by the Center for Military Readiness, an organization that is adamantly opposed to the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy enacted during the Clinton Administration more than 15 years ago. It was signed by dozens — maybe hundreds — of retired flag and general officers who support keeping the policy intact. It made me laugh. I recognized many of those names and admire many of the men who contributed their names to this campaign. But, it would have had a much more significant impact if it had been signed by veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom — 20-somethings who have recently served and can actually attest to the impact of the repeal on unit cohesion, morale and military readiness.
I would assert that today’s youth share few opinions with their grandfathers on this issue — and the men who signed this document are almost two generations removed from the majority of today’s soldiers and Sailors. They are, indeed, grandfathers to this generation. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my own grandfather more than 20 years ago. Like these men, he was a retired flag officer and grew up in a vastly different America than the one that raised me. He was an intellectual giant (in my opinion) and a decorated WWII hero — I beamed with pride at being introduced as his granddaughter. But, he gave me pause one day when we were discussing gays serving in the military. I assumed he was against it, but I had never heard him tell this particular story before he and I sparred that day on the issue. He admitted to me that his Naval Academy roommate was court-martialed in the 1920s for homosexual behavior and this former roommate asked my grandfather to serve as a character witness at his trial. My grandfather refused, the man was convicted and thrown out of the Navy. He later committed suicide, and my grandfather angrily said, “If I had had a gun, I would have shot him myself.” I furrowed my brow and said, “Why? Why woudn’t you serve as a character witness for him? Wasn’t he your friend?” He responded, “He was a great roommate and friend. He used to make my bed in the morning when I didn’t have time. He was a very talented naval aviator. I was so angry at him when I heard the news.” I looked at him and said, “You just attested to his character, Grandaddy. You just told me what a great person and friend he was.” Grandaddy was speechless and this legend in my eyes suddenly looked very small. After a pregnant pause, he responded: “Well, I guess you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
I bring up this sad, personal story because the opinions of retired flag and general officers on the issue of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are irrelevant and remind me of my grandfather’s attitude. Today’s generation of youth — those who are joining and serving in the military today — have grown up with openly gay individuals. I found online some results of a Zogby poll from December 2006 which concluded that 72% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are “personally comfortable” with gays. An Annenberg poll from 2004 concluded that, a majority of junior enlisted personnel favor letting gays serve openly. They don’t see homosexuals as predatory threats; on the contrary, they see them as fellow professionals and friends. They expect them to be held to the same fraternization standards as heterosexuals. Simply put, their presence is not an issue. Organizations like the Center for Military Readiness — groups that profess to be strong supporters of the troops, should spend some time in uniform and spend some time with gay and straight soldiers and sailors to find out what issues are really important to them. Serving together is not one of them.

Posted by The Bunny in History, Policy
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  • She beat me to her introduction…

    Enter: The Bunny, our newest guest blogger. Welcome!

  • Quite a first piece. I agree, and can’t find much more to say. Salve!

  • infocyde

    I wonder how many WWI and WWII vets would love to learn about all the changes that have happened in our society lately that Bunny by inference doesn’t seem to have a problem with. I know my Grandfather who was at Pearl Harbor would be just thrilled. I wonder how many of them died thinking that their sacrifice would one day pave the way for same sex marriage, or how as they were bleeding out on a foreign beach or trapped in a compartment on a sinking ship could one day look forward proudly to military having openly gay officers server proudly, free to express their sexuality as well as their desires for societal transformation unhindered. Or how their missing limbs would one day enable “The Bunny” to post on the prestigious U.S. Naval Institute blog while chaplans are no longer allowed to invoke the name of Jesus in public prayers. Another sad day in American decline.

  • Byron

    Her nickname wouldn’t be “Bun Bun”, would it? 🙂

    (You’d have to be an old Sluggy Freelance or John Ringo fan to get the reference 😉 )

  • Huron

    Infocyde, can you explain how homosexuality represents a decline in American culture? Are you suggesting that homosexuality is something new? That it should be repressed?

    We should not advance society because of the objections and archaic beliefs of old men?

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
    Should be replaced with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Bother-Who cares?”

    One’s sexual preferences/inclinations should simply be: Private. Not inquired into, not bandied about.

    How is that hard?

  • Byron

    In a more serious tone, I’d vote for keeping DADT. I’m sure you believe that we should all embrace the difference, but down here on the deckplates it’s still “well, OK, but not around me”. You’re going to have one hell of a mess if you do it openly. Simply put, society is not ready for it. Come back in 50 years, the answer will probably be, “who cares?”.

  • RickWilmes

    It gets real hard when same sex partners have families. Think about base housing or seeking medical care.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Bunny, welcome, and indeed quite a first post. A link to the Zogby poll you referenced would be great.

    Retired flag officers have as much right to express their opinions as do retired Senior Chiefs and former naval officers. Having led troops, their opinions do matter in the overall debate. At the very least, they are a concerned group of American citizens. To discount them based solely on their generation is inappropriate. Would their opinions be equally “irrelevant” if they agreed with the proposed repeal of DADT?

    I served with homosexuals, and most of them were outstanding Sailors – some I did and still do consider friends. Averaged out, they were no different from the ‘general’ population, save for that one exception. But…

    There is a reason why we have male and female heads…onboard ship and in society in general. It is to provide privacy from the opposite gender, privacy from those that might otherwise take advantage of a lack of privacy. It protects each person from those that might be sexually interested in them. Is it really any different with homosexuals? It might on the surface seem like a silly, but think about it before reacting. I can tell you that I would want some privacy from gays in the head, in an open bay shower, and in my living quarters. Most Sailors probably don’t really care what someone else does in their own home, but when you bring that lifestyle it into someone else’s home (barracks, berthing, tent), I think they get a say in the matter. Did the referenced poll make any distinction between being “personally comfortable” with gays in a working environment vice a living environment?

    If we open the door, so to speak, to gays and lesbians serving openly, are we just one step closer to allowing transgender military members? Would they then not have the basis to fight for their ‘rights?’ Would we have to allow citizens with gender identity issues to pick their uniforms? Could biologically male service members wear female uniforms? Will gay and lesbian marriages be recognized, complete with dependent ID cards, married allowances, housing, and medical?

    It all might sound a bit far fetched, but it’s not. Eliminating the DADT policy would open the door to a lot more issues; issues I contend the military, and still much of society, are not ready to handle. And might I add, should not have to consider.

    @Huron – Remember, one man’s “archaic beliefs” are another man’s moral compass. And that goes for any number of ongoing debates.

  • Huron

    Fouled Anchor, are you worried about gays coming on to you? Amusing.

  • Fouled Anchor

    I am a darn handsome man…or so I tell myself.

    You are obviously ignoring the argument associated with my statement. It’s about privacy.

  • RickWilmes

    Isn’t privacy a selfish interest?

  • Well said, Bunny.

    So, do any of you have experience with sailors wanting to leave the Navy and using the “gay card” to cut their enlistments short?

  • JW – USN Master Chief, Retired & Proud!

    “RickWilmes Says:
    Isn’t privacy a selfish interest?”

    Are we to believe then that you leave your windows and doors open on your home so as not to appear selfish to your neighbors?

    I guess I don’t follow that sentiment.

  • JW – USN Master Chief, Retired & Proud!


    My daughter is in boot camp at this very moment. Her writings home indicate that this has occurred within her Division on three occasions within the last 5 weeks.

  • Sespi

    The Zogby poll she referenced can be found here:

    You can also read the summary of it on the Zogby site here:,

  • RickWilmes

    I found this article.

    Zogby Poll: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Not Working

    Survey Indicates Shift in Military Attitudes

  • Fouled Anchor

    Sespi, thanks for the link.

    Having read only a bit of the report, I found a couple of interesting items. First, Bunny was accurate in that “72% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are “personally comfortable” with gays.”

    However, “Asked whether they agree that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve in the military, respondents were closely split with a plurality (37%) DISAGREEING (emphasis mine) with the idea, and 26 percent agreeing they should be allowed” [page 5, last paragraph].

    There is a lot to digest in the report, but here’s the closing paragraph of the Executive Summary:

    “Overall, this survey paints a mixed picture for the future of gays and lesbians in the military. While overwhelming majorities of those responding display tolerance and understanding of the rights and issues involved in the argument, there are still large
    obstacles that must be overcome.”

  • This is not about sex-or ability. Its about money and unintended consequences.

    Deep down-I don’t think people have real issues about who sleeps with who. However I’m not so sure that a majority of today’s serving contingent is comfortable with gay marriage and the social consequences of that. Where do gay spouses fit into the support system equation? I’m not so sure they will be welcomed by the “other wives” with open arms. Same too for the transferring of benefits. Taken to its most ridiculous extreme-will there be “gay” stamps on service records to ensure we have a “diverse” force?

    Like it or not-the current regulation forces a bit of discretion-and allows a comfort zone to be created. Whenever DADT is intially lifted-expect a spike in Blue on blue violence.

    Furthermore its not just lifting DADT-other regulations regarding sexual conduct will probably need to be revised. Otherwise one is going to have conduct that is illegal in a heterosexual context-but legal in a gay context. How is that fair?

  • TS

    I work for the Center for Military Readiness, the organization The Bunny names. First of all, ditto to the response of Fouled Anchor, above. A few more points:

    -There were over 1,000 names of flag and general officers from among the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines on the “brochure” she mentioned, which was actually a reproduction of a statement supporting the current law making homosexuals ineligible for military service submitted to President Obama, Congress and the Pentagon. The tally today is well over 1100.

    -The methodology behind the Zogby poll was dubious, as you can see from CMR’s analysis here:

    -As mentioned in our Zogby analysis, the Military Times poll gives a far different picture among active-duty servicemembers, which again showed remarkably consistent results from prior years on the issue of repealing the law making homosexuals ineligible. Elaine Donnelly elaborates on the poll results at National Review Online:

  • John

    I’m with Fouled Anchor on this one, he put it far more eloquently than I could have.

    My unit just had a bunch of folks return from a deployment-and every female in the unit was “linked up” with a male servicemember, most of whom were married to someone else. That has resulted in multiple investigations for charges of adultery, and many strained families. I know I don’t want to have to police same sex relationships too.

  • TS

    A couple of clarifications to my earlier post:

    -CMR does not and has never supported “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). DADT is a policy imposed on the DoD by the Clinton Administration which the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1996 found to be contrary to the law it ostensibly enforces, Section 654, Title 10, United States Code. That law, passed by veto-proof majorites and upheld as constitutional many times states that homosexuals are ineligible for military service.

    Congress studied DADT and rejected it (, enacting Section 654, Title 10 instead. It did so after thoroughly studying the issue through numerous hearings, the findings of which are incorporated into the law (

    -Elaine Donnelly is the President of the Center for Military Readiness.

  • Sespi

    TS, I find it interesting that you would criticize the methodology of the Zogby poll and then cite the Military Times Poll–which is certainly far more methodologically questionable, given that it wasn’t scientifically conducted and was simply an opinion poll of its readers. Palm Center has a criticism of the Military Times Poll here:

  • P.M. Leenhouts CAPT USN (Ret)

    Bunny – a thought-provoking first post. I don’t agree with you, but it is clear you have a flair for conveying ideas. Your post will, no doubt, engender a long and passionate discussion. I tend to agree with Fouled Anchor’s comments. But then, perhaps my time at sea has colored what I believe; I’m open to other’s views.

    I do think one’s background is important in these discussions. While everyone, of course, is entitled to their opinions, “Former Naval Officer” doesn’t tell us much about yours. Without that background, I am inclined to assign somewhat less relevance to your perspective.

  • P.M. Leenhouts CAPT USN (Ret)

    Bunny writes “…because the opinions of retired flag and general officers on the issue of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are irrelevant and remind me of my grandfather’s attitude.”

    Given that our nation’s armed forces have historically disdained homosexuality, and in many cases, actively persecuted it, I would submit your grandfather’s perspective was quite mainstream for his time. It is always tempting to view past actors in their times using the moralities espoused today – tempting, but wrong.

    Your grandfather’s reactions as stated appeared to me to be those of a man of principle who felt betrayed by his roommate.

    How his perspective diminishes the statements of over one thousand flag and general officers, the vast majority of whom no doubt have led troops in the field and sailors at sea, is beyond me.

  • TS


    If you read Elaine’s article/analysis, you’ll find that she acknowledges that it is unscientific. Yet it asks the truly pertinent question, whether or not currently serving Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Sailors would continue their military careers in the absence of the law, not a “personal preference” question as to whether or not servicemembers are “ok” with homosexuals. Being “comfortable around” open homosexuals is not the issue—the issue is being in conditions, as the law states, of “forced intimacy” with someone else admittedly sexually attracted to you, 24/7.

    As for Zogby’s methodology, our analysis that I linked explains the suspect nature of its numbers:

    “The poll claims to be of 545 people ‘who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan (or in combat support roles directly supporting those operations), from a purchased list of U.S. Military Personnel.’ But the U.S. military does not sell or provide access to personnel lists. Due to security rules that were tightened in the aftermath of 9/11, personal details and even general information about the location of individual personnel are highly restricted.”

  • Wharf Rat

    Last I heard the US Military’s sole purpose was to defend the country from our enemies.

    I’m personally tired of this argument, in that there are a significant number of American’s who believe that homosexual sex is immoral. Even though I believe this – I don’t really care what you do behind your doors. Adults need to be responsible for their own actions.

    I do think that a few people have pushed a ‘marketing’ campaign over the last 30 years to push a view that homosexuality is the equal of heterosexuality. The military is just the last step. Look at what happened to Miss California recently – a majority in CA voted against gay marriage, and she agreed with it, and she was pilloried in the press. The prevailing attitude in the press says one thing – but the ‘silent’ majority just voted against that.

    What I’m tired is some trying to push their views on those that simply don’t agree, and if you don’t agree morally – you are a bigot.

    And here’s the crux of my argument – do your job, keep your thing in your pants. I don’t care what you are, but what does it have to do with driving a carrier? What does it have to do with loading amunition in an aircraft, or missle on a wing, or any number of jobs in the military?

    If sex is truly a personal and private thing – keep it that way. I work for a large company in the transportation industry – I’d like to know what sexuality has anything to do with moving packages?! If sexuality came up, it is totally and completely inappropriate. Same thing in the military – those pushing for gays openly serving – why do I need to know if you’re gay?! Why do I need to know if you’re straight?

    Defending the country is your one and only concern – that’s it.

  • RickWilmes

    Defending individual rights should be the only concern. The fundamental question, regardless of polls or retired officer’s opinions, is whether or not gay men and women have the right to defend the U.S. Constitution by serving in the military.

  • Huron

    After reading the ridiculous arguments against allowing homosexuals to serve, I am damn glad that I’ve joined the Canadian Forces, rather than a military that is full of members that seem stuck in a ignorant, backward, and obsolete mindset.

  • Paul

    “After reading the ridiculous arguments against allowing homosexuals to serve,”

    Argument by ridicule? What is ridiculous about privacy concerns? What is ridiculous about concerns over how open homosexual relationships may present command issues?

    I think its more ridiculous to demand that an extremely small percentage of the American populace, generally accounted to be around 2%, of whom generally only a small minority are even willing or desirous of joining the Armed Forces given the general association of homosexuals with liberal politics, somehow be able to make large demands upon the services while simply disparaging valid concerns. I mean, looking at the Navy, you are talking about 800 recruits per year, max. Why are they deserving of some special treatment rather than simply acknowledging that, for a variety of reasons, it isn’t in the Navy’s best interests to enlist homosexuals?

  • Wharf Rat

    Paul: You couldn’t have put it any better.

    Huron: I’m grateful for the partnership the Canadian armed forces have made throughout history with the American armed forces, most currently in Afganistan. Thanks for your service.

    Again – please note, there are gays serving in the US Military, most of them quite capable. The issue here is DADT – and I don’t believe it should be repealed. So gays can serve openly in the Candian armed forces – great, why do you need to know what their sexuality is? And I’m with an earlier poster, it’s a slippery slope – it isn’t going to stop there. There will be transgender issues – no way do I want a man (physically) who thinks he’s really a women ‘manning the rails’ in a female uniform, or using the female head. It’s selfish for that one individual to force that on others.

    The US Military is tops in the world because it realizes its sole purpose isn’t to be a social engineering group – it’s to go and break things when called on, unleash hell when necessary, and deter if at all possible by sheer prescence.

    Rickwilmes: ‘defending individual rights should be the only concern’? That’s liberal mumbo jumbo – that’s language designed to confuse the issue because it’s designed to tug at the heart.

    I never served in the military – but I know multiple people who did – and individual rights in the military is not primary – you lose them. You subjugate the individual for the group/unit. Your unit is your primary concern, your brothers-in-arms are your primary concern, not your individual rights. Why are there stories of great sacrifice in the military? Because in a unit, you are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so others might live. I suggest that if ‘individual rights’ are the main concern, then you break down unit cohesion, which affects fighting effectiveness. Additionally, you follow orders from your commanders, whose primary concerns are not your individual rights, but making sure you do the job you volunteered to do because lives depend on it.

    Finally – as an earlier poster said who’s just returned from deployment, who said there are multiple ‘relationships’ right now being investigated for adultry because of the close quarters of heterosexuals in the military? What happens if DADT is repealed? Does anything go? The military has taken the point that adultry is a ‘morals’ issue, which speaks the character (especially) of officers, who could lead people into battle. There are still people who think that cheating in one area of your life means you will likely cheat in other areas. Is it consistent to allow homosexual sex in the military, which can potentially be with anyone, and not with heterosexual sex? Where then can the moral boundaries be drawn?

    The sole purpose of the US Military is to defend the constitution. Boot camp is designed to break down the individual, and redesign that individual into a member of a team, of a culture, of a unit. Social engineering of a few, mostly pushed from outside the military, has no place in it.

  • RickWilmes

    If a gay individual is qualified and has the skills to do the job than why should he/she be disqualified because of sexual preference? How is sexual preference different than skin color regarding this issue?

    Why should a gay couple raising a family be denied base housing?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    There are many who believe the concept of a homosexual couple raising a “family” is a morally objectionable contradiction. People who are serving their country who believe the homosexual lifestyle to be offensive on moral and religious ground should be excluded from having their beliefs and be forced to give in, yet again, to the small vocal minority?

    Rick, just how far DID you get at Annapolis with the situational ethics schtick?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    *Burma Shave*

    Counting the numbers in the Zogby poll is like tallying votes in a North Korea election….

  • Byron

    URR, I suspect he had a close encounter of the worst kind with the Rocks and Shoals.

  • RickWilmes

    URR, how many same sex families have you met or do you know. Based on my experience they are far more moral and better an example for my daugther than Catholic priests.

    URR and Byron, focus on the issues and dispense with the personal attacks.

  • RickWilmes

    URR, another point I should make. Many people once beleived the earth was flat. It took centuries for the Catholic Church to recognize their error. It is always a small vocal minority that speaks up and speaks out for their rights.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I don’t see a personal attack anywhere in there. And if you read my comments, you might notice that I don’t express my opinion.

    That you believe they are a far more moral example for your daughter than ALL Catholic priests (not differentiating those who are guilty of crimes) means that everyone else must comply and surrender their right to their beliefs, even if they are in absolute and strong disagreement, right?

    The guarantee of protection of the rights of the individual while acting on the will of the majority cannot be construed to let the will of the minority disparage the individual rights of those in the majority, either.

    How many homosexual people do I know? Quite a few, champ. But that is irrelevant to the beliefs of those who find homosexuality wrong on moral and/or religious grounds, or believe strongly that open homosexuality in the US Military would be terribly destructive to the good order and discipline of the Armed Forces.

  • RickWilmes

    URR, you are starting to sound selfish, but not rational.

    Why should a gay service member be denied the benefits other service members receive.

    Example, base housing.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Again, Rick. I did not express my opinion. Your definition of “rational” seems to need quite a bit of work.

    “Why should a gay service member be denied the benefits other service members receive. Example, base housing.”

    Is it prejudicial to good order and discipline? That question includes issues of morale, trust, and combat effectiveness. If it is, as the majority believe, that is the reason. There need be no other.

  • RickWilmes


    Why is your standard of determining what is right or wrong based on what the majority says is right?

    What if the majority of service members say black skinned people should not serve or should be segregated?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Why is your standard of determining what is right or wrong based on what the majority says is right?”

    Nobody said it was a standard of right and wrong, let alone MY standard. But it is the bottom line of decisions made for the good of the Armed Forces.

    As far as equating homosexuality, and as you yourself call it, a “sexual preference”, with race, you would have a hell of a lot of the very finest I have served with ready to see how far back your adam’s apple can go before you pass out.

  • RickWilmes


    The threat of force against me does not intimidate me.

  • RickWilmes


    There was a time, and in some areas of this country still are, when interracial marriages were frowned upon.

    If two men or two women decide to live together and raise a family and serve in the armed services, why should they be denied the same benefits as other service members?

  • Zen

    [comment deleted by moderator – no personal attacks]

    I’m surprised we’re hearing the same old arguments regarding gays in the military; e.g., showers, heads, and morals. It serves to reinforce the fact there isn’t a very good argument against gays serving.

    Regardless of your gender, you’ve certainly already shared a bathroom and shower with a gay person. You survived. If taking a shower or relieving yourself in proximity to a gay serviceman is the most traumatic event in your military career, you should count yourself as fortunate.

    Morality? Please. It’s a corrupt argument employed by bigots.

  • John

    I finally broke down the results of the poll to one sentence:

    Tolerance is not the same as acceptance.

  • sobersubmrnr

    “Simply put, their presence is not an issue. Organizations like the Center for Military Readiness — groups that profess to be strong supporters of the troops, should spend some time in uniform and spend some time with gay and straight soldiers and sailors to find out what issues are really important to them. Serving together is not one of them.”

    Is twenty years enough time in uniform? And I’m just now in the process of retiring from the USN, so I’m part of the current generation. Presence *is* an issue. Byron hit the nail on the head, most straight sailors don’t have a problem with homosexuals as long as they aren’t around them.


    My morals have been the norm in this country for over two hundred years, and yet those of us who hold those morals are now bigots? No, we aren’t bigots. We just don’t want the societal corruption that you support.

  • RickWilmes

    How do homosexuals in the military corrupt society?

    Because your morals are the norm does not make them right. Appeals to tradition is also a logical fallacy.

    Why should gay members who have families be denied the same benefits that other service members receive?

    Why should a gay family be denied base housing?

  • Zen


    Your argument is the very same used to discriminate against blacks, women and every other minority.

    Please don’t lecture about societal corruption, it’s unbecoming. I find it rather hypocritical anyone, regardless of service, would get morally outraged about someone else’s sexual preference. Especially given the fact places like Texas Street in Pusan or Olongapo City/Subic were built on the dollars of Navy and Marine servicemen.

  • RickWilmes

    Here is the signature list. Bunny, like you I see many men on this list that I have previously known and admired, it is a damned shame.

    Flag & General Officers for the Military

  • RickWilmes

    Here is the main website.

    Flag & General Officers for the Military


    Intellectual bankruptcy at its worst.

    Exhibit 1: “have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service”

  • Paul

    What is the purpose of the Navy? It is not to be a nice, happy, inclusive place of employment. It is to preserve and protect American interests and freedoms and, if necessary, kill other people in pursuit of those goals. The acceptance of any class of person as candidates to be sailors is conditional upon their furthering the goals of the Navy. It is up to the advocates of openly homosexual sailors to prove, against reasonable skepticism, that the admission of openly homosexual sailors will further the Navy’s mission and that it will not pose a problem for privacy, command, or recruitment/retention issues (in other words, that said admissions will not cause an equal or greater number of worthy candidates to forgo enlistment or reenlistment because of their uncomfortableness with sharing such close quarters and possibly being forced to share berthing with someone who has an open sexual interest in them).

  • FormerJAG

    Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is not about advertising sexuality, it is about allowing individuals to be honest with their shipmates.

    As an officer in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, it didn’t matter what I did in my bedroom, what mattered is if I could represent my clients (enlisted and officer)in the courtroom. When I wrote a will or a power-of-attorney, I highly doubt that my ability to write a document that would protect his/her family’s needs in the future was impacted by my sexuality. I doubt that when I deployed as the SJA to a strike group that the Commodore would trust my legal advice any less if he knew that I left my partner at home.

    I shared a stateroom with fellow junior officers. I used the same head as the rest of the men on the ship. As a professional, I was doing my job and what was asked of me. I didn’t sit and lust over my shipmates, I didn’t invade their privacy any more than they did mine.

    The difference between me and those I served with – I knew all about their spouses, what their kids were doing in school, who they were dating, what they did on the weekend…but they knew nothing about me. I had to lie on a daily basis – I created fake girlfriends, fake dates – just so that I could be part of conversations, part of the Wardroom, part of the Navy.

    Everyone talks about how bad it would be to have gays openly serving in the military – lack of privacy, sexual tension, adultery, etc… How very shortsighted those arguments are – all of these issues exist with men and women serving together, but yet I don’t see anyone saying that women should be banned from serving so that we can make the military more harmonious. As in any segment of the population, there will be individuals that cause problems, but last I checked, heterosexuals are not perfect nor innocent of doing wrong.

    What do we gain by not allowing those that serve together the simple ability to be honest with each other?

  • RickWilmes

    Paul, bad logic. It’s the equivalent of me claiming you beat your spouse. Now prove to me that you do not.

  • ASteinman

    Tens of thousands of gay, lesbian and bisexual personnel are currently serving right now, in all branches of the armed forces, with the open knowledge of their peers and even with the knowledge of some of their commands. The recent Zogby International poll of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans found that 23% of them KNEW FOR CERTAIN THERE WERE GAYS IN THEIR OWN UNIT, and another 45% suspected THERE WERE GAYS IN THEIR OWN UNIT. So more than two-thirds of our current military either knows for certain or suspects there are gays in their own unit, and it’s no big deal. Combat readiness is just fine.

    The author of this piece is right on the money. The younger generation of troops has an entirely different attitude than do the flag officers signing the recent statement from the Center for Military Readiness. I can personally attest to the attitudes of the younger troops, as I give lectures on “gays in the military” to active duty and reserve soldiers and airmen at the local Army and Air Force base near where I live (as part of community college courses from a local college held on base). And these students tell me the same thing as indicated in the Zogby Poll. Hell, I even had one soldier come out in class, and he was an artilleryman. He said everyone in his unit knew and didn’t care. Neither did, apparently, the other members of this class (which included an Army E-8). This soldier is still on active duty.

  • Pepe

    “As far as equating homosexuality, and as you yourself call it, a ‘sexual preference’, with race”

    Race and sexual orientation are not being compared, however, prejudice is. If one form of prejudice is permitted, then why should we stop there? Why not prohibit other types of people simply because the majority doesn’t like them or approve of everything they do?

    Most of those serving today realize that homosexuality is not “contagious” and that, no matter what they might want to believe, there are gay people serving and serving honorably. They also appreciate the contributions that their gay brothers- and sisters-in-arms make to accomplishing the mission. The discomfort from being seen in a shower doesn’t outweigh that.

  • Drew

    Former JAG — thanks for your comments, and thanks for your service.

    The opinions of the flag & general officers no doubt reflect the climate at the time they were serving. They are not “wrong” — they just are not that relevant today. For that matter, the opinions of today’s generation of senior officers doesn’t necessarily reflect the attitudes of younger servicemembers.

    The fact of the matter is that society changes. We don’t discriminate against Jews & Catholics — both of which were formerly acceptable prejudices — and we allow women to serve, albeit with some restrictions. Blacks are no longer assigned to segregated units. At any time in the past hundred years, you could have heard arguments against any of these groups that wouldn’t sound too different from the arguments being advanced against gays today.

    Ultimately the question is one of fairness — an issue which Americans hold in some regard. There is no evidence that sexual orientation impedes job performance. So is the fact that some people are uncomfortable around gays in itself a sufficient basis to uphold discriminatory policy? That might have been true when DADT was enacted in 1993, but in 2009 it’s getting harder to make the case. Suggesting the sky will fall if gays are allowed to serve openly does discredit to the overall professionalism of our force.

    That’s not to say there won’t be some issues. A little discretion still goes a long way, particularly in a shipboard environment. But the military doesn’t get a free pass to hide out from social change forever, regardless of the views of its retired officers.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Race and sexual orientation are not being compared, however, prejudice is.”

    Yes, race and sexual orientation WERE being compared. That is precisely the comment that was made. And prejudice? Do you mean discrimination? Yes, the military discriminates. Very much so. It is supposed to. It discriminates against that which is prejudicial to good order and discipline. The word “indiscriminate” has a negative connotation.

    And Rick, nobody threatened you with force. So you can come out of your panic room. But if you want to kick the hornet’s nest, make the same argument you made here with some of those men (and women) I served with who were African-American. I assure you, the preponderance don’t see it your way. Stunning, I know, but they would be rather insulted and would tell you so.

  • RickWilmes

    URR says,

    “As far as equating homosexuality, and as you yourself call it, a “sexual preference”, with race, you would have a hell of a lot of the very finest I have served with ready to see how far back your adam’s apple can go before you pass out.”

    No panic on this end. The example between race and homosexuality was used to isolate the use of prejudice against a minority. If you can think in principle it is an easy identification.

    Pushing my adam’s apple back until I pass out is in fact a threat to use force.

    I will ask you again, why is your standard of what is right or wrong based on what a majority might think?

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Your searing logic is of course unimpeachable. I didn’t tell you I would move your anatomy around, but I know some who might be so inclined if you made such comparisons.

    And I didn’t say it was my standard of right and wrong. I think if you pay attention you will find I did not express my opinion at any time.

    The issue, with all of the comments here proving over and over again, is that any opinion, viewpoint, belief system, that might cause disagreement with what the blog is advocating, must be due to some moral or intellectual flaw in the person holding said values and viewpoint. A contrary opinion simply cannot be legitimate. Hence, the value system and opinions of an entire group of long-serving service members is dismissed as “a damned shame” and “intellectual bankruptcy”. Anyone whose beliefs are at odds with the views expressed in the blog is a “bigot”.

    And no, Rick, I didn’t say anything at all to the effect that right is simply a function of what the majority thinks. My statement was that one must be careful in protecting the rights of the minority that the situation does not evolve into the minority enforcing its will and values at the expense of the individual rights of those in the majority.

    The lack of admission of a legitimate opposing viewpoint, as is the sentiment of many of the comments here, should be cause for some serious reflection. You will mandate open-mindedness, and will not tolerate any dissent whatsoever. Opposing viewpoints will be forbidden, and anyone expressing any will suffer ridicule and ostracism. That is, until we can make such expression criminal, for which you will be punished.

    A very interesting brand of intellectual fascism, to be sure. I didn’t express my personal opinion on the subject of the blog, because it is not relevant to the above paragraph.

    Not that it makes any difference. Because in order to be deemed morally and intellectually passable, I would have to agree to each and every aspect of the blog, and disavow any hint of dissent. In the name of inclusiveness, of course.

  • RickWilmes


    I can see right through your moral agnosticism.

    If you want to hide behind what others think or might do to me than by all means proceed.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Methinks your obtuseness is intentional. So, end of “discussion” with you.

  • Byron

    URR, ask the Admin for my email, please.

  • Hayball

    URR and Byron:
    Should you wish it, Admin may give you mine as well.

  • Iraq Vet

    I wholehartedly agree. My infantry unit is focused on the mission, not ancient stereotypes. The worst thing is what the opinions of the older generation does to tarnish generals and leaders of today. They slap us in the face. The American people deserve generals and leaders who are forward thinkers, selfless, and courageous- not selfish and scared followers of old and ignorant bygone era thinking. The generals make current leaders look disasterously unfit for command and that is the tragedy of those who abuse their former rank.

  • usna21412

    Why are women not permitted to serve on submarines? My impression is that it has nothing to do with physical strength.

  • Jay

    As I mentioned over at CDR S’s post: this issue was roundly discussed at “the stupid shall be punished” blog in Jan 2009.

    Here is my really great initial posting from there, but I recommend you all read the whole comment thread.

    Byron — I wonder where you get your “most” numbers from, it sure isn’t from the Navy I serve in (and have seen evolving).

    Good range of comments, some decent, some bizarre. That’s cool, this is just the right forum for it.

    That being said, repeal of DADT will happen. Likely after 2010, perhaps during.

    (Economy and other issues are too important to deal with right now.)

    DADT repeal is long overdue. We have a UCMJ, and if you can’t abide by professional conduct towards your shipmates, (whether gay/straight/male/female)you will be dealt with, on a case-by-case basis.

    Yes, because the force is relatively young, there may be some problems. However, there are none foreseeable that can not be handled by a squared away command.

    I very much doubt you will see entire units looking for an exit. If so, I would wonder had they ever really focused on their mission at all.

    Now to the political part of this — will the right wing, having been stung by losing the Congress and the White House in fairly short order, decide to “plant their flag” on this issue? If so, it could be a rough implementation (via Congress).

    Of course, the recent marriage brough-ha-ha in California and other states is fresh in people’s minds as well.

    Time will tell.

    So, here is a decent plan:

    1. Look at Fortune 500 companies for some ideas on how they implement non-discrimination policies. Why? Because they did so to attract & KEEP talent, talent that the services can ill afford to ignore/lose.

    2. Check out same on how the UK and other European forces have implemented their policies, so we have a good idea on how it has affected their (if at all) militaries.

    3. Publish the implementation POA&M. Give those whose dedication to their country really hinges on this single issue…the time and the chance to find employment elsewhere.

    4. Put a module in your POSH NKO training. Train your EEO reps.

    5. Pay special attention to USNA & NROTC students, after all these students are widely recognized to be leaders in training. Training is key.

    5. Then, lay down the law (without taking away CO’s authority) that they will be treated as any other Sailor. Period.

    6. Next, move on to more important issues, shipbuilding, aviation acquisition, China, etc.

    I think you will find that this will be an easier transition than you think.

    —End post

    One new wrinkle — with states approving gay marriage (slowly, but surely…) — the UCMJ will have to somehow take into account the same legal probs that exist now (does state law take precedence over DOMA?). I am not a JAG — but this will be complicated.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Or, using Jay’s plan above, skip steps 1 thru 5, and let’s all get bak to step 6.

  • RickWilmes

    Fouled Anchor,

    Does Number 6 include the war in Afghanistan? Bringing “democracy” to our enemies sure is working.
    Afghanistan Rape Law

  • Byron

    Jay, I didn’t use any “numbers”. The fact that you brought my name up first, and that we “know” each other from the CDRs blog, means this was personal, and you thought you could get a free swipe in. Stuff a sock in it.

    Rick, you’re a troll that hates the Navy. We get it. You want all of us to bow down to the god of Objectivism. We get that too. You want the Naval Academy completely re-vamped. Got that as well. After spending some time at the other fora that you hang out in, we get it that you want to dominate the discussion. It wouldn’t matter what the topic is, you’ll find a way to bring Ayn Rand into the discussion; Got that one, plain as day.

    Personally, I’m getting tired of having every good discussion turned into an Objectivism rant. Signal to noise ratio sucks big time, Admin.

  • RickWilmes


    Please explain how defending a gay individual’s right to defend the U.S. Constitution by serving in the military is an Objectivist rant.

    You can’t even ignore your own advice.

    I love my life, my country and my Navy. I hate altruism and what it has done to this great country and I am here to express my independent views on the issues at hand. Get used to it.

  • sobersubmrnr


    You can go on and on about this, but the fact remains that the majority doesn’t want you moral relativism. We don’t want the disruption your way will bring. It’s not for us, the majority, to adapt to a small but vocal minority.

    You would be better off just doing your own thing without trying to foist your lifestyle on the rest of us. Most homosexuals and lesbians in this country do just that and get along just fine (and I know a few).

    Oh, and this is not in the same category as race. One is about conduct, the other is about the level of melanin in one’s skin. The former is a legitimate concern, the other is not.

  • Jay

    Change is hard. The leadership has it for action & will implement when appropriate.

    To calm all you down a bit, one of my favorite Virginia jokes (once I moved there I found it very accurate):

    “How many Virginians does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

    “Four. One to screw in the light bulb, and three to stand around and talk about how nice the old one used to work”.


  • The Bunny

    Wow. I did not intend to open such a can of worms, but I suppose that’s a bit naive, when you consider the topic. Social issues as they relate to the military always prompt these vociferous and hardened emotions; I suppose I should have expected it. I still feel the same way about gays in the military — repealing DADT is overdue.

    My grandfather passed down some wonderful, timeless values to future generations, as I am the third in my family to have served proudly in the Navy. But, I didn’t inherit his views about gays. A lot in our society has changed since the 1920s, including how we treat blacks, women and gays and I, for one, am glad to see these changes. I think, if Grandaddy were a member of my generation, he would feel the same way. (BTW–I’m a conservative, Republican-voting Christian who lives in Virginia — I LOVED Jay’s joke about the Virginians!)

  • jwithington

    I don’t think Rick hates the Navy, but yes, it’s the same thing in EVERY blog post and it’s quite old by this point.

  • RickWilmes


    Not once did I bring up the issues that Byron claims I did in this post.

    Being called a troll and being mischaracterized is what is getting old.

  • Byron
  • RickWilmes

    This is getting off topic. Byron, not once did I bring up those issues in this post which is about DADT.

    Dropping context is an understatement because I sided with Bunny on the issue on DADT.

    Does anyone want to address the issue of gay families and base housing?

  • Rick,

    After following your comments on a wide range of topics for some time now, I am curious about your interest in the posts on the USNI blog, and more specifically your overall objective in the dialog.

    It is always interesting to have a contrarian point of view debated, and you often find yourself in that position. At times your perspective is interesting and on-point.

    But more frequently your comments stray from the topic, prod without provocation and have the effect of derailing or distracting the substance of the discussion. It would help to clearly understand your intent as you interact with the USNI audience. Meanwhile, administration has been authorized to suspend your comments.

    May I encourage you to consider ways to inject your thoughtful perspectives without the distraction tactics that have characterized recent threads? If you care to participate and would like to respond directly to me, please do so, and we will consider lifting the temporary suspension.


  • Bill

    I am an old-timer. Served long tours at sea in small ships many years ago. Commanded a destroyer. Those of my vintage generally do not support the idea of mixed sex crews or acceptance of homosexuals in close quarters. Our experiences make us think this is pretty much all bad.

    I would enjoy learning the views of persons who have served in today’s submarine and destroyer crews and learn how they view this issue. I suspect their views would not be nearly so modern.

    Being “different” at a Battalion Command Post can’t be the same as being “different” while on a 60-day submerged s/m cruise.

  • Jay


    My estimate is most folks under 40 years of age (most of the force — average age is younger than that) don’t care all that much about these issues.

    Why? Because they have grown up knowing about them. If all you ever knew about ships was that they have a mixed crew — then it really isn’t an issue. We are getting to that point — where mixed crews are the standard (except for the submarines).

    Society has progressed on gay issues, and even what is considered to be a “mostly conservative” volunteer military force, reflects that, to a large extent. Because folks have grown up knowing about the issues (more realistically, knowing a friend or family member who is out to them), and it isn’t an issue.

    You would be surprised.

    The old adage of “don’t screw over your shipmate”, however, still applies.

    POTUS said he’ll address getting rid of DA/DT, just not right now. SECDEF has said, essentially, “change is coming, just not right now”.

    I suspect there is a very quiet working group in the Pentagon (or more likely, for the Navy, in a non-descript office in Crystal City, or Millington) that is conducting various implementation COAs studies on the as we speak. Rightly so.

    usna21412 — to answer your question — as I understand it, mostly due to berthing and head design issues. The Navy will design future subs to accomodate. As women have proved themselves in the surface and aviation communities, subs won’t be all-male crewed forever.

  • jwithington


    A fellow mid? Hello!

  • Charley A.

    I know several recently graduated midshipmen (since 2004) who are either bisexual or gay. Their friends (fellow mids) seemed to be aware of their sexual preferences, but for the most part nobody seemed to care much one way or another. The point is that these men were able to develop bonds that helped them through their time at the academy, and their sexuality didn’t seem to prevent the bonds from forming. The idea that not being heterosexual will disrupt morale or destroy unit cohesion is a myth perpetuated by the inexperienced, the uninformed, or worse, the bigot.

    (All are currently serving in various commands.)

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “…a myth perpetuated by the inexperienced, the uninformed, or worse, the bigot.”

    Well, that sums up the character flaws and moral shortcomings of anyone with a dissenting opinion. Certainly makes those career service members who disagree understand where they fit into the equation. Since they can’t be inexperienced or uninformed, they must be bigots.

    Sort of the Pol Pot/Chairman Mao approach to free expression….

  • Hayball

    Ms Bunny, Ma’am:

    Err, I am just an old fossil from an extinct subspecies. I am not at all in touch with the modern vogue in what (forgive me, I’m a tad tone deaf in the pc range) the young smart set regard as up to date thinking about gender and sex as it affects the good order and discipline of the service.

    My question(s)are(please bear with me):

    The UCMJ states that homosexual (which I understood to include gay, bi, and lesbian behavior) acts are an offense against the Code, and the Manual for Courts Martial sets forth the maximum punishment which can be imposed by Courts Martial upon trial and conviction (I think, did I miss the memorandum interim change?).

    Homosexual behavior is part of the range of human behavior, reported since time past memory or record. Lately, there seems to be an effort to increase the toleration of those who practice it, and some attempts at persuasion that it should be regarded as within the normal range of acceptable behavior in society at large. The latter position has not previously been the mainstream view of our culture.

    The policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” established by President Clinton reportedly directs those in authority in the armed forces not to attempt to compel the admission of homosexual behavior from service members, not to vigorously inspect or investigate commands for individuals violating the pertinent articles of the UCMJ et al., and informs members who are inclined to homosexual acts that, if discrete, they enjoy a degree of immunity from investigation.

    I retired before the Clinton administration, please forgive me if my understanding from press reports is imperfect.

    To a degree this parallels historic practice concerning the articles prohibiting adultery. Open and notorious flaunting of homosexual acts, or inadvertant discovery of the commission of homosexual acts are not exempt from punishment by courts martial.

    Did I get that right?

    If I did, are you advocating that the Congress revise the UCMJ, or that the President initiate a policy change directing that the relevant articles no longer be enforced?

    Long retired, I am aware of the fact that the Congress may modify the UCMJ to permit or forbid any thing at all, and no longer care to discuss whether homosexuality is normal and healthy, or a heinous crime, or somewhere in between.

    For the record I am a happily married man of forty years standing, I don’t care what anybody else is, and thank them for not sharing.

    What I would like to know is are you advocating deletion of homosexual behavior as an offense under the UCMJ, or Presidential nullification by policy document of a portion of the UCMJ? and,

    Do you believe that it is good policy to politicize the content of the UCMJ by attempting to modify the code by directive or statute to accomodate interest groups supporting a newly incumbent President after each election? and finally,

    What benefit would or has HBINBT or DADT provide(d)to the morale, effectiveness, good order or discipline of the armed forces in general, and Navy in particular? What potential problems do you see in implementing the policy change? What guidance do you propose for members whose religious beliefs regard homosexuality as wrong at best and evil at worst? Do you envision just stopping the punishment of the behavior, or do you advocate compelling support for the position that homosexuality is right and acceptable and fully authorized, and that statements to the contrary will result in punishment and/or dismissal?

    Thank you.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Do you believe that it is good policy to politicize the content of the UCMJ by attempting to modify the code by directive or statute to accomodate interest groups supporting a newly incumbent President after each election?

    What benefit would or has HBINBT or DADT provide(d)to the morale, effectiveness, good order or discipline of the armed forces in general, and Navy in particular? What potential problems do you see in implementing the policy change? What guidance do you propose for members whose religious beliefs regard homosexuality as wrong at best and evil at worst? Do you envision just stopping the punishment of the behavior, or do you advocate compelling support for the position that homosexuality is right and acceptable and fully authorized, and that statements to the contrary will result in punishment and/or dismissal?”

    Hayball, what you describe above is DoD advocacy of the lifestyle. Count on it. And it is dangerous ground.

    The debate about the creep from protecting minority rights and forcing the views and values of a vocal and protected minority onto the majority, denying its respective individual rights. Which, despite being the majority, they are still entitled to.

    Great summation of the questions. I will await the answers.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    *Burma Shave*

    I appear to have some kind of syntax injury. I MEANT to say:

    “This is about the creep from protecting minority rights to the forcing the views and values of a vocal and protected minority onto the majority, therefore denying that majority its respective individual rights. Which, despite being the majority, they are still entitled to.”


  • Hayball


    That syntax injury is a mild form of brain damage, often attributed to beating one’s head on a brick wall for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes attributed to a low taste for cheap liquor. Occasionally caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to loud noises.

    Tell me, are any of these part of your medical history?

    Perhaps we should just quote poetry at each other until the return mail brings the anwers to all our questions.

    Would you like to lead off with “Gods of the Copybook Headings”?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Hayball, you may have something there.

    “Firstly steer clear o’ the grog-sellin’ huts,
    They’ll sell you ‘fix-bayonets’ to rot out yer guts,
    A drink that would eat the live steel from your butts,
    An’ it’s bad for the Young British Soldier…”

    I KNOW RK has the answers in there somewhere. I am even willing to re-scan “The Jungle Book.”

  • Hayball

    “This is about the creep from protecting minority rights to the forcing the views and values of a vocal and protected minority onto the majority, therefore denying that majority its respective individual rights.”

    Well, the devil is in the details. I just wondered what details were being contemplated.

    The silence is somewhat deafening at the moment.

    Perhaps the tide of modern opinion requires the Navy to conform to the newly promulgated norm (again). I’ve heard a lot along those lines lately. Did we learn anything from the last go around?

    Well, back to RK. Here is one I like better the older and more cynical I get:

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which, taken any way you please, is bad,
    And strands them in forsaken guts and creeks
    No decent soul would think of visiting.
    You can not stop the tide; but, now and then,
    You may arrest some rash adventurer,
    Who-h’m-will hardly thank you for your pains.”

    It’s a chapter heading from “Plain Tales From The Hills”.
    Just came to mind for some reason.

    Anyone care to contribute a verse while we wait?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Ship me somewheres east of Suez,
    Where the best is like the worst,
    An’ there ain’t no Ten Commandments,
    An’ a man can raise a thirst…”

  • virgil xenophon

    “The Devil is in the details.” Indeed. Are the services ready for two male officers openly, and in uniform, kissing at the O Club on New Years eve in front of the rest of the cadre? To even ask the question is to answer it. Or how about married housing when a young child asks: “Mommy, why are those two men next door sitting in the swing hugging each other?” Should parents be forced to be confronted with such explanations for young children? Even pre-school children? Further, no one wants to admit in general argument about the “Philosophy” or “moral rightness” of it all tha fact that a great many homosexuals are agressively predatory. It is difficult enough to deal with currently, let alone control unwanted advances in an open/legal atmosphere. No none wants to confront/deal with this fact of reality–and a great deal of effort is expended by the pro-homosexual crowd to deny/hide the statistics and/or the grimy reality.

    Finally. I am rather amused at everyone who talks about how “indifferent” and/or “accepting” the modern young generation is of same sex relationships as a basis for allowing open relationships. While true of the population at large, all of this “I’m cool with that” attitude has evolved within a distinctly non-open regime. The entire dynamics would change once open relationships were legalized, so it’s my opinion that all those who use present-day
    conditions within the services as proof that the generations have “moved on” and that open acceptance would be “no problemo” are whistling past the graveyard.

    And, as has been alluded to here by several, if history is any guide, the matter would not stop with mere “acceptance.” Homosexual activists would be sure to first use the law to leverage acknowledgement of moral/social and functional equality–later superiority as is reflected in their attempts to get the Calif. State Legislature do do away with the use of Mommy and Daddy in children’s texts, and to include an equal number of stories extolling the virtues of homosexual relationships.

    “What the Law does not absolutely forbid it eventually promotes.”

  • sobersubmrnr


    “I would enjoy learning the views of persons who have served in today’s submarine and destroyer crews and learn how they view this issue. I suspect their views would not be nearly so modern.”

    My last boat (688I) had two female engineers on board for about a year, usually in two week increments. They were IBM techreps working on the BSY-1 combat system. They and their male counterparts would come on board for several weeks, do their testing and then we would drop them off. They would fly to the next destination and we’d do it all over again. Those two were both mature, married women who made a good effort to stay out of the crew’s way. They slept in the torpedo room with the other riders, the lower level head was cleared for them by the TMOW and sign was posted warning the males that the women were in there. Their presence was still disruptive, with loss of privacy an issue and most importantly, the loss of that head to them during watch reliefs. A line of on-coming watchstanders would form outside the head, waiting for them to leave so the usual ant trail between the 21-man bunkroom and the head could begin. That experience proved that there always has to be separate sanitary and berthing facilities for males and females. We also did a short Middie cruise with females, having a pile of them on board overnight was a real pain. All those extra facilities would take up valuable space better used for equipment and stores. Doing it the Canadian or Swedish way (common facilities and little privacy) is unacceptable in the USN as it is in the US in general. Not many American women would put up with that anyway.

    There’s another issue. Submarines are, by nature, always undermanned. A 688-class boat has a crew of ~120-130 men. A FFG-7 (a far less complex vessel) has a crew of over 200. We could use that many bodies due to the high work load (just ask any submarine A-ganger), but don’t have room for them. On mixed gender vessels, billets are assigned by gender, among other things. Lose a female and she can only be replaced by another female. That greatly complicates keeping a small but very busy crew manned up. Submarines can’t afford that, especially with all the females that turn up pregnant just before deployment.

    The women on submarines issue was given considerable study in the 1990s when then SECNAV Richard Danzig was pushing the issue. The case was made against it back then and nothing has changed. The problems with do it on the current classes of boats don’t go away with future classes because those boats will be just as cramped.

  • Jay

    Virgil — your comments are silly. Gays are no more “aggressively predatory” than Straights. Odd that you don’t quote any statistics. You’d prob have to manufacture them to support your case & they could be disproven in fairly short order.

    Hayball — yes, the UCMJ will likely be changed. Since “Lawrence v. Texas” in 2003 invalidated sodomy laws nationally, it makes no sense to keep it in the UCMJ. Same goes for UCMJ prohibition against homosexual conduct.

    This isn’t an attempt to politicize the UCMJ. It is simply an long overdue overhaul.

    In regards to religion — nothing would change. You are free to practice your religion as best you can (sometimes not easy when underway, or detailed to remote areas, etc.). You are not, however, allowed to attempt to impose your personal religous beliefs on others. (that is just common courtesy)

  • Byron

    Jay, I’ll agree to disagree with you, and even respect your argument. What I don’t respect is the use of the word “silly”. Virgil has paid his service dues as you have, and deserves the same respect that you would expect.

    I don’t have a dog in the hunt in this discussion. I’m not in the military, nor have I ever served, so I have no opinion other than I don’t believe that a martial society is ready for an abrupt change at this time. Re-visit in another generation, and allow DADT to mellow some attitudes. In this, patiences is truly a virtue.

  • Hayball


    Thank you for your views on this matter. I await having my questions answered in detail by Bunny.


  • Jay

    Byron — noted.

    This is a serious issue. Not only is this the right time to make this change, it is overdue. Kicking the can down the road is a failure of leadership. The folks making the decisions deserve to see debate on it.

    I don’t let bogus comments go unchallenged, especially when they are uninformed & perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “I don’t let bogus comments go unchallenged, especially when they are uninformed & perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype.”

    You had better redefine what you consider “bogus”. The state of MA is undergoing the very same “acceptance” as open advocacy that Virgil speaks of. The school system, public organizations, etc., are being required to recognize the “equality and legitimacy” of homosexual marriage, turning such “equality” into open advocacy, at taxpayers’ expense.

    And the rights and values of those morally opposed to such homosexual behavior? Inconsequential. To raise their children and instill them with what they consider proper values? Impossible. In fact, forbidden. But because those people do not have the news media, Hollywood, and the education system openly and willingly “advocating” for them, their rights are not important and will be ignored or curtailed at every turn.

    Stereotype? Hardly. Facts, and disturbing facts at that. Dissenting opinion and conflicting value systems will not be tolerated. Those holding them will suffer ridicule, and eventually, punishment. Nebulous and dangerous legal concepts such as “hate speech” will be used to make those views and values illegal, and anyone daring to express them, criminals.

  • Natty Bowditch

    Methinks URR protest too much. Note how his example of MA gradually fantasizes into “open advocacy.”

    That’s opinion. And bogus opinion at that.

    These arguments have been made before; we saw them during the Jim Crow and civil rights era.

    I find it amusing URR talks of “dissent” while at the very same time militating against the rights of some Americans. IIRC, there are over 35 states where one can be fired, without redress, for no other reason than being gay.

    Morality is highly, highly subjective. There are those who find nuclear weapons morally objectionable.

  • Jay

    URR — Mass is working through the issues, and it looks like the rest of New England will be in fairly short order. The folks in Vermont and NH and possibly Maine who don’t like it don’t have the excuse of “activist judges” to blame it on.

    I think your gloom and doom take on tolerance is a bit far fetched. I don’t know any of my friends in NE (single/married/gay/straight) who think this is anything but a positive step. Granted, that is anecdotal evidence, at best.

    The obvious problem here is that facts are short. Since the change is relatively new — there is not much hard data to look at, spot trends, cause & effect, etc.

    This is simply an issue of fairness — treating people open & honestly. It may be uncomfortable for a time, but, in 10 years, I think many folks will look back & wonder what all the angst was about.

  • Hayball

    And there are others who find characterizing any weapon per se as Morally objectionable as simplistic and inadequate, given that the genie is well and truly out of the bottle.

    The question remains, will there eventually be a list of acceptable religious denominations, such as say – the Episcopalians, and a list of proscribed, punished, and persecuted denominations such as Alvin York’s. Will there be a de facto ban on officer recruiting from the Evangelical Presbyterians and and a acceptance of candidates from liberal congregations of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, but not the conservative ones? Will serving officers from Pentecostal Churches be selectively early retired? If your rabbi is reform can you enlist but not if he is conservative?…orthdox?

    Just how far is this to be pushed? What is the basis for drawing the line?

    Given that no beauty pagent contestant may apparently answer that for her. personally, she is faithful and supportive to the doctrines of her religion, what is exactly is the limit?

  • Byron

    Jay, I know you were a serving officer. I would have expected you to understand better than a civilian such as myself that the word “fair” has no meaning in the world of the armed services.

  • Hayball

    Byron: I agree up to a point.

    Fair – schmare, no such thing found anywhere.

    HOWEVER. COMMMA, (cue the ominous bass line)
    “according to regulations, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice” draws a LOT of water. If we propose to change both, to favor one side of an ongoing vociferous national cultural dialogue/debate, I am intensely interested in the details, since that is where the law of unintended consequences has it’s way with a vengence.

  • Hayball

    URR: Hayball

    Volley one and two away,

    Hatch shut, your range clear,

    going deep now now now

  • Byron

    You guys… 😉

  • Jay

    Hayball — still not sure where you are going with the religious demonination question.

    The military has always supported any individual’s right, within reason (some things are hard to support in remote locations, etc.) to practice their religion.

    No one is going to direct, as far as I am aware, the demonination that you can or can not belong to. To do so is profoundly un-American.

    However, no Sailor ever had, and won’t have in the future, the right to push their individual religious beliefs on others.

    The only time I have heard of problems in the Chaplain Corps is with those (few) folks whose demonimation (or, more realistically, their personal interpretation of it) lead them to be exclusive during “All Hands” evolutions. Or, they repeatedly prosyelitize (sp?) even when such advances are unwelcome. Eventually, those folks learn that the military is not their own personal religious flock, and they tone it down, or they go elsewhere.

  • Natty Bowditch

    No idea where Hayball is going with the religious denomination stuff.

    Having done a bit more research into how same sex marriage has caused MA to sink into the sea, I can report that MA government and businesses expects to see a net gain in terms of revenue.

    This, of course, doesn’t translate in the Navy. Except the Navy would have a larger talent pool to draw from and might retain those continuing to provide value.

  • Byron

    Water’s starting to get a bit murky….

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Here is where Hayball and I are going:

    The first time a clergy member is ordered to perform a homosexual marriage ceremony that either he or his denomination object to, under anti-discrimination laws, or the first time a parent hears a child tell them that their value system is wrong because they have been taught otherwise in a public school, there has been a violation of the rights of that individual or family by the government, in order to be absolutely certain to uphold the rights of the minority. It becomes, then, an issue of the rights and views of the minority being championed over those of the individuals who comprise the majority.

    “I don’t know any of my friends in NE (single/married/gay/straight) who think this is anything but a positive step.”

    Having grown up in MA and living in VT, I know plenty who think this is a power grab on the part of a vocal and protected minority. And they fear, rightfully, that any objection stated will lead to ridicule and ostracising, and being branded as hateful and intolerant.

    Hayball asked some very specific questions regarding this issue, and there has not been many answered. The law of unintended consequences needs to be addressed.

    But I will say this, Jay. Your points about certain Chaplains interjecting themselves where they did not belong, and were not welcome, drove me up the bulkhead. No place for it, and weak commanders let it happen. Ironically, many dared not say a word for some of the same reasons I am discussing. They would be looked down upon for criticism of a Chaplain.

  • Natty Bowditch

    “The first time a clergy member is ordered to perform a homosexual marriage ceremony that either he or his denomination object to”

    Who will order that? It appears you’ve gone far down the slippery slope and over the ridge. We’ve also moved far afield from the topic.

  • Byron

    Pertains to secondary issues of having gays serve in the military. Not a cut and dried scenario, will have lots of fallout.

  • Hayball

    Natty, Jay:

    It’s a combination of the Socratic method and reducio ad adsurdam (sp?).

    I quote myself: (often a somewhat reliable source) “according to regulations, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice” draws a LOT of water. If we propose to change both, to favor one side of an ongoing vociferous national cultural dialogue/debate, I am intensely interested in the details, since that is where the law of unintended consequences has it’s way with a vengence.”

    A previous change in favor of a progressive social agenda action item was resolved by declaring that questioning the change was by definition neglect of duty/conduct unbecoming/failure to carry out a lawful order. So the matter never came up for debate again and those who couldn’t live with it walked or were quietly shown the door (Whatever happened to the intrepid young Marine officer who faced down an Israeli tank with a 45 in Lebanon, he seems to have vanished).

    The blithe spirits of the HBINBD school of thought are blissfully unaware of how deep the roots of conviction may run in those in disagreement, or why. DADT is a crude kludge of a compromise which allowed an increased measure of tolerance for gay individuals without a change of statute. Like most compromises nobody liked it much but most could live with it,

    Interestingly, the numbers of gays discharged per annum IAW the UCMJ are reported to have edged up somewhat (gives a new meaning to the idea of “outing ones self”)

    If higher than higher higher declares that homosexual behavior is fully authorized and approved, AND promulgates a policy that punishes and or cashiers someone questioning that, and defines any other opinion as bigotry, which does carry severe consequences, well, the fat may be well and truly in the fire.

    Because then folks who sincerely disagee must chose. And those denominations who sincerely believe that homosexuality is a choice, and a very bad one, must choose how to react to what to them looks, walks and quacks like religious persecution. Some of those folks own their own law schools, and are right scrappy.
    Wonderful publicity!

    You wouldn’t require a de jure religious test for military service or commissioning, are you willing to tolerate a de facto one?

    I’m just asking about the details, because there is where the devil is. So to speak, just an expression…to most (many) (some?).

    Maybe we ought to leave sleeping dogs lie.

    Since the genie apparently is disinclined to return into the bottle (so to speak).

    Interesting times.

    (Where is that Marine? He was around here somewhere. You can never find…mumble…grumble)

    Don’t you love lively and open debate?

  • Hayball

    Oh there he is! URR forgive me for ever doubting you. I was below the layer, typing.

  • Hayball


    Chaplains walk a tightrope throughout their career, but then don’t we all. The good ones do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. Strive to serve the must humble and lost among us. Folks notice. The ripples spread.

    The other kind find divine inspiration to move on, in my experience.

    I once served with a Baptist Chaplain named Max Dunks. I, err, prevaricate not. Salt of the earth, the answer to a beleaguered XO’s prayer.

    So to speak.

  • Natty Bowditch

    “If higher than higher higher declares that homosexual behavior is fully authorized and approved, AND promulgates a policy that punishes and or cashiers someone questioning that, and defines any other opinion as bigotry, which does carry severe consequences, well, the fat may be well and truly in the fire.”

    If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops..

    Can you point me to where the UCMJ (or similar) authorizes and approves heterosexual behavior? No derived requirements, please.

    We are talking of permitting letting gays serve openly.

    As for questioning some future policy which may permit this–it all depends on how it’s done. If one refuses to work or serve with someone based on their race, faith or gender, we just don’t ignore that. If someone opts to use pejoratives to describe a fellow shipmate’s race, faith or gender–we don’t let that pass either.

    I’m not seeing any good arguments against gays serving. I do see a lot of slippery slope stuff and farflung digressions into religious matters.

  • Hayball

    The UCMJ does and always has defined homosexual behavior as an offense under the code, to this day.

    That which is not proscribed is authorized. That which is protected by proscribing the alternatives is approved. The UCMJ authorizes and approves only conventional heterosexual behavior within the bounds of marriage. The Navy tolerates discrete deviation from that among heterosexuals and, lately, homosexuals.

    You wish to change that, immediately and forcefully.

    I say what we have works, if uncomfortably to most on either side of the debate. I have questions, civily put. “It all depends on how it’s done.” Well, how do you want it done, and why?

    Specific answers please.

    Why won’t you answer them directly? “I want it, and I’m right, and its no big deal, and anybody who doesn’t agree is just wrong and hateful and should be ashamed of themselves” isn’t an answer. It’s propaganda.

    Bunny is long gone, so you’ll do. Go back to my post to her, and answer my questions in order. Specifically.

    If nothing else, you will have devoted some serious thought to the potential objections you have to answer in a democracy. Or do you want to change that too?

    It’s not about lemons and gumdrops. It’s about leading sailors into combat to put ordnance accurately on target. Sailors include all repeat all kinds of people. Not just the ones I approve of, or you approve of, all kinds. Leading them well and effectively is incredibly difficult and important. To all of us. Do gays serving openly help or hinder us in using all sailors to the best of their abilities? Even the heterosexual, married, faithful, god fearing ones, be they Christian, Moslem, or Jew or Bhuddist or other.

    You will also note all my questions are about method and utility and prudence. A couple of them hint at constitutional tangencies that honest folk may differ on. I am not arguing about gays serving per se. I am asking who how what where when and how does the navy gain (or lose) thereby. And you gain and lose anytime you change. Anything. Which you should know.

    All of which you have yet to address.

    Your ball.

  • Natty Bowditch

    “That which is not proscribed is authorized.”

    Derived. I might add it’s also false.

    I believe our argument boils down to this: we are excluding an entire class of people from the privilege (some would argue right) of military service based not upon some physical or mental handicap but based on their sexual orientation. We require this same class of people to pay taxes and adhere to the same laws as everyone. In excluding this certain class, we are excluding some who may have the talent, aptitude, skills, etc. to improve readiness.

    oTOH, your argument boils down to: some people don’t like gays.

  • Hayball


    If something is not forbidden by law or regulation, then one can do it. If you maintain that something must be specifically authorized to be possibly done, you have just deleted initiative from the force(and liberty from the republic). Good luck with that.
    I predict a very tiring future trying to make that stick with sailors.

    If by derived, you mean it follows logically from the original premise, yes that is the case. If you reject logic, discussion is pointless. I wouldn’t advise going to sea very much, either. The sea has its own merciless logic, it doesn’t respond to authority and is unconcerned with fairness. Ditto machinery.

    You are very big on boiling things down. It seems to me that it’s shorthand for not examining the situation carefully and being wary of the unforeseen consequences, not to mention the crossgrained and
    stubborn response of others who don’t see your wonderful idea as the solution to all our troubles, or even as a positive development. It also means you don’t like being closely questioned.

    Good luck with that too.

    Check out Kipling’s “Gods of the Copybook Headings.”

    I hope the lurkers enjoyed the debate. Moving on.

  • Natty Bowditch

    Did I suggest there wouldn’t be unintended consequences?

    Derived most often is subject to interpretation. But thanks for admitting you can’t come up with a policy authorizing heterosexual behavior.

  • Hayball


    The brilliance of your reasoning and the practicality of your recommendations, not to mention your awesome ability to discern what I really meant and should had understood, had I not been confused by what I thought I thought about the matter, are vast.

    Well, partially vast. From my obviously flawed viewpoint.


  • Jay


    Been too busy this week (and it is only Monday…), I suspect this thread will die a gentle death…

    I doubt that religious expression will be an issue, as long as folks don’t attempt to impose their religion on others.

    I really doubt you’ll be seeing anyone clamoring to force a Chaplain to perform a ceremony against their will. That just doesn’t make any sense — especially when there are civilian denominations or state-approved non-religious ceremonies.

    I’ll ask my New England friends to keep a weather eye out for stories concerning same, but I suspect this won’t really ever be an issue.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “I’ll ask my New England friends to keep a weather eye out for stories concerning same, but I suspect this won’t really ever be an issue.”

    Jay, if you are referring to the trampling of rights and value systems by a state-mandated set of education requirements regarding homosexual marriage, then you haven’t looked very far. Which may have been your intent.

    And there are “civilian denominations” and “non-religious ceremonies”, but those weren’t good enough for the activists. They demanded government recognize homosexual relationships as traditional marriage. Which was and is what offends many who will tolerate the social behavior (tolerate, not advocate) but see this as a power grab forcing legitimacy of a lifestyle that they find immoral.

    Neither you nor Natty have begun to answer any of Hayball’s questions of how this would be done in the armed forces, however.

  • Byron

    (…thanks the Lord for making the debate civil again….)

  • Hayball

    Thanks URR. Why don’t we assume the absence of answers is indicative of an absence of answers, and move on to another thread.

    Nuff said.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Deal. Close station, march order.

  • Jay

    URR — once you use “trampling” in regards to rights — it is clear that while you might bleat about debate — but aren’t really open to it.

    Seriously, Gents, what’s it like to be on the wrong side of history?

    I guess you’ll either moderate your views in 10 years or so…or go to your graves gnashing your teeth. Sad.

  • USNA Ancient

    First of all … To Bunny: BravoZulu !

    Secondly. nowhere do I see mention o the fact that over 100 Flag Officers including Admiral Chuck Larson, twice Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, have publicly supported the repeal of “DADT”, together with the late Admiral Crowe, and General Wes Clark, former NATO Commander and Presidential candidate. Even General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to many the face of “DADT” from the 90s, has publicly stated it is time to reexamine the policy. Finally, in this regard former Senator, Air Force General, Presidential candidate, anf Father of the Conservative movement, Barry Goldwater said years ago shortly before his death that there was absolutely no valid reason for excluding homosexuals from military service.

    Thirdly, I wonder exactly how many of those vehemently expressing objection to equal rights for gay men and women are merely expressing their ingrained religious beliefs and not a rational, intelligent thought process. I would be willing to wager that the vast majority are evangelical christiansl or ultra-Catholics who as a general rule value no one’s beliefs but their own. To those who cite the bible as “proof” of the evil of homosexuality, I would ask: how many adulterers have you stoned to death recently ?; how many of your daughters have you sold into slavery ? how many of your slaves have you beaten ? how many interracial marriages have you condemned ? how many times have you eaten “unclean” animals ? All these thing and more are either permitted or prohibited by the same identical book that you claim to be the “woed of God” and use to justify at your convenience like so much else your rejection of homosexuality ! HYPOCRITES !

    I would suggest everyone interested in the military and the Constitution read completely the info posted on and see exactly where the military which I and so many others served proudly is headed, indeed from all availably data has arrived !

  • Dragged Anchor

    USNA Ancient:
    The propaganda techniques you echo are:

    Para 1: Bandwagon

    Para 2: Poisoning the well
    Classic logical fallacies, both.
    I can be persuaded. I have some questions. Answer them honestly.
    Skip the Professor Harold Hill stuff.

  • infocyde

    USNA you have chosen to be willfully ignorant about this country’s past. Almost all of the this great country’s founders where Christians, the laws and morality of the country were based on the Judeo Christian ethic, and the vast majority of the people who built the nation and the military that you have inherited would find Bunny’s post, and the fact that(s)he posted here, extremely disheartening. You have proudly served, but I believe this societal transformation drive dishonors those who built the foundation on which you stand. The sad part is that I believe deep down that you know this, others who advocate social transformation know this, and everyone who reads this post knows this. Yet you and others push forward. See any cracks in the walls of our society? No? Every wonder that possibility that those cracks (you see them…it was a rhetorical question) might be the result of America loosing its moral (Judeo-Christian) underpinnings…no? Everything peachy keen? Our prisons brimming with prisoners, government called more and more to do what previous generations did for themselves, soaring crime rates, and the disintegration of the family unit, all tell me and those with the courage to look at data that is important, that there might be a few areas in our society that have problems, and those problems are the direct result or are at least confounded by our pulling away from our historic moral moorings.

    And let’s play your game. All your other stone throws show your complete ignorance of what the Bible really says, try reading it, and reading it in context. Jesus turned away stone throwers from an adulterous woman. Paul instructed a slave owner to receive an escaped slave as a free man and and as a brother, not a slave. Selling daughters into slavery comes from Islam (nice try). There is no prohibition for Jewish believers to marry non Jewish ones in the new testament, and the reason there was a prohibition in the old testament has nothing to do with racism, and so on. We can do a mini Bible study on each point, but that is outside of the scope of this post, so I for now will leave you to your ignorance and disdain for that which you don’t fully grasp.

    You can stick your head in the sand and concern yourself with openly gay folks being able to shout to all that will listen that they are gay and proud, while the rest of the service focuses on the more pressing matters of preventing another 9/11 and fighting two half wars and numerous quarter wars around the globe. Maybe you will even get a pat on the back and a promotion for your enlightened views. Or if you are non active, maybe your peer group will appreciate your bold transformational and progressive stance. After all the data shows it is right, correct? Ethics should be decided by public opinion correct? Worked for the Nazis…

    Anyway, I think most of us aren’t advocating discrimination, what we are advocating is keeping your sexuality out of the workplace, whatever preference you have. If your sexuality becomes so important to you that it becomes a distraction to those of whom you work with, you have to go. Those who wish to change that simple concept are more after something else then getting work done.

    And for that matter, why should this society keep listening to you social transformation folks anyway? What good have you done any of us over the last 30 years? None. If we keep listening to you we will be a 2nd rate power (if we are a power at all) with all the sorts of social ills that have plagued every country that has gone before us who has adopted moral relativism. You see yourself as liberators, but in reality you risk putting us back to where we were when our ancestors came here from the various holes around the globe that they left.

  • Jay


    Interesting that you say “the vast majority of people who built the nation would…”.

    The same vast majority who built the nation would also have laughed at the idea of a women’s right to vote. They mostly believed in slavery.

    Society and social mores evolve.

    “Our prisons brimming with prisoners, government called more and more to do what previous generations did for themselves, soaring crime rates, and the disintegration of the family unit..”.

    I think most overcrowding at prisons these days is due to mandatory federal sentencing guidelines for drugs (even small amounts of possession) and state lack of funding for more facilities when required.

    Not really sure why you think prisons “brimming” is a bad thing –since we have to have them, I would rather have them close to full — operating at close-to-max capacity — to make efficient use of tax dollars.

    I don’t see “government called more and more to do what previous generations did for themselves” so please give me some concrete examples. The only thing I can think of here — is social security — and I think that has benefitted folks. I am concerned about the financial underpinnings of the system, now that the workforces is shrinking, while the baby boomers retire.

    I believe crime rates have fallen, not increased over the past three decades, even with the poplulation increase, so again, please provide some concrete stats why you think they are “soaring”. Some think the decrease is due to community policing, I think that cell phone use (and cell cameras as well) may have had something to do with it as well.

    I assume that you would support a ban on divorce, to keep families together? Perhaps we should criminalize it? Ban divorced members from serving in the military?


    If there is one “truism” across many religions — it is the “golden rule”. We are not treating gay folks the way we would want to be treated.

    That needs to change. There is no better time.

  • Byron

    Infocyde, USNA Ancient has the credentials to form an opinion. What are yours, other that religious bias and predjudice? It is, after all, HIS Navy.

  • Sam Kotlin

    Arguments against gays serving openly … are the same as arguments against women aboard ship … are the same as those pointing to the deleterious effect of integrating negroes into the Navy … are the same as a strong stand against the abolitionists and in favor of the slave holders.

    All stem from personal smallness and deep bigotry. All had organized religion in their favor. And all have fallen or will fall to an American spirit of fairness and equality, perhaps even with a dash of military efficiency thrown in as we enlarge the circle of talent we can draw on and retain.

  • Jay

    B Z.

  • Sam Kotlin


  • UltimaRatioReg

    “objections and archaic beliefs of old men”
    “ignorant, backward”
    “Intellectual bankruptcy”
    “corrupt argument employed by bigots”
    “go to your graves gnashing your teeth. Sad.”
    “vast majority are evangelical Christians or ultra-Catholics”

    …and the winner…

    “All stem from personal smallness and deep bigotry.”

    Apparently, no chance of legitimate disagreement or right to hold beliefs and values one chooses. Glad there was the warning. Gives people time to change their moral and religious values to be in line with those who are quoted above. And remember, dissent will not be tolerated. All in the name of fairness and openness, of course. I will say it again: any objection stated will lead to ridicule and ostracism, and being branded as morally and intellectually inferior, hateful, and intolerant.

    It’s like something out of 1984.

    And Hayball, I know I said the guns were in march order, but the latest pronouncement of character judgment by Sam upon those foolish enough to see things differently was a target of opportunity that required a platoon/two rounds/beehive in effect.

  • Sam Kotlin

    URR: you got called. Man up.

  • Byron

    That’s pretty good, Sam; telling a Marine Lt. Col. to man up. Rich.

    He has a different viewpoint than you. It’s not complicated. Try to remember that URR has paid his dues just like you.

  • Sam Kotlin

    History is on URR’s side. Fairness on mine. No cards, please.

  • Byron

    History has no feelings for “fairness”. It just is.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Actually, I didn’t express my viewpoint, because it is irrelevant to my point. I am sure that was lost in the shouts of “anathema!” from those very people who marginalize the religious and moral value systems of a large portion of the military populace. The irony of that is very great indeed.

    But Sam, there are plenty of tough and brave guys in this world who can tell me to “man up”. But you certainly aren’t among them.

  • Hayball

    USNA Ancient:

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Do you know the guy who wrote “A Fish Called Wanda”?

    As a biblical scholar you are in the same class as Otto as a philospher. You may have been the inspiration for Kevin Klein’s best work.

    Byron: My dues are paid. If you don’t like Infocycle’s draft,
    I’ll change a couple of semicolons, drop the first and last paragraphs as not part of the discussion in progress and sign it out.

    Sam Kotlin: Et tu, Brute’? Disappointing. I’ll be back.

    URR: One away, denote two.

  • Byron

    Hayball, I freely admit that you have paid your dues into this argument. As a civlian, I don’t have any dues paid, and other than saying that I don’t think the Navy is ready for it, perhaps in another generation, I really have no other opinions. I just don’t like some of the arguments made, especially when pejorative labels are used with them.

  • Natty Bowditch

    Byron: You may not like it but there’s no way else to phrase it. It’s impossible to look at an injustice being sanctioned by others without noting this is bigotry. Anyone can scan the above comments and realize there is not a single coherent argument arguing against gays in the military.

  • FWIW – I’m with The Bunny.

  • Byron

    Natty, never said I didn’t like it. Dog, hunt, don’t have one. Just opined that I didn’t think the services were ready. My opinion smells as bad as anyones.

  • Hayball

    Sam Kotlin:

    While I don’t see anything horrible about goin a round or two
    with URR (we’ve broken all the china in the shop between the two of us once ourselves), I think you may have been a tad thoughtless in that post that set him off.

    Your characterization of those who have their doubts is, well, ill informed.

    Your conclusion of the loss to gain ratio of talented troops is untested.

    ” All had organized religion in their favor.” I guess the Methodists are a disorganized religion, as were the Quakers, since they were all abolitionists, near as I can tell. Presbyterians and Baptists went into schism over abolition; the Baptists are still split (e.g. Southern Baptist), the Presbyterians more or less kissed and made up in the 1980’s (only 120 years or so), with two groups opting out over concerns Presbyterian and not germane here. I could go over Pentecostals, etc, etc. but the point is clear enough. Historically and sociologically you are just mistaken.

    In addition, the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians are each in the middle of a long and bitter internal dispute on the gay related issues.

    Now on to fairness. The US Navy is one of the least fair places in the world. What exactly is fair about “the needs of the Navy come first”? I could go on for about a month, with very specific examples. Somehow I get the impression you would rather I didn’t.

    I guess I’m a bigot for pointing out that the analysis of a proposed Course of Action taught as routine and mandatory in the curriculum of the staff college I was part of the faculty for, is, like, totally not there, Dobie.

    I seem to remember that the last time fervor and groupthink won out over cold blooded analysis some folks planned on being met with flowers as liberators and being out except for a few advisors in less than a year.

    Am I the only guy in this joint who ever read a point paper that summarized the forseeable pros and cons, much less wrote one?

    I could go on, but why?

    My opinion on the question? I’d use janissaries if somebody could convince me that it was an effective way to defend the republic. At the moment I don’t know of many good reasons to do so, and I can come up with a few not to.

    Gays who are out? Part of my extended family, part of my church, if not to my knowledge, my congregation. None of them, to be frank, are among my best friends. In general, live and let live.
    I rented a house to a nice gay triple for a couple of years. Good tenants. On a submarine on a war patrol? Just don’t know.

    At this point, I’m following the discussion and trying to keep an open mind. If the decision, any decision, is mine to make, and nobody can or is willing to tell the pros and tell me the cons, and tell me the foreseeable problems, I will stand pat until somebody can and has.

    Can you?

    URR: returning to lurking. The lack of answers indicates a predisposition to not answer. Standing by. OUT.

  • Natty Bowditch

    “The US Navy is one of the least fair places in the world.”

    It’s a sentiment that’s both misleading and untrue. The Navy is supposed to be more fair than the civilian world. Unless one is trying to argue gays are inherently mentally- or physically-challenged, the Navy is more meritricious than civilian life. After all, when you first put on your smurfs-it really doesn’t matter if you come from some backwoods burg where your daddy was a ditch digger or you come from LA where your dad directed the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

    It is supposed to be about how well you perform. That’s what’s best for the Navy-having the best people and elevating the truly talented to positions of leadership. Of course, the Navy, like any large organization, is a political organization. It isn’t unheard of for truly talentless folks to go far. But if we’re answering the question ‘what’s best for the Navy?’-it isn’t to arbitrarily exclude part of the population or kick pierside valued performers because of their sexual identity.
    Of course

  • Hayball


    Personnel decisions are not made on the basis of fairness. They are made on the basis of need, political connections, friends or enemies with influence, convenience of the ultimate decider, reputation of the rater, policy of the day,week or month, random walk of requests received compared to requirement, priority, unexpected death of an incumbent, missed commitments, casreps, personal misfortune, pride, resentment, grudge, gratitude, libel, mercy, forgiveness, and favoritism, schedule conflicts and availability. And that’s the G rated part.

    Oh, yeah. I forgot Presidential edict and Congressional budget.

    Ever heard of the fortunes of war? “better lucky than good”?

    The Navy is not about fairness. It’s about war and detering war, and fighting and winning, hence killing, thus tragedy, cruelty and pain. Fate, destiny, ugly stuff like that.

    Not about arbitrarily excluding part of the population? It always has. Kick pierside valued performers? It does so every day.

    Is that fair? No, it just is. Is it what’s best for the Navy? It all depends. What are the alternatives? What would the results be?

    Don’t like it? Me either. Do two years as a big deck XO with a bad CO. Then two more in Afghanistan with the Army, lose a leg, spend a year in the hospital, then get hit with a divorce and lose access to your five year old daughter. Then have whoever you turn into tell us about fair.

    Me, I just count my blessings and count my change.

    I’m done here. Enjoy the discussion all.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “It’s impossible to look at an injustice being sanctioned by others without noting this is bigotry.”

    Of course, there is only ONE definition of injustice, and there is NO ROOM whatever for someone to believe that homosexuality is a behavior one might find objectionable, either morally or religiously, without being defined as a bigot.

    Hayball asked a bunch of questions nobody cares to answer. I asked about the legitimate disagreement of many based on a set of life-long values and found only condemnation and scorn.

    The very idea that the Armed Forces are all about fairness reveals much about the skewed and unrealistic understanding of the role of those Forces and their true purpose, which is to fight and win our nation’s wars. Period.

    So, I am with Hayball, and will leave one and all to the politically correct and emotionally-charged intellectual fascism that labels any and all disagreement heresy, and those who might harbor those disagreements as hateful, morally and intellectually inferior.

  • Jay

    URR — Facism. Really. Please. A bit over done, don’t you think?

    You already had your answers, had you cared to listen. You are allowed to hold your own personal, private, religious views. You can find whatever you want objectionable.

    You are not, however, allowed to force those views on others. Just that simple.

    Hayball asked a bunch of questions which went so far off track of the discussion that they are pretty much unanswerable. “a list of acceptable denominations”? Geez.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Fascism: The forcible suppression of opposition.

    “objections and archaic beliefs of old men”
    “ignorant, backward”
    “Intellectual bankruptcy”
    “corrupt argument employed by bigots”
    “go to your graves gnashing your teeth. Sad.”
    “vast majority are evangelical Christians or ultra-Catholics”
    “All stem from personal smallness and deep bigotry.”
    “It’s impossible to look at an injustice being sanctioned by others without noting this is bigotry.”

    Overdone? Hmm. And by the way, those are the answers I got. Seems one might be entitled to their own personal or religious views and values, as long as they don’t make a peep about seeing them violated, with the sanction of the government and the military they serve.

    You might want to re-examine Hayball’s questions. He asked for some details for implementation and posited some situations likely to need addressing. The silence was deafening. Except, of course, for the shouts of the above comments.

  • Jay

    URR — What you have consistently failed to do, is to show how your personal or religious views or values would be “violated”.

    I am not aware of any religious prohibition against working alongside, for, or having someone who is gay working for you.

    Hayball’s questions are mostly unanswerable, at this point. I am sure the implementation plan will address many of them.

    Stand by for news…

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “show how your personal or religious views or values would be “violated”.

    First, the views aren’t necessarily mine. But that has been lost in the shouting. But there are those who believe the lifestyle and behaviors to be aberrant and immoral.

    The school system, public organizations, etc., are being required to recognize the “equality and legitimacy” of homosexual marriage, turning such “equality” into open advocacy, at taxpayers’ expense. When one will have to sit through the inevitable mandatory lectures about serving next to homosexuals, they will hear that it is just as legitimate a lifestyle as heterosexual couples.

    Their children, in DoD schools, will hear much the same, and parents will be having to explain why there are two mommies in the house next door, or two daddies. When the child asks “how come?”, will the parents be able to tell them they believe it to be wrong or immoral? If so, will the child be ridiculed, or worse, punished, for expressing that opinion in school? Will the early learning textbooks include “My Daddy has a Boyfriend”?

    The above has already occurred, and continues to, in NY and MA, and other places where homosexual advocacy has driven it. That will be the case in DoD, as well.

    Hayball’s questions are unanswerable? Don’t think so.

  • RickWilmes

    URR, what is wrong with two mommies or two daddies living next door? Why is that different than a Jew, a Muslim, a Japanese or a black person living next store?

    Why should two mommies or two daddies be denied base housing?

  • Byron

    Rick: He isn’t talking about who lives next door, he’s talking about who’s in the rack above you. Read.The.Post.

  • Byron

    Oh, and nice try at confusing the argument, but it ain’t gonna fly far with this crowd.

  • Natty Bowditch

    Byron: I get the sense you’re confused. RWilmes asks a valid question. The fact is there are currently gay sailors in the racks above and below you, so that bit of fearmongering is misplaced.

    Hayball’s questions are irrelevant and unanswerable. Re his ‘Navy isn’t fair’ silliness–is he serious? If he is (and I wonder what Navy he served in), then the Navy has far bigger problems than gays serving. According to him, the Navy is one humongous dysfunctional organization and its a wonder any of our ships make it past the sea buoy without catastrophe.

  • Jay

    URR —

    You are still getting off track (almost as much as Hayball…).

    Again — you (or *whoever*) can teach your kids whatever moral code you want/believe in. But you (or *whoever*) don’t get to bring that set of rules into work and attempt to force them on your co-workers, shipmates, etc. Just that simple.

    Re: schools, children, etc. You are confusing equality with advocacy.

    Will the child be expressing his or her own opinion? Or just parroting that of their parents? I wonder which your hypothetical parent wants…

    Moreover — what will happen to the *parents* if the child grows up & forms his or her own different opinion? Oh, horror!

    The idea that a book like that would be a textbook is not that scary. More than likely, it would be just one of many books in the library.

    It is 2009 already, for Pete’s sake.

    (Byron — you are in time out) 🙂

  • Byron

    Jay, are you willing to say that the military has a culture of it’s own?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “you (or *whoever*) can teach your kids whatever moral code you want/believe in.”

    -Not when the state mandates otherwise.

    “You are confusing equality with advocacy.”

    -I am not. But to the DoD, overrun with activist pressure and media coverage, there will be no difference.

    “Will the child be expressing his or her own opinion? Or just parroting that of their parents?”

    -It makes no difference. Punishment will likely follow ANY opinion that is not in line with the state-mandated party line.

    “The idea that a book like that would be a textbook is not that scary.”

    -It is a moral outrage and religious affront to many to have such textbooks as I mentioned for children’s use. But since it doesn’t offend YOU and people who think like you, it must be okay. Which is my whole point.

    Beware the law of unintended consequences.

  • Jay

    Byron — No. I am always quick to point out to any of my mil friends who want to take on some “Praetorian Guard” idea that they are separate from, or better than society, that that is exactly *not* the case. The military is a subset of society, draws from it, and reflects it.

    The military (more the Army) may have had its own culture 70 and + years ago (regular army, not national guard…) — when the force was much smaller, the bases were far apart & isolated, the pay was so low that commissaries and other on-post facilities were the only way to survive economically. The Navy normally always located near commercial seaports, and due to worldwide travel, had a more cosmopolitan flavor.

    After WWII, that insularity has eroded so much, that it really isn’t there anymore.

    On other blogs (this one?) when talking about the all-volunteer force vs. draft, etc. I think one of the problems with the AVF is you do get almost “too much” similarity, which leads to group think, which is why I think CDR S’s constant probs with diversity on his blog are misguided.

    The military has practically every flavor of American in it, with the few exceptions. (Immediately the few exceptions that come to mind are the very elderly, or those who can’t meet a minimum physical qualification stanard, etc.)

    URR — you really are confusing equality with advocacy. Unless you have something firm (pehaps a headline, “Massachusetts and Vermont children forced into mandatory reeducation camps against their parent’s wishes”?) I am unaware of the states doing anything more than recognzing relationship equality. If that is advocacy to you…well, ok.

    I guess the folks who are morally outraged…are just going to stay outraged. For a while. Likely, over time, they’ll come around.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Unless you have something firm”…

    ‘MONTPELIER, Vt. (BP)–A group of Vermont parents met at the State
    Capitol in Montpelier Tuesday to protest what they see as promotion of the homosexual agenda in schools by state and local educators, according to

    Tuesday’s protest was sparked in part by an incident at a local school where a student said he was exposed to “homosexual harassment” in the classroom.

    In a study of genealogy, a teacher said that homosexuality was
    inherited, putting forward a controversial thesis that has never been proven. When the student questioned the teacher, the teacher asked the student if he was “homophobic” or “had problems with his sexuality,” the student said in an affidavit. The teacher is a facilitator with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.’

    You mean, like that?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    *Burma Shave*

    And your idea that people will “just have to stay outraged” until they are forced to give up their beliefs is, well, more than a little fascist.

  • Jay

    URR — The facism card again. Well played. I guess if you are the first to use it…it sticks? Prob is, if you use it too much, or too often, it loses whatever power the word once had. Good luck with that.

    Never said anything about them being forced to give up their beliefs. They are welcome to them. They are welcome to keep them. But, they don’t get to impose them on others. And, I still think, eventually, most will come around.

    This part in the tidbit was particularly interesting: “protest what they see as promotion of the homosexual agenda in schools by state and local educators”

    The homosexual agenda? Is that some sort of sinister UN-backed plot? Please. What’s next, the evils of flouridation a la Dr. Strangelove?

    The only thing more interesting than that is the…byline. CNSN Really?

    Next time, please try harder for a news outlest with an established reputation for presenting facts, not just outrage headlines/soundbites.

    Now, back to the drawing board you go…

  • RickWilmes

    My understanding of history is that fascists persecuted homosexuals?

    Equating fascism with openly gay service members is a stretch or more confusion about the issue.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Well, Jay,

    So, the opinions and views of the people protesting are also to be discounted? Not many count, do they? I mean, outside of yours, of course. The affidavit is public record.

    A news outlet that has an established reputation for presenting facts….. hmmmm… maybe CNN. Or MSNBC. Or CBS. Dan Rather always has facts galore.

    Or, perhaps you prefer Howard Dean’s sponsorship of a bill in VT in 1999 mandating education for all public school students in “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth”? That is one I will let you look up, as I have a paper copy. Also public record. The “education” included classes on the lifestyles and the sensitivities of “GLBTQ”.

    Sponsorship by many middle and high schools in MA of “youth gay pride” days?

    Or how about this?

    The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force sponsors a conference called “Creating Change.” The November meeting in Milwaukee included workshops entitled “Bringing Homosexuality Out of the Closet and Into the Classroom;” “Drag 101: How to Turn Kids in Makeup Into Kings and Queens;” and “Advocacy in Action: Getting Your School on Board”. Guest speaker? Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. Lesbian activist.

    Unless, of course, you are going to claim that none of those happened, either.

    You asked for one, you got many. Not much of a drawing board required. Though it is likely hardly noticeable in the schools, in between the anti-war (Vietnam and Iraq), anti-gun, global-warming political indoctrination.

    Advocacy will be the result in DoD, as it often becomes in the schools. Activists and the risk-averse politically correct senior officers will bring that about.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    I termed it “intellectual fascism”. Fascism: The forcible suppression of opposition.

  • RickWilmes

    “Intellectual fascism” sounds like a package deal. I need to think about “intellectual fascism” some more before I can comment further.