I’ve been following this case somewhat since being formerly in the Army National Guard in Iowa and in Illinois I’m concerned about the impact lifting this policy might have. Our military, especially in time of war, should not be turned into a grand social experiment. While I understand the position of some who feel that homosexuals should be allowed to serve – serving in the military has a unique history and atmosphere that any other workplace would not have.
The only viable reason to end this policy would be military effectiveness. How would ending this policy impact that? How does it impact morale? How does it impact logistics? These are things that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his commanders have to consider.
That typically isn’t the argument we’re hearing instead we’re hearing that not allowing homosexuals to be “openly gay” in the military is a denial of their civil rights. As a member of the military there are a number of “civil rights” that can’t be exercised for instance, officers can’t criticize the President of the United States. When you put on that uniform you surrender individual expression.
Can homosexuals serve with distinction? I have no doubt that they can and many likely have.
That isn’t really the question to be considered either – it boils down to military effectiveness, how allowing military members to be “openly gay” impact military effectiveness? How does it impact unit cohesion – which is something that typical workplaces don’t have to consider. The unit has to live, eat, fight and sleep together do people really think that being “openly gay” won’t impact that?
Then again I reject the premise that our sexuality is what defines us, but that is a whole different blog post.
Then there is claiming the “right to serve.” Nobody has the right to serve in the military, what world are the people making this argument living in?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military commanders are studying the impact of this and have requested time. And now we have a Federal judge, U.S. District Judge Virginia Philips saying – nope the policy has got to end now – worldwide.
It is foolish to rush this. It is foolish to treat our military as a social experiment writ large. I also question the scope of the injunction, I have to research this, but does a Federal District judge’s injunction carry any influence outside the federal district the court resides? Like in Afghanistan…
In both impact and scope, this decision demonstrates judicial hubris which is something I’ve come to expect from our Judicial Branch.