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Military

Missing the Point on DADT . . .

. . . is easy to do when you begin with the wrong assumptions.  Mac Owens shows how the Pentagon's report on the likely effects of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell does precisely that:  "[T]the report seems to be predicated on the idea that the integration of open homosexuals into the military is merely the most recent manifestation of the quest for civil rights that began with African Americans after World War II." 

There are many problems with this approach, not the least of which is the way this assumption hinges on the absurd progressive notion that equal justice to individuals, rather than being the result of objective observations about human nature and politics that demand prudent implementation, is merely a hazy outline that comes into being via some vague and sliding evolutionary scale of cosmic understanding. In this view, one supposes, we will come to a day when all distinctions are finally grasped as nothing more than backward looking and irrational clinging to Neanderthal prejudices.  So, whenever sensible people raise specific objections about broad-brushed applications of this kind one-size-fits-all "justice," those who put their faith in the notion of a coming and superior enlightenment can reply with smug self-satisfaction, "Don't worry.  Be Happy.  It's all good."  What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, at the end of this mythical yellow-brick road, when human consciousness has reached this "happy" level of agreement about the equal value of everything, I suppose the thinking is that there won't be much to argue about or to fight for . . . which makes the centering of this particular struggle around homosexual service in the military all the more strange. 

But there's even more than this flighty logic to object to in the pro-repeal argument.  Denying the distinctions between black soldiers and openly homosexual soldiers in terms of civil rights is flatly outrageous--and it's also insulting to the vast majority of combat soldiers who, today, object to the idea of eliminating DADT.  In the first place, it suggests that having black skin and preferring sex with a member of your own sex are, essentially, the same thing.  One is an incontrovertible fact that cannot be denied and has no inherent moral consequences, the other--though perhaps an innate trait--is, at best, neither obvious nor important information for sharing and, at worst, potentially damaging to unit cohesiveness when it is shared.  A gay man need not share his inclinations with others--a black man can only avoid sharing the fact of his skin color with the blind.  It is a stupid and an insulting comparison.  Further, it suggests that there is a moral equivalence between objecting to being near a person because of his skin color and objecting to being near a person because of his behavior.  Thus, a man who prefers not to shower or live in close quarters with an openly homosexual man is the moral equivalent of a racist. 

I have no doubt that gay soldiers today under DADT serve with honor and in close quarters with heterosexuals and do all of that without incident and even do it with the passive "knowledge" of their peers.  And no rational or fair minded person would support outright cruelty to any person.  But there has to be more nuance to an argument about the fair and just treatment of homosexuals than this argument comparing it to the struggle for the civil rights of blacks suggests. 

Finally, Owens argues that comparing the integration of the military under Truman to a proposed integration of openly homosexual soldiers today, ignores one massive, fundamental and important fact:  the purpose of our armed forces.  "The 'functional imperative,' i.e. the purpose of the U.S. armed forces is to fight and win the nation's wars," says Owens, "Truman's order was motivated by concerns about military effectiveness, not civil rights."  American blacks have fought and died in America's wars since the Revolution (and, yes, I suppose, homosexuals have too).  The question then, was not how do we "open up" the service to them to make it fair--for no one was blocking them--the question was how do we make their service most effective?  What is the most prudent and effective means of achieving the military's goals?  Under Truman, the wise and happy conclusion was integration. 

If there is to be any comparison between the situation of homosexuals in the military and the one time situation of blacks in the military then, perhaps it should be this:  No one is blocking them.  The question is not whether they can serve, but how their service might best serve the ends of the military.  Until homosexual activists can show that eliminating DADT would not only not harm military readiness but would actually do something to improve it, they have no argument worthy of consideration.  That they cannot demonstrate this has nothing to do with their frustrated whines about bowing to the "backward thinking" among enlisted soldiers and everything to do with the fact that their complaint is completely beside the point of the armed forces.
Categories > Military

Discussions - 16 Comments

Excellent post, thank you. It's great to know that Progressives have found yet another human right: the "right" to serve in the military.

Andrew sir....
Julie...
Mac Owens...
This line of thinking bores me to death, misses the point, and fails to understand constitutional law.

First of all DADT does grant a "right" to serve in the military. It doesn't grant it to Andrew, who is basically government property until his commission is up...but it does grant it to Homosexuals.

Technically if I am advising a homosexual I don't want repeal of DADT, it may be in the larger interest of some sort of partisan theme, but it hardly serves his as applied flexibility interest.

I don't understand how it is in a commanders best interest to get rid of a homosexual.

So I see the burden on the government for the classification. Is physical fitness rationally related to a legitimate state interest? Yes. So the government and the military can discriminate against physically unfit people. Is height and weight rationally related to a legitimate state interest? Yes....but it may be an overbroad classification, that is some people that bust tape might be more muscle bound. They might be good folks to have lugging around a 50 cal. Also being forced to discharge folks that bust tape or can't pass a PT test may or may not be ideal.

Lets give commanders broad discretion to craft units as they see fit, and give political folks like Mac Owens less say. In other words why bother listning to this crowd if the only reason is to get a sort of reliance interest, that is confused for wisdom and knowledge and used to second guess commander discretion?

I mean look this attack against progressives, and homosexuals is part of the buzz...the defense attorney doesn't exist to litigate an issue if the prosecuting attorney doesn't show up. Its all a terribly ridiculous "culture war." "Proggressivism" is just the Yin to "Conservatisms" Yang.

Its all part of the dialectic which produces overfunding for AIDS vs. other less politicized/hyped diseases.

By putting common sense in an anti-gay light I fear that McOwens and Fumento just feed the tired game.

This should be in bold, when compared to how much noise it gets: "From 2004 until 2008, discharges for homosexuality averaged one third of one percent of all discharges."

Correct me if I am wrong, but here is what the numbers say:

in 2008, there were 5,627 involuntary discharges for drugs. Discharging people for drugs is rationally related to a legitimate state interest. (except for the libertarians who want strict scrutiny for drug use).

3,817 for serious offenses, some serious offenses include domestic violence which prevents you from using a weapon, if you can't use a weapon then you can't fight, and the prohibition is rationally related to a legitimate state interest.

4,555 for failure to meet weight standards, already covered.

2,353 for pregnancy,-wouldn't have to worry about this if all soilders were gay...but that is just silly... I suppose it is rationally related to a legitimate state interest.

2,574 for parenthood,- i.e see pregnancy.

634 for homosexuality, most of which resulted from voluntary statements, not “outing” by others.

So from 2004 to 2008 less than 1/3 of 1/100 of all discharges were for homosexuality.

This tells me that of all the things which commanders saw fit to find as a legitimate state interest for the purpose of discharging folks...homosexuality was not high on the list, and probably not even a legitimate state interest.

That is actually DADT is great for gay soilders who want out of the military for outing themselves. As I said DADT gives gays a right to serve in the military, that andrew doesn't have.

That is straight folks don't have a right of termination, or the right to end a contract without breaching. I suppose straight folks could eat a lot of McDonalds, bust tape and drag ass, get someone pregnant, beat their wives, smoke pot, or do something else which gave them the right to serve in the military. The problem is that these "rights" come with dishonarable and general discharges. But DADT comes with an honorable discharge.

That is under DADT gays have a right of contract termination that straight people don't have, and this right of contract termination doesn't serve a compelling state interest, by virtue of the rarerity that commanders excercise the right.

In fact you can bust tape, fail a PT test and still stay in the army...the commander can look at you tell you to suck it up...maybe even give you an article 15 take your pay, put you on extra duty, make you miserable...assign remedial PT, but he doesn't HAVE to discharge you. Even if you fail a drug test, the commander can take your rank, put you on extra duty, make you miserable and keep you around.

DADT on the other hand...the Commander HAS TO DISCHARGE you. That is you actually have a right against the discretion of the commander.

The actual problems I saw in the army convinced me that homosexuals are not a serious threat. DADT up or down is a sort of "culture war" problem that floats in the dialectic of the blogosphere for good historical reasons...but is not mechanically related to the functionality of the armed services.

If anything I think repealing DADT will do some good, because the free pass/honorable discharge under DADT is actually an Equal Protection Violation of the rights of disgruntled straight privates(who lack a right of termination) even this aspect of it is overhyped statistically (within the lower enlisted ranks).

I'm going to tread lightly here . . .

First, I think you missed the point on my comment about Progressives: I'm simply repeating what I've heard them say regarding their stance, which is that "homosexuals have a right to serve their country". As far as your taking issue with me calling them Progressives, call them "supporters of the repeal of DADT" if you'd like, but I'm simply repeating their claims that Americans have a "right" to "serve their country", which I do not believe to be the case.

"Lets give commanders broad discretion to craft units as they see fit, and give political folks like Mac Owens less say."

The Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commander of the Air Force both explicitly testified to Congress that they thought DADT should remain in place. The Army Chief of Staff said the same, but was more diplomatic about it.

"The actual problems I saw in the army convinced me that homosexuals are not a serious threat. DADT up or down is a sort of "culture war" problem that floats in the dialectic of the blogosphere for good historical reasons...but is not mechanically related to the functionality of the armed services."

As Professor Owens pointed out, "the report reveals that 45 percent of Army troops and nearly 60 percent of Marines (67 percent of those in Marine combat arms: infantry, artillery, and armor) who have been in combat zones say that repeal would have a negative impact on unit effectiveness." While the military personnel who have a more administrative focused MOS might not mind if the guy at the desk next to them is gay, the guys out pulling the triggers do. But that's just going off what the report said.

The whole approach to homosexuality is incorrect. It is "normal" only in the sense that any other disease or ailment is "normal." We should be treating it as a disability, and one that precludes military service (just as physical ailments/impairments are routinely used to exclude people from military service). And this exclusion is based on the very same premise -- that homosexually is a distraction and subtracts from fighting fitness (just as having to support an unfit soldier on the battlefield is a distraction and subtracts from fighting fitness).

This is precisely the danger of accepting the Left's premises about civil rights and homosexuality. Once you've admitted that it is normal, then it is very hard to make practical distinctions in the normal practice of life.

I appologize for the tone above...

I am also kind of free wheeling this. I think the number in the army is lower, because army folks are less brainwashed. That said I don't think it is necessary or all that productive for combat troops to get a cadillac education in DADT. The state interest doesn't extend that far, so the "right" to an education doesn't either.

Like other rights created by lawyers, "the right to serve your country." Is three parts statist brainwashing, 1 part truth. How do progressives or lawyers create these rights? Well they take a compelling state interest. All states constitutionally have a compelling state interest in education, so their supreme courts have held. Then they file an equal protection claim, alledging that the state interest is unevenly applied or distributed(usually in regards funding) The rule that says you have to have standing in effect glues an individual who is deprived of the opperation of the legitimate state interest to the state interest.

If the plaintiff wins the equal protection claim, as he did in Ohio...voila, a right to education. Of course this right is not to a cadillac level of education. Your right to an education basically extends only as far as the state interest in education is legitimate.

Army recruiters would love to say: "You have a right to serve your country." (In fact who is to say that a lot of them don't say this?)

Technically whatever rights you have to serve your country are bundled in the contract you sign.

Currently I don't like DADT because I think it allows a certain class i.e. Homosexuals to breach the contract at will with an honorable discharge. So whatever "rights" to serve your country you have a homosexual has more.

So in some sense these progressive rights, or the rights created by lawyers, are more or less citizenship rights. Or rights that establish a symbiotic relationship between the citizens and the legitimate state interest.

Homosexuals have a right to serve their country, just as straight people have a right to serve their country, if it follows that the state has no legitimate state interest in discriminating between the groups. I think it is a right that is more or less propaganda, but lawyers are good at finding eagle scout type homosexuals. see Dale.

In america we love our freedoms that aren't necessarily synched up with state interests. For example we love our right to eat McDonalds. As a result we are all fat.

If you told me fat people have a right to serve their country I would tell you to get lost. When you excercise your "right" to serve your country you give up your exclusive right to be fat and out of shape.

By the time you are done sorting out everything that is incompatible with the "right to serve your country." You can't tell me that barring homosexuals is really narrowly tailored, and the statistics that show how often commanders excercise the DADT discharge confirm my suspicions.

This is not even to say that as a soilder I wouldn't have answered in the affimative. I have multiple past selves that hate me...

Their is still a considerable fear of aids, and I have a rational basis for thinking that super promiscuous folks and homosexuals might have HIV or other diseases, of course the army is always doing blood work, giving shots, but my unit used to do combat life saver classes where we gave ourselves IV's(some folks were almost addicted to the saline IV's(maybe because they believed the rumors that the army was juicing the IV's, or because they got an energy rush from it, that fueled a placebo effect, immagination...) So on more occations than I can count I was stuck by needles, and came into contact with blood.

Also on multiple occations soilders, like atheletes take showers together, it would certainly be uncomfortable to think that you were being looked at like meat. Still a homosexual who essentially sexually assults someone by staring at them in the nude, is likely to get his ass beat. I think most of this can be solved at the SPC level and bellow, some of it might spill over to the SSG, and in rare cases might even make it up to the clueless O-1.

I mean I am someone who still isn't sure that letting females into VMI didn't completly ruin it(not that I ever went to VMI before or after). But look if a female somehow thinks she has a "calling" to be in VMI, at the end of the day more power to her.

Like females in VMI and eagle scout gays, or gays in the millitary its all possible. But come on.. we all know that the "right to serve in the military" like the "right to an education" is somewhat of a line of statist bull, or a certain bright eyed citizenship.

Without a doubt if a unit became some sort of boston st. patrick's day parade, this could be a problem(but this certainly doesn't serve a compelling state interest, so whatever right is tied up in the right to serve in the military doesn't extend that far), but really there is no way of knowing what the combat troops envision might happen if DADT was repealed.

Maybe they all read history and wonder about the Spartans...if you ban all intercourse(gay or straight) then soilders(like young spartans) have to develop stealth skills to gratify needs(includes booze and gambling against General Order 1A).

You might still have a legitimate state interest in keeping it all discreet, and on the down low. You might have a Sgt who says, do whatever you can get away with, but if I hear about it you failed in stealth.

DADT is an overhyped and rarely used administrative policy. You can still ban a lot of speech and activities,and enforce policies more narrowly tailored to your particular mission. There are more than enough ways and state interests to get rid of problematic soilders, gay or straight.

Also it is possible that Obama is pushing DADT in order to chop the size of the millitary post-Afghanistan, post-Iraq. I mean the military will have grown large, and administrators may be looking for ways to trim its size in three or four years. So one way to do this is to gut DADT on equal protection grounds.

If you drum up enough noise you can actually maybe get enough folks to leave voluntarily. What you do is more or less affirmative action for straight soilders who were not given the contractural right to exit.

Introduce a fair, reciprocal administrative exit option requirement upon repeal of DADT legislation, claiming a sort of reliance interest upon the "old" system that included DADT is needed.

So you create explicit nonpunitive administrative self initiated legal options(as existed for gays under DADT) to forsake All Volunteer Force contracts and Active Duty Service Commitments that must be equally provided to any and all existing service personnel who no longer wish to serve in the new openly gay and lesbian US military.

Granted you risk gutting the combat arms...but I don't think even this will be enough of a wash out post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan.

Plus if you wash out the combat arms, you lower the MOS scores for promotions, and you get a moral boost from this, plus you end up paying less in retirement pay to military troops, thus helping deficit issues.

So who is to say that something like this isn't likely lurking on the administrative deficit conscious policy side?

In our history of understanding homosexuality first it was a mental defect, then it became a choice, and now it is a disease. One of these days you're going to realize that it's simply a variation like handedness....a little different, but perfectly normal. Get used to it. We're your doctors, your accountants, your lawyers, your teachers, your garbage collectors, your spiritual leaders, your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, your children, your aunts and uncles, your government officials, and your military. As the old adage goes...we are everywhere.

Julie moves the bar by asking us to say how our service improves the military...that's a non-sensical question and belies the weakness of her "they shouldn't serve" argument. Those who believe that we should not serve have yet to demonstrate how our open service damages the military. Show me the studies that clearly demonstrate that unit cohesion or military effectiveness (frequently the big issues) improves once gays are dismissed from those units. Thousands upon thousands of gays and lesbians have been discharged over the past 17 years, so the data should be there. Where are the testimonials to that fact? At this point, I'd even take anecdotal rather than the more strict standard of empirical evidence.

Just a variation, like handedness? Au contraire, mon ami. Benign genetic variations don't lead to extinction, but same sex mating surely does. In that sense, it is "variation" like hydrocephaly, cleft palate, or any other congenital defect. Certainly not something to be celebrated or encouraged.

Intriguingly, being gay does not mean that one gives up either a uterus and functioning fallopian tubes or testicles and a functioning vas deferens, so gay people who have wanted children have always been able to have them.

From Mac Owens' piece:

"What, he asks, does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean? Is all homosexual conduct permitted, e.g. cross dressing when going to the PX? What conduct is not permitted?

So, cross dressing is now "homosexual conduct?" If a heterosexual person cross dresses, is it still "homosexual conduct?"

Why doesn't Mac ask some questions with relevancy, instead of stereotyping gay and lesbian servicemembers as cross dressers?

andrew, it is a question. Do you know any soldiers who are heterosexual cross-dressers, so dressing when going to the PX? "What conduct will be permitted" is a relevant question.

Kate, the last time I checked, all branches of the military had clear and well-enforced rules regarding conduct on the base; if straights can't go to the PX cross-dressing, then neither can gays. Out of curiosity, have you ever actually met a gay person who was into cross-dressing? Have you ever met a straight person who was into cross-dressing?

Yes to both. I am old and have been around a bit. The only soldier I know who was into cross-dressing would not have dreamed of attempting it while in the Army, which was why I asked the silly question. He is gay.

The question of how those conduct rules might have to be adjusted or how the services might be affected if homosexuality has to be accepted and not just tolerated in the military is relevant. Having women in the services have caused all sorts of adjustments and accommodations. Interestingly, given this: "the report reveals that 45 percent of Army troops and nearly 60 percent of Marines (67 percent of those in Marine combat arms: infantry, artillery, and armor) who have been in combat zones say that repeal would have a negative impact on unit effectiveness." I note that it is the Marines that have chosen to accommodate females the most separately of the services.

In the past, social pressures probably forced homosexuals to reproduce (and to remain closeted). Now that such pressures have eased, we should start to see a very gradual winnowing of this trait from the population (that is, IF it is truly genetic in origin). The fact that a person CAN reproduce isn't enough to retain a trait; reproduction has to be continuous AND often enough to compete with normal reproductive cycles to be retained over time. Ultimately, those traits that most faithfully lead to greater reproduction crowd out more recessive traits. It's just a matter of time.

"The conduct that will be permitted" will be the same for gay and straight people. Fraternization rules shouldn't change. If a female and male become intimately involved and are in the same command, one of these should be moved to another chain of command. Same goes for gay and lesbian soldiers. Cross dressing, though not a "gay activity," is probably, at least, frowned upon, or at most against the current rules for both gay and straight servicemembers. I would assume that grooming and appearance policies would not change. It will still be against regulations for women to wear their hair in a male style (buzz cuts, high and tights, etc.), and it will still be against the rules for men to have long hair.

As for Mac Owens' fear of "hate speech" rules be implemented, this is overblown. Each service has a sexual harassment policy, and abuse of gay and lesbians as a result of their sexuality can be easily rolled into these policies.

I'd say that military members who are gay are fairly similar to their straight counterparts other than the whole being-attracted-to-those-of-the-same-sex thing. I don't think there's going to be a lot of high heel races that are happening off duty on the parade grounds. It will probably be just about the same as it was before, actually.

I don't think that there are a lot of unknowns here, especially since most servicemembers are already aware of gay and lesbians they serve alongside in both combat and support units.

Each Post General issues orders that pertain to the standards of dress that are acceptable in the PX, it never crossed my mind to try it, but I am pretty sure you could cross dress in the PX.

7. DRESS CODE.A dress code is implemented for both military and civilians while on the Fort Sill. Patrons or visitors to post facilities, public buildings, public areas, or work areas will not wear the following items:

a. Shorts, cutoff jeans, or cutoff slacks that are so short as to expose any part of the buttocks. Patrons of Fort Sill pools, parks, the Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area (LETRA), and other sunbathing/swimming areas
will wear swimwear appropriate for a family environment. Swimwear or other clothing that reveals the buttocks, such as thongs, are strictly prohibited. Swimwear is not authorized for wear as an outer garment except in the pool/swimming area.

b. Exposed hair curlers.

c. Clothing specifically designed and readily identifiable as an undergarment may not be worn in public as outer garments.

d. Garments that are made of transparent material or of "open weave" type material, which exposes the body (other than the arms) beneath the garment.

e. Mixed military and civilian clothing as prohibited by Army Regulation 670-1

f. Garments that contain, depict, or display any obscene, pornographic, lewd, or lascivious words, pictures, or symbols.

g. Garments that contain, depict, display any words that expressly or impliedly condone any conduct in violation of federal law or Army regulations.

h. Garments that contain, depict, or display any words or symbols that are offensive to individuals or groups on a basis of national origin, race, sex, religion, gender, or employment or otherwise violate the Army’s policies regarding extremist organizations as provided in AR 600-20.

I suppose under DADT cross dressing was illegal under g), but I am not sure it wasn't prohibited under h)

Technically I think a lot of these Army Regulations should be void for vagueness.

Reading Justice Sutherland and then reflecting back on how regulations were interpreted and enforced in the army...wow!

"(B) the military society is characterized by its own laws, rules, customs, and traditions, including numerous restrictions on personal behavior, that would not be acceptable in civilian society."

10 USCS § 654

That is why I think military law is comparable to education law. Tinker says that your first ammendment rights don't end at the school house gate...but its complicated.

Its foreseeable that you might offend someone by cross dressing in the PX so you can't do it. If you are actually enlisted, its foreseeable that you might offend someone who could make your life miserable, if you are an officer it is foreseeable that you might offend someone who could prevent your promotion.

Actually if I was interpreting military base constitutional law I would kind of say that the PX is a limited open forum, and more or less functions that way from custom. It isn't that what you do there might not catch up with you latter, its just that if you are in civilian dress it is somewhat of a rank free zone. Throughout trainning when soilders earn passes they get the freedom to go to the PX.

If I was a soilder I would be in favor of folks cross dressing at the PX, just to see what would happen, in the same way that I would be in favor of folks pushing boundaries at a public school, or having an older bother who was a hellraiser so that the younger brother would get a "relaxation dividend".

Technically I think the army is super legalistic in barracks/OCONUS life as a means of equalizing the stress of combat.

The Combat Arms if they are deployed more often might answer the ""gay" question in the way they do simply because they have yet to be subjected to the idiocy of home front regulations.

As far as I can tell there is almost an unspoken but strong sentiment that when the uniform comes off it is familly time or drinking time or civilian time, and no one wants to be bothered. In fact that is what all the safety briefings are about every weekend, ensuring folks don't have to come in and bail a private out of the drunk tank.

Enforcement of uniform issues is so much stronger during the work day and while in uniform,, that except for a few officers and sgt legalist (he is a guaranteed character type in the army) you can basically do what you want as long as you don't break civilian law.

I am almost convinced that if there was a poll on who gave a shit (except for the folks looking to flex rank, butter up on non-combat essential legalities, i.e. become board babies...) most folks would say they don''t care or that it was a sort of free excercise of religion type thing.

That is all of this in either direction is really a sort of "proffesional interest" type thing. You are the EO sergeant, or the Chaplain, or JAG, or a drill sergeant enforcing something that is part of trainning.

So you are paid to sell the message of "diversity", which functionally just means enforcing legal violations, which includes stamping out cross dressers or folks with exposed hair curlers.

So I guess in the final analysis you can simply say that lawyers and their functional derivatives within the army, are the folks who go around enforcing every single last "legitimate state interest".

You know why lawyers analogize homosexuals to blacks? Its a strict scrutiny thing. It serves the interest of the client.

You know why lawyers distinguish homosexuals from blacks? Its a rational basis thing. it serves the interest of the state.

You know who is independent? Someone who is not being paid to care, or theoretically a judge who is paid to care about the legal interest(which is almost nothing but a carefully worked out ballance between competing state interests over the years.)

I can't honestly believe that Kate just said this was a relevant question: "What conduct will be permitted."

OH MY GOD, so many regulations so little time...short answer: "doing your job", longer answer; "Whatever your NCO or chain of command is unable to effectively police and prohibit."

Want to know why you can buy condoms? Griswold v. Connecticut.

Want to know the conservative version of the progressive reason? Justice Douglas invented penumbra's. Want to know the real penumbra? The Law is not self-executing.

"It is purely fanciful to believe that the broad proscription on use facilitates discovery of use by persons engaging in a prohibited relationship or for some other reason makes such use more unlikely and thus can be supported by any sort of administrative consideration."

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 506 (U.S. 1965)

In the army everything is banned, and everything is void for vagueness(except that it isn't because this rule doesn't apply) So changing and layering the law in the army has little effect, because you are already working past the point of diminishing marginal give a fuck. That is why the key is really too see what is being enforced.

DADT said, we can't enforce this, but we don't want to legalize it.

Given the penumbra that says the law is not self-enforcing, there is only arbitrariness and vagueness that comes from not legalizing it.

What conduct will be permited? Whatever is not enforced!

On similar grounds I like getting rid of all the citizenship classifications and holding citizenship equal to jurisdicition.

As they say in the Army: What can you do? Whatever your pocketbook can handle.

"What conduct will be permitted?" whatever you are no longer willing to police.

The point is that if you ignore homosexuality in the military, then you don't have to worry about enforcement, unless a given individual forces you to do so. DADT requires no serious policing, except for self-policing by individuals. No officer must concern himself with your sexuality. That kind of worry has no place in a well-functioning military anyway. Does it?

In that sense, the conduct that is currently permitted is the same for gay and straight in the ways andrew discusses. Just leave DADT alone. If the military has to make accommodations for homosexuality, acknowledging it in some special way, that is going to complicate the military mission.

I have two freshman comp. papers in the awfully big pile awaiting grades that are argumentative essays on the subject; one is by an Army veteran and one is by a Marine. Maybe after I finish those papers I'll have a fresh argument or two for you guys.

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