A few observations:
– I suppose most people know by now that the present policy is not merely a DoD policy. It is written into federal law. This means that Congress must repeal the law. The Democrats now hold a majority in both houses. That does not mean that repeal will be easy. Many Democrats are from parts of the country in which this issue will cut deeply in the mid-term election along with all the other grudges that the electorate seems to be harboring against the Democrats. If this were not so, medical reform would have passed months ago.
– Gates and his sidekick Mullen announced today before the senate that they will collect data over the next year to inform them of the impact that the legalization of homosexual behavior will have on the armed forces. At the same time they announced as had the president their unequivocal support for the legalization. Senators asked how they thought that they would collect valid data after they and Obama have announced their own decisions to achieve this change. Clearly the data should be collected and analysed by Congress on an anonymous basis.
– A senator asked what kinds of relationships and behavior would be accepted by DoD under this new policy. For example, if a group of homosexual service members want a set of military married quarters in which to live as a "community" (perhaps with civilians), would that be acceptable? Would the former lovers of service members be entitled to permanent family member benefits paid for by the services as are heterosexual married survivors today? How about participation in uniform or some costume in Gay Pride Day parades?
– Present American military law (UCMJ) establishes restrictions on sexual behavior for service members. Adultery, for example, is illegal. So is polygamy or polyandry. If legal restrictions on unmarried (or married) homosexual behaviors and relationships are removed, will it not be necessary in fairness to remove all such restrictions. Will "anything go?"
Many will say that is all to the good. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is not. I am representative of my generation. There were then, as there are now, many homosexuals in the military. It was expected that they would keep their sex lives a private matter. I have no idea what the actual attitudes are now towards homosexuals in the population from which our soldiers are actually recruited as opposed to Obama's "supporter world." Will this change lead to a falling off of recruiting among those actually willing to serve? Will the armed forces become heavily homosexual as a result of the creation of a "protected minority" status for them. Those who have served know that in the past homosexuals have tended to "colonize" units and ships that they favored.
It is a mistake to think of armies as analogs of communities like college campuses. Obama will learn that.
I suppose that some will raise the issue of racial integration as an example of how well such a change will go… pl