1. Aeixious
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    Aeixious Member

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    LGBT and the Military

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Aeixious, Mar 25, 2009.

    Disclaimer: Strong language.

    So!

    When I was 18, I was pretty much a lost cause. I worked in a gas station and smoked pot all day. I had graduated a semester early from high school, then dropped out of college shortly after.

    I was pretty depressed most of the time. I lived with my mother, and I was scared to death that if she found out about my sexuality she would throw me out of the house.

    On my way to work one day I glanced at the armed forces recruiting station.

    Me? In the military? Yeah right. But the thought stuck in my head. I started researching the subject and was disappointed when I found out about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. I threw the idea out.

    Then I lost my job. After a month or so of being unemployed, I decided to walk in to the Navy recruitment office. Navy = boats = less chance of dying. After I was buried up to my eyeballs in paperwork, I took a academic-type test to figure out which jobs I was able to do. I scored a 97. After loads of more paperwork, I decided on the job submarine sonar technician.

    So I went off to boot camp. It was lame and boring.

    I went through "A" school, or technical training. That was pretty cool.

    Then I reported to a boat. I was happily scrubbing the insides of the toilets and washing the dishes while getting my submarine qualifications done. Later, a simple two week deployment for sea trials.

    Then, enter room mate. Trashes the barracks room. Broken dishes everywhere, maggots and roaches all over everything. So I report him. He got very mad at me, and while I was out, went on to my computer and found the instant message conversation I had with my boyfriend. He reported this to his superiors.

    I had done nothing wrong in that respect, and they knew it. So instead, they processed me out with a charge of underage drinking.

    While being processed out, I was treated like I was less than human. I was once given five 6 hour watches to stand back to back. No one but my friends called me by anything but "faggot", and my friends didn't want to talk to me in fear of being labeled a queer. I had officers, who were supposed to be upstanding and professional, saying fags should be lynched within earshot of me. People a lower rank than me called me a faggot to my face.

    I received an honorable discharge, only because I threatened to take this to a court martial.

    So, what are your thoughts on gays in the military?
     
  2. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I view homosexuals in the military exactly the same way I view homosexuals in the private sector; as human beings. Who cares about sexual orientation? I have many openly gay friends and an openly gay uncle.

    It sucks you were treated the way you were. SOrry to hear it man.
     
  3. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I agree with LordKyleofEarth- it's terrible you'd be treated that way. Things like this and Prop 8 in California are extremely distressful, we can only hope one day society will advance beyond the point where we feel the need to insert our personal convictions into the lives of other law-abiding citizens.
     
  4. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    That's extremely....shocking to me. And I say this as an active duty member of the armed forces. I'm enlisted Air Force and I know of several lesbians and gays that have no real problem so long as they keep their private lives private. Two girls in my basic training flight were dating! Excuse me, are dating. Anyway, my point is I can't believe you were treated in such a way and I apologize you had to go through such discrimination. I just don't understand it; why didn't you fight it? It can't just be the Air Force who provides military members with legal aid completely surpassing its base wing level and command...I just find that hard to believe....did you try to get any legal assistance at all? From what you've stated you had a good case as far as military policy goes. It was an invasion of your privacy, you definitely could have fought it. Again I am honestly somewhat questioning because the whole situation makes no sense;enlisted AND officers being openly discriminatory? Violation of the UCMJ; especially on the officers since they are supposed to provide leadership and maintain military bearing at all times. I don't know, I hate to sound doubtful or skeptical of what I'm sure was a very tough experience, but I just don't believe you have told the complete story or are at least exaggerating a little. I doubt there's such a major gap in how each sister service handles these sort of affairs; I don't know a load about the Navy to be honest, but all branches are governed under the same policies and laws. Your rights were violated and if the situation is exactly how you explained, I can't help but wonder why you didn't fight it? It was clearly an injustice that could have shed some light on some greatly unfair treatment.
     
  5. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Statute of limitations has likely yet to expire. Its not too late to file.
     
  6. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    Also, I just skimmed over your post all over again and you said the only evidence found of your sexual orientation was an instant messenger converstion? There's an entire investigation process that goes into those sort of things. There have been Airmen who had 'questionable' material on their myspace page and were simply told to get rid of it....I just don't see how a single instant messenger conversation would be the end all. Also you cannot be discharged for underage drinking alone. That's another thing that's throwing me off about your post. Many military members drink underage it isn't grounds for discharge unless it's extremely excessive (beyond rehab help excessive) or unless there's some other charge to go with it, like a DUI and even then it's fightable.

    You really can't let this go....if it's how you're telling it, you have no right being discharged. Get yourself some legal help.
     
  7. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now that you mention it inkslinger, my drinking buddy (airforce) who was making extra money as a bar-back at a local gay club was just told to quit his job there once word got out. Sucked for him, it was an easy $150/night in tips.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Anyone who wants to serve should be able. US Military is damn good at what it does but the culture can be difficult. Navy is pretty bad with it, but I think the Marines are way worse than the Navy XD. For now maybe the policy has some advantages. I mean, do you really want to work in that environment? I sure as hell wouldn't XD. Hopefully it'll change given time. It's really prohibiting the military from tapping a reasonably large base of potential recruits which is just silly especially when we have a volunteer force that's suppose to be operated by willing participants.
     
  9. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    S.A.M. = Statement, Act or Marriage. If one makes a statement that he/she is gay it is grounds for discharge. If one engages in a homosexual act it is grounds for discharge. And of one marries a member of the same sex it is grounds for discharge.

    And it is all equally ridiculous. I am a warrant officer in the US Army and I have served with gay soldiers in the past. Some were poor soldiers and some were outstanding soldiers, but in every case their ability to do their job had absolutely nothing to do with their sexual orientation. I am fairly certain that President Obama will push for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to be dropped during his first term. But it is a federal law so it isn’t a simple matter of signing an executive order. Obama wants it handled at the level of law.

    I have heard the “argument” that allowing gays to serve openly would harm the morale of the military. It is an argument almost always made by civilians. And it is an argument that was made against women and minorities serving as well. The only people who will be adversely affected by it are the bigots and I don’t think we should be catering to their prejudices.
     
  10. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    /off topic/
    Bob, you look alot like Galen from Battlestar Gallactica:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Aeixious
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    Aeixious Member

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    I did exaggerate a bit, and I left some things out. I will admit that. I guess it's the power of the writer to make their own story. I guess I'll fill in the blanks I don't like to tell.

    1. My boyfriend was on the same base. He wanted to get out, so he used the DADT as a way out. He told his command that we were dating. I think this was one of the main things behind it.

    2. I only heard the lynching comment once from a butterbar talking to E4s. E4s in submarines are like E2s everywhere else.

    3. This was my 2nd article 15 for underage drinking.

    4. I was going to fight it, but they offered me a honorable discharge to not fight it.
     
  12. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would it otherwise have not been an honorable discharge?
     
  13. Aeixious
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    Aeixious Member

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    General Under Honorable Conditions
     
  14. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Forgive my lack of knowledge here, how are 'Honorable' and 'General under honorable conditions' different?
     
  15. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    But an online conversation as the only grounds of evidence? I've never heard of that before...from every situation I've heard of, it's usually treated lightly unless an investigation is conducted and they find an amount of evidence. It just seems strange to me. And the fact that it was uncovered against his will....

    I personally have no problem whatsoever with a gay or lesbian serving...it has no bearing on job performance or the mission at all. It's old fashioned, narrow minded thinking to believe so, just like when it was that way for women and minorities. It's silly.
     
  16. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Honorable indicates that the individual in question did a damn fine job and did all that was expected of them.

    A general discharge indicates satisfactory performance but that the individual in question has deviated from the behavior expected of a member of the armed forces. EDIT: Not enough that there'd be a severe punishment involved, but enough that their behavior has been deemed unfitting of a member of the US Military.

    Some of these laws are old enough I'd call them outdated. Back when the law was written I would agree that the cohesion of a unit might have been damaged by the open presence of homosexual soldiers, but I don't think that's true anymore. If we were to force the military to change now it would probably be a bit rough but probably would work. EDIT: I'd expect a similar effect to the desegregation of the armed forces in the 50's. A little bumpy for the start but after a bit of time everybody deals and we move on.

    EDIT: Also, discharging gay members of the service is such a waste of money.
     
  17. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, Thanks.
     
  18. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    Ohhh...see now I understand; that pieces together the story. Still, I'm sorry you were discharged for your orientation, that's completely wrong to me.

    Do you mind me asking what happened to your boyfriend?
     
  19. Rykoshet
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    Rykoshet Member

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    Gays in the navy? Stop the presses!

    That said, anyone willing to soak up bullets should, regardless of sexuality.
     
  20. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Hmmm.

    I could do worse.
     
  21. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Plus you can keep a BATTLESTAR in the sky and a full flight of vipers oprerational with a box of scrap. He was one of my favorite characters.
     
  22. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Well, part of it would probably depend on what was said. But if that was all there is I do think you are right and he could fight it and win. But it looks like they scared him into accepting an honorable discharge. It is his right to request a court-martial but if he lost it would go on his criminal record. And now we see there is other evidence against him. It is a crappy situation all around.

    The underage drinking thing irks me. You’re old enough to kill and die for your country, responsible enough to help run a freaking submarine, but we don’t trust you with a beer. But it is the law.
     
  23. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    I have no problem with gays in the army or the navy.

    Heck i love gay sea-man!
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As with every thread dealing with controversial subjects, this one will be closely watched. As long as everyone remains respectful toward everyone else's beliefs, the thread may continue.

    FAIR WARNING! In the past, we have simply closed the thread when it gets too heated. This time, whoever takes it to the point that requires it to be closed will also be subject to an infraction.

    We have had a very poor track record with controversial threads in the past, and this is why we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on this one.

    So please keep the tone respectful at all times.
     
  25. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    I don't agree with gay/lesbian lifestyle. BUT, I don't judge people on their orientation. I have friends that are lesbians, and I love them like they are my sisters. I can joke around and flirt with them, and no one has any hard feelings. I think that there is a stigma attached to being homosexual that it;s evil, or the people are evil. Not the case. People are people, and have feelings. They want to live their lives just like everyone else. I don't think they should have special priveldges, but when we won't allow them to have the same privledges as everyone one else, what else is there?

    If someone wants to serve in the military they should be able to serve if they pass the health checks and the tests. What difference does it make who they want to love, or have an intimate relationship with? (As long as they aren't minors of course. :p ) It shouldn't matter. Why do people have to be so closed minded? You can disagree and still get along. Sexual orientation should have nothing to do with it.
     

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