By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, August 16, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A legal group advocating on behalf of military homosexuals has released information obtained from the Department of Defense indicating the DoD discharged 726 servicemen for homosexuality, a figure that rose by 10 per cent from 2004 according to the New York Times. However, far from the military orchestrating a homosexual witch-hunt, the evidence shows that the number of expelled homosexuals has indeed dropped 40 per cent since the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, when 1227 servicemen were discharged for homosexuality.
According to information requested through the Freedom of Information Act, the Service members Legal Defense Network claims that more than 11,000 military personnel have been discharged for homosexuality since Congress passed a 1993 law reaffirming the military’s half-century principle that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.”
Yet, the homosexual legal group cannot verify the circumstances surrounding the discharges, and in fact, military dismissals on claims of homosexuality possibly may have risen due to soldiers attempting to escape combat duty in American military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“In the end, we just don’t know what exactly led to these dismissals,” confessed Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the legal group, admitting that the strain of overseas deployments and low morale has caused some servicemen to use the ban on homosexuality as a way out of the military.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative agency for Congress reported far more servicemen had been discharged for drug offenses, pregnancy, and failing weight requirements than for being homosexual.
Although homosexuals are not permitted to serve in the military, a Clinton era “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibits the military from determining a soldier’s sexual orientation, unless he openly admits the behavior or if the military is provided with evidence.
The DoD has long defended its policy against permitting homosexuals in the military, arguing that permitting homosexuality in the military would disrupt vital cohesion, discipline, and morale in military units and “seriously impairs the accomplishment of the military mission.”
“The presence of such [homosexual] members adversely affects the ability of the Military Services to maintain discipline, good order, and morale; to foster mutual trust and confidence among service members … who frequently must live and work under close conditions affording minimal privacy”.
The policy for excluding homosexuals from the military follows the same rational for excluding women from combat field units and its subsurface fleet. The military has persistently fought detrimental social experimentation, since the construction of berths and barracks to provide for the dreams of social engineers saps vital resources the military otherwise allocates to its mission of national defense.
In 1993, Congress reaffirmed the long-standing ban on homosexuals in military service after holding twelve congressional hearings and field trips with both civilian and military personnel of all ranks, and stated “there is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces.” The law defends men and women in the service from being forced to expose themselves to persons who could possibly be sexually attracted to them, since they find themselves living in conditions often “spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.”
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said that the Bush administration does not plan to change military policy forbidding homosexuals from military service.