This is the first thing I thought as well. I'm all for allowing gays to sacrifice for their country. And women as well. I feel strongly that anyone that feels strongly enough about their commitment to want to put their life up for their country should be able to. As an aside, I also feel that women should be allowed combat roles, provided they can physically perform up the the necessary level vs. the guys (this shouldn't be a "fairness" thing. If you're putting your life out there, you want to be sure the girl in your squad can carry you off the field if you get hurt. Or ammo boxes, etc).
However, this is the big problem I have.... the difficulties with group cohesion, fraternization, trust, all play into the effectiveness of the fighting unit. My historically held objection to females in the military rests on the same ground and I apply it here. Not so much "objection" as "I haven't seen a realistic solution" to a very real problem. In some ways it is --hypothetically--easier for females as well: separate bunkrooms, separate showers solve some of the problems.
A good decision. I have served with gay people and unit cohesion/effectiveness was not hindered in any way. I know this is just my own experience and it may differ for some, but it seems that this is the case across the board for the Armed Forces.
Congratulations to the U.S. army for joining the rest of the developed world by repealing a discriminatory policy. Next up gay marriage! I have faith in my friends to the south to make the right decision.
Please dont, for a second, try to even insinuate I'm homophobic. Few people on these boards are as pro gay as I am (forlife included :P)
However, it does open doors for certain issues which should be reasonably addressed.
If I, as a guy, were allowed to shower with the female soldiers, should they have the option to not shower with me, if they were uncomfortable with it? How about lines of what would be proper and improper conduct when I did shower with them? What if there's a mutual attraction?
I know some of these issues already come up with soldiers, but its a little different when the people are living together.
No. Everyone needs to get the fuck over it. If a guy has to administer first aid for a bullet wound I took to the chest, he might see my tits then, too. Nudity does not equal sexuality.
What's proper in the shower? Uh, lather, rinse, repeat, and that's about it.
Then they need to learn to grow up and handle their business lives separately from their personal lives. If they aren't mature enough to handle that, they're not mature enough to handle a rifle, either.
There are already gays in the military. There are already gays taking communal showers with straights. They are already living together. Gay people are not sexually deviant in any larger percentage than straight people are. Gays are not looking for any excuse out there to ogle or feel up a straight person. Homophobia and stereotypes about gays are the problem, not gay people.
I was encouraged by the results of the military study on attitudes toward gay soldiers. The large majority have had the same experience as PB Andy...despite all the doomsday predictions, most soldiers don't care whether or not the person serving next to them is gay or straight.
It gives me some hope. It's one thing to get support from Hollywood, but when the military stands behind equal rights for gays, real progress has been made.