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Gay Army vet speaks out on 'Don't ask, don't tell'

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  • Jimmy Deans
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    If people in the military can say they are Homosexual or Heterosexual how should they do that? I mean clearly for a gay guy to make advances toward another man would be as inappropriate in the workplace as a man making advances on a woman. Clearly Unacceptable. So how should this Homosexual person "Come out of the closet"? Should they simply walk around and tell everyone they are homosexual? What advantages does that bring? How does that help anyone be a better soldier? Furthermore, to those who have never served, basic training, and many other times in the military there is no privacy. We have open showers, living in close quarters with another person, and other such communal living situations. The same as most females would not be comfortable in those situations with a heterosexual man I, as a male soldier, would not be comfortable in those situations with a homosexual man. Do we need to have every state their sexual orientation when they join so that we can prevent those situations? How will restrooms work? I have equal rights to, I should not be forced into situations I am not comfortable with.

  • Read this, Chad.
    Oct. 12, 2009 1:48 p.m.

    Chad: I'd like to make a few points about your post.
    1. You're not the only one currently serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, so don't speak for all of us.
    2. I can't believe you're insulting other services while you claim to present an argument 'protecting' our military. How about you learn some respect for your fellow servicemen and women.
    3. Our military would quite literally cripple if all the gay soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines left today. Yes, there are soldiers in your unit who are gay, and no, they are not automatically attracted to YOU and are not going to make advances toward YOU just because they are. Don't flatter yourself. One should never let the vocal minority create a stereotype for all people of a certain group.
    The current sexual harassment and sexual assault policies in the military ALREADY PROTECT YOU from what you're worried about when you assume that any gay man would proposition you. There is no need for DADT, it is redundant for the problems you claim gays cause.
    Oh, and before you assume I'm a 'gay sailor'- I'm a U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant.

  • Dragonboy
    Oct. 9, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    Great Story!

  • Questions
    Oct. 8, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    I can't believe anyone who says it is natural or normal.

    HOw can any say it it is natural or normal to want sodomize another male?

    Do we really wnat to become a country that embraces any kind of decadence or immoraltiy?

    I think DADT was the best way of dealing with it.

  • lost in DC
    Oct. 8, 2009 2:31 p.m.

    anon 12:55, you could be correct, but I hesitate to speak for Bob any more than I already have.

  • anonymous
    Oct. 8, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    What seems to be missing here is any discussion of whether or not straight soldiers endure any constraints about discussing their sexuality. In order to be fair, a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy would have to apply to both straights and gays – or it is a flawed policy.
    Can't wait to read about the straights that are being bounced for indicating their 'sexual preference.'

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 8, 2009 12:55 p.m.

    lost in DC

    Actually, lost, Ultra probably knows and respects more gay men than he realizes. Because of his overt bias, they will not mention their homosexuality to him. It is his loss because he will never be able to see the wide spectrum of individuals that are gay. Instead, he will only see those that he "knows" are gay and they fit his preconceived idea of what gay men are.

    Too bad.

  • lost in DC
    Oct. 8, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    anon 11:59, I'll defend Ultra Bob.

    He speaks from his experience, which leads him not to respect gay men. I have a different experience, where there are some gay men I respect and some I do not, just as there are some straight men I respect and some I don't.

    Do not condemn Ultra Bob because the gay men he has met did not earn his respect. there is a difference between accepting them, or even respecting them in society and trusting one with your life. He apparently does not feel he could trust them with his life as military comrades must.

  • draft?
    Oct. 8, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    I wonder if there was a draft how many young men would claim to be gay.
    I also wonder if the rules of dadt would be changed.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 8, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    Ultra Bob | 11:12 a.m. Oct. 8, 2009
    "While at my age there is little chance that I will serve in the military."

    Thank goodness that you won't!

    Gays are Americans too. You would have to be fighting for their freedoms along with those who are like you. I don't think you could do that with your bias.

    I am thrilled that the generations that are upcoming are much less biased and much more open minded than those of the past.

    America is for all law abiding citizens - not just those that you like.

  • Ultra Bob
    Oct. 8, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    While at my age there is little chance that I will serve in the military. However due to my extreme prejudice against gay men, if I did, I would not willingly serve with a Gay person.

    Throughout my life, the gay men that I have worked with and met otherwise have not been men whom I could respect or share my survival with. I realize that I am probably out of touch with the rest of the world but none the less that’s where I am.

    If I did not know a person was gay, I would be much more likely to judge him equally as other men than I would if I knew he was gay.

    For me, Don’t ask Don’t tell was a good policy.

  • Fredd
    Oct. 8, 2009 10:36 a.m.

    If, as Michael Ash says, troubling statements by past prophets can be disregarded because they were speaking as men not prophets (after 100 years of taking their words as prophets not men). Then how do we know all the prohibitions against homosexulaity in the bible weren't the words of men not prophets?

  • To Dave
    Oct. 8, 2009 9:12 a.m.

    "I don't think Mr Choi had to "lie" about his sexual orientatin, he just did not have to "advertise" it."

    Is a lie of ommission still a lie? Is telling half truths lying?

    I say yes. That is how I was taught.

    When people in your unit ask what you did during your time off, what do you say?

  • DADT is poisonous
    Oct. 8, 2009 9:07 a.m.

    Congratulations to Dan Choi for speaking the truth. The military's policy about homosexuality is based on so many misconceptions. It's more than obvious that gays are just as patriotic and soldierly as their straight colleagues. Not only that, but gays (just like straights) are perfectly capable of keeping their workplace duties separate from their off-duty sexual lives. And it's a rare gay (in or out of the military) who wants to sleep with a straight man or woman. We allow straight people to be their whole selves (including their sexual selves) and it's way past time to accord the same status to gays. To do otherwise is bigoted and inhumane.

  • To Chad
    Oct. 8, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    "True, other militaries allow homosexuals, and those of us that serve along side them know very well that sodomy and rape are huge problems that they have to deal with."

    First, thank you for your service and as a mother of a marine, Thanks to your Mom and Dad too.

    Now, please explain what this sentence means. Could you expound upon what you were trying to say? Who has to deal with sodomy? What does rape have to do with homosexuals serving in the military?

    Please help me understand.

  • VG
    Oct. 8, 2009 9:00 a.m.

    If people don't want others who are supportive of the nation and skilled in foreign languages to be in the military so be it. If we do not want qualified men and women who can support the mission then keep them out. It is the life of of our sons and daughters. It is not like the military would turn into ballerinas.

  • Big Lie
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    Re: ". . . we are ordered to lie about who we are."

    Sorry, Cadet, that's a lie.

    What military members are ordered to do is keep their sexual orientation to themselves. To suggest the military is the source of this former officer's disgrace is, pure and simple, a lie.

    This officer could have remained on active duty and served honorably for as long as he wanted. HE is the one that chose to violate "don't ask, don't tell, not the Army. HE is the one who is now lying to try and advance his agenda.

    Sadly, it looks like this cadet learned very little from his West Point and military experience.

    But that was HIS choice, not the Army's.

  • bartonjabber
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    Mink, I feel sorry for you and hope that someday you can learn that posts are not for attacking or vehemance. They are for discussion.

    I don't understand why people are gay.
    I don't understand all the military needs.
    I don't really want to EVER read or hear about people's sexual orientation, activities or persuasions.
    But, I do understand acceptance and compassion for all is God's way. I do know that there are many things I do that others find offensive. I appreciate that they do not feel they have to lecture me about it continually.
    I would prefer that military and sexual orientation declarations did not have to exist.
    But, we are all human. Sensual. Carnal. Imperfect.
    I wish we were all smarter, too. Smart enough to stop the wars, give up the verbal abuse, and have peace in our hearts.

  • Chad
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    I am currently serving in combat in Afghanistan and I am glad that the military has morals and has rules against being openly homosexual. In fact, we would be better off if we repealed DADT and straight out prohibited homosexuality in the ranks. True, other militaries allow homosexuals, and those of us that serve along side them know very well that sodomy and rape are huge problems that they have to deal with. If you think that the military is missing out on well qualified recruits because of our policy, think about all of the highly qualified soldiers, like me, who will resign if the military decides to allow homosexuals to serve openly.

    RE:Anonymous guy in the Navy, we Army guys already know the Navy has homosexuals in its ranks.

  • to dbf
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:16 a.m.

    Religion is about belief so changing belief or admitting to not believing as others do is reason enough to change religions. The goal of the military is not sexuality. Military is for defense and offense. "Coming out" or not is irrelevant to the purpose of the military itself. The reality is that unwanted sexual advances in the military are a heterosexual issue and not the homosexual issue. That is just a simple fact supported by verifiable numbers.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:07 a.m.

    Why can England and Australia have openly gay soldiers and not have problems with it?

    Why do Americans have to make such a big deal out of nothing?

    If they want to serve their country, (and bless them for that desire), LET THEM!

    Get over your homophobia, US!

  • bamboozled
    Oct. 8, 2009 8:02 a.m.

    do those complaining about DADT want to go back to the way it was before?

    Poor, deluded gays. Don't you realize the dems know they have your votes sewn up? Since they know they have your votes locked up, your issues are extremely low on their priority list.

    I saw an interview with the leader of a gay rights organization last night. He plans to protest The Annointed One at a gay dinner in DC. He said The Annointed One had given them hope hope, now he wanted change. It's funny and sad to see that this guy actually believed The Annointed One would deliver on his campaign promises.

    Even NBC's SNL has seen that The Annointed One has delivered on very little and did a skit poking fun at His Annointedness.

  • Mink
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:56 a.m.

    Good riddens! All of you who support this perverse destructive lifestyle need to think about homosexuality and its effect on the family. It's one of the biggest lies being advanced today. I won't accept your perversion. If you want to live your life like this fine, but don't make the rest of us thinks it"s "normal"!

  • Kevin
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:48 a.m.

    @Night in a fox hole | 6:46 a.m. Oct. 8, 2009
    "Spend a night in a fox hole with a fellow soldier and you will understand why this policy exists."

    You insult the professionalism of all soldiers, gay and straight.

  • Discipline
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:44 a.m.

    The military is about discipline. Any sexual feelings should be schooled while in military service. That's what our service men and women are there for to defend not to think about their sexuality. Use your leave time to worry about your personal issues including sexuality.

  • dbf
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    Two comments: 1st,Choi knew the rules before he joined the military, so what is the fuss about? If I join the Jewish church and latter deside to admitt that I'm Christian - should the Jewish church feel bad or change for me?
    2nd. RE: Audrey - I agree with your statement except for your statement that your color defines you. If I'm white, blace, or yellow it doesn't matter. It is what I do with my life that defines me.

  • U.S. Military Inferior
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:32 a.m.

    Nearly every developed nation allows their Gay & Lesbian soldiers to serve honorably and honestly. The US is nearly the very last country which requires its Gay & Lesbian soldiers to lie a obut their families and loved ones.

    I find it very disingenuous for post here to claim, "Just keep your mouth shut and don't say anything." They are not asked to hid their wife, husband, children, religion or any other fact about themselves from their co-workers. Consider every day in conversation "What did you do this weekend" making up lies and dancing around the truth to pacify someone else's prejudice against you.

    Hypocritically, we went to Iraq to bring them "Freedom", thousands and thousands of soldiers have died for "Freedom", but the soldiers serving and dying are denied their own freedoms.

    By the way, get over yourselves, you are not that hot. What makes you think gays and lesbians will be making sexual advances towards you?

    FACT - Far, far more men make sexual advances toward women that result in even rape! The US military has far more problems around sex from Heterosexuals than they do from Homosexuals.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 8, 2009 7:19 a.m.

    We should move along and stop obsessing over another's sexual life. While sexual behavior does not belong in the work place, neither does the work place belong in people's bedrooms. Just do the job and leave the rest of it alone. Attitudes adjust, and just as the military resisted blacks then changed, so too will the military adjust to gays.

  • Audrey Seegmiller
    Oct. 8, 2009 6:53 a.m.

    "Choi said "we are ordered to lie about who we are.""

    What???

    Okay, first of all, if you think being gay is who you are, you need to get out and live...a lot! People who consider their sexual orientation as defining who they are are misguided. Being black, white, yellow...that's who you are. Being a woman or a man...that's who you are. Being a vet of this country, a mother, a father, a friend or foe...that's who you are. Who you decide to sleep with is not who you are. It's what you do.

    I agree with the "don't ask don't tell" rule on all levels including religon unless a question is asked conserning such topics then it's open to discussion.

  • Night in a fox hole
    Oct. 8, 2009 6:46 a.m.

    Spend a night in a fox hole with a fellow soldier and you will understand why this policy exists. The last thing you need to be talking about is the other guy's attraction to you. Nights I spent in close quarters with other guys in awkward conditions made the need for outlawing this issue very clear.

    Having been a cop in the military, I enforced lots of rules that do not exist in the civilian world, all needed to support the military's mission. It is not a right to serve in the military. Military members make all kinds of sacrifices to serve. Not talking about one's sexual orientation is small compared to the others.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 7, 2009 10:08 p.m.

    I've been in the Navy for 10 years. On my first ship, I had to outprocess one of my best guys because he decided to come out of the closet about his sexuality. The thing is, most of knew he was gay, we just didn't talk about it, and frankly I don't think anyone cared. His sexual orientation didn't define him. He was one of us, our brother in arms. As far as unit cohesiveness, I can tell you, him being in my division absolutely did NOT hurt morale or cohesion. The thing I see most often negatively affecting cohesion is male/female relationships. America has decided that female's contributions to mission accomplishment outweigh any negative result of having them serve, but we won't accept that gay Americans can equally contribute despite a few ignorant people being uncomfortable.

  • From a military family
    Oct. 7, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    My family has a fairly large number of members who have served or are currently serving in the military and they all pretty much agree that being propositioned by someone of the same sex was distracting to the military mission, especially during combat duty. (In all fairness, I have to say that most of them felt ANY romantic activity detracted from the ability of the troops to do their duty--especially in close quarters, such as ships at sea.)
    My feeling is that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was not designed to make liars out of our soldiers--it was to make sure that people didn't make unwanted advances to their fellow soldiers. Same reason that sexual activity between officers and enlisted troops is forbidden. All of this leads to problems that weaken the fighting ability and concentration of the military. And, hey, guys, that's the purpose of the military--make war not love.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 7, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    I wish Christians wouldn't advertise themselves so much (don’t they do the same thing that they accuse gays of doin’? “Advertise” and “shovin’” down others throat) ... maybe we should have a “don’t ask don't tell” for them... I won't ask and you don't tell me...

  • Kevin
    Oct. 7, 2009 7:12 p.m.

    @Dave | 6:34 p.m. Oct. 7, 2009
    "When I was in the service, prior to the don't ask don't tell days, we had a couple of gays in our outfit (we did not refer to them as "gays" then), and it was a detraction to the cohesiveness of our unit."

    How? How was it a detraction to the cohesiveness of your unit? Were these people making unwanted propositions? We're they engaging in sexual activity in some inappropriate time or place? If they were, I might agree with you. If they were not, I think maybe you were the problem to unit cohesiveness.

  • Ramble Redhead
    Oct. 7, 2009 6:46 p.m.

    I think Daniel Choi is a great advocate for the GLBT community and I was honored to have him as a guest on my show. He is an example of why the DADT policy should be banned and that the military should allow them to serve if they want. We are losing too many well educated individuals to this horrible policy meanwhile we allow criminals to enlist - makes no sense to me at all. The American public wants to see this end and so I wish that President Obama and Congress and the Senate finally do something.

  • I disagree
    Oct. 7, 2009 6:37 p.m.

    I disagree with Dan in his main premise. I don't think they're ordered to lie to others about who they are. They are simply ordered to not talk about it. There is a big difference between intentionally telling others a lie and not telling them something that is true about you. There are many things that are true about me that I choose not to tell others. There are several reasons I choose not to tell others about some things about me. Sometimes it would make me look bad even though in reality it wouldn't ultimately define me. In such cases I often choose to remain silent because I know it's best that way. If we get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy you would see a ton of discrimination against gays in the armed forces. That would force the government to take on the issue and to try to normalize homosexuality to people serving in the armed forces. This would be a huge and costly project. I do not believe the government should be responsible for doing such a thing either. It is not government's place.

  • Dave
    Oct. 7, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    I don't think Mr Choi had to "lie" about his sexual orientatin, he just did not have to "advertise" it. When I was in the service, prior to the don't ask don't tell days, we had a couple of gays in our outfit (we did not refer to them as "gays" then), and it was a detraction to the cohesiveness of our unit.