Running head: MILITARY BAN ON
Military Ban on Gays and its Policy
April D. Winley
Politics and Government
Wayland Baptist University
I served in the military for twenty-four years and I know that the ban on gays in the military and the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy are ineffective. The ban is to prevent gays from servicing in the Armed Forces and the policy is to protect a person’s right to privacy. I believe that they are almost opposites and that is why they are ineffective. For example, a military leader can suspect that a military member’s sexual orientation is geared towards the same sex but with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, you really won’t know. You can’t even determine if a male or female planning to enlist in the military would prefer a same sex relationship? This policy does not foster an effective ban.
According to the Internet article on “Gays in the Military” (1998), it has been the U.S. military’s official policy to exclude homosexuals from the service for nearly fifty years. Gay people have not always been barred from the military service, and in fact, have served in this nation’s wars throughout history. The first sodomy laws for the military were introduced in the “Articles of War” in 1916. The military official stance towards gays and lesbians has evolved over time. Attitudes began to change in the early 1940s, when homosexuality came to be viewed as a treatable mental illness. In 1943, psychiatrists helped them write regulations that barred people from military service. In 1950, those regulations officially became part of the Uniformed Military Code of Justice. Article 125 of that law, is an anti-sodomy statue that prohibits oral or anal sex by any service members.
The military’s policy on homosexuality is titled “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Under the policy, an enlisted person that admits to being gay or who engages in homosexual acts can be discharged, but commanders are not to ask if personnel are gay unless...