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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly
    #4030104 - 04/08/05 11:04 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Gay US Soldier Wants to Serve Openly

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq wants a chance to remain in the military as an openly gay soldier, a desire that's bringing him into conflict with the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Sgt. Robert Stout, 23, says he has not encountered trouble from fellow soldiers and would like to stay if not for the policy that permits gay men and women to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret.

"I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open," Stout said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But if we have to stay here and hide our lives all the time, it's just not worth it."

Stout, of Utica, Ohio, was awarded the Purple Heart after a grenade sent pieces of shrapnel into his arm, face and legs while he was operating a machine gun on an armored Humvee last May.

He is believed to be the first gay soldier wounded in Iraq to publicly discuss his sexuality, said Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

"We can't keep hiding the fact that there's gay people in the military and they aren't causing any harm," said Stout, who says he is openly gay among most of his 26-member platoon, which is part of the 9th Engineer Battalion based in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Stout, who served in Iraq for more than a year as a combat engineer, said by acknowledging he is gay, he could be jailed and probably will be discharged before his scheduled release date of May 31.

"The old armchair thought that gay people destroy unit camaraderie and cohesion is just wrong," Stout said. "They said the same things when they tried to integrate African-Americans and women into the military."

Before the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, enacted in 1993 under the Clinton administration, the Pentagon had explicitly barred gays from military service. At least 24 countries, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Australia, Canada and Israel, allow gays to serve openly.

In an e-mail following the AP interview, Stout said he had been ordered not to speak to the media. "I guess they found out somehow that I was talking to the press and now they are having a fit. I will try to get everything straightened out," Stout wrote.

Martha Rudd, a spokeswoman for the Army at the Pentagon, said soldiers who are discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" typically receive honorable discharges, although the timing would be up to the individual's commanding officer. She declined to comment about Stout, saying the Army doesn't comment on specific cases.

The issue of whether gays should be allowed to openly serve in the military has received increased attention in recent months as the Army has struggled to meet its recruiting goals. Twelve gays expelled from the military sued the government in December, citing a Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional state laws against homosexual sex.

The Bush administration has asked a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey has said he opposes changing the policy, although Pentagon figures show a sharp decline in the number of U.S. military members discharged for making it known they are homosexual, falling from 1,227 in 2001 to 653 last year.

A recent congressional study on the impact of "don't ask, don't tell" said that hundreds of highly skilled troops, including many translators, have left the armed forces because of the rule, at a cost of nearly $200 million, mostly for recruiting and training replacements for 9,500 troops discharged between 1994 and 2003.

Gary Gates, a statistician at the University of California at Los Angeles, estimates there are about 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in the military, accounting for about 2.8 percent of all personnel. He estimates that at least 25 gay soldiers have been killed in Iraq.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a conservative advocacy group that opposes gays serving in the military, said a better way to avoid the cost of replacing soldiers who are discharged for being gay is to make it very clear to people who enlist in the military, including Stout, that they are ineligible to serve if they are gay.

"I honor and respect his service to this country, but the fact that he's wounded really doesn't change the underlying fact. ... He is not eligible to serve," Donnelly said, adding that there are many reasons why people aren't eligible to serve. "This is just one of them."

Stout said he suspected while in high school that he was gay but didn't acknowledge it until later. "Then I noticed that it wasn't a phase or anything. This is me," said Stout, who enlisted in the Army after graduating in 2000.

"The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, when it first came out, was a good stepping stone, but it's outlived its usefulness," he said. "We've progressed past it both as a military and as a society."

Recent media polls indicate some increased public acceptance for allowing gays to serve openly in the military, with more than six in 10 Americans supporting the idea while about half supported it a decade ago. An Annenberg poll taken last fall among members of the military showed a majority opposed to such service, though half of junior enlisted personnel said gays should be allowed to serve openly.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinescribble
Stranger
Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 86
Last seen: 11 years, 6 months
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030131 - 04/08/05 11:14 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

personally I don't mind if gays were aloud in the military and if they want to be open about it I'm sure they understand that they are going to receive some punishment for it. If they know that and still want to join openly they should be able to. ... I'm not saying they should get beat up for being gay I'm just saying I'm sure someone is going to.


--------------------
Mahayana Buddhist tradition tells how Buddha lived on one hemp seed a day.
This was enough to sustain him during the six steps of asceticism leading to his Enlightenment.
In recent centuries, higher doses have been favoured.


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OfflineRedNucleus
Causal Observer
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Registered: 02/27/01
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: scribble]
    #4030140 - 04/08/05 11:16 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

In the Navy, yes, you can
sail the seven seas.
In the Navy, yes, you can put your
mind at ease.
In the Navy, come on now people, make a
stand.
In the Navy, can't you see we need a hand.
In the Navy, come on, protect the motherland.
In the Navy,
come on and join your fellow man.



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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,951
Loc: the sky
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: scribble]
    #4030142 - 04/08/05 11:18 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

scribble said:
personally I don't mind if gays were aloud in the military and if they want to be open about it I'm sure they understand that they are going to receive some punishment for it. If they know that and still want to join openly they should be able to. ... I'm not saying they should get beat up for being gay I'm just saying I'm sure someone is going to.




Obviously, what you're saying they have to "Get used to" is the source of the entire problem.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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OfflineAsanteA
flip-flop magician
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030174 - 04/08/05 11:31 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

A recent congressional study on the impact of "don't ask, don't tell" said that hundreds of highly skilled troops, including many translators, have left the armed forces because of the rule, at a cost of nearly $200 million, mostly for recruiting and training replacements for 9,500 troops discharged between 1994 and 2003.

Gary Gates, a statistician at the University of California at Los Angeles, estimates there are about 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in the military, accounting for about 2.8 percent of all personnel. He estimates that at least 25 gay soldiers have been killed in Iraq.




$200.000.000 + $1.400.000.000 = $1.600.000.000

$1.600.000.000 ...you american taxpayers pay a high price for your government's homophobia  :mad:

What's there to say about it? It's just plain wrong. 75.000 people want to serve but they're getting kicked out because they are unwanted. Even when recruiting goals are barely met. Even if it costs the taxpayer $1.600.000.000

Imagine that 1.600 US towns and villages got $1.000.000 extra to address the problems of their communities... But nooo, let's use it to get fags out of the military :rolleyes:


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InvisibleIrradiated_Feces
doomedgeneration
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Registered: 07/12/03
Posts: 4,278
Loc: Great White North
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: Asante]
    #4030191 - 04/08/05 11:38 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

"Anyone . . . DUMB enough . . . to want to be in the military, should be allowed in. End of fucking story. That should be the only requirement."


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,951
Loc: the sky
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: Irradiated_Feces]
    #4030193 - 04/08/05 11:39 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

:lol:


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinesnoopaloop53
No BetterFriend. NoWorse Friend.

Registered: 01/21/05
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030212 - 04/08/05 11:54 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

not no to gays in the military, but HELL NO.


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
Not here
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Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 16,499
Loc: Longitudinal Center of Ca...
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030225 - 04/08/05 11:59 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Obviously, what you're saying they have to "Get used to" is the source of the entire problem.




Prejudice? Yes. People have to get used to it.

Change it or accept it; the only sane choices for an individual. And I don't think it's possible for any individual to rid the military of prejudice.


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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InvisibleVvellum
Stranger

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 10,920
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #4030253 - 04/08/05 12:08 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

people certainly got used to all those pesky Negros in the military - they even disbaned the Negro-only or White-only units in favor of integration. Hard to fathom, I know...


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Offlinescribble
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Registered: 04/05/05
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: Vvellum]
    #4030260 - 04/08/05 12:13 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

that's kinda what I'm saying if gays wanna join they will have to deal w/ shit directed at them but as long as they are joining everyone else will have to get used to them and eventually the shit will stop... or at least slow... hate has an amazing ability to continue


--------------------
Mahayana Buddhist tradition tells how Buddha lived on one hemp seed a day.
This was enough to sustain him during the six steps of asceticism leading to his Enlightenment.
In recent centuries, higher doses have been favoured.


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InvisibleIrradiated_Feces
doomedgeneration
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Registered: 07/12/03
Posts: 4,278
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: scribble]
    #4030281 - 04/08/05 12:20 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The military could always use more fodder, I don't see the issue.


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Offlinesnoopaloop53
No BetterFriend. NoWorse Friend.

Registered: 01/21/05
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: Irradiated_Feces]
    #4030341 - 04/08/05 12:38 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The issue is we have to work closely with one another, it is more than a 9-5 job so there has to limits on what kind of lifestyles soldiers can live. If everyone can't live comfortably in close conditions, then they won't be able to train effectively, then they won't be able to destroy the enemy effictively and that is the job of our military.


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
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Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: snoopaloop53]
    #4030350 - 04/08/05 12:41 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

You're assuming that all gays who go into the military are going to be constantly jonesing to fuck their fellow soldiers.

By that reasoning, women shouldn't be allowed in the military so straight male soldiers don't always want to fuck them.

Unless you're going to say that gays are hornier for their own kind then men are for women, and therefore shouldn't be in the military. And I don't think I need to tell you how ludicrous an assumption that would be.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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InvisibleIrradiated_Feces
doomedgeneration
 User Gallery

Registered: 07/12/03
Posts: 4,278
Loc: Great White North
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030380 - 04/08/05 12:53 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Then again... the guys don't get to shower with the ladies.


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Offlinesnoopaloop53
No BetterFriend. NoWorse Friend.

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 311
Last seen: 6 years, 3 months
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4030381 - 04/08/05 12:53 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

i'm not assuming that at all, but in the military one spends alot of time talking about pussy, and saying off color jokes. you also spend a lot of times crammed together and again that is going to make people uncomforatable and not focusing on the task at hand.

yes women are a very big distraction in the military, and i'm not a big supporter of women in the military either...although sometimes they can be nice to have around.

i suppose if we had to let gays in then they could serve in the same type roles as women, out of combat units. this is just one area i don't think gays belong. i'm all for letting them get married, list eachother as beneficiaries, able to share health insurance benefits, etc. it's just that the military is a totally different kind of entity.


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Offlineummikko
sika joka eilenn? on pelkk?sika

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 1,222
Loc: Finland
Last seen: 7 years, 5 months
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: snoopaloop53]
    #4030463 - 04/08/05 01:19 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

If gays are that effective in distracting U.S. soldiers then Bin Laden should be training gay terrorists.


--------------------
"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." -Paracelsius


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,951
Loc: the sky
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: ummikko]
    #4030467 - 04/08/05 01:19 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

ummikko said:
If gays are that effective in distracting U.S. soldiers then Bin Laden should be training gay terrorists.




:lol:  And meanwhile, it's US SOLDIERS that are posing Arab prisoners as if they were having gay sex.

US Soldiers are gayer than they realize.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Invisiblericochet
Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 1,112
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4032405 - 04/08/05 10:23 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

it speaks volumes about our country that this is even an issue.


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: Gay US Soldier wants to Serve - Openly [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #4032484 - 04/08/05 10:57 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

America! :thumbdown:


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