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President Bill Clinton reversed the military law that banned homosexuals from serving in the military. Due to the opposition that the president faced from the congress and Joint Chiefs of Staff, he established a “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy where the recruiters were not to ask the people enlisted in the army about their sexual orientation. In 1993, a law was passed prohibiting homosexuals and bisexuals to serve in the military. The law stated that the presence of homosexuals or people with a propensity to engage in homosexual acts in the armed forces would pose an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that form the essence of the capability of the military (Maginnis, 2000).
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According to Maginnis (2000), active service in the military requires a unique blend of the military employees, ethics, culture and bonding so that an effective war fighting spirit is established. Active open service demands and constraints are unique on the soldiers. There are few bounds for this unique life for soldiers. The availability of the soldier for worldwide deployment to a combat environment is no doubt required. Maginnis (2000) notes that the cohesive fighting spirit is based on this culture. The army employees are not used to gays and their inclusion in the army could spark serious cases of discrimination and harassment that could jeopardize the cohesion and morale of soldiers.
According to the center for Disease control report, the level of HIV infection rate is high in homosexuals than other normal citizens. Additionally, the presence of homosexuals in the military could lead to increased spread of HIV AIDs in the military. The homosexuals could not be allowed to donate blood because they are at an increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis B. their donation of the blood could increase the spread of the diseases in the military hence ruining the military morale. Enforcing the acceptance of the homosexuals in the military serving openly can lead to apprehension and resentment in units, thus threatening the readiness and morale of the military. Following these effects of the homosexuals in the military, the congress should not interfere with the policies that govern recruitment in the military so that homosexuals are included in the military (Maginnis, 2000).
Contrary to the law, civil societies argue that the military should lift the ban on the inclusion of homosexuals in the military because the policy of “Don’t ask don’t tell” is vague. There have been many discharges of homosexuals from the military due to voluntary declarations of sexual preferences. However, the question to ask is whether the statements are being generated by official inquiries or harassment. The policy encourages harassment of homosexuals. The compromise is not working. Additionally, the military as it discharges homosexuals is facing deficits in recruitments. Therefore, the military should recruit the homosexuals to serve in the military rather than face shortages (Shalikashvili, 2007).
In the early 1990s when the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy was enacted, it was thought that letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harm recruitment and undermine unit cohesion. However, it has been along time that this policy has been in place yet the discrimination of gays continues (Shalikashvili, 2007). Despite the discrimination and discharges, many of the military personnel have come to terms that the gay people do exists in the society and they can openly interact. Since many people are in a position to openly interact with the gay without any trouble, the gay should be allowed to serve in the military since they also dedicate their services to the country. The open interactions without sexual affiliation boundaries will not ruin unity, cohesion and morale in the military. Therefore, discrimination against the gays should not continues because as Funk & Wise (1989) argues it only increases deviance and the number of gays in the society. Their acceptance will reduce the level of gays in the society while the army performing well.
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