Essay on Homosexuals in the military

Submitted By achiment
Words: 1726
Pages: 7

February 12, 2014
Literature Review:
How will open homosexuals in the US military affect morale, stability and structure of the military? In the early 1990’s there was an elaborate debate as to whether or not open homosexuals should be allowed to join the United States military. As we know, there were two extreme sides to this issue. Many felt that there was no reason to change the accepted notion of having an all heterosexual military. Those on that side of the rock felt that the high standards the military has in place would be jeopardized by allowing homosexuals into the military. Since our military is arguably one of our country’s best sections, one might have argued that we did not need to change our ways that far into it. However, many may have felt that excluding homosexuals from the military was just downright wrong, which studies will prove soon. They had several claims, such as homosexuals are not less able to perform tasks than heterosexuals, and everyone still has to abide by the same rules and proper conduct put in place by the military (Clinton). Clearly the debate as to what the proper action for the military to take has provided us with many sources giving details serving both sides of the spectrum. The decision that was rightfully made affected not only the United States military, but also the homosexual community, so it was important that these choices were not taken lightly.
E.L. Pattullo wrote an article in 1993 for a known conservative magazine, the National Review. He takes a strong stance by noting that the "introduction of the certainty of sexual intrigue into combat ranks poses a serious threat to military culture" (40). Pattullo is a retired director of the Center for the Behavioral Sciences at Harvard University, Therefore he is highly educated in this particular field. At the time which the article was written, the idea of allowing homosexuals into the military had not been officially brought up by the president. Although it was a known issue that was bound to come up in the near future, and rightfully so that particular issue showed itself. Pattullo gives several reasons as to why he feels that allowing open homosexuals into the military would cause morale and unit cohesion to suffer. For one, he reasons that “to be uncertain whether the friendly arm about the shoulder or comradely pat on the rear is motivated by eros or fraternity is disconcerting” (41). This is a valid point, as it could be confusing as to what is really going on; however, one also must remember that there are conduct codes that all patrons have to abide by whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. He also expresses the concern for the rise in the number of cases of AIDS that would be introduced to the ranks, since “Battlefields are bloody” (41). Pattullo concludes by saying “Thanks to their professionalism our armed forces will survive, but they will be weakened. Though hard to quantify, the cost to morale will be real and lasting” (41).
Another source that showed a strong concern about allowing homosexuals in the military would be the source titled “Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces.” This source is a United States codification drawn up by Congress in 1993 in response to Clinton’s goal to allow homosexuals into the military. They give fifteen reasons why the military is no place for homosexuals. The source starts out stating very bacis reasons that could apply to anyone they would not want in, such as “there is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces” (10 USC). As the list continues, the reasons become more specific, a fine example being “the prohibition against homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service” (10 USC). It is clear that like Pattullo, Congress agreed and felt very strongly that allowing open homosexuals in the military would not be beneficial to morale and