E Pluribus Unum: Open Homosexuality and the Culture War within the US Armed Forces
Air and Space Power Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 68-76, 2011
9 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2011
On December 22, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was signed into law providing the the legal path to give equal protection to all service members regardless of sexual orientation. As was the case with race and gender, the further expansion of the military social aperture to accept homosexuals had the predominant impact of making the military more inclusive and giving equal social status to a previously disadvantaged class of citizens. Yet, there are reasons for concern in the United States. First, the integration of Blacks and women into the military was not accomplished without difficulty and remains unfinished today. While the military deserves credit for today's relatively healthy racial climate, the full integration of women remains a struggle. Second, the gap between the social and political values of the officer corps and those of the general population has widened to a disturbing extent, a fact aggravated by the belief that the military culture is not only separate but also superior. Finally, the extent to which this gap manifests itself in devoutly held religious beliefs that sometimes contradict emerging law and policy on sexual orientation presents a special problem because of faith‘s claim to the whole person. This essay addresses the possible impact of these challenges on a successful transition to a military that respects openly homosexual service members.
Note: Downloadable document is in Chinese.
Keywords: don't ask don't tell, homosexual, gay, military, LBGT, culture, homosexuality
JEL Classification: Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation