Gay Scoutmasters Ban Backfires on Military

(I can’t resist stealing this post word-for-word from SistersTalk:)

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, found that educational institutions have a First Amendment right to keep military recruiters off their campuses to protest the Defense Department policy of excluding gays from military service.

Colleges Can Bar Army Recruiters

Looks like that decision allowing the Boy Scouts to ban gay Scoutmasters backfired on the military. Oops!

The 2-to-1 decision relied in large part on a decision in 2000 by the United States Supreme Court to allow the Boy Scouts to exclude gay scoutmasters. Just as the Scouts have a First Amendment right to bar gays, the appeals court said, law schools may prohibit groups that they consider discriminatory.

Poetic justice. Oh so priceless.

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25 Responses to Gay Scoutmasters Ban Backfires on Military

  1. 1
    Raznor says:

    A nice silver lining, to be sure, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that the Supreme Court ruled anti-gay discrimination as being A-OK. It’s liked getting punched in the gut so hard you double over in pain and thus find a dollar on the ground. The free dollar is cool, but it doesn’t make up for the ruptured spleen.

  2. 2
    Michael says:

    It’s also a bit disconcerting that the military may be hindered from recruiting from colleges. I had many, well-educated friends in college went into the military and I’m glad that they’re in the system. Our army should be the best and the brightest. But what happens when the military doesn’t have access to the best and the brightest?

  3. 3
    Hestia says:

    I’m a bit concerned that this decision will make it easier for federally-funded colleges to ban groups that promote GLBT rights as well as other groups that support progressive values. Can a college now decide to refuse to let Democrats come on campus to register new voters, just because it doesn’t like some part of the Democratic platform?

    Plus, I just don’t understand why the court thinks it’s OK to say, “Federally-funded College X can refuse to allow federally-funded Organization Y on campus because of Y’s anti-gay policies–but those policies themselves are just fine.”

  4. 4
    Samantha says:

    Raznor, that’s the best analogy I’ve read in a long time. Very evocative.

  5. 5
    mythago says:

    But what happens when the military doesn’t have access to the best and the brightest?

    You mean such as having policies that ban those of the best and the brightest who might be homosexual?

    I’m sorry, but the blame for the “how is the military going to recruit?” problem lies squarely on the military. If a private business refused to hire blacks, nobody would whine that business ought to be allowed to recruit anyway, based on how well it did by all the whites it hired.

  6. 6
    Aaron V. says:

    I find the anti-gay discrimination in the armed forces ludicrous, especially the dismissal of gay Arabic translators.

    Are you really so fearful for your own masculinity that you’re willing to get rid of highly trained troops who understand the language the enemy speaks?

    In my using the Lewis & Clark law school career and placement office, I ran across JAG postings. Lewis & Clark had a *huge* disclaimer on the top of the posting, basically saying the military discriminates against queers and that they only have the posting in there because they’d lose Federal funding if they didn’t have the listing and allow recruiters on campus to do interviews.

  7. 7
    jstevenson says:

    I hesitate to get into this here, but the policy in the Marine Corps — has worked pretty well.

    There is a lot of propaganda out there regarding Clinton’s don’t ask, don’t pursue policy. As such most of the discharges for homosexual conduct have been voluntary. I assisted over 30 military members with their discharge requests. Additionally, several other homosexual Marines were retained in the service even though they made a declaration of homosexual conduct. If someone is getting discharged from the Marine Corps because of homosexual conduct, and they did not want to be discharged then it is because they had committed some type of aggravated violation, ie forcible sodomy, fraternization or sexual harassment. I can’t speak for the other services, but I can tell you that there is a lot of hype regarding this policy that is not true. A lot of these stories are propogated by people who were discharged for raping some young sailor while he was drunk.

    That is just information from someone inside the military with several gay friends who are honorably serving our country.

  8. 8
    Hestia says:

    Funny how the military rushes to crack down on gays, but when it comes to accusations of rape and sexual harrassment committed by heterosexual guys, suddenly everybody’s looking the other way…

  9. 9
    jstevenson says:

    Hestia,

    I don’t think it is fair to say they look the other way. The leaders don’t look the other way.

    Additionally the military does not “rush to crack down on gays”. Gays and straights are prosecuted just as vigoriously for aggravated sexual harassment and rape.

    Again, I am speaking in regards to the Marine Corps — the academies, the other services have serious discipline problems as evidenced by Abu Graib, the Reservists who refused orders and the Navy sailor who missed his movement today in San Diego.

  10. 10
    Hestia says:

    Yeah, OK, it isn’t the leaders. Sure.

  11. 11
    jstevenson says:

    Hestia — I said, “I am speaking in regards to the Marine Corps — the academies, the other services have serious discipline problems as evidenced by Abu Graib, the Reservists who refused orders and the Navy sailor who missed his movement today in San Diego.”

    The problems at the service academies are the same problems that go on at all major universities and are not indicative of the military as a whole. Additionally, the Air Force, by virtue of its recent origins and philosophy, has had major problems with fraternization (which is a major precursor to sexual harrassment claims) and undisciplined units.

    I am not saying that there are not problems with sexual harrassment in the military, I am saying that 1) the problems in the military are less than the population at large; 2) prosecuted more than the population at large; and 3) dealt with more aggressively than the population at large.

    It is not that the military rushes to crack down on allegations of homosexual rape any more than allegations of heterosexual rape, it is that when there is an allegation of homosexual rape or sexual harassment there is a clear indication of rape in almost every instance. However, when there is an allegation of heterosexual rape the allegations is not necessarily as clear. The same is true for sexual harassment.

  12. 12
    jstevenson says:

    Hestia,

    I don’t think this reply is over the line (I hope).

    That is what I mean by misinformation. I think if you speak with your Army JAG friend they will agree with me (but I am not positive on that issue).

    If you look at the comments on her site you will get an understand as to what is really going on not what the propaganda, anti-servicemember, venom spitting people will have you believe.

    I am not saying the military is a perfect institution, but when you look at the U.S. military compared to other U.S. institutions it is probably the best run organization at the tactical and operational level. Now at the strategic and national level I cannot in good faith give wholesale support to the establishment.

    What I can say is that you have no basis for your accusations and they are completely inaccurate.

    I can tell you that each unit has at least one equal opportunity officer and a sexual harassment officer. We have mandatory reporting policies and mandatory investigations to stomp out sexual harassment and it is as effective as it could be. When there is a failure of command or the application of the sexual harassment policy it is fixed through the administrative investigation process generally from the upper echelons of the regional commander (General or Admiral).

    There is no “gay offender” officer. Any investigation of homosexual conduct is the same investigation that goes on in regards to heterosexual conduct and would require processing for discharge regardless if it were heterosexual conduct or homosexual conduct. For example, I had two cases of getting a blow job in the office — one was heterosexual, the other was homosexual. All four parties involved in the separate incidents were processed for administrative discharge and all but the male involved in the heterosexual conduct were retained in the military.

    I am so sick of civilians, who have never served, using our men and women as guinea pigs for their social agenda’s and critizing the military with false information.

    I am in no way a career guy, but I did this to serve my country and it does not help when the country does not serve you. Pay lip service to support the troops, but when it comes to it, both liberals and conservatives think the military is there — not to protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic, but for their freakin’, stupid, uninformed, political gain!

    Sorry — I just get a little peaved by the uninformed rhetoric and the problems that it causes our young men and women who are just trying to do a job the protected are too weak willed to do.

  13. 13
    Hestia says:

    Well, jstevenson, I’m just glad that you didn’t say what it seemed like you said. (Thanks for clearing that up, Robert.)

    Perhaps somebody other than jstevenson, since he can’t respond, knows whether it’s actually true that male-on-male sexual assault is more prevalent on a subordinate-superior basis and male-on-female sexual assault is more prevalent on a peer-to-peer basis, because I’m skeptical.

    Although, really, it’s irrelevant, because in my original post I was comparing the military’s response to sexuality in the form of sexual orientation versus sexual harrassment. They seem to be more serious about keeping gays out of the military than they are about addressing the issue of sexual assault against women, and that’s pretty messed up. The implication is, “We don’t want our heterosexual men to feel uncomfortable around gay men [and that in itself implies that all homosexuals pursue intimate relationships with their fellow soldiers]–but we don’t really care how women feel.”

  14. 14
    jstevenson says:

    I am sorry Amp, my post was not intended to get into rape or abortion. I don’t think I brought up rape or abortion, but I was responding to what Hestia said.

    I wanted to give a perspective of someone in the military, who administered the individual servicemember portion of the DADT policy for over 13,000 service members and someone who is responsible for instructing the vast majority of the Naval and Marine Corps Commanders on the proper administration of the policy within their organization. Those organizations range from 100 to 2000 young men and women, a portion of whom have homosexual desires. Most important I did not want people to get misinformation. I thought I was very professional and I have taken great strides not to Troll in my posts.

    Please do not chastise me for this post, but it would be kinda unfair to let Hestia or anyone else have this opinion without a response — Hestia I would never consider such a thing and am insulted that you would read my post to say such an awful thing. My point was summed up nicely by what Robert said.

  15. 15
    Ampersand says:

    Jstevenson -

    I think you’ve forgotten something.

    JStevenson, you’re banned from posting about abortion or rape on my website for the rest of 2004, and also banned from posting a response to any post discussing abortion or rape. That’ll give me a chance to see if removing you from these threads leads to a substantial improvement in the content and tone of those threads.

    You’re free to post replies to other posts, as long as you don’t use that as an opportunity to post about abortion or rape.

    Assuming you don’t want to be banned from “alas” entirely, I’d suggest that you stop discussing rape here immediately.

  16. 16
    Hestia says:

    jstevenson, please tell me you’re not actually saying, “When men accuse other men of sexual assault, everybody should believe them, but when women do it, well, they could be lying.” Because that’s sure what it sounds like.

  17. 17
    Robert says:

    Hestia -

    He’s not saying that.

    If a subordinate files a claim against a superior, then if it actually happened, there’s automatically an offense, regardless of whether there was consent or mutual interest or what have you.

    If a peer files a claim against a peer, then it has to be additionally established that consent was not given, because it’s possible that the incident was consensual.

    If most homosexual incidents are subordinate-superior, but most heterosexual incidents are peer-to-peer, then heterosexual incidents are going to be more difficult to prosecute, because an additional element has to be proved.

    The gender of the participants is immaterial.

  18. 18
    jstevenson says:

    In my experience and given a cross section of the M.J. reported cases, most of the homosexual aggravated sexual harassment or assault allegations are by subordinates against seniors (I said homosexual rape in the preceding post, but that was a misstatment since there is no such offense as homosexual rape). There is no question, in a prosecution sense (that pesky presumption of innocence thing), that there is misconduct in regards to male on male sexual harassment or assault. On the other hand, the vast majority of heterosexual sexual harassment complaints or alleged sexual assualts are not senior subordinate and is peer to peer. The fact that it is peer to peer means that sexual assualt or harassment must be proven and is not per se based on the relationship. In that sense it seems that the military rushes to prosecute homosexual assaults and harassment more than heterosexual, which is not the case. In my experience and knowledge, both are just as vigorously pursued (allegations of heterosexual assaults are even more vigorously pursued “in the fleet”). The types of homosexual sexual harassment and assualts generally encountered are just easier to prove than heterosexual assaults.

    No need to flame. I was just pointing out that the public’s perception is based on less than the whole picture.

  19. 19
    Q Grrl says:

    “It is not that the military rushes to crack down on allegations of homosexual rape any more than allegations of heterosexual rape, it is that when there is an allegation of homosexual rape or sexual harassment there is a clear indication of rape in almost every instance. However, when there is an allegation of heterosexual rape the allegations is not necessarily as clear. The same is true for sexual harassment.”

    Come again? I need you to really explicitly explain what you mean here so that I don’t accidentally flame the living bejeezus out of you…

  20. 20
    Hestia says:

    Oh, yeah: I forgot that criticizing the military in any way is anti-American. My mistake.

    Now I remember why I stopped reading your posts, jstevenson…

  21. 21
    jstevenson says:

    “Oh, yeah: I forgot that criticizing the military in any way is anti-American.” That is not what I said Hestia and it is an unfair characterization which avoids the underpinnings of your baseless accusations.

    The military has problems. And it is ok to criticize the military. However, that criticism needs to be based on the truth and not based on myths propogated by those who hate the military.

    And I must apologize for losing it. I never want to stifle debate . . .

    Your baseless accusations are unproductive. It is ok to criticize. But to criticize without an alternative solution and based on false information is hurtful and unproductive to those who are doing a dangerous and necessary job.

  22. 22
    Q Grrl says:

    “But to criticize without an alternative solution and based on false information is hurtful and unproductive to those who are doing a dangerous and necessary job.”

    For the record: women are more likely to be hurt by men they know and “love”. Being a woman is also both “necessary” and “dangerous”. I have no particular pity for those in the military. They are at less risk than the average woman.

  23. 23
    jstevenson says:

    Q Grrl: Criticizing women based on inaccurate information is also hurtful and unproductive. Alas, I do have sympathy for women who are hurt by the men they know and love and do everything in my power to support and respect the women in my life and the one’s with whom I come in contact.

  24. 24
    Doug says:

    My personal take on this issue is this, I and anyone I have ever talked to about this DO NOT WANT an openly gay member with us in the trenches. Call it what you will, I do not care. But, without our service, (which most of the respondants on this site would seem to fall into this catagory. Would be happy to see us disappear.) the freedom to think and do just about anything you want would be gone!!!

  25. 25
    Q Grrl says:

    “But, without our service, (which most of the respondants on this site would seem to fall into this catagory. Would be happy to see us disappear.) the freedom to think and do just about anything you want would be gone!!!”

    No, the fact that I vote keeps my freedoms secure. Oh wait, I’m gay, so I’m not sure which freedoms you’re protecting.