Monday, December 20, 2010

Don We Now...



It's official: the Senate has voted to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which kept Gays from serving openly in the military, and the alleged president is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as his metrosexual nail gloss dries.

Here at Hope n' Change, we have genuinely mixed feelings about this policy change. We didn't like "Don't Ask" because it was forcing men and women to live a lie. Moreover, we support the notion of Gay Rights (not greater rights than straight folks have - simply the same). And though it sounds cliched, some of our best friends really and truly are Gay, and we have great respect for the monogamous longterm Gay relationships we've seen firsthand.

All of that being said, the military is a special situation. Individuals must mesh together and work as a team, or people will die. Which makes this a very high-stakes environment for social experimentation.

Some hand-picked military experts have said they expect the transition to be problem-free. Others have said that they expect the presence of openly Gay troops to hurt morale and weaken our fighting strength and security. And if the experts can't agree, how could the rest of us hope to know what's best?

So we hope that the reversal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a success...and that the integration of Gay troops has no negative impact. But if it does have a bad outcome, we also hope that leaders will have the courage to come forth and say so, and change the system back...even if it offends the politically correct.

In closing, we leave you with this clip from the film "Full Metal Jacket" in which you can see the way military team-building is, and must be, done. The language is "not safe for work," but the reason you're safe at work is because soldiers who look, sound, and act like this have made it safe. And we dare not weaken them.



31 comments:

MORONPOLITICS said...

To quote one future Presidential candidate. "That's flippin' weird, man!"

Pete(Detroit) said...

Agreed, Stilt, very mixed feelings
Keeping fingers crossed.
Maybe if they set up a 'bigot brigade', segregated by gender and color as well as orientation for folks who can't handle the truth?
Unisex barracks / shower facilities, where men, women, straight / gay whatever eat, sleep, and bathe together, and nudity becomes irrelevant, in.re. 'sexuality' (and not a bad idea for society in general, I think - we'd be a lot happier if a glimpse of nipple (or ankle, in some societies) didn't send 14 yr olds into a hormone fueled frenzy)

Anyway, the 'ugly' truth is that they are already THERE, serving with our (other) fine men and women - their buddies just don't necessarily know who they are...

Seen on another board (so it MUSY be true), it's already 'against the rules' to engage in discussions of a sexual nature - so perhaps the answer is NO one telling about who they find hot / desirable?
Yeah, right - soldiers in foxholes are going to talk about those they left at home, in ANY event...

tfhr said...

Stilton,

Well said. The DADT policy was a poorly considered policy put in place by a President that had never served and routinely displayed a preference for lying, deceit, and interns. The DADT policy came to be because of a reckless campaign promise that Bill Clinton could not deliver. His "compromise solution" asked service members to compromise their integrity.

This latest policy change is equally ill considered and forces a degree of social engineering on the military that our current President would never attempt to force on civilians and by that I mean that Barack Obama says he is against gay marriage and will not risk his political future on that fight. By his own hesitancy to support gay marriage, Obama demonstrates that the country does not view homosexuals as "equal", or you could be sure that he would be for it.

There are a variety of reasons why most Americans reject the concept of gay marriage but the bottom line for Obama is that he can assuage his political base by harnessing the military with this new burden without risking wider public ire by also stepping up for equal treatment for homosexuals on the marriage matter.

In the end, DADT codified lying as an acceptable form of behavior in the military - the very last place in our society where that can be tolerated. A corrupt President left his mark on our Armed Forces with DADT and now an utterly craven President has created a situation that will ultimately leave homosexual service members in a second class status while inspiring rancor amongst the various service branches by codifying behavior that is still widely regarded as immoral and distasteful both inside and outside the military.

If this was going to happen at all, the President and his supporters should have at least waited to resolve the following issues, if they could not wait for the civilian sector to catch up:

1. Benefits. Homosexual service members that are "married" will find themselves denied housing and medical privileges for their "spouse" unless the federal government recognizes same sex marriages as valid. If the U.S. Government chooses to provide full benefits without recognizing the marriage then how can they deny the same benefits to unmarried, opposite sex "partners" that cohabit?

2. Security. Previously, being homosexual was grounds for discharge. If not for moral grounds, there was also a case for deterring blackmailers from targeting a homosexual with the goal of compromising security. Some would argue that the latest and greatest idea to emerge from this amazingly incompetent Congress and President would remove that risk by allowing open service but you would have to be incredibly naive to believe that every last homosexual would reveal their preference for a form of behavior that their families, friends, and co-workers still find abhorrent. Forcing this policy on the military does not change the hearts of everyone.

In response, I think the new policy should require the individual to inform the military of their sexual orientation in order to obtain a clearance. "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" should become "Tell". We all give up certain rights of privacy when we take the oath to serve. We provide our finger prints, DNA, submit to background checks, drug tests, and agree to have our phone conversations and email monitored while on post. That is standard fare for ALL service members even before we add on the additional background checks needed for security clearances.

More to follow ~

tfhr said...

So this Congress and our President may ultimately compromise the privacy of homosexuals that wish to serve but that is a small price to pay. The highest costs will come in ways that will ultimately result in lives lost. By creating a new "protected" class within the military we will be expected to spend precious time and resources "training" heterosexual service members how to regard their gay counterparts. We will spend time honoring them with a special month of recognition simply because of their choice of sex partners.

At some point promotion boards will yield results that do not meet a previously expected proportional outcome. There will be a percentage of expected homosexuals selected for promotion and when that does not happen the results will have to be reworked and someone will be denied a promotion to accommodate political sensitivity. It has already happened with regard to gender and race and while that is not to say that those factors should prohibit service, it is very clear that quotas derived from special demographic status have changed outcomes wherein performance has been outweighed by politics.

Bottom line: This latest foray into political correctness and grievance politics will serve as another example of why the military should not be used as a laboratory for social engineering because it will undermine national security in the midst of a war and ultimately cost lives.

Joseph said...

Um... not to nitpick, but it's Parade REST - it's a position, not a uniform. There are dress uniforms, but none specifically for parade.

Otherwise, I agree with your (wait for it) position on this matter.

Jim Hlavac said...

Well, this is a fine post indeed. True thanks from a gay guy. It is true that the military and its mission is far more important than gay folks' serving openly or not. In fact, virtually every problem this country faces is far more important than gay folks being accepted and included -- which is our "agenda." All of us gay folks, remember, first had to get accepted and included by our mothers & fathers and families long before we set out to get society to do so.

However, I would think that in the long slog to implement this policy the military can say, and should say, and well within its rights and for sanity and for unit cohesion and keeping the military for what it is for, that gay people can serve at first only in stateside non-combat roles. Surely in the marching band. Definitely in supply chains and other office type operations. Or in linguistics, and elsewhere where troops are not in close quarters and combat. Work us in over time, and not with like someone is going to push a remote control button and just make it happen.

You know, I took my usual unscientific poll among my gay friends -- and while we like the repeal, we're miffed at Obama for waiting until the lame duck session -- for the vote is tainted in some minds. And not a one of us says that some flimsy flighty sissy boy (and that's a lot of us,) should have the "right" to serve. No, we're damn sure that only the most able, biggest & strongest among us gay folks -- and who can pass any rigid basic and advanced training standards the military might set -- should be allowed in. Apparently it was roughly 13,000 known (the discharged,) and some other number unknown right now, who could make it. No gay man I ever spoke to thinks that feather boas or what are called "flamers" should be in the military. And if I ever heard some "gay activist" say something so stupid I'd clock him upside the head.

Jim Hlavac said...

If I might add, apropos though, when I read the concerns and comments about gay people's place in our society (not just here, but everywhere,) I'm struck by one thing -- opinion is all over the place. There is no single answer ever given as to why I might be gay or what we're to do about it. Or actually, no single answer given by straight people. All gay people, all over the world, say the same thing -- we just knew when we hit puberty. We just woke up one morning and realized, whoa, this is different. AND THEN we learned that it was somehow "wrong," or all the other vast plethora of things said about us. We knew internally first. Then came all the other stuff. I knew I was "gay" or "homosexual" and or a "fag" or worse words long before I ever heard such words uttered about me. All gay people do, which is something straights folks haven't quite grasped yet. And which is why we are so peacefully obstinate in pushing our case.

The Archbishop of the Armed Forces, during this debate, said that why people are gay is "Largely unexplained." Well, I think we should all believe the man. And thus it behooves a conservative, rational, liberty based society with the most astounding research capabilities to get together and do explain why we gay folks keep saying the same thing. We're natural by God's Grace. You straight folks are the ones confused about the issue, not us.

So let's have a National Commission On Gay Americans, spend a billion or two (we gay folks would foot the bill so long as you don't call it "promoting homosexuality,") and study the dickens out of us, and far more than John McCain wants to study. Go get out those brain scanners and MRIs and whatever else is in the arsenal of science -- and study us. And when you all come to the single conclusion, which Occam's razor dictates, that being gay is just a weird, odd thing of human nature that never affects more than 5% of the population, we'll all get along a lot better. Conceive of it as autism or something. It just is, for a tiny bunch. No one is going to be "made" gay, or "changed." We just are. And then this great debate would be over, and we can all get back to far more important matters, like the Wacko of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Jim Hlavac said...

If I might add, The Archbishop of the Armed forces said during this debate that why people are gay is "Largely unexplained." I believe the man. We should all believe him. And then, like the rational fact based society we should be, we should have a National Commission On Gay Americans and get to work to explain us. For if we are this grave threat, or whatever else is said about us in the confusion of this debate about gay people, then it behooves us all to have some facts. Study us like you all never studied anything before. So we can get to the end of this debate.

We gay folks say we're natural by God's grace. Most of you disagree. Let's find out, shall we? And not just be like a bunch of liberals chasing unicorns based on no facts beyond our own beliefs.

sbrogden said...

Sexual tension of any sort is detrimental to combat readiness. My wife and I served in the Army in the late 70s & early 80s and women being integrated into combat support units was the cause of much trouble. Homosexuals in close proximity to others of the same sex will also be a cause of stress that will work against combat readiness.

Anonymous said...

In "theory" I think the military has the experience to instill, monitor and maintain unit cohesion. And that they can make and enforce the rules necessary to limit and end disruption to that cohesion. As long as the military maintains the ability (and uses it) to determine which soldiers are best qualified to serve in combat positions I have no problem with the new policies. But I'm pessimistic in practice because of the political correctness that allowed Major Hassan to "openly" express his anti-American hostility and openess to islamic militancy. He was even promoted despite complaints and went on to kill American soldiers. I've lived long enough to see agenda driven individuals with a political ax to grind wreak havoc in public settings despite breaking inumerable rules and laws. On a note of optimism, the military has done a good job of racial integration.

Jim Hlavac said...

Anonymous - no gay man or soldier ever screamed "Death to America" while blowing up anything, or killing anyone. No gay man ever killed his tormentors. No gay person ever shot up a school board meeting, or a family gathering, because we were treated poorly or have an ax to grind. Gay people are among the most peaceful and docile people on earth. Maybe even too docile to be in the military! Our biggest ruckus is perhaps a once a year parade with a little outlandish behavior in speedos and feather boas. And perhaps we are a bit whiny with our "Oh pretty please, accept us and include us!"

Your analogy to Major Hassan is unfair and does not hold water.

And yes, PFC Manning might be gay, but Benedict Arnold was a happy hetero married with children.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers- Wow, it's always interesting to see which topics really elicit comments. And is frequently the case, I'm really impressed with the quality of the comments today. The analysis by tfhr is outstanding, and I'm really appreciative of getting Jim Hlavac's special perspective acknowledging how complicated this issue really is.

Oops- just before I hit the "post" button, a couple more comments appeared that really deserve discussion.

Anonymous & Jim Hlavac- Jim, I'm pretty sure that Anonymous wasn't in any way equating Gays with jihaddi terrorists (I certainly didn't read it that way). I think his/her point was simply that when "political correctness" becomes policy, it interferes with (and frequently supercedes) common sense. Favored minorities get promoted (or their misdeeds overlooked) to the detriment of the system...and this was what happened with Hassan; everyone was so afraid of going on record that there was something wrong with this "protected minority" that his career went up and up with undeserved promotions, ending in a blood bath. And to a less violent extent, I've certainly seen firsthand what "affirmative action" has really become in the workplace, with quota-based hiring of any minority who makes the racial numbers look good.

As you said, Jim, we need reasonable policy based on facts - and therefore have a duty to get to facts through research instead of making policy based solely on which way the political winds are blowing.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

The military is no place for social experimentation. They exist to kill people and break things, not to show how inclusive they are.
The gay activists have their agenda; to normalize and mainstream their aberrant behavior so that this 3-5% of society doesn't have to "feel" like they are on the outside. The unintended consequences don't matter, just the ends. And those ends justify any means, even the degradation of our military.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. This is the "sensitivity" that drives me nuts. I was in NO way calling gay people potential jihadists. I was using this terrorist as the most recent and most disastrous example of what happens when people get special treatment because they have a special label. All sorts of dire warning signs were missed or overlooked in his case because too many people were afraid of being perceived as "insensitive." I want the military to be able to reward and discipline according to sound rules of behavior without hand wringing about someone's race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Shang said...

You can talk about the gays and the military but that clip from "Full Metal Jacket" is classic and I bet I know who takes point on any mission now.

Bobo said...

I wasn't born until after WWII, but the stories I heard and read about integrating "Negroes" into the military and, how they weren't as (insert whatever word you want) at being soldiers as "whites" sounds an awfull lot like the comments I read above.

I was in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and worked alongside probably more closeted and openly gay men and women than I knew about. (I am straight). I never, ever, questioned someones' sexual orietation when the shit hit the fan and my or another officer's life was in peril.

My wife was in law enforcement for nearly 26 years and because she wore her hair short (for officer safety)she was quite often taken for being gay simply because she was doing what was percieved as being a "man's job." Might I add, it was straight and gay citizens making that assumption.

Changing the old axiom, 'There are no homosexuals (atheists)in a foxhole' when the fire fight is raging.

Bobo said...

Sorry..the axionm should probably read 'there is no sexual orientation in a foxhole' when the fire fight is raging.

- Bobo

John the Econ said...

The "credit" that Bill Clinton received for DADT always befuddled me, since this was the de-facto policy long before he even came along.

Personally, I think that allowing women onto the front-line was far more damaging to discipline and "unit cohesion" than allowing homosexuals will be. The astounding number of unintended & illegitimate pregnancies among females in the military is a testament to that.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Bobo- Thanks for your insights. Actual experience means a lot more than theory, and I think your law enforcement background makes you very well qualified to speak to this (obviously hot) issue.

tfhr said...

Bobo,

Would you please explain how skin color equates to behavior because if you can do that then you'll have a chance at making a valid comparison between the integration of blacks and the reversal of not only of a stupid policy (DADT) that required military service members to lie or tolerate lies, for the sake of political expediency, but you may even have grounds to support actual legislation that changes the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

As far as I can see this change creates an official second class status for serving homosexuals because it does not look forward enough to treat them as equals - as human beings deserving the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts with regard to benefits. It opens the door for quotas and protected status that will forever become an open sore at promotion boards and many other official reviews that result in special considerations. That is not equality and will hurt service members regardless of their sexual orientation.

By the way, thank you to you and yours for holding the thin, blue line, but by that very fact of your service I know that you will have a special appreciation for the value of training. Let me ask you this: During your career, how many GLBT pride month programs did you attend in lieu of training? How many classes were you required to attend each year for the benefit of gaining better understanding of your homosexual co-workers? How much money did your department have to spend to support this special training?

Now, in the midst of a war, do we want to distract our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with the special needs of the GLBT community or should we let them stay focused on dealing with IEDs, AQI, etc.? Pick your acronym.

Seriously, Bobo. I'd like to hear your response on these points.

Bobo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pryorguy said...

Great cartoon today, really classic!!

Bobo said...

My comparison of gays in the military and blacks in the military is to point out the misbelief people in and out of the military back in the day when Blacks were either not allowed to serve or were segregated into all Black divisions because it was said and assumed they couldn't do the job; that they would not be accecpted by the white troops; they were an inferior race;...blah, blah, blah. How many Blacks (and other races) now serve in the US military? What happened to all the BS that Blacks shouldn't/couldn't serve in the military?

Are they not performing to standard or better? Do we not have high ranking Black officers in all branches? What the color of the soldier is doesn't make a bit of difference to the ememy trying to kill an American soldier. What their sexual orientation is won't matter, either.

How does color relate to behavior, some ask? It doesn't anymore than sexual orientation relates to behavior of a group. Apparently lots of people think the gay soldiers will "cut and run" as soon as the situation goes South. Can anyone provide any documentation in our current war where that has occured? Can anyone provide documentation where non-gay soldiers have done the same? Our military people serve with pride. They didn't join to get rich or to meet women or men for dating purposes. We can't paint everyone with the same brush.

Many of the comments posted above are repeating that same idealogical nonsense of 200 years ago without any factual basis to point to and say "See, we told you gays shouldn't be in the military." I am quite certain there are many gay men and women currently serving our country (and maybe even other military components in other countries) where they have proven themselves worthy of service. If they don't do the work, then just like heterosexuals who don't do the work, they will be discharged, dishonorably or otherwise. Just like anyone in any occupation, they may make a career of the job or they may move on to a different discipline. Not everyone is suited to perform the job they want or desire. (I would be a doctor if I went to medical school and passed. Would I be a good doctor? Hell NO!!)

I don't believe for one second heterosexuals are the only human beings capable of fighting - either in or out of the military.

As to being given or demanding preferential assignments stateside or on the back lines, that's just crap spread to incite people. If they signed up for military service, they should serve on the front lines or at any job they QUALIFY for. We do that for the heterosexuals, don't we? People are presuming because they are gay they will automatically be given preferential treatment, promotion without merit, etc. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but not letting them into the service doesn't answer that question, does it?

Yes, there are many questions to still be answered, but those questions will never be addressed if we sit on our hands and analyze the situation until the cow comes home from jumping over the moon.

Sorry, my thoughts are rambling...its been a long day for me. For the record, I am still straight.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Bobo- You say your thoughts are "rambling," but that's not how they strike me. I think you summed this up beautifully and dispassionately. I can't recall when there's been so much spirited - but respectful and well thought out - discussion here in the comments section about a given topic.

I don't say it often enough, but it means a huge amount to me that ALL of you contribute with your different perspectives and backgrounds. While Hope n' Change is obviously a place for me to vent and have a little fun, the goal isn't for me to convince you that my opinions are right.

Rather, it's my effort to share my thoughts honestly and throw the forum open for other opinions and insights. Today, especially, I feel like I know more about this issue (and from more sides) that I did this morning. And for that, I sincerely thank everyone who's taken the time to comment today.

tfhr said...

Bobo,

This has always been an emotional issue and as such, it is especially vulnerable to the misapplication of political opportunism. Back when Clinton did us all an unforgivable disservice by attacking integrity, the cornerstone of any effective military organization, through DADT, the stage was set for a show down.

Well we've arrived at that point and the decision has been made to force the military to to do things that the civilian sector has yet to do on its own. The premature, forced mainstreaming directives of a lame duck Congress will cause problems for the military. It will be a needless distraction that could have waited for actual mainstream civilian acceptance of homosexuals and their lifestyles but nevertheless, here we are.

I noticed that you did not respond to my sincere questions about the impact on training and funding required to accommodate your homosexual coworkers. Why is that? Did you just not think about that or was it something that simply did not happen? Good for you if your department was able to accomplish the very demanding tasks thrust upon it during your service without distraction but unfortunately the military will be forced to undertake a massive training effort to meet the political whims of our leaders. There will be special training for supervisors and education programs designed to help all military personnel understand new policies and undoubtedly there will be special commemorative events designed to highlight the many contributions of homosexuals serving in the military. That's life but it will ultimately take place by cutting critical training that will be needed on the battlefield. Have you stopped to consider what that would have been like in your police department? Would it have improved your ability to do your job?

More to follow ~

Moronpolitics said...

1. There isn't any "catching up" to do, because homosexuality isn't "normal" or "equivalent" or any of the other concepts pushed by the Prohomo propaganda. It is, was and continues to be a "perversion" of "normal" sexual activity.
2. The idea of a continual "ratchet" of all behavioral and cultural ideas towards the "left", liberal, progressive or whatever label you prefer is mistaken. That isn't "progress". It's something else, something much uglier.
3. "I'll let you know I happen to have (a gay daughter, gay son, homosexual oreintation) is not a logical argument -- even if occompanied with two powerful "friends" a bar of soap or a Ph.D in Psychology.
4. The constant comparison of Homosexual group political power blocks with the justifiable pride/embarassment of racial campaigns for equal rights and treatment is inaccurate, unworthy and insulting depending on whom is involved. It depends primarily on the "idea" -- should we apply such a noble word to the confusion being displayed -- that if N*****RS gots rights then by golly everybody gots rights. Let me explain. HELL NO! WRONG! NOPE!

Incidentally, I have lived, worked, played and virtually everything else on, with, around and among gay men and women my whole life. Some where good people some not. some were my friends others were not etc. whatever. Like straight people they varied a great deal in any respects. My college roomate my freshman year was gay.
I most sincerely, MOST SINCERELY, VERY MUCH WISH he had not told me at the start of the second semester that he was gay. He said it was better for him, but for me it was pure Hell.

tfhr said...

Bobo,

I see your most recent response was quite different from your earlier, more measured comments. What happened? Your commentary devolved into a tangled attack on those with an opposing view and you often cast us in the same light as racists. You probably didn't intend for that but I don't understand how that happens. Maybe you just have too much heart.

I really don't care if someone is a homosexual. I only care if the military, a place, a society within in a society, where I've lived my ENTIRE LIFE, can continue to function in the manner that will best allow it to meet the massive responsibility of defending our country.

At the same time, I want fairness though I've always understood that the concept is frequently checked at our door and for good reason. For more than 20 years, I did not enjoy the same First Amendment rights that you did simply because we wore different uniforms. A cop can say whatever they want about the President, the Congress, etc., but try that in BDUs, ACUs, or a sailor hat and see what happens. To protect your Constitutional rights we sacrifice our own. No problem.

Unless you're gay. Why is that special? Being gay will now impart a unique status that few others will enjoy. Why can't a heterosexual soldier or a Marine that is single and in a committed relationship draw benefits for their loved ones? Because they are not married. When homosexuals demand on base housing and TRICare coverage at the post or base medical facility or at an off post medical center the argument will be made that these things should be allowed because, after all, the (gay) service member has thrown their hat into the ring to defend this country. Should it matter that their marriage or relationship is not codified by state law?

That's the rub, Bobo. It's practical, real-world application, not racism, that is the road block. There are too many unresolved, important issues and like the poorly considered DADT policy, this latest brainstorm has not been clearly thought through to the necessary extent. The answer is in the civilian sector and it should have been resolved there first. It could have been done friend to friend, family member to family member, neighbor to neighbor, but instead the issue has been co-opted for shameless, blatant, political gain. Unfortunately we have a President that lacks the courage to risk his career by leading the country on this issue and has instead decided to push this through by decree with a lame duck Congressional effort at social engineering.

tfhr said...

Again, Bobo, I would like to hear your views on training. When it comes down to the mission, at the individual level, training has got to be the most important factor. Who do you want working alongside you during your shift? Do you want the cop that has the requisite range time, advanced life-saving skills, lots of experience on the street, or some guy that has attended the required socialization course work for the calendar year? I know what you'll pick because you're not stupid. But please tell me why you think a soldier heading into battle will want to sit through a "sensing session" about unit morale visa vis gay rights, when he could have been rehearsing actions on contact, MEDIVAC procedures or improving skills needed to call for fire support?

One last remark - thank you Stilton Jarlsberg for providing the best cartoons on the web, day in and day out. Sometimes a good cartoon is the only civilized way to address the most emotionally encumbered and complex topics. As for cops like Bobo and his wife - my hat is off to you. The patience, maybe even the tolerance for abuse that you are often subjected to, is probably beyond my abilities. We all owe much gratitude to you and those like you that selflessly serve in one of the most thankless of professions. Hell, I salute you.

Bobo said...

tfhr - thank you for your salute for our service. As for training, I do not recall ever having to attend training that specifically addresses sexual orientation. It may have been briefly covered in similar training which was mandated by the agency responsible for certifing/decertifing police officers. The training that most sticks out in my mind is the training all employees in AZ state government had to attend, that being Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace. The training was mandated by our fine legislature. The purpose of the training was brought about not because of people disliking gays in the workplace, it was because some men were harrassing women to date them, AND...the same held true for a small number of women who actually did the same to men. I don't recall any specific instances of gay men or women hitting on someone of the same sex who was straight, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen - it was done quietly or was addressed by management quietly.

My former agency, for whatever reason, chose to concentrate on officer training which served to provide the officer with the skills needed to conduct business in a professional manner, interspersed with firearms, take-down tactics, law and legal updates, officer safety, etc. We had a clear general operating order dealing with any type of sexual harassment on and off the job. Employees on the sworn side of the house pretty much knew or suspected who was gay/lesbian and they either got along or didn't, same as under any other conditions. Generally speaking, if you dislike someone, you tend to not socialize with them in the workplace and certainly not after work hours. But, when it came to getting the job done, we, as someone above wrote, were the thin blue line and needed to rely upon and know whomever we were with on scene when trouble started weren't going to let one of us get our ass kicked by the bad guy(s).

more to follow -

Bobo said...

I can't speak for other agencies, so I don't know how much training or money they put into gay sensitivity training. I have heard some officers around the country speak about not liking blacks, mexicans, orientals, gays, or whomever. But when it comes right down to the basic reason most people became officers, it was to enforce the law and to put someone in jail for committing a crime against someone else or society as a whole, whether they personally might have thought the victim deserved what happened to them or not. That was how I worked. If someone did something unlawful to another person, the suspect went to jail. I never felt someone deserved being assulted, robbed, murdered, de-frauded, etc based on color, creed, race, sex or orientation and so on. As a supervisor for 22 of my near 30 years, if I had a subordinate I found mistreating someone, anyone, it was dealt with harshly. I believe my counterparts (supervisors and commanders) dealt with the issue likewise.

The culture of a police organization, like most any organization, is set by the person at the top of the food chain. When a clear, concise message is sent down that certain type of acts and behavior will not be tolerated and will be immediately and swiftly addressed if broken, the employees get the message. If they don't, they may not have a job. I can't say that is true of every workplace, but wouldn't it be good if it was? Police officer don't tend to back down to a threat, and if another officer threatened them for any reason, the fight would be on.

Training is used to address what is lacking or needs reenforcement in the employee and to change unwanted behavior. If there is training provided to address sexual orientation issues out on the street or in the office, then maybe there is/was a need. It all really comes down to how willing is the agency, company, organization to spend money on training or defending itself in a lawsuit brought by a citizen or employee for "failure to train" which is really a big check being ready to be written for those agencies that don't have good training practices, general operation orders, close supervision and documentation of performance to include corrective action taken. Its also known as Vicarious Liabilty.

I don't know if any of this addressed your comments. I hope it did. As for now, it is a new day - I move on to the next Hope n' Change topic. Thank you for your perspective.

Anonymous said...

I served for four years Air Force, never had a problem with anyone, and I had some colleagues that were, well, I don't know because they didnt tell me. They performed their job well, and I didnt think anything of it, never even phased me, after all it was dont ask, dont tell.

I knew, and I didnt care..

My problem is that we are IN A WAR! Why the hell is this such a priority when we are fighting the hell out of Afghanistan, and this is a priority for this clown?

Do you think that the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq think that this is important?

This administrations a joke....