Homophobia Defeats Gays in the Military
From The Village People music video
“In The Navy”
filmed aboard the USS Reasoner
It’s not all that well-remembered by the general public, but in 1979 the Department of the Navy liked The Village People’s song “In the Navy” so much that it gave the Village People use of the USS Reasoner, several aircraft, and the crew of the ship for use in the making of the music video, and intended using the song in the Navy’s TV/radio recruiting campaign — until protests killed that idea.
Today the acceptance of gays into the mainstream of American life suffered another defeat as the United States Senate voted down an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have allowed gays to serve openly in the United States military. All Republicans and two Democrats voted against allowing gays to serve. It’s not good news for Republicans when they claim in their talking points not to be bigots.
It’s even worse for Democrats who lose elections when they can’t energize their base to walk precincts for them.
I’m not one to throw around the term “homophobia” a lot — if for no other reason than the construction of the word suggests to me as much a fear-and-loathing of homo sapiens — a synonym for misanthropy — as it does fear and loathing of homosexuals. But, honestly, that’s just the nit-picking pedantry in me; we do need a word which means that.
Clearly homophobia is real. Gay-bashing — and even murder cases like Matthew Shepard’s — demonstrate the historical utility of gays remaining in the closet. Even today the Montana Republican platform supports a state law making homosexual acts illegal even though the Montana Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional thirteen years ago.
The usual objection to gays serving openly in the military is the premise that it will be disruptive to military life and military discipline. This is an actual fear held by many heterosexual men that in close quarters homosexual men will make sexual advances to them — or worse, rape them.
This is not an entirely irrational fear. Homosexual men are the same species as heterosexual men: homo sapiens. A search of gay porno will find plenty of story lines where a gay is attracted to a supposedly straight friend and seduces him or her. Same-sex rape is common in other confined populations, such as prisons; and certainly — as the Roman Catholic Church tried to cover up for decades — even priests who had taken vows of chastity were not immune from acting out sexual desires on altar boys. The United States Senate, itself, has had scandals involving the seduction of Senate pages by United States Senators … and not all of them were heterosexual.
If we’re honest about it, a lot of men will stick their dicks into anything with a hole, and every male human being has at least two servicable holes.
Of course the same objections to allowing gays to serve openly were previously used to object to allowing women to serve in the military. But during World War II 150,000 WACS served in the uniform of the United States Army — General Douglas MacArthur praised these women as “my best soldiers” — and other women served the United States Navy in the WAVES and the Coast Guard SPARS.
Since 1994 women have successfully served in forward combat areas, and most recently are now being assigned to submarine service.
So is the fear straights have that a gay will break military discipline so disruptive that the service needs to be deprived of their talents?
I don’t think so. If the military can’t enforce something as basic as barracks discipline, are they even combat ready in the first place? If straight soldiers are so afraid of having a pass made at them, are they brave enough to face the enemy?
It’s time for straight men to man up. Fear of gays is for sissies.
Note: Please read the enlightening comment below (#1) by Iraq-war combat veteran, Brian Singer.
This article is Copyright © 2010 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available free on the web linked from the official movie website. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!