The issue of gays being allowed to work in the military has in the recent years been subjected to debate by the United States Congress. The issue became more pronounced when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DOD) policy was first introduced. Many people are on the opinion that gay people should be allowed to work in the military. They are therefore on the opinion that the DOD policy should be kept in place in order to make it easy for gay people to continue working in the military.
There is also a different group of conservatives who argue that the policy should be done away with in order to ban gay people from working in the military. Since it is not the military that introduced the DOD policy, it is the role of the military to ensure that every person who is working in there obeys al the laws that are enacted by either the president of the Congress (Wood, 2011). This paper will therefore discuss whether gay people should be allowed to work in the military or not.
The president has a very strong role to play in determining whether gay people should be allowed to work in the military. This is because the military only answers to the president and nobody else. It is therefore the responsibility of the president to make a ruling on whether gay people should be allowed to work in the military or whether they should be dismissed.
This has been an issue that different presidents of United States have had to critically look into and come up with a solid decision. However, it has been difficult for them to state clearly on whether gay people should or should not work in the military (Wood, 2011). Since most presidents always seek the support of the military, they therefore do not come out clear on whether they support gays in the military.
When Clinton was the vice president of the United States, there was a rule that was based on Article 125 of UCMJ which stated that homosexuals were not supposed to work in the military (Drockton, n.d).
For example, if a person was believed to be gay, or that he engaged in any kind of homosexual behavior, he was subjected to investigation in order for the military to gather enough evidence on whether the person was really a homosexual. If he was found to be a homosexual, then he was supposed to be dismissed from the force. There were even times when the military men could be court-martialed and if they were found guilty of taking part in the act, they would receive severe punishment.
In order to favor his campaigns for the presidential seat, Clinton promised the military that he would eradicate all the constraints that the homosexuals who were working in the military were exposed to. Clinton said that once he was elected he would do anything in his power and direct the Secretary of defense to do away with the policy because it interfered with the private life of the military men. The members of the Congress were however worried about the actions that Clinton was taking.
This is because the congress would not manage to make the DOD Policy into federal law once Clinton interfered with their actions. The Congress argued that if the policy had been passed into federal law, nobody would have been able to over-ride it, meaning that the military would have been able to conduct their activities without any interference from the outside world (Powers, 2012).
In this context, it can be seen that the subject of gays working in the military was not welcome by the members of the State and Mr. Clinton was attempting to abolish the policy in order to win the confidence of those men who were serving in the military.
Clinton did not want to be over-ridden by the Congress and he was unsure whether to enact the Executive Order that was brought forth by the congress to pass. Clinton issued an order where the Congress was forced to drop the legislation. If this legislation was successful the homosexuals would be completely forbidden from entering the military (Powers, 2012).
Today, under the DOD policy, the military is no longer supposed to ask a person his sexual preference when those people are being enlisted to join the military. The military is therefore not supposed to investigate any claim when a person is regarded as a homosexual. The military is responsible for scrutinizing any accusations of homosexual conduct in the force. By engaging in homosexual activities, a person can still be discharged.
This not only involves engaging in homosexual act, but also telling other people that you are a homosexual. Moreover, during his campaigns, president Obama on the other hand assured the military that he would substitute the DOD policy with a policy that would permit gay people to continue working in the military (Drockton, n.d). However, even after taking office, he has not been able to implement the policy.
It is clear therefore that those people who are against the DOD policy do not have sufficient experience regarding how the military operates. It is true that there have been many homosexuals who have worked with honor without their nature of being homosexuals being disclosed.
It is the duty of the military therefore to look for ways in which it can house homosexuals without violating their sexual privacy. This way the morale of those homosexuals in the military would not be affected. It is also true that since it is not mandatory for a person to serve in the military, the military should be the one to decide who is right to serve in the military.
Drockton, P. (n.d). The Impact of Gays on the Military. Retrieved February 18, 2012, from http://www.moneyteachers.org/Gay.Military.htm
Powers, R. (2012). Gays in the Military. Retrieved February 17, 2012, from http://usmilitary.about.com/od/gaylesbians/a/gaymilitary_2.htm
Wood, D. (2011). Gays in the Military: Still Illegal for Time Being. Retrieved February 17, 2012, from http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/18/gays-in-the-military-still-illegal-for-time-being/