The Ridiculous Claims of the DADT Opponents

The repeal of DADT has resulted in some odd claims being made.

Now that DADT has been repealed, many are claiming that we are going to have some combination of the following:  a radical decrease in enlistees, a radical decrease in reenlistments, and/or a national draft (indeed on that last count, Doug Mataconis noted an example of that earlier today).

These are bizarre assumptions being made that having openly gay servicemen and women will somehow lead to a mass exodus from the military, which assumes that there is rampant fear of homosexuals amongst the rank and file of the US military.  However, since the polling indicates both widespread public support (as well as support within the military) for ending DADT, this is a rather odd claim.  Indeed, there is no reason (save a weak attempt at fear mongering) to assume its repeal will lead to a huge loss of recruits.

One of the more egregious examples comes from the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer:

The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?

[…]

This isn’t a game, and the military should never be used, as is now being done, for massive social re-engineering. The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?

Nice bigoted assumptions about homosexuals, that.  Indeed, Fischer’s entire post is one long anti-homosexual screed.  It really doesn’t even pretend to be some principled theological claim about homosexuality.  It is, instead, one long hateful rant.

Of course, the repeal of DADT means the removal of the existent barriers for homosexuals to serve, which is a positive in terms of recruitment for that segment of the population, yes?  Further, as James Joyner pointed out this morning, the repeal of DADT may lead to the return of ROTC to many elite schools, which would help recruitment, rather than damaging it, one would think.

Of course, the issue of recruitment levels is an empirical one, so I suppose we will see how this all plays out (I predict no exodus, mass or otherwise, as a result of the DADT repeal).  Nevertheless, it is rather remarkable to assume that fear of dying in war (we are involved in two at the moment in case that has escaped notice) will not dissuade Americans from enlisting, but the potential for showering next to a homosexual supposedly will.

FILED UNDER: National Security, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. just me says:

    I don’t buy that enlistments or reenlistments will go down. I just don’t think that many people who are considering enlisting will choose to not do so on the off chance they might have to share space with a gay person. It isn’t like there are guarantees in the private sector that it will be gay free and is more likely not going to be gay free and I suspect the military will actually be more likely to protect straights who feel harassed than in the private sector.

    I do suspect that we might see an increase in harassment claims filed by both gays and straights for a while since the service members who feel harassed won’t have to worry about the issue of telling about their sexuality. Not an argument against repeal but definitely something I can see happening.

  2. tom p says:

    >”Nevertheless, it is rather remarkable to assume that fear of dying in war (we are involved in two at the moment in case that has escaped notice) will not dissuade Americans from enlisting, but the potential for showering next to a homosexual supposedly will.”

    OOOOOOKKKKKKKKK>>>>>>…… for the 1700th plus time I am forced to point out that GAYS AND STRAIGHTS are ALREADY showering together. The only thing that the repeal of DADT will address is that the gays and straights (w/o any doubts????) will know who is who.

    For my own self, if I was a homophobe, I would be ALL ABOUT the repeal of DADT…

    I mean, at least then I would know who to avoid in the shower….

  3. tom p says:

    Also, as the father of 2 sons of this “latest” generation….

    they don’t give a rat’s ass if some one is gay or not….

    (Mind you, I may have had something to do with that)….

  4. floyd says:

    “”I predict no exodus””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    To quote Larry the cable guy….. I don’t care who you are, that ther’s funny! (lol)

  5. michael reynolds says:

    There were identical predictions when the military was integrated. Supposedly no white man would ever serve with a black man. Share a bathroom witha “colored?” Unthinkable! And surely no white officer would ever sit down to eat with a nigra!

    And yet, here we are, with an integrated military, the best-led, best-trained military force in the world.

    The bigots are with us always. But once we shut the door on them — as we did in 1948, and have just done again — they slowly, slowly recede. The smarter among them pretend never to have been bigots to begin with. The dumbest continue to maintain that somehow they were right all along.

    Eventually, they die and soon become the cause of incredulous laughter from subsequent generations who can’t quite imagine that people were ever that ignorant.

  6. for the 1700th plus time I am forced to point out that GAYS AND STRAIGHTS are ALREADY showering together

    Indeed. However, this fact seems to elude many.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Steven:

    Because if we don’t know they’re gay then they’re not gay.

  8. James Joyner says:

    @Michael and @Steven:

    Well, it’s that old philosophical thing about gays doing whatever it is they do in the forest. If no one sees them do it, are they really gay?

  9. @James: Indeed.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    I really hate that a few dumbasses are pretending to somehow represent the US military on this issue. One of the great things about this issue has been the coolness and professionalism of soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines.

    There will no doubt be some problems. But people kind of overlook the fact that these are the men and women who build hold firebases in the middle of Buttcrack, Afghanistan, and land jets on rowboats, and shoot missiles through people’s front door peephole. Dealing with the gay guy who they already probably know is gay is so far down the list of difficult stuff we ask servicemen to do. We task these guys with killing people for Christ’s sake, but they’re going to squeal like little girls and run terrified from the room when they learn that Corporal Soandso is gay?

  11. Janis Gore says:

    People fantasize entirely too much about sex of all kinds.

    When my gay brother comes to dinner, I don’t think about his sex life between the salad and roast anymore than I think of my other siblings’s.

    I do take his advice on interior design under serious consideration.

  12. Keith says:

    “For those of you who think that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will put the gay rights issue to rest for a while, just ask yourself, did electing Obama put an end to all race issues?” I borrowed this quote as a lead in to say that as with all “liberal”, progressive answers to various problems, it’s never enough! I predict that as soon as a straight, so called, files a sexual harrassment complaint, he, or she, will be charged with a hate crime. I predict that the Christian and even the Muslim Chaplains will likewise be attacked for “homophobic” bigotry, and a movement will commense to disestablish the Chapaincy. I also predict that the issue of favoritorism will go well beyond the current problems involved with those involving male/female relationships which have shown up lately. Sexual tensions have no place in a military establishment. We have now multiplied the potential for all of these problems in the name of what, fairness, catering to a distince minority? We deserve what we are soon to get. Service personnel will die because of this. Unlike the rest of you pogues, I was in the service. Have a good day. Keith

  13. Janis Gore says:

    Keith, my brother was in service in Vietnam. He tested well. When he was mustered out he was asked if he’d consider a career with the service. That’s when he admitted that he was gay.

    He nearly died two years ago with Hodgkins disease, likely contracted by contact with Agent Orange.

    If his openness is or is not a condition of your service, best go work at a convenience store. The service is voluntary now.

  14. Janis Gore says:

    You want zero tolerance, I’ll give you zero tolerance.

  15. Davod says:

    ” I predict that the Christian and even the Muslim Chaplains will likewise be attacked for “homophobic” bigotry, and a movement will commense to disestablish the Chapaincy.”

    Keith, you are to harsh. The military will do what it has to do. The Chaplaincy is no different. They will fill up the vacancies with, moderate Imams, NE Episcopalian priests, and the remainder can come from the World Council of Churches. Same sex marriages will be no problem, and the gay and lesbian priests are hardly going to invoke the scriptures relating to homosexuality.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    Janis:

    Really liking you a lot.

  17. Janis Gore says:

    Whatever, I’m done with this issue.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    “I predict that the Christian and even the Muslim Chaplains will likewise be attacked for “homophobic” bigotry, and a movement will commense to disestablish the Chapaincy”

    My understanding is that the military is already dealing with a related issue. The number of fundamentalist/evangelical Christian chaplains has been rising for several decades and there has been an increasing incidence in some of those chaplains using their access to the troops to try to convert them to their brand of Christianity, whether those troops be Jews, Muslims or much more commonly, Christians who they have decided are ‘insufficient’ in their beliefs.

    The military is dealing with these chaplains now, with a range of responses ranging from warnings to, in the case of senior officers who are fellow travelers, mandating that troops must go and hear fire-breathing sermons by these chaplains. It’s awkward, and a mess, and certainly a distraction, but it’s being dealt with. And no doubt many of these same chaplains will see it as their duty to add gay-bashing to their list of sinners they must use their position to convert. And when the military tries to sanction them they will scream ‘repression’ and ‘bigotry’ and ‘freedom of religion’, just as they are doing now.

    So bottom line, in the matter of chaplains, I don’t see this changing the current state of affairs by much at all.

  19. DC Loser says:

    Keith, don’t be a sanctimonious ass and claim to speak for all Veterans. I and many others here served. I saw many excellent workers tossed out after they were chased out for being gay. It was really sad, and I’m glad that this practice is finally over. People in the military will do as they’re told. If they don’t like the policy, they’re free to leave.

  20. Ole_Sarge says:

    Like having women serving in more than the “token” female AFSCs/MOS/Ratings/Specialties, there are going to be lots of “bumps,” a few “lumps” and many false cries of abuse where there is now, and many more less oblivious but as serious (if not more so) things happening that will change forever the military culture.

    What was “boorish” and “poor people skills” (a.k.a. lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable) in 1977; became “sexual harassment” in 1990. There were those of us that DID know the difference first hand.

    The changes really came with DADT, the “witch-hunts” stopped, and frankly, unless the military member him or herself made a big deal of being “out” and living an “active” homosexual/lesbian lifestyle, their cohorts, superiors and subordinates, really “did not know” and frankly “did not care.”

    The restriction is on the external behavior of a few (Think of some of the “street” festivals in San Francisco) than the actual behavior of the many.

    The concerns of most in the career ranks, the mid-tier and senior NCOs, Warrants, and Commissioned Officers is HOW, sexual relationships will “trump,” hard work for promotions and choice assignments. The same types that our predecessors had over women making the same types of decisions. (Will a woman promote or recommend to promote a lessor person (another woman), over a more qualified one (a man), solely on the “gender” factor?)

    Only time will tell. But again, the largest shift in practice, acceptance and attitude, occurred almost 2 decades ago, not last Saturday.

  21. anjin-san says:

    > I predict that as soon as a straight, so called, files a sexual harrassment complaint, he, or she, will be charged with a hate crime.

    I predict that Keith will spend the rest of his life whining and complaining.