JR, let me disabuse you of one notion right away: that my feelings are hurt. I have no interest in joining the military, and I also care what you think about me and my views... probably as much as you care what I think of you. Back to your post...
"It's coming, sooner or later. A pragmatist would recognize that the repeal of 'Don't ask, Don't Tell' is a train that's already left the station. Please forgive the length of this post, but I think it's a weighty topic, and I do occasionally get asked what I think about 'the repeal.'"
Great point. It's moot. So why ARE we still arguing instead of just fixing it? There are roughly 26 thousand gay or bi active duty people, many of them running around in what I would call a "glass closet," and the sky hasn't fallen.
"We'll have an annual brow-beating to rival the current Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention training requirements...."
Yeah, our society has gotten a little weird. I have to do harrassment prevention training--3 hours!--every two years as required by California. People whine too much about this dirty look or whatever. Then they sue. I'm not aware, however, that this is a gay thing. I mean, right now the military has all those gay people, and all that risk of harrassment, and what exactly is the crisis that's unfolding? Are we to pretend that they're all super secret, and when the secret is out, they'll be wearing pink and suddenly fights will occur? I just don't see a sea change.
"The military has some serious logistical and personnel issues to consider."
I actually agree, absolutely. Where I'm lost is how not kicking people out if they stop pretending they're straight (however feebly) will change much. The gay people are in the showers, right now. Let's think for a second: imagine you have to shower with the women's rugby team. You think they're mostly lesbians but you know there's a few straight ones. But things are working out just fine at the gym for years. Then, some admit they're straight. Then all heck breaks loose? Why? You knew they were there. I don't have military experience and can't comment on how to integrate openly except to say: why don't we ask the people with experience? Why not ask Israel, for example? They did it, the sky didn't fall, etc. What did the USA do when we integrated blacks into the military? Were there not really uncomfortable white people? Did they stop joining up?
"Homosexuality is usually dealt with by today's media, and with the full support of GLBT organizations, as a gender identity issue."
This is a minor aside, but no, it's not. Transgendered people are really, really rare, and LGB people do not have confusion about their genders. What is said is that homophobia arises from sexism, and I tend to believe this. People who worry about gay people are really concerned about men being denigrated / feminized by same sex activity, and the ones that threatened me or insulted me all through college and med school made this very clear.
"So far we haven't taken into account the demographics of the U.S. military. 53% of the U.S. Military identified themselves as conservative in 2004."
Cool. And now 70% favor LGBs serving in the military.
"The military may have a hard time finding recruits, if most of their current and potential members have a negative view of homosexuality."
I guess. It may also be hard for Coca Cola to recruit as well, because they hire LGBs and support equality. It might be easier to find recruits because now open LGBs are available and the difference favors recruiting. Or the sky might fall. As Carl Sagan said, I don't want to believe, I want to know. Why not pilot the end of DADT in isolated units and see?
"Gays and lesbians, like some other demographic groups, are more likely to be found in urban areas, which are no panacea to military recruiting."
True, so I guess they won't enroll and there won't be an issue.
"Combine this with the high rate of suicide among gay males, and you are facing an epidemic. STDs are another statistic the military is more than familiar with, and with the rise of gay sex in the military, we may see AIDS continue its trend in that community."
Hmm, interesting. How many MORE gay people do you think we'll have? Because the gay people are ALREADY there, just largely silent, so if they're suicide risks, that risk is current, not future. If we enroll MORE, then perhaps their risk will be minimized by equal treatment. This is afterall the point of the recent news about LGB suicides, that negative treatment promotes it. DADT is part of that. The news clip I posted has the soldier mentioning his suicidality after he's booted, not before. Maybe openness will promote clashes and conflict. Possible, but then those soldiers who chose to can keep silent about their orientation and avoid it, just like in the rest of the world. Besides, what is the take home here? That they're going to kill themselves and so they should serve silently as a result? Or that we should keep them out entirely, because that would improve the military suicide rate (but not the overall rate)? I'm confused as to the aim.
As for STDs, the issue is the same. The LGB people are there, and hiding them with DADT is not an effective barrier method against HIV to my knowlege. Are we considering recruiting tons more? Perhaps. I do see this as an issue, in and out of the military, and regret the culture of lack of responsibility for your own and others' HIV infections. I've said many a time here that HIV rates in "my community" are completely unacceptable. Perhaps there's a creative solution with the military, considering that they ban acts such as adultery and drug use. There may be a really good reason for the military to discriminate on the basis of HIV infection (for issues of cost and readiness and blood exposure risks) and so perhaps a screening program and release program could be considered (activists would freak out, but that's their job). But again, this isn't news; check out the important section in Shilt's book from 1993:
http://www.amazon.com/Conduct-Unbecomin ... 0449909174
PS: I also found the CDC claim odd, knowing, for example, that HIV rates are rising elsewhere:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... 5Feb6.html
including as per the same CDC:
"From 2005–2008, the rate of HIV diagnoses among blacks increased from 68/100,000 persons to 74/100,000. This increase reflects the largest increase in rates of HIV diagnoses by race or ethnicity."