Thanks all for the positive replies. I am frequently reminded of the quality of the people that make up the Uechi martial arts community.
A few comments:
"Think what would happen if straight couples weren't allowed to date, marry, have families, procreate." Here in the USA we don't determine how many rights people have based on their reproductive success. Just because most children are born to hetero couples does not mean that GALSPs should be discriminated against. Note that infertile heterosexual servicepeople are currently allowed to serve without facing expulsion for not lying about who they are. FYI, the reproductive rate of gays and lesbians is well within the normal range for Americans.
To answer the next set of questions, I have never been in the military, but yes, I have some idea of what it's like. Re: free speech in the military, I would just like to see a fair standard that treats all equally. If a hetero can wear a ring or put a picture of their family on a desk, GALSP's should be able to as well. Yes, the military has regulations on sexual behavior, but that doesn't mean they are justifiable or fair. Statement of what is should not be confused with what should be. The argument that the military is not a social experiment, if used in the 40's, would have blocked integration, and most people agree this would have been an error. Plus, if we are one of the LAST western nations to allow GALSP's from serving openly, it's far from an experiment. Lastly the "experiment" as such is over: GALSPs have served since the revolutionary war and done a good job and interacted well with their fellow soldiers. Result: they do fine. My acronym GALSP is used only to save me some typing; it has no social implications, no more than MA for martial arts.
Straights can in fact have straight political opinions and make them known in the military without sanction. Homophobia, even, is perfectly welcome. On the other hand if GALSP's speak out for their rights in or out of the military they face expulsion.
I don't see any cause to ban homosexual activity because of blackmailing potential; if someone is out, there isn't any. Also note that allowing homosexuals to serve, as you suggest, would reverse the DADT policy.
Randy Shilts wrote an amazingly detailed and well researched book on this subject, which anyone participating in the debate would do well to read. He is in fact not "full of it," he's dead. And before he died, he was quoting the military's own material about the two reasons GALSP's are excluded, not stating an opinion.
"They just have to keep their mouths shut about who they have sex with." --actually a virgin GALSP with a spotless record can be expelled for being a GALSP. Identity, not just activity, is punished.
"You don't see people who can't wait to tell everyone they have sex with sheep, do you?"
Jcseer, you know this is not a nice thing to write. You're obliquely comparing GALSP's to people who molest sheep. The standard of conversation on these forums is higher than this. Further, it's not a matter of running around talking about who someone had sex with. Heterosexuals have the privledge of being able to say that they're married, dating, engaged, widowed. They can put rings on or pictures on their desks or get flowers at work. They can say "I went __ with my wife/husband for the weekend." GALSPs have to work to conceal their relationships and identities and this entails LYING about how they spend their time when asked. **Make no mistake, they must lie or be expelled.** Heterosexuals do not face this problem. The policy therefore discriminates. Discrimination is wrong.
"Are you who you are because of who you have sex with?" No. People are who they are because of who they naturally gravitate toward romantically. If a gay person is paralyzed at age 3 and remains celibate his/her whole life, he/she'd stay gay. Just like if you were paralyzed, or lived alone on the moon, you wouldn't stop being straight. That's your identity, not your behavior.
"Until science can give us a straight answer..." You asked me if I had been in the military, implying my commentary was irrelevant if I had not. Well I've met dozens and dozens of gay people who never chose to be gay. They just realized they were. This is **their experience,** like realizing one naturally prefers to use their left hand to write. Being a leftie is not a matter of choice. Using the left hand IS a choice, but one that should be freely made and not punished. So it should be with GALSPs.
"Without you calling me a hatemonger..."--This charge has not been made, but one way to avoid it in the future is to refrain from comparing hard working GALSPs with long term caring relationships (as meaningful as heterosexual ones) to animal molesters. That's certainly not respectful of the GALSPs or many of your peers where you work or here on the forums. I am willing to have any kind of discussion with you on these issues, and respectfully disagree with your opinions, and offer reason/evidence to their contrary, but these statements have no place here.