DADT fix needs time

Still Walkin' by Jan Curran

>Now that The Congress has mandated a change in how the military deals with homosexuals in the ranks it has opened up a veritable "Pandora"s Box" for all the services. The law of unintended consequences is writ large over all of this. One thing is sure. Implementation will require much time and much anguish for all parties. Large portions of the American population are adamant in their opposition to homosexuality and they comprise a large percentage, if not a dominant majority of those who serve in the combat arms: infantry, armor and artillery as well as the combat service support units like the engineers. Their concerns will need to be addressed, and will require much education and training. The impact on recruiting could be substantial. For many, religious and moral considerations will impact their acceptance of changed rules and regulations dealing with the human relations aspects of their new environment. Much will depend on how militant the homosexual community becomes and how litigious. The same applies to anti-homosexual groups and religious fundamentalists. Many questions and issues will inevitably arise. What kind of homosexual conduct will be tolerated? Could cross-dressing be allowed in the NCO club or the PX? What constitutes "hate speech?" Will commanders be required to take disciplinary or judicial action in cases of "hate speech?" Will commanders be subject to civil suit by pro or anti-homosexual political groups? Will government committees require statistics to insure homosexuals are promoted at the same rates as non-homosexuals? Will homosexuals be promoted at faster rates to compensate for previous years' discrimination? Will personal opinion on homosexuality become an impediment to promotion, school selection or assignment to key positions? What benefits will homosexual partners be entitled to? How long must same sex partners be together to qualify for benefits? Will same sex partners be assigned to family quarters? How will same sex dating be handled? Will same sex couples be allowed to live with each other in the BOQ's or BEQ's. How will this affect the fraternization regulations between various ranks? How about assignment to billets in countries where homosexuality is illegal? If they can't be assigned, who takes up the slack for them? Now this is just a smattering of what will be a massive volume of questions and challenges the services will face. It will impact not only the rank and file, but also the chain of command up to the highest levels and the Congress who will inevitably become involved in establishing a whole new set of ground rules. How this plays out will have an enormous impact on the state of discipline and order in the entire military establishment. They need to take the time to get it right.

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