Our way of living and social norms are changing constantly, and as we move forward, we become more accepting understanding, and compassionate towards the fellow human beings even if they chose to live lives we would not choose for ourselves. As Christians, we are responsible for offering love, acceptance, and help to those in need to make their lives easier and filled with kindness for the well-being of our great nation and humanity in general. Gay people have long suffered from being discriminated against in the military even despite their dedicated service to our nation. As gay people are opening up and become good members of our communities, it is important that they receive good and equal treatment in the military to ensure that all major institutions in our society are based on principles to kindness and acceptance.
According to John Shalikashvili (2009), a retired Army general, allowing gay people to openly serve in the military will bring more young people to join the United States army, serve their nation, and practice patriotism in the best way possible. There are many stereotypes about the lifestyle of gay people and while analyzing which of them are true is not the purpose of this essay, there is no doubt that joining the army and submitting to military lifestyle requires great self-discipline and chastity of the young people. Hence, by allowing gays to openly serve in the military, more young people get an opportunity to act on their patriotism and be of direct benefit to their nation, and more young people, including gays, will learn the principles of disciplined and honorable living.
The second issue concerning the ban on openly serving in the military of gay people is that it has a negative effect on the behavior of other people in the military, thus destroying their character and integrity. An excessive study of the effects of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on the people serving in the military found that when this policy was in place, virtually all gay service members have reported being blackmailed or threatened by others (Rostker et al., 2011). If we want to live in a kind and just society, we should create incentives that encourage people to blackmail and threaten people for being who they are like this police did. Instead, we should rely on policies that foster kindness and compassion.
Lastly, consider the fact that about 4% of the American population today is gay. Even though it may seem like an insignificant number, think of someone you know personally who is gay, and consider that there is a real chance of your grandchildren being gay and being scared to come out yet. Do these people really deserve the life of hiding, social pressure, and the inability to pursue careers in military just for being who they are? I believe not. The world is a tough place as it is but it is in our power to make it better and more loving for people around us by adopting more inclusive and tolerant policies.
- Rostker, B.D., Hosek, S.D., & Vaiana, M.E. (2011). Gays in the Military: Eventually, New Facts Conquer Old Taboos. Rand Review. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/periodicals/rand-review/issues/2011/spring/gays.html.
- Shalikashvili, J.M. (2009). Gays in the Military: Let the Evidence Speak. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.fpparchive.org/media/documents/us_military/Gays%20in%20the%20Military-%20Let%20the%20Evidence%20Speak_John%20M.%20Shalikashvili_Jun%2019,%202009_The%20Washington%20Post.pdf.