President Obama has signed the Don’t Ask Don’t tell repeal and it is now the law of the land. What is the impact of this historic legislation? Is this a great civil rights milestone or will it lead to homosexualization of the military? The answer is neither. Despite all of the hoopla the law will have little immediate effect. The fact is that military readiness has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness with little real benefit to the homosexual military member. At best, this is a pyrrhic victory for the homosexual community.
What is the immediate impact of the repeal? Nothing! President Obama’s signature does not mean that homosexuals will be allowed to serve openly now or in the immediate future. The law will not even take effect until the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chefs of Staff consider a report concerning implementation strategies and prepare the necessary regulations to implement the law. Additionally, the President, Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs Chairman must certify that implementation "is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces." Who knows when that will occur.
Revision to military regulations takes time. The Defense Department must revise several personnel regulations. Once these directives have been rewritten, the individual service Secretaries must rewrite their manuals to comply with the new DOD regulation. Individual administrative commands must then rewrite their regulations. Sensitivity and command climate groups at each major headquarters must be established or expanded. Training will have to be devised and held throughout the services. Compliance reports will be completed and submitted up the chain of command. Only then can the military hierarchy accurately say that the program is ready for implementation.
I think the military will make an honest effort to implement the law but it will not be easy. We are dealing with human beings, after all, and all of their various beliefs and prejudices. Racial integration was ordered in the 1940's but true acceptance took decades. In the late 1960's racial stress resulted in riots aboard Navy carriers and racial tensions continued well into the 1970's and 80's. Gender integration was done progressively, starting in the 1970's, but gender equality has not yet been achieved. Tension from gender discrimination contributed to Tailhook and other less publicized sexual scandals. Allegations of fraternization and sexual harassment are still made on a routine basis. Over half of the fifteen Navy Commanding Officers fired in 2010 were accused of sexual offenses such as fraternization, sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, which is often a code word for sexual misconduct. Resentment at orientation integration will surface whenever a homosexual makes a real or perceived pass at a heterosexual in a crowded tent, berthing compartment, barracks or shower. Uneasy heterosexuals will react, sometimes violently, to what they perceive to be undesired sexual approaches. Disciplinary complaints by persons of both orientations will increase causing more investigations, courts-martial and discharges.
Ironically, the new law may not make much difference to homosexual soldiers, sailors or airmen. The repeal specifically prohibits same sex spouses from being eligible for any military benefits. Nor can anyone file suit to seek reinstatement from a previous discharge. The repeal specifically states that no private cause of action is created.
Most peculiar of all, homosexual conduct is still illegal under the new law! Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. § 925) specifically prohibits "unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex." Unnatural carnal copulation includes oral or anal sex. It will take another act of Congress to repeal or modify this statute.
Despite all of the turmoil on both sides, homosexuals can serve but they cannot have sex. "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" has morphed into "Tell Us But Stay Celibate." Was this an oversight or a bait and switch? It is certainly not the outcome that the homosexual lobby thought it was. It appears to me that Congress has sold a bill of goods for political purposes at the expense of military readiness. In other words, this was a lose/lose proposition for everyone.
John Wells is a proven leader and tirelessly works to defend the United States.