Give options to straight GIs
According to the June 29 article “3 ask to leave Air Force under ban on gays,” three members of the Air Force have asked to be discharged because they are gay, “moving quickly to get out of the military under the ban on open gays serving before its expected repeal later this year.” [The gay-rights advocacy group] Servicemembers United has expressed outrage that people are using the soon-to-be-repealed ban as a way to get out of their military obligations.
I find this false outrage amusing. All the media-generated controversy over the ban and the large numbers of gays and lesbians being discharged over the past 17-plus years seldom mentioned that most people discharged under the ban are self-referrals like the three in the article.
All of the gay-rights groups have known this. They “told” for the specific purpose of wanting out of their military obligations early for many reasons, but seldom because of their being harassed for being gay. This was often after receiving training worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As we know from the media, no one in the military has problems serving with open homosexuals anymore, right?
I would encourage anyone who is gay who wants out of his or her contract early to do what the aforementioned three did so they can get their fully honorable discharge before the ban is dropped. It is perfectly legal under the current law. Don’t you love America?
In fairness, however, the military should be considering a similar option after the gay ban is ended that allows heterosexual personnel to ask to be honorably discharged if they do not want to serve with open gays. The dropping of the ban is a major change in the military agreement they signed and thus they should be able to opt out.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that those who do not like the ban being dropped should vote with their feet. The admiral can help make it so, unless this is just another example of “talk is cheap” or a subtle way of telling those asking him the question to shut up.
Cmdr. Wayne L. Johnson (retired)