The Case for Small Government

A Libertarian Perspective on Economic and Social Policy

March 19, 2006

Gays in the Military

A recent report indicates that more military personnel who have been identified as gay are being allowed to remain in the service. The news is welcome, but it is not enough.

Sexual orientation should not disqualify anyone from serving in the military. Under the current policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” military personnel can be discharged merely for being gay, independent of any behavior. This makes little sense.

A policy that forbids fraternization—romantic or sexual relationships between military personnel—is understandable, assuming it applies to heterosexual and homosexual relationships alike. Anti-fraternization policies are difficult to apply consistently in practice, but at least they address on the job conduct rather than sexual orientation per se.

As the country’s attitude toward homosexuality has evolved, so has the military’s. Resistance to ending the ban on gays appear to have weakened substantially. It is time to end the ban once and for all.

21 Comments:

At 6:46 PM, Blogger marco said...

Like Goldwater said, "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am a Libertarian and I sure do not want gays in the military.

I spent six years in the USN. I was on a nuclear submarine. The LAST thing we ever need on a submarine are poeple who are either gay men or women of any kind...

You have no idea what isolation is until you go to sea for 45 days and have to live with a crew of 100 men in a dirty, cramped, and nasty environment...

Keep gays off submarines...

Mike Sylvester

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

libertarian who doesn't want gays in the military? and i'm a democrat who opposes social security.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am also a Libertarian who wants to throw 11 million illegals out of the country and I fully support the US military. Peace through superior firepower forever...

I used to be a Republican until they became a BIG GOVERNMENT Party.

Mike Sylvester

 
At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Rich Aucoin said...

LP Mike Sylvester opposes Big Government, unless it's banning things he's personally against (such as homosexuals in the military and "illegal" immigration).

And he opposes Big Government unless it is spending trillions on things he supports (such as massive military spending).

There's a name for his type of libertarianism: Republican.

True libertrians oppose even Big Government initiatives that they personally benefit from...such as a libertarian who may be allergic to second-hand smoke, yet still opposes gov't smoking bans on private property.

Real libertarians say: small government, every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Mike Huben said...

Of course this subject has nothing to do with libertarianism or small government.

Changing the policy won't make government smaller.

And it is startling to me that libertarians would oppose government doing what they would fight for private parties to be able to do. Discriminate in your own business? The Libertarian Party says you should be able to do so, and I've encountered few libertarians who wouldn't defend discrimination of any sort as freedom of association.

All I see in this post is government bashing: not anything having to do with small government or libertarianism.

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger Ananda said...

And it is startling to me that libertarians would oppose government doing what they would fight for private parties to be able to do.

I assume it would be equally startling that libertarians, along with a good chunk of other folks, oppose government-endorsed prayer in schools while supporting private parties' right to establish religious schools. Or that they might oppose government-endorsed political campaigning on behalf of initiatives or particular candidates, while supporting private parties' right to do so.

The charitable assumption is that you just didn't think very hard before posting this remark. The uncharitable one is that you really are incapable of seeing any moral distinction between government action and private action, suggesting that it really isn't hyperbole to call your worldview a fascist one.

 
At 5:17 AM, Blogger Mike Huben said...

For once, Ananda, you have a reasonable point that bears further discussion.

Both your examples have to do with maintaining proper functioning of a democratic system by preventing positive feedback supporting factions. Which is why they are considered constitutional in importance. That's not the case with discrimination against gays.

Discrimination (as you might agree) is corrupt in a different manner. I agree that government has no business discriminating. We'd disagree about private employers and other large associations. And we'd probably agree that government should not dictate to individuals their personal opinions on discrimination any more than it does religion: but we must keep in mind that government does set limits on religion as well.

 
At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Kitanis said...

Gays in the Military.

This issue has been a hot debate in the civilian world but within the military you never hear anything about it.

Sexual Orientation is not basis for any sort of employment or in the case of the military, a service right.

If a person is a Child Molester, should that person have employment rights because of his/her sexual orientation? Of course many of you will tell me that child molestation is a crime and dose not count.

Well under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 125.
"(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. "

That is where the basis of the military standard applies. President Clinton Dodged the subject by insituting "don't ask, don't tell" policy in recruiting. But if its found out while serving.. that person is out.

But to my basic belief as a person who is serving and has serverd for over 21 years in the USAF. What you do in the privacy of your own bedroom is no one buisness. But that does not give you any "right" to a job or for placement in any government position in this country.

 
At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Erik said...

lp mike sylvester should read Chuck Palahniuk's 'Non-Fiction'.

kitanis, I'm not sure I understand your use of the word "right". Do you mean that we should merely not prosecute gays criminally, but should restrict gays from government (military) jobs?

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Michael Lomker said...

>I am a Libertarian and I sure do not want gays in the military.

I think there may be more in the military than in the general population (much like clergy). I have quite a few gay friends that have served or currently are. My first boyfriend enlisted in the Navy after high school.

 
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