41 Thoughts to “Marshall Explains his Opposition to Gays in the Guard”

  1. Censored bybvbl

    Bob Marshall has this obsession with sex and other people’s bedrooms. This guy is hilarious, but , unfortunately, he’s my representative. Come on, Dems – offer up an alternative for those of us who are Independents!

    He just reaffirms that too many straight (?) men think gay men are obsessed with their (the straight guy’s) butts. Where does this vanity come from?

  2. ACLU sent a letter to the delegate and complimented Gov. McDonnell.

    Town Hall meetings w/state senators & delegates before General Assembly Session:

    Jan 3 @ 7 PM, Manassas City Council Chambers, 9027 Center St, Manassas

    Jan 4 @ 7PM, Cedar Run Conference Rm at the McCoart Bldg, 1 County Complex Ct, Woodbridge.

  3. Elena

    Poor Bob, it must be so difficult living in a world with so many people to fear. People who are gay are already IN the national guard and if they are willing to serve their country, who cares who they have sex with, good lord!

  4. Morris Davis

    The Associated Press reported this last March:

    “The House’s most outspoken social conservative, Del. Robert G. Marshall, responded with a five-minute anti-gay speech that suggested criticism of Cuccinelli was motivated by anti-Catholic bias. Marshall, R-Prince William, is a Roman Catholic, as is McDonnell. Marshall also invoked one-time Soviet spy Whittaker Chambers – who later fingered Americans as communists during the Red Scare of the 1940s – for overcoming what Marshall called ‘a difficulty with homosexual attraction.’”

    I was not familiar with Mr. Marshall, but having now watched the video I believe a man with his chiseled good looks and rocking body should lie awake at night in fear of the homosexual horde amassing outside his window (and at the recruiting station) … oh the difficulties with which Bob must wrestle. And when people criticize his (and Cooch and Mickey D’s) ultra-conservative social agenda they blame it on anti-Catholic backlash. Give me a break.

  5. Elena

    hahahahahha Moe

  6. Gov. does not support gay ban in Va. Guard

    The Associated Press

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell says he would not support an ef­fort to ban gays from serv­ing in the Virginia National Guard.

    After Congress voted to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military, Republican Del.

    Bob Marshall, R-Prince William, said he would introduce legislation to ban gays from the state Guard.

    On his monthly ques­tion- and-answer show on WTOP radio in Wash­ington, McDonnell said Tuesday that he disagrees with Congress’ vote to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy based upon his own mili­tary service. But he thinks the state’s National Guard should adhere to federal guidelines.

    Marshall has said he will file his bill before the General Assembly convenes Jan. 12.

  7. @Morris Davis
    LMAO!!!!!!! OMG, thank you for that early morning hoot!

  8. Pat.Herve

    his attention to all things sexual really has me thinking, that he may be a closet pervert or something. Look at Larry Craig, and all his anti-gay legislation and the preachings of Pastor Ted. I will observe his butt next time I see him, to guess if a gay man would find it attractive or not – maybe a poll is in order? “If you were a gay man, would you find Bob’s butt attractive?”

  9. Morris Davis

    There used to be a program called “Scared Straight” where they took at risk teens to see inmates in jail to try and scare them into following the straight and narrow. I’m not a gay man and hesitate to speak for the gay community and how they might think, but I suspect the sight of Bob Marshall’s butt might in some cases induce a “scared straight” response. I can’t imagine anyone checking out the junk in Bob’s trunk and saying, “oh yeah, I gotta get me a little of that.”

  10. Steve Thomas

    Ok, I am not going to dive into the argument over whether or not we should be debating who sleeps with who. As I mentioned on a previous thread, I think the more constructive debate/discourse is how does the DoD and the individual states deal with the unintended (or intended) impacts of the repeal.

    How does the DoD deal with same-sex marriage? And if the DoD has to deal with it, the Federal Government has to deal with it. Does the Federal government recognize these marriages for non-DoD employees now for establishing dependency? I don’t know.

    Or, how does the DoD deal with accused misconduct? Will every case automatically include the defense “I am being unfairly targeted due to my orientation”, as was the case back in the 1988 when 12% of all female Marine DI’s were prosecuted for sexual misconduct? The ACLU claimed these DI’s were unfairly targeted due to their orientation. I knew one of the accused personally. She told me it was a case of one ratting on another, and ratting on another. Come to find out, there was a group of Female DI’s smuggling female recruits off-base for the obvious. Clearly a violation, regardless of orientation. It vilolated the prevailing regulations.

    We will get through this. Of this I am sure. These days I am more “Live and Let Live” than I was in my youth, but “Mercy” is not the same as “tolerance”. But as a practical matter, this will be a very painful process for the military. It will cause instability on some level, which will impact readiness on some level. Even if it’s wrestling with how to deal with same-sex spouses as military dependents. To say “If people would just keep their own hands and views to themselves, everything would be fine” denies the entire reality of human nature. Considering that the military is a society in and of itself, “people issues” are the biggest challenge. DADT was a weak levy, holding back a flood of comples issues that the DoD will be forced to reckon with.

    Because the military is subordinate to the authority of civillian government, and the civillian government subordinate to the will of the people, dealing with these issues will obviously spill over into the public discourse. I would hope that those of you who are interested in a truely productive discussion, will resist the temptation to resort to the ad hominem attack, and keep the shots out of the realm of “cheap”. I had an “Ah Ha” moment a few years ago. I realized that just because I don’t particularly care for an individual’s politics or morals, that doesn’t mean everything they say is wrong. Delegate Marshall is forcing the debate here. Whether or not you agree with his position, the debate is now necessary as a result of DADT repeal. For uniformity sake (and military types are all about uniformity), I would tend to agree with the Governor. However, these issues are interconnected with others, ie. unintended impacts. We are now forced to “peel the onion”. Bound to be lot’s of tears and runny noses.

  11. marinm

    I’m impressed by Steve’s arguement. +1

  12. Raymond Beverage

    I wonder if Bob will express an opinion on this piece out of the Washington Post A-Section today:

    “Many recruits failing Army entrance exam

    Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, according to a new study released Tuesday.

    The report by the Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small.

    The report by the Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don’t get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. Questions are often basic, such as: “If 2 plus x equals 4, what is the value of x?”

    Recruits must score at least 31 out of 99 on the first stage of the three-hour ASVAB test to get into the Army. The Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard recruits need higher scores.

    The military exam results are also worrisome because the test is given to a limited pool of people: Pentagon data show that 75 percent of those age 17 to 24 do not even qualify to take the test because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or did not graduate from high school.

    The Defense Department says it is meeting its recruitment goals.

    – Associated Press

  13. Steve Thomas


    What I sincerely hope is the DoD resists the temptation to “lower the bar”, just for the sake of “meeting mission”.

  14. Steve, you can always be counted on to present a well-thought out point of view. It doesn’t really matter if we agree or disagree. Your comments always are presented in a way that makes us all think. For that, I thank you.

    I think we will get through it also. There are a lot of issues that I for one, would just prefer not to deal with. They disturb my comfort zone. This might be one of them. Change is difficult at best. But I think it should have been done.

  15. I think it is fair to say that while we laugh at some of Bob Marshall’s antics, (at least I do) and I deplore his politics, he is a straight married man and father.

    His over-obsession with the morality of others disturbs me and I feel he wastes our time. He makes personal issues public ones, like the morning after pill at JMU. He turns the issue of gays in the military into a debate about sodomy and aids. Some people are just like that. I just wish none of them were in office.

  16. Steve Thomas

    “There are a lot of issues that I for one, would just prefer not to deal with. They disturb my comfort zone. This might be one of them. Change is difficult at best.”

    MH, I think you nailed it: Any dramatic departure from whatever “normal” is, will challenge our sensibilities, our views, etc. How we get through it defines our character as individuals, a community, and a nation. Take Slavery for example. I had a professor at the Citadel who made a very compelling case that the institution of slavery was in decline, and would have died out before the turn of the century, with or without the war. However, both sides felt so strongly about it, that it resulted in “disunion”. “Disunion” was the broader issue that resulted in a Civil War, but the issue of whether or not to abolish slavery was a catalyst of the disunion.

    There are certain issues that most would prefer to let be “worked out by themselves, over time”, while others want to deal with them in the “here and now”. I think the repeal of DADT was one of those issues that really didn’t need to be addressed right this very minute, but oviously some wanted action now. For better or worse, the generational shifts I see in views regarding GLBT issues indicate that perhaps 10 or 20 years down the road, this would have had minimal impact. This is neither here nor there, now…Settled Law. Now we just have the “simple” task of making it work.

  17. Raymond Beverage

    Steve, I have a hunch if the economy was not so bad, the Services wouldn’t be meeting their recruting goals. Then it would be accepting the “Cat 4” and “McNamara’s 100,00” all over again.

    Although, it is a commentary on Education. That ASVAB for the most part an 8th grader could pass!

  18. Raymond Beverage

    Bob Marshall used to have up on his website a link to Saint Augustine’s “Just War Theory” which the Roman Catholic Church used for years to justify things like the Crusades. Most notably referenced by Pope Clement the Fifth in the 1500s when he sent the Knights out to eliminate the Cathers. His blessing was to find them, kill every heretical Cather, and let God have mercy on them.

    Which of course gave birth to that great Military Slogan: Kill them all and let God sort it out.

    But the day I saw it, and knowing he never served in any of the Services, gave me lots of insights to Bob. He actually also had a commentary on how right that theroy was.

  19. Steve Thomas

    Ray, Yes it is a sad commentary when we are having a hard time finding qualified recruits. I remember taking the ASVAB. It wasn’t particularly challenging. As a DI, I had recruits that I was amazed had made it into the Corps, they were that ignorant and illiterate. I can’t imagine what those who fail it are like.

    Also, consider how much more technically dependent our military is, compared to say 20 years ago. The stuff a rifleman carries today… we are going to need recruits with the aptitude to handle these advanced systems. Being an xboz guru ain’t gonna cut the grass.

  20. Morris Davis

    Ray – Interesting you should mention McNamara’s 100,000. I hadn’t thought about that in years. When I joined the Air Force in 1983, I remember hearing from time to time about “Project 100,000” or what some called the “Moron Corps.” During Vietnam, about 300,000 men failed the military aptitude test each year. SECDEF McNamara believed at least 100,000 a year culled from that group could be brought on board and become decent soldiers, so from 1966 to 1971 more than 300,000 men who tested in the 10-30% range on the aptitude test entered the military. When I was a young captain I remember an NCO getting into some legal trouble and his first sergeant saying “he’s one of the last of McNamara’s morons.” I didn’t know what he meant, so he explained to me the experiment McNamara tried. In any event, the program was a bust. Since the last man entered the service under that program in 1971, they should all have been out by about a decade ago. Here is a link to an op-ed on the topic from the NY Times in 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/17/opinion/17Greenhill.html?_r=1

  21. Raymond Beverage

    I was involved at Army Material Command (my last assignment before medical retirement) in the “Soldier 21” Project. Was on a test range down at Fort Hood and they handed me all the stuff to wear….outside of the night vision, I wrote it up as mostly junk. My accuracy with the M-16 fell having all the extra crap mounted on it, and once I stripped it off, my normal Expert Rating returned 🙂

    One of my final projects in ’98 was the issue of Contractors on the Battlefield. Had a bit of my hide torn off in one meeting that a lowly NCO would dare challenge having too many, and if we needed that many, make it like how the SeaBees started – a civilian construction firm which was turned into a military unit. (Great John Wayne fill about the SeeBees protrays that history correctly) Fortunately, I had retirement orders in hand at the time.

  22. Raymond Beverage

    Morris, good post!

    Yes, “McNamara’s Band” – the other nickname for the 100,000 – was just another of his bright ideas when he came over from Ford Motors. Ranks right up there with his push for “Management By Objectives/Results” – MBOR. And then we spend time rewriting Mission Statements, creating Vision Statements and all that other crap. I had to laugh when it came to rewrite the Mission Statement for an Infantry Company.

    Went from “Seek Out, Close With, and Kill the Enemy” to “Seek Out, Encounter, and Disable Opposing Force”. The day MBOR hit the Infantry was a sad, sad day….

  23. Morris Davis

    Ray — If you’re still interested in contractors on and around the battlefield, a colleague, T. X. Hammes (retired Marine now on the faculty at Nat’l Defense Univ.), has an article out in the new edition of Joint Forces Quarterly available here: http://www.ndu.edu/press/private-contractors-in-conflict-zones.html

  24. Raymond Beverage

    Morris – many thanks! Excellent article, and I had a few chuckles as I went along. The project I was on was looking at contractors for Gulf War 1 (the famous “100 hour war”) and the redevelopment work being done. Glad to see your colleaque outlined the first major issue – even used the word “contention” – regarding if contractors are cheaper.

    Enjoyed the list of the bad vs. the good as BOY did that read like the powerpoints…but you know, you would think after 9 years of solid data, and speaking as a former Contracting Officer, the DoD would have a lot of those points made ironed out. But then, those big bulky contracts always were a pain in the glutes to deal with.

  25. @Steve Thomas
    “There are certain issues that most would prefer to let be “worked out by themselves, over time”, while others want to deal with them in the “here and now”. I think the repeal of DADT was one of those issues that really didn’t need to be addressed right this very minute, but oviously some wanted action now.”

    I think the 13,000+ people who have been fired from the military think it’s high time to repeal DADT. This doesn’t count those who are gay and already serving but live in fear that they might be “discovered.”

    People do all kinds of things we think are disgusting, immoral, etc. Are we willing to ostracize those people? Are we willing to deprive ourselves of real heroes because we don’t like the same things they like or we don’t like some of the things they do?

    I have to say this because it has been on my mind. So I might as well say it here.

    I try to do as much as I can for our military–ALL of our service people. They give up things that I can’t even imagine sacrificing. Right now, while we are debating whether or not a guy should be in bed with a guy or a gal a gal, these folks are in 125+ degrees getting their feet eaten off by sand and bugs. They are watching their every move so they can stay alive to defend us. They aren’t coming home for Christmas, and when we are kissing our loved ones on New Year’s Eve at midnight, they won’t be.

    A few years ago, I was the victim of a violent crime and then another incident, both involving former Marines. It took me a good, long time to figure out that not everyone in the military is honorable, but that doesn’t make everyone dishonorable, either–far from it.

    So my question is, why have we as a country been discriminating against HONORABLE people who want to serve people like us?

  26. Steve Thomas


    I’ll address your question in a moment. I appreciate your appreciation for the sacrafices of our men and women in uniform, and the sacrafices made by their families. Having served as both and enlisted man and a commissioned officer, I have personal experience in this arena, both in a combatant and trainning role.

    I am not debating who should or shouldn’t be sleeping with whom. I will, however debate that the military, for very good reasons, does regulate the conduct of their members at a much higher standard than the civillian world, and I don’t think someone who hasn’t served can truely understand this concept or the rationale behind it. “Prejudicial to good order and discipline” are not mere words. “Conduct unbecoming” is not some punchline. There are very good and real reasons why the military continues to enforce adultery and fraternization regulations, and other areas pertaining to sexual conduct. Do I think “being gay”is detrimental to good order and discipline, in and of itself? No. However, certain aspects of the lifestyle are. Certain behaviors are. I cite the example of the 1988 case where of the 120 female DI’s at Parris Island, 12 were prosecuted for misconduct. It wasn’t their being gay. It was their taking female recruits off post for sex. Recruits cannot be taken off post without authorization. DI’s cannot fraternize with recruits. Non-DI personnel cannot fraternize with recruits. Fraternization includes sex. The Marine Corps does on conduct co-ed recruit training. Females train Females. Males train Males. There is no cross-gender interaction at all in recruit training. So, the conduct which violated the regulation stems from the orientation of the accused. A straight male DI would not have taken male recruits off-post for sex, and would have had little to no opportunity to take a female recruit off-post. The orientation of the individual is not at issue, but it is a driving factor of the illicit conduct.

    So to answer your question: We shouldn’t discriminate against honorable individuals. However, were this issue as simple as you, the pundits, the politicians, and the activists would portray, the simple answer would suffice. I have tried to explain my point of view in clearest terms possible, and demonstrate that the simple answer will not address the complexity of the issue without real, measurable pain and instability being introduced into the process. These things are infinitely more complicated than the layman would understand.

    Also, I have pointed out that the decision has been made. Like it or not, the military will have to adjust to the will of the civillian leadership. That is the nature of our system of government. The rifleman, the General, and the President all have very different points-of-perspective. It’s usually the one in the middle who has the most complete view. They have warned that this move will not be without repercussions, some of which will not present themselves for some time. Now you can continue to make generalizations and hypotheticals. I will respond with specificity and actuals, because at some level, I understand what this decision means, and what it will take to comply.

  27. Institutions like ‘the military,’ public schools, the prison system, to name a few examples, all have rules and regulations that seem absurd and ridiculous to an outsider. However, when dealing with large numbers of individuals, those rules exist for the good of all.

    School rules seem to be challenged more because schools aren’t as insulated as militaries or prisons. But I believe they illustrate what Steve is speaking of very well. Parents might think a rule about candy canes is absurd and so might the public. However, if a band of students is pelting other students with them, yes, then they become weapons, especially if someone gets hit in the eye.

    Institutions are also governed by courts, insurance regulations, etc. A school may say no Christmas decorations allowed hanging from lights. That is probably a fire marshall regulation rather than the school system trying to stamp out Christmas.

    Many of you know I have a close friend whose son is in prison. The son isn’t a thug. He is older, made a very unwise split second decision and in doing so became a 10 year man. He is lucky it is that short. However, the rules for writing to ‘Tom’ (not his real name) are absurd. You cant send books or magazines and letters must be a certain length.

    These rules seem harsh and ridiculous if one knew ‘Tom.’ However, rules are for the good of all and most of us don’t think like people in prison who are always looking for a way to bend rules.

    I haven’t changed my mind about DADT. But, I see where the job cut out for those who serve is going to be a lot more difficult than I first imagined. And I still think Delegate Marshall is absurd.

  28. Steve Thomas


    Your points regarding institutions are spot-on. I remember standing on the yellow footprints at Parris Island as a new recruit one night in 1984, while the receiving DI told us that every rule, regulation and order has a reason and a purpose behind it, which may not be apparent at the time it told to us. Accept this reason and purpose on faith and comply immediately, because the consequences for failure to do so will be at minimum “painful”, or at maximum “deadly to yourself and others”. In otherwords, “ours was not to reason why….”.

  29. Steve Thomas

    “Parents might think a rule about candy canes is absurd and so might the public.”

    My school banned them after the boys would consume them in such a fashion as to form a very sharp point, and then would proceed to poke eachother with them. We could get them VERY sharp, and in some cases, drew blood.

  30. @Steve Thomas
    Steve, I see what you are saying (and thank you for your service). However, I think poor behavior should be addressed, not sexual preference. Since things like adultery are not permitted in the military, things like sex on the job and sexual harassment (from all sides) should also be prohibited.

    I am sure nothing is as easy as it sounds, but if the philosophy is right and fair, then it seems to me it’s worth it to put that into action. I know I am an idealist. But I also know people are afraid that change of this kind–or any kind–will result in disaster. We need to stop being afraid. Believe me, after what I went through, I was the queen of being afraid. But once I looked beyond it, I saw things in clearer way and my life changed drastically for the better because of it. And it’s’ not just about my life. It’s about all of us.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

  31. Steve Thomas


    Please do not misunderstand. I am not saying that the DoD’s policies on gays in the military did not need to be addressed and perhaps revised at some point. I just question the urgency of doing it right now. The issue has been pushed for political expediency, and not on the basis of operational needs of the Military. However, the discussion is moot. All I have been trying to demonstrate is now the practical aspects must be worked out, and Delegate Marshall is forcing the debate on one of these practical aspects. Did you heare any “talking head” or politician bring up the subject of the National Guard, prior to this news story breaking? I hadn’t. I’ll also bet that most hadn’t stopped and considered how this would impact dependent eligibility requirements either. Most don’t realize that this will spill over into the broader gay-marriage debate, and this will have a direct impact on the individual states as well. A lot of folks think that the repeal of DADT is the end of the discussion. I am saying it is just the begining of what I think will be a huge societal confrontation on the whole issue of GLBT “equality”, in much the same manner as the integration of the Armed Forces in 1948. It took well over 20 years for all of the ripples to be worked out, and spanned 2 wars. It also served as one of the catalysts for the broader Civil Rights movement, and those ripples are still being felt today. This occurred during a time of increasing polarization on a multitude of isses in the turbulent 1960’s and 70’s, and in some ways fractured US society to the point of strife. I am not making a moral judgement on the “correctness of the repeal”. I am looking at this with the eye of a historian, and I see some more turbulance on the way. We should be prepared for this eventuality, and not be surprised when it happens.

    1. @Steve,

      I am glad it passed. It was a hurdle. Later would be just as difficult as sooner. We are going on almost 20 years now with that policy in place. The one thing that bothers me and that bothered me during the President’s speech–no mention was made of the heroics President Clinton went through to get that policy in place. Too many people are treating DADT like it was some evil policy put in place when in actuality, it replaced a far more restrictive ban on any gay person being in the military. Bill Clinton should have been acknowledged.

  32. Steve Thomas


    What a lot of folks don’t realize is at the time of enlistment or request for commission, one of the questions asked in the past was “Are you a homosexual?” Any gay person answering in the negative, and yet later proven to be gay (usually by self-acclimation or proof of homosexual conduct) was immediately guilty of “fradulant contract” and was summarily dismissed or prosecuted for the conduct, and then dismissed. DADT made it illegal to ask the question, and if asked, gave the servicemember protection against self-incrimination, ie. you are not disobeying the order to answer, if the order itself is unlawful. Now, the DoD will not ask, and if asked, an affirmative answer cannot be the sole grounds for discharge. But as I have said, the debate on the implementation will continue. To whit:

    [From Wikipedia]
    It is also not known exactly how Section 925 of the United States Code (also known as Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) – the ban on sodomy among servicemembers – will be affected by the repeal of Section 654. Because Section 925 is considered a sodomy law which is not entirely subject to the civilian-applicable Supreme Court ruling against sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, 925 can still technically be applied in a prosecutorial setting against servicemembers accused of same-sex sexual intercourse, even though the section does not explicitly mention same-sex relations in its letter. The repeal of 654, which explicitly refers to a prohibition against homosexual and bisexual servicemembers and was reformed by the 1993 congressional law, will likely open the possibility for future military-applicable judicial proceedings on the legality of 925. Analysts, such as David Rittgers of the Cato Institute, have called for the harmonization of Section 925 in regards to any sexual behavior which is perceived as disturbing the discipline and good order of the armed forces.[8] In addition, the report by the Pentagon on the results of the survey included a recommendation for the repeal of Article 125 in order to accommodate “consensual sodomy”.

    1. @Steve, thanks for clarifying this.

      I had a friend who was a marine and he had a female friend who was a lesbian. Somehow he was in a position of being asked about her doings. He refused to answer and he was discharged from the marines dishonorably. Now I forget all the details, this was before DADT. But things like that were not all that unusual.

  33. Juturna

    Someone please explain to me the ‘appeal’ that Marshall has resulting in his thinking another man would be “eyeing him”. He makes me think of that old tune …”and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love”.

  34. Tight glutes?

    Nah, guess not.

  35. Elena


    TMI on the whole sodomy thing! Oy Vay!!!!

    Seriously though, what does it matter in what manner two consenting adults have sex. So sodomy between straight couples is illegal too? Wow, I had not idea that what type of sex one was allowed to have was actually still legislated by the government, how archane!

    It’s about time this last vestige of discrimination was properly addressed.

  36. Steve Thomas


    In general society, whatever goes on between “two consenting adults” is less impactful than it is in what MH correctly defines as an “institution” within general society. Whether it be a prison, the Military, or some other instituionalized sub-society, there must be rules that govern conduct of the members of that institution, because a lack of rules will cause that institution to become dysfunctional. More specifically, I have seen military units wrecked by rampant adultry. Officer’s (of both sexes) sleeping with other officer’s wives, and the same things happening at the enlisted ranks, and across ranks. Fraternization (Officers and Enlisted or Senior Enlisted having non-professional relationships with Junior Enlisted), has a similar destructive effect. Military discipline is key to a properly functioning military unit. Adherence to rules and regulations governing personal conduct is a big part of this discipline. Institutions must be free to set and enforce rules of conduct that are necessary, reasonable and prudent.

    Also, many of you are operatining under the false assumption that Military personel enjoy the full set of rights under the Constitution. They do not. What rights they have fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They surrender a portion of their rights at the time they swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution. I’ll use the example of free speech. You and I can say pretty much anything we want to our elected leaders, short of a direct threat to their persons, without fear of prosecution. This blog is an shinning example of that. But a member of the military is not free to do so. They cannot say whatever they feel like saying to a rank senior to their own. They can’t even roll their eyes or make facial gestures. The actual violation is “Disrespect in manner and deportment”, and this is a serious offense. Members of the military can’t write blogs or letters to the editor critical of their leadership, without violating the UCMJ. There are mechanisims within the military chain-of-command for redress of grievance. In the Marines and Navy it is called “Request Mast”.

    In closing, I respect your point of view, but believe it is based on a flawed premise. Whether someone’s inclinations are gay or straight is not the issue that the military has to deal with. It is the conduct of both gay and straight members that is and always has been at issue. Some might call banning women from serving in certain roles within the Military is “archane” or “discrimination”. Their argument would be based on the flawed premise that the average healthy female can perform the same physical tasks as the average healthy male, within the parameters called for by the combat role in question. Fighter Pilot: Yes, and we have female fighter pilots. Infantryman: No. Average Females (ie 85th percentile) do not possess the physiology to accomplish the tasks associated with the role, required to accomplish the mission. My point is, the military is not some collection of Neanderthals with some Zen Bushido fetish. It is an institution made up of volunteers, organized to accomplish a mission objective. In order to fulfill this misson, certain restrictions on the conduct of its members are necessary. They may not be abundantly clear to the average citizen who is operating from a non-applicable frame of reference, which I believe is the case with many who are advocating for this or that change in the military.

  37. Steve Thomas

    Oh, and one last point, the Military adheres to the principle of “sanctuary in matrimony” which means that consensual sex between spouses is not behavior subject to regulation, if said marriage is not a violation of regulation. An officer cannot marry an enlisted person to shield themselves from prosecution under fraternization regulations. However, if the spouse of an officer decided to enlist, they would be free to live as marrieds and their relations would not constitute a violation. Back to my point about the same-sex marriage being recognized by DoD. This is an infinitely complex issue which will present a significant leadership challenge for the officers and senior enlisted in all branches, and all levels of command.

  38. Morris Davis

    Steve — In general you’re right about consensual sex between spouses not being regulated by the military. There are, however, some exceptions. The most recent case I know of, U.S. v. Goodin (http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/opinions/2008SepTerm/08-0355.pdf), is one that was in the appellate pipeline when I was the Director of the Air Force Judiciary, although it was argued in Nvoember 2008 and decided by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in January 2009, which was shortly after I retired. Goodin was charged with possessing child porn, indecent acts on his minor step-daughter, and consensual indecent acts with his wife (kinky stuff that they recorded on videotape). The military judge found Goodin not guilty of the offense involving his wife, but he was charged and the military did give it their best shot to try and convict him. That said, such charges are very, very rare and always brought in connection with some other type of misconduct.

  39. Steve Thomas


    I think you see what I am driving at. When I was last stationed overseas, there was a scandal in another command where there was a “swingers” group. I knew the officer assigned the initial investigation. What started out as a potential fraternization/adultry case, quickly became something major. Everything was consensual, but watching how this unraveled was like watching a sweater being “unknitted”. You had enlisted men and women being brought into the bedroom of one officer, who didn’t engage in sex himself, but rather he “liked to watch. Frat and CUB for him, adultry. And CUB for them. There were a couple of swaps occurring. They got hit with adultry and CUB. According to my friend, there was some same-sex stuff going on too, but they had a harder time proving most of it, although some of it stuck. Know how the whole thing got rolling? One of the Officers went outside of the group, and his spouse got pissed and went to the CO. Esentially, most of the key staff had to be replaced, spouses got sent back early, some enlisteds got busted, and the CO got a bad fitrep for lax discipline in his command, and that cost him his next promotion. Really, that unit wasn’t fit for combat, as those involved had completely lost the bubble. Could you imagine if this unit had to deploy?

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