By Sandrea:-MY OPINION
I am a firm believer in the rights of the individuals and equally believe that if you suppress the rights of any group or individual because of colour, creed, religion, sexual orientation then you suppress all groups. However, I am not that naive to believe that we do not have bigoted individuals existing in this world and regardless of what legislation that are enact to protect the rights of individuals or groups these bigots will remain firm in their beliefs.
So, I have a dilemma with the proposal to openly accept gays and lesbians into the arm forces. The arm forces in my opinion should be about brotherhood and the need to be each other’s keeper. A solider need to know that when he or she is in battle that the unit that they are fighting with will back them all the way, that each individual will has the saying goes ‘have their back’. Now this would be extremely difficult for a solider that is strictly anti-gay. He or she would have to follow whatever policy that the arm forces have in place but that does not mean they have to have a gay soldier back if they are against homosexuality.
The ‘Pandora box’ with respect of homosexuality is truly out of the box and this is something that we have to live with. However, there are going to be individuals that will never come to terms with the fact that a man can lay with another man and these are the individuals that we have to be careful of.
It is commendable that gays and lesbians are willing to fight and die for their country, but are they really aware of how hard it is going to be to grow and thrive in an environment that the great majority of these individuals are going to be heterosexual? Are they aware of the stigma that they will have to overcome, and are they prepared to accept the fact that their comrades may not be willing to protect them in the same way that they would have protect another comrade that is not gay.
It is all well and good that 70% of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be accepted in the army, but they are not going to be the ones that have to serve in this environment. I believe that allowing gays and lesbians openly into the arm forces tantamount to racial integration into same and the 1948 executive order for racial integration took five years to implement. That was no mean feat.
There are a number of ethnic group who could tell horror story of what they had to endure in the arm forces and that was because of their colour and if they were used and abused then gays and lesbians wanting to serve in the Army need to prepare to be stigmatised and abuse.
This may be the 21st century and we may have some famous gay people that have openly flaunt their sexuality, but the old distaste against gays and lesbians still remains and there are certain country that even the idea that someone is gay could cost them their lives.
I hope that should the day arrive where the ban is lifted and gays and lesbians are openly accept in the arm forces that they will go in with the full knowledge that not everyone is going to welcome them with open arms and they are going to be on the receiving ends of the bigots for a long time.