First Gay General on Readiness, Integrity
MajGen Tammy Smith, 8th Army deputy commander for sustainment, is often lauded as the “first openly gay general” in the US military. She recently spoke at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, on the topic of sexuality:
The U.S. military’s first openly gay general says advances in granting rights to the military’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have increased the ability “to fight tonight” in South Korea.
Gen Smith’s reasoning essentially says there are so few potential service members in American society that everybody has to be allowed to serve — even if they’re homosexual. She does not appear to address the many other exclusions that prevent “talent” from entering the military, like criminal records, drug use, etc.
Interestingly, the article referenced since-deleted “negative comments” on the Garrison’s Facebook page in response to her speaking in favor of homosexuality:
The initial announcement about plans for Smith to speak at the LGBT ceremony drew several negative remarks that have since been deleted from Yongsan Garrison’s Facebook page.
Smith said she was disappointed by the reaction but also saw that as proof that she needs to continue to speak publicly.
The “negative remarks” seem to undermine the narrative that everybody is onboard with homosexuals openly serving in the US military. (In fact, Korean culture and its military still are not that accepting of homosexuality — pre-DADT arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.) A few “negative remarks” remain, though they’re mostly in the vein of “glad I’m not in the military anymore…”
“For the first 25 years of my career I not only didn’t have a full voice at the table, I could be fired for speaking at the table.”
There might have been a reason for that.
10 U.S.C. § 654
“The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”
Prior to 2011 homosexuals could be “fired” from the military because it was against the law for them to be in the military.
There are historical examples of nations or peoples “enlisting everyone” in the face of an existential threat. (Israel comes to mind, for example.) The United States is not in that position. In that same vein, no one has ever demonstrated — despite valiant claims to the contrary — that but for homosexuals, the US military wouldn’t reach its recruiting goals. In short, there is no evidence the US needs to allow homosexuals to serve in order to guarantee its survival, have access to unique skill sets, or to plus up troop numbers.
Homosexuals serve in the US military because a portion of society determined that such sexual behavior was no longer an “unacceptable risk to the high standards” of the US military. It’s not more complicated than that.
That fact, however, highlights there is another “portion of society” — one that disagrees. Some of that disagreement is, indeed, religiously-based, with the focus not just on immorality but on the social promotion of behavior — and the accompanying discrimination against those who object to such behavior.
A substantial portion of society still believes that God made man and woman — and He made them to complement each other. The exercise of those beliefs is protected not just in law, but in the US Constitution (while, notably, sexual behavior is not). Yet righteousness tends to convict — and those whose are reminded of wrong may aim their ire at those who proclaim the Word of God.
Thus, the conflict, but it doesn’t come from the direction most people seem to think.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.