Pentagon Document Reveals Institutionalized Homophobia towards Gays and Lesbians in the Military
June 20, 2006, 4:18 pm
Filed under: gay and lesbian, politics

The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California at Santa Barbara recently uncovered a Pentagon document describing gays and lesbians as “mentally ill.” According to the NYTimes, the document “outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service members with physical disabilities, and in a section on defects lists homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.”

Not only is this belief discriminatory, but it is also antiquated and contradictory with key medical professionals, members of Congress and the American Psychiatric Association, which 30 years ago stopped calling homosexuality a “mental disorder.”

What’s worse, the discovery of this discriminatory document comes on the heels of lagging recruitment numbers and depressed retention rates for all branches of the US military. According to the Government Accountability Office, 2 service members are discharged a day under DOMA, costing the government nearly $200 million to recruit and train replacements for the 9,488 troops discharged since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was enacted in 1994.

And still, despite all of this ignorance, bigotry, fear and institutionalized discrimination, thousands of gays and lesbians continue to fight for this country in the military. Not for what this country is do they fight, for this country is openly hostile to gays and lesbians. But for what this country could be, what it is supposed to be, they fight. The dream of liberty and justice for ALL is their dream.

They are the real heros.


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