Our Military -Their Homophobia

"Eligibility for military service requires certain physical abilities and attributes, including age, height, weight, and physical ability requirements. Furthermore, U.S. law prohibits service members from engaging in homosexual acts and prohibits lesbian, gay or bisexual service members from stating their sexual orientation. © 2008. Paid for by the U.S. Navy. All rights reserved."

Although I am deeply grateful and respectful of military bravery on my behalf, I need some clarification on these statements put out by our Navy.

The first issue is that a good number of men and women still serving in all branches of the military are older, overweight and not physically strong or mentally as sharp any more so perhaps the first statement needs to say "sometimes requires certain physical abilities and attributes, including age, height, weight, and physical ability requirements."

Okay, that may not be a big deal but I think the next two points are important even if they make some people uncomfortable.

The second issue is how do we define homosexual acts. Are those the behaviors that people of the same sex often practice, like oral or anal sex? There are some, no many, hetero couples doing those things, too! Imagine two soldiers having oral sex and being accuses of a homosexual action - even if they are male and female. Ridiculous. Or is it the doing of those acts, any touching acts, with a same sex partner. Where do contact sports, towel snapping and wrestling fall in that discussion? We need some clarification here.

The third issue is that if a military service person who is gay, lesbian or bisexual can not talk about their sexual orientation, shouldn't that clearly "discriminatory" sentence be rewritten to also include banning heterosexuals from stating their sexual orientation? Otherwise, you could have a group of heteros talking freely about their preference of sexual partners, while some of the group must sit quietly in forced silence in fear of "breaking U.S. law" or even worse, become liars for the benefit of homophobia. Doesn't forced silence of some, shout more loudly than a quiet statement of fact spoken when the time is right to share personal information? A silent service person may be assumed gay, when in reality, they could be private people, shy or religiously inhibited from discussing their sexual exploits in public.

My stepfather was a Navy man and had to deal with living on a ship with all men. I wonder how many gay, bi or lesbian people have already given their lives to keep America safe? These heroes along with American Indians, Blacks and women have often been disregarded for their sacrifice because, somehow, they are less. My personal friends who have different orientations, skin color or gender are just as valuable as the next guy. Our Army, Navy and Marines belongs to America, not just to straight people. Our military and government are micro-managing individuals while the whole country is in disarray. Perhaps, it is time to redefine and move forward.

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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