Gay Barracks? Marine Commandant Promises to Force Gay To Live in Separate Housing

Marine Corps’ commandant Gen. James Conway has declared that, if Congress allows openly gay personnel, those marines will be given separate rooms to avoid forcing straight marines to share quarters with homosexuals.

Conway is a known opponent of repealing the law and insisted “I would not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it. . . And to me that means we have to build BEQs [bachelor enlisted quarters] and have single rooms.”

Of course, if you want your own room, there is now an easy way to get it in the Corps.

Conway must know that, if there is segregation of gays, that is likely to reinforce the animosity in the ranks toward gay personnel. It could also produce a conflict with Congress and the White House, which could prohibit such separate but equal policies in housing. The Marines, like other services, once segregated black personnel, which would be a troubling model in the twenty-first century. Conway could claim that this falls into his discretion of “good discipline and order.” However, it also undermines the goal of incorporation of gay personnel in the ranks as a policy set by the Commander and Chief and Congress. In such a conflict, the Commander and Chief would prevail — if he was willing to take up the fight. What is clear is that a more organized opposition is emerging in the ranks – at the encouragement of high-ranking officers.

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71 thoughts on “Gay Barracks? Marine Commandant Promises to Force Gay To Live in Separate Housing”

  1. Clearly “flaming straights” such as this (ostensively “manly”) Marine Generalissimo can be a serious social problem, and always have been. His is a militaroid perspective-meaning he brings his job home with him, stews in it, and inflicts what really is hooliganism and violence on others . They will never “fit in”–and, apparently lead such empty social/sexual lives that they spend way too much time worrying about who’s in bed with who, and is it “OK”. Machistas of any color or stripe have the tiniest of imaginations–they confuse gays wth women–and use the term ‘woman’ as one of disparagement, which often reveals thinking such as “Women are weak (and, heh heh, can be slapped around) and (duh), fags are like women, and so are imminently slappable as well”–a serious social mistake, that of associating violence with “proof of manlitude”. Gay men, like anyone else, support our troops, but know damn well that queerness has never been absent from the corps, and never will be. Gang-bangers, who come in various class costumes including suits and uniforms, and sporting titles such as “intellectual”, studied carefully, reveal problems coming to conclusions in a tight spot: they have trouble thinking past a violent solution, verbal, physical, or as edict or regulation, not the least to preserve a show of “maleness”, and two, three, or more will gang up on one gay. My how brave. There are plenty of well-oriented straight men, happy with their relationship to women, but we could sure use a something like a Finishing School to settle machista hash. My fellow troops, in basic training made it perfectly clear: civilians outrank the military–and for good reason. This Marine grew old retaining his ignorance and insensitivity, and now wants to preach it. Homophobic straights are the “extreme” and should simmer the hell down. The contemporary façade of maleness makes dudes want us queers to go along with it, keep silent, and disappear. Fat chance.

  2. If they repel this and allow gays in the Marines. Those “Marines” will not be looked at as a real Marine and will be delt with. PERIOD

  3. Chris:

    I think your proposal has merit. There should be no bar to having GLBT in the military. That said,accommodations should be structured to avoid disputes which could arise. That seems reasonable to me.

    On the issue of physical standards, I have no problem with the same physical requirements being mandated if they bear a reasonable relationship to the task at hand. For example, I see no reason why a gunner mate (GM) on a ship needs to run a 4.9 40 yard dash. I might feel differently if that same person were asked to be an infantry soldier.

  4. Mespo,

    This debate always interests me over whether or not to allow gays in the military. I am a former marine and don’t have a problem with allowing gays in the military. With that being said I also don’t think that straight men should be forced to room with a gay man in the same manner that women aren’t forced to room with men.

    The debate over women in infantry MOS’s is an interesting one as well. My wife, who is a Drill Sergeant in the army, and I always get into it over this. In the military women have lower physical standards than men. I think before you consider allowing women into such MOS’s that they should have to meet the same standards as men physically.

  5. Amen Mespo. Most of the officials complaining about the DADT repeal are older than me. If that is possible. Idea of gay men or women in the military “checking out” the “junk” of their fellow soldiers is arcane and offensive. It is actually saying that gays do not have the control of heterosexual people in those shower/bathroom situations and they should be kept in separate quarters. Sounds like separate but equal to me.

  6. jarhead:

    I appreciate your logic. It’s just a little dated. I first heard it in the 1960’s when white soldiers were still complaining about Truman integrating the service in 1948 with African Americans. Same arguments about uncomfortable surroundings, different culture, etc. I later saw this vampire resurrected when women sought combat duty. Same arguments–it’s all about sex, it distracts the corps, blah, blah. Europe has this debate about 20 years ago, and after integrating the service with all many of sexual orientations readiness has not been adversely affected. If you’re going to rely on some stereotype of gay lasciviousness and uncontrolled sexual urges, it helps if the overwhelming weight of history isn’t against what passes for your so-called “common sense.” Maybe we “see” the truth as reveled by the empirical facts without the cloud of pre-conceived prejudices.

  7. I can not understand why people don’t see this.
    If a female was made to live in a 16x16ft room with a male, would she feel uncomfortable? why would she? when she took a shower, would she just come out with a towel loosely wrapped around her like she would if she was in a room with another female or would she be constantly worried about modesty? why would modesty be a concern? because of some moral thing or because the other person in the room might look at her body and feel something? put yourself in that girls position.
    if the male in the room did look at her and like what he saw, what would be her recourse if it made her uncomfortable? a harassment complaint?
    if so, would that be fair to the guy? to be charged with looking at a girls body with lust even though he is 19 years old, biologically overcharged and you just put a girl with an athletes toned, hard body in his bedroom? noone has brought that up. they should if this is a real conversation the nation is having and not a political tug of war for the sake of having one.
    what defense does the gay guy have when he’s standing tall in front of the man being interrogated about whether or not he looked at his bunk mate’s junk when they were changing out of PT gear? people just haven’t thought the practicalities of this thing through. most, not all of them screaming the loudest about this have never had to take a shower with 79 other people, 2 or 3 to a showerhead. or live 3 or 4 to a room with other drunken 19 year olds in a place where they dont turn the buildings heat off till may. this is going to be a disaster for straight AND gay service members.

  8. mespo:

    You are incorrect. To be a “reductio ad absurdum” it would have to lead to a contradiction and there is no contradiction in my reasoning.

    It is not a contradiction to say that women have to be put into male barracks. It is a contradiction to say they don’t have to be.

    In other words, your viewpoint is the contradiction, not mine.

    The reductio ad absurum also must lead to an extreme (the absurd part). You seem to be complaining only about my extreme and not the extreme of those who started the extremes: the homosexuals.

    If there is any extremity in my conclusion it would be only because of the extremism of those who started down this path and that wasn’t started by me. And my extremeness was intentional only to prove the extremeness of the homosexual viewpoint.

    My point is that the homosexual viewpoint is extreme and therefore the women/men barracks is extreme.

    You have selected out the first extremity of open homosexuality in the military in order to discount the second one about men and women.

    I’m pointing out both extremes, to be consistent and therefore there is no contradiction or extremism on my part.

    So it’s not reductio ad absurdum.

    I’d be terrible on Jeopardy, but I reckon you already know that.

  9. An ex-US general has apologised after saying Dutch UN troops failed to prevent the Srebrenica genocide partly because their ranks included openly gay soldiers, the Dutch defence ministry said on Tuesday.

    John Sheehan, a retired former NATO commander and senior Marine officer, “wrote a letter of apology,” ministry spokeswoman Anne van Pinxteren told AFP.

    In it, Sheehan said he was “sorry” for remarks made at a Senate hearing earlier this month where he argued against plans by President Barack Obama to end a ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the US military.

  10. Tootie:

    “I’m demanding that if people are going to insist on that line of thinking, that carry it to the extent that that rationale takes them.”


    You’re three for three in the logical fallacy department:

    Now a classic reductio ad absurdum! Would you like to bet it all in Final Jeopardy?

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