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Argument: Protecting privacy with gays in the military is impractical

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"Gays in the Military." "What I fail to understand is exactly how the military would be expected to house openly-admitted homosexuals, in an environment where we force people to room together, without seriously violating the sexual privacy rights of the heterosexual majority, or causing major problems with morale.

I have 13 years experience as an Air Force First Sergeant. The First Sergeant, as the representative for the Commander for all enlisted matters in the unit is the primary individual who would have to make any new policy work. I can foresee the scenario going something like this:

Commander: Well, Top, the new policy is in effect. From now on it's "Don't Ask, but You can Tell." It's up to us to try and make the new policy work.

First Sergeant: Should be no problem, sir. After all, I can't see where being gay would affect anyone's duty performance.

Commander: That's the attitude! I'll leave it in your hands to make it work.

(One week later)

Airman Jones: Sir, I've got a problem.

First Sergeant: What's up, Jones?

Airman Jones: It's my roommate. He's Airman Thompson.

First Sergeant: So?

Airman Jones: Well, he's gay, Sir. He told me so.

First Sergeant: We briefed you on the new policy. Gay service people are no different from anyone else. Airman Thompson does just as good a job as you do.

Airman Jones: Yes sir, but he keeps staring at me when I shower or change clothes and stuff. It's really creeping me out.

First Sergeant: I can see how that might bother you. I'll have a talk with him.

(Later, that same day)

First Sergeant: Airman Thompson, we've got a problem.

Airman Thompson: Yes sir?

First Sergeant: Your roommate claims that you keep staring at him when he undresses. He feels uncomfortable with this.

Airman Thompson: Oh, no sir! I'm not looking at him. He's not even my type.

First Sergeant: Okay. Just do me and your roommate a favor. When he undresses, make sure you look in another direction. Give his privacy rights a little break, okay?

Airman Thompson: Sure sir! No problem.

(Five days later)

First Sergeant: We've got a problem, Jones. Your NCOIC says this is the 2nd time you've been late for work this week. What's going on?

Airman Jones: I'm sorry sir, but I can't sleep at night. Now, every time I even reach for my zipper, Airman Thompson stares at me and gives me a "wolf-whistle." I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm about ready to smack him.

First Sergeant: No. No. You can't do that. I'll have another talk with him. Don't you even think about harming him. Got it?

Airman Jones: <glumly> Yes, sir.


First Sergeant: Thompson, your roommate claims you've been staring and whistling at him. That's sexual harassment, and we won't tolerate it. Understand?

Airman Thompson: I haven't been looking or whistling! He's just lying because he doesn't like homosexuals! Most people in the military don't like us, and they'll lie in a heartbeat!

First Sergeant: Look, you're not the only one that I'm having a problem with in implementing this policy. How about if I move you into a room all by yourself?

Airman Thompson: Sure!

(Two weeks later)

Commander: First Sergeant, we've just received an Inspector General Complaint. It claims that you've given all the homosexuals in the squadron a private room?

First Sergeant: Yes, sir. There were some serious problems developing between them and their heterosexual roommates. I thought it best to get them split up before someone got hurt.

Commander: I understand, but we can't give them special privileges. We don't have enough space to give everyone a single room, and you can't single out the homosexuals as getting a benefit that isn't available to the others. Now, fix it!

First Sergeant: Yes, sir.

(One week later)

Airman Pizaz: Airman Tippy is my girlfriend.

First Sergeant: That's nice. What can I do for you.

Airman Pizaz: Well, she wants to room with me.

First Sergeant: (spitting coffee) You know we can't room a male and female together in the barracks.

Airman Pizaz: Why not? You roomed Airman Thompson and Airman Eckers together.

First Sergeant: So?

Airman Pizaz: Come on, Shirt! Everyone knows they're going together. If Thompson gets to room with his boyfriend, how come I can't room with my girlfriend?

First Sergeant: Well.....I guess that makes sense. Okay, I'll approve it.

(Two weeks later)

Commander: (Storming into office, blowing steam out of his ears) What in the Hell are you doing, First Sergeant?

First Sergeant: Sir?

Commander: (Face turning blue) The Wing has just received a slew of Congressional Complaints about you from concerned parents! It appears as if you are allowing their young sons and daughters to shack up in my barracks. Is that true?

First Sergeant: Well, yes Sir....but.....

Commander: (Having a kiniption) No buts!!!!!!! Not in my Air Force!!!!!! People don't shack up in Military Barracks!! Is that clear???

First Sergeant: Yes Sir.

Commander: (Jumping up and down) Fix this, now!!!

First Sergeant (Thinking): How in the World do I fix this?

(After much thought)

I know! I'll room male homosexuals with female heterosexuals, and female homosexuals with male heterosexuals!

(One week later)

Commander: (Blood pressure rising like a steam boiler) First Sergeant, what in the blazes is going on in my squadron?

First Sergeant: Sir?

Commander: Every single male in the barracks now claims he's homosexual, and wants to move in with a heterosexual female!

First Sergeant: Well, Sir, I guess the studies were wrong. Maybe it is possible for one to change their sexual orientation.

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