Homosexuality in the Military

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Homosexuality in the Military
John P. Wernegreen
DeVry University
Professor Foley

Homosexuality in the Military
The issue of homosexuality in the military has long been considered a taboo subject, not to be discussed openly, and essentially prohibited with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy established in the 1990’s. However, attitudes have changed and evolved over the years making homosexuality in general less of a stigma and more of an acceptable lifestyle that some people live. After much deliberation and research, the Department of Defense (DOD) has established its own set of rules and regulations, thus continuing the controversy and discrimination of homosexuality within its ranks and the redefining of its regulations.
Beginning in 1916, the United States military began issuing an administrative discharge called a blue discharge. This discharge, also known as a “blue ticket,” was neither honorable nor dishonorable, but it “became the discharge of choice for commanders seeking to remove homosexual service members from the ranks…” (Serving, para. 1). The policy for discharging service members found to be homosexual or engaging in homosexual acts prior to these “blue tickets” was to court-martial them for sodomy, imprison them and subsequently dishonorably discharge them. When the United States began to mobilize troops in World War II, though, it was no longer practical to hold court-martials due to time constraints and troop movements, so commanders began administratively discharging service members in their place.
“Several waves of reform addressing the issue of homosexuals in the military resulted, in 1944, in a policy directive that homosexuals were to be committed to military hospitals, examined by psychiatrists and discharged under Regulation 615-360, section 8” (Berube, 1990). These Section 8, or Section VIII, discharges come from the World…...

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