You see, the military, for better or for worse, is a reflection of what American society is. Not a perfect reflection, mind you, given the selection effects involved and the decades-long treatment of the military as a laboratory, nay, a vehicle, for social change. But a reflection nonetheless. And American society had, by 1993, sufficiently moved past its Christian roots, perhaps propelled by the 1980s AIDS epidemic and the resultant onslaught of pro-homo propaganda, to the point where Biblically immoral behavior such as homosexuality was no longer viewed as quite so immoral. The 1993 DADT law was merely evidence of the residue of the rapidly dwindling Protestant Christian culture that founded this country.
No, rather than a victory for the Christian right, DADT was at best a temporary delay in the day of reckoning that would eventually come. At worst, DADT served as a tool to psychologically prepare military members to the coming fact of open homo service...indeed, DADT was an odd law that served to facilitate its own repeal nearly a generation later by seeding the battlespace--the mind of the Service member--with pro-homosexual sentiment. Don't believe me? Read the DADT report, which appears to indicate that members of the Services are quite blase about the potential impacts of homos serving openly. I don't think this was the case back in the early 90s when this law came about in the first place.
DADT was a successful, temporary plugging of a leaky dike, the act of shoring up the faltering earthen berm of Christian moral influence by legislative maneuver. Eventually, the waters topped the dike, and the dam that protected our society from the full weight of its moral predilections gave way.
It was bound to happen, really. For not only had society at large rejected the Christian proscriptions against homosexuality,* leading to the rising flood metaphor above, but those fighting against homos serving openly in the military had forsaken their best weapon in their struggle against it. They decided to focus on military effectiveness, rather than questions of morality, opting for the easier, more PC, more cowardly way out. In my opinion, they brought a knife to a gun fight, for the question of permitting homos to serve openly is first and foremost a moral question that shoots straight to the standards of behavior a military is supposed to uphold. It then comes as no shock to me that, as they feint right, then left on the slippery grounds of empiricism, desperately trying to make their argument, they would get shot in the face.
Put succinctly, it was a mistake to anchor opposition to homos serving openly in the military on the basis of degraded military effectiveness, for four reasons. First, many militaries around the world permit open homosexuals to serve. Thus arguing that permitting homos to serve openly would be harmful to effectiveness or cohesion swims against the precedent by the example of other militaries across the world. They have already "integrated"--for lack of a better word--homos into their ranks, with apparent success.
Second, historically, there have been plenty of homos in the military across the ages, just as there are in society. I strongly suspect, and the DADT report confirms (page 71) that an affinity for his brothers in a fellow is usually known by his brothers. Thus DADT did little to hinder (and may have even helped) others from acquiring knowledge of one's closeted homosexuality. Furthermore, arguments that permitting homosexuals to serve openly would damage cohesion sounded just like ones that were used recently to resist efforts to admit women into the military or integrate them into front-line units. Not getting much traction with that one, as women have been a major and growing part of militaries around the world, again without much (apparent to the public anyway) ill effect.
Note: the last sentence, the one ending in "without much...ill effect", may leave the impression that I think the integration of women into the military was just dandy. Just so I'm clear, I think the integration of women into the military has cost far more than the fruits it has borne. That said, those that haven't served--i.e., the public--are largely ignorant of these costs, while those on the inside are far more familiar with the negative consequences of this social experiment.
Third, how does one measure military effectiveness anyway? The only way to tell, really tell, is by testing in the crucible of battle. But even that doesn't help much, as it would be difficult, in the fog and friction of war, to isolate causes for failure and draw conclusions. Especially when those whom Hackworth derisively terms perfumed princes have personal and political interests too. And even those who have served in combat, while significantly less supportive of homos serving openly,** aren't that much more opposed to it (DADT report, page 66).
Fourth, arguing using empiricism, i.e., "homos serving openly degrades military effectiveness", merely opens you up to challenges based on the data. Inevitably, cooked-up studies will be published that refute your data, with the result that the meta-data will be inconclusive. There won't be sufficient reason to oppose "just one more brick", other than simple bigotry, and that is where those who support DADT found themselves.
Much better in my book to argue from a position of moral / immoral behavior. The military already does this anyway, with its prohibition on adultery, an act that is certainly not illegal and, depending on the parties involved, has much less impact to good order and discipline. Who cares if married soldier A is banging civilian B, as long as he/she's fit for duty, right?
There's no arguing with with moral codes that existed for thousands of years and are replicated in societies across the planet (i.e., all three Abrahamic religions condemn acts of homosexuality). The only options are to accept or reject it, to decide if homosexual behavior is conduct becoming an American soldier or not. I vote not.
Yet DADT has been repealed, the only thing left is 44's signature, which is sure to ensue. Homos will soon be able to serve openly. What will this look like? My friend Whiskey took a stab at this, and while I think his predictions of flood of homos prompting a mass exodus from the military for right-thinking men are overblown, I do think he nailed one element perfectly: the sexual dynamics of the newly re-engineered military will again be achieved by screwing--no pun intended--the straight male, particularly the straight white males who are three-fer losers in the new fabulous military (i.e. not a member of any protected class...race, sex, sexual orientation):
...gays in the military will harass (with PC/Protected Class impunity) all the straight guys below them rank and power. Again, this is something Jane Average White girl can understand if put to her bluntly. As well as Joe Sixpack already getting it. The Marines in particular understand this. They don't want to share close, personal space for months, with a guy who wants to have sex with them.I feel for the commanders. For the military, prodded by feminist rape culture, is supremely concerned with protecting those fashionable gals from the depredations of those nasty Y-chromos it needs to get the dirty work done. Now we introduce into the mix those fab guys and butch gals with same-sex proclivities. Now we have fully three times the potential for issues surrounding sexuality to disrupt good order and discipline, for sexual harassment rules and regulations to be used as tools of lawfare in petty spats, genuine disagreements over consent and sexual advances, and genuine sexual assaults. I don't claim to know how that will shake out; however, I can tell you one thing: straights, especially white men, who object to the homos in their midst, will be told to STFU and get on board. Or else. That is the way the military accomplishes its social engineering, from the top down, comply or be squashed. No wonder the lefties love tinkering with the military as an engine of social change.
For the simple reason that straight men find gay sex repulsive. Even more repulsive than straight women find the idea of having sex with beta males.
In the end, I think the vast majority of them--straight white men, that is--will knuckle down and FIDO. Because they need the paycheck. And they realize, despite the presence of women and homo men, that the military is one of the last remaining domains in our culture where masculinity isn't entirely derided.
* Just as society had earlier rejected the Christian teachings against divorce, and just as our society is hard at work twisting the institution of marriage to encompass all sorts of housekeepings. Thus today, marriages between two men and two women are widely socially recognized (meaning full legal recognition isn't far away), as are marriages between one woman and several men (serial polyandry, in which the woman still has claim to those men's money but without the duty of consortium), between one man and several women (standard polygyny), and I've heard of attempts at brothers, sisters, you name it to marry, to take advantage of the special legal status that pagan marriage confers.
** The yawning divide in opinion about homos serving openly between those who served in combat and those who have not suggests that the US military's large tail-to-tooth ratio drives it to decisions that are at cross purposes to combat effectiveness.