Labor Relations the Military Policy of Don Term Paper

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Labor Relations

The military policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" was developed to be a compromise between those who felt homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military, and those who wished them banned. However, due to multiple international conflicts, such as the war in Iraq, the Pentagon has issued a stop loss order for military personnel, and the discharge of openly gay military members has, in many cases, been suspended, by simply ignoring claims of homosexuality or using the loophole that was devised to be able to retain members if needed. It is this hypocritical waffling that is one of the military's biggest labor relations issues that needs to be addressed immediately.

Labor Relations

Introduction:

With the arduous war in Iraq, the precarious situation in Korea, plus the plethora of other obligations the military has, military labor is spread thin, at best. For this reason, labor relations has become an increasingly important topic. This paper will explore the military policy of, "Don't ask, don't tell" and whether or not the war in Iraq could change the Pentagon's position on allowing gays in the military to serve openly. In addition, it will analyze the labor relations issue in the military, in general, and whether or not theses issues should be addressed now or in the future.

The Military Policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

The military policy commonly known as, "Don't ask, don't tell" is Public Law 103-160. President Bill Clinton introduced the law as a compromise between those who felt homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military and those who wanted a complete ban of homosexuals in the military. Colin Powell drafted the actual policy, which reads in part:

Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender (as cited in "Don't ask, don't tell," 2005).

A built in loophole in this policy includes the fact that the military may choose to retain openly homosexual service members, if it's "for the good of the service" (Prince, 2002).

Homosexual acts have always been illegal in the United State Military. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and prior to that under the Articles of War, sodomy has been one of the punitive offenses. Laws, to this manner, were implemented due to the belief that homosexuals posed a security risk to the military. It has been believed that homosexuals are an easier target for blackmail. With the threat that their Sexual orientation could be disclosed, they could be coerced into performing treasonable acts ("Don't ask, don't tell," 2005).

In addition, these policies were developed due to the fact that the presence of homosexuals was objectionable to many of the heterosexual service members. There is worry that allowing openly gay service member would lead to the ogling of heterosexual members, which would lead to tensions and challenges such as the communal living quarters service members often share. To date, the policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" has been upheld five times in court challenges. ("Don't ask, don't tell," 2005).

The War in Iraq's Effect on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

The war in Iraq has stretched the United States' military capacity thinner than they have been a long time. As a response to this challenge, "President Bush authorized the Pentagon to issue a "stop-loss" order, which suspended most (...) military discharges" (Prince, 2002). Although openly homosexual discharges were to continue, this has not been the case in many situations. In fact, discharges under the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy are at their lowest levels since 1996 ("Don't ask, don't tell takes a break," 2003).

In one instance, a United States Navy Ensign, Thang Nguyen, came out, in a letter, to his commanding officer. Nguyen fully expected an… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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