February 23, 2005

What about rum and the lash?

So you probably heard that the British Navy is actively recruiting gays:

The new effort is a sign of how much the official attitude in the British navy has changed. Until a European court ruled in 1999 that Britain's ban on gays in the military violated European human-rights laws, the navy, along with the rest of the military, followed a no-exceptions policy of dismissing service men and women who were found to be gay, often after long and intrusive investigations.

The military had agonized for years over the issue, in the way the United States has, always concluding that allowing gays and lesbians to serve would prove prohibitively disruptive and would ruin discipline and cohesion.

But after the court ruling, it had no choice but to put aside its doubts and reverse its policy. Beginning in 2000, the military said that gays would no longer be prohibited from serving. It also stopped monitoring its recruits' sex lives, saying that as long as it did not intrude into the workplace, sexuality should not be an issue one way or another.

Far from effecting a cataclysmic change, the new policy appeared to be something of an anticlimax. Recently, gay men and women in the British services have lived and fought in Iraq alongside heterosexuals - and Americans - without problem, according to military officials.

Should be interesting to see if the U.S. military still trots out the same excuses the next time there's a push to allow gays to serve. Britain also offers a civil-union-style thing for gays, which the Pope is probably none too happy about, because, you see, in less gay-positive news, the Pope has called gay marriage part of an "ideology of evil":

In [his new book], the Pope refers to the "pressures" on the European Parliament to endorse same-sex marriages.

It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man," he writes.

I just don't know why Catholics have such a problem with gay people -- I mean, at least they're not having abortions, right?

Posted by Francis at 04:23 PM | TrackBack

I think it was Winston Churchill that said that the English Navy ran on grog and sodomy.

Posted by: dilbert dogbert at February 28, 2005 11:19 PM
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