First of all they are already there, we just play a game of no cabaret in the barracks currently.
I don't know what prompted Gen. Shalikashvili to come out (ha) with his statement regarding gay people serving in the military, but I remain in agreement with his thoughts. Readers here are aware of this and I believe we had one of the most interesting and substantive arguments in the comments I can recall. Opinions ranged from a solid H**l no to why wouldn't we? All in all I was impressed by the discourse and while it led me to re-evaluate my position, it has not significantly altered it.
The one point of contention is whether the presence of openly gay service members would undermine morale and discipline. If this is the case then we have a much more hostile and bigoted population than I believe we do. I truly believe that when confronted with gayness, most Americans have about as much interest in it as in the sex habits of their parents. It may draw an "Ew", but past that we all have better things to worry about. My statement in the past still reflects my feelings.
"If I am lying by the road bleeding, I don't care if the medic coming to save me is gay. I just hope he is one of those buff gay guys who are always in the gym so he can throw me over his shoulder and get me out of there."
I will say that given the current strain on the military after 5 years of wartime operations, and the likelihood of a surge in Iraq, now is probably not the best time to implement a full scale policy change. But if I read about one more Arabic linguist bounced for off duty behavior that hurt no one, I'll be pissed. We don't have the luxury of ignoring people with skills we need. I think it would be wise for the Pentagon to just stop investigating cases of gayness and not process anyone else out if their behavior harms no one.