Don't Ask, Don't Bleed

by Matt BarberLiberty Counsel

The U.S. military has always discriminated. There are a host of malignant behaviors such as illicit drug use or habitual criminality that can render a person ineligible to serve. As my father-in-law learned, there are also benign maladies such as vision impairment or flat feet that can bar an otherwise eligible applicant. Any number of behaviors or conditions with varying degrees of severity can dash one's hope of donning the uniform.

This is discrimination only insofar as "discriminating minds" with expertise in these matters have found that such restrictions are necessary to maintain excellence in our historically unparalleled fighting force.

In formal recognition of the long-established finding that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service," federal law – Section 654, Title 10 – objectively prescribes the following:

The primary purpose of the armed forces is to prepare for and to prevail in combat should the need arise;

Success in combat requires military units that are characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion;

The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a long-standing element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service;

The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability;

There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces. Indeed, federal courts have ruled over and again that a prohibition against homosexual conduct within the ranks of the military is both constitutional and justified. More: