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Gays in Military a Civil Rights, Fairness Issue

February 07, 1993

Thank you to Dana Parsons for articulating so well my feelings on the issue of banning gays from military service ("Now Hear This, People: Gays in Military Not the Enemy," Jan. 31). I, too, have become increasingly angry over the past week at the idea that such an intolerant practice and mind-set should prevail not only within the ranks of the military, but also in bodies of government and the general public. If the "comfort level" of some of our military personnel were the most important consideration, certainly women on the whole would be excluded from serving their country as well.

It is particularly disturbing to read the statements made earlier in the week by Capt. Mark Godina, ROTC instructor and professor of military science at Cal State Fullerton, someone presumably charged with training future military officers. Capt. Godina says that if gay men will potentially be in the same shower as he, then he, as a heterosexual, should be allowed to shower with the gender to which he is attracted (presumably female). I say, grow up.

It's time the military ceases to promote such sophomoric behavior and thinking. It cannot operate in a vacuum when it comes to civil rights, and this is a civil rights issue. Other segments of society have had to deal with integrating various minority groups; fairness goes out the window when individuals are singled out for punishment when no crime has been committed.

Frankly, it is laughable that such an uproar is taking place over the fears and unsubstantiated predictions of promiscuous gay behavior in the armed forces when certain heterosexual males at the Navy's Tailhook convention couldn't control their collective libido nor maintain enough respect to keep from mauling their female peers and embarrassing themselves as well as their superiors, who too often looked the other way.

NANCY M. DOLAN

Laguna Beach

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