Lindsey Graham tries again to ruin unit morale and cohesion in Aghanistan

I worked on the gays in the military issue back in 1993. I was helping a good friend in Senator Kennedy’s office prepare for the horrible hearings that Sam Nunn held to “prove” how dangerous even the whiff of gays would be in the US military. The main argument from the anti-gay forces, in a nutshell, is that if other guys in the military know you’re gay, then they may not like you, want to work with you, will worry that they may need to keep their eye on you (or off you) while in the shower, will worry that you’ll try to cop a feel while they’re sleeping in the close together bunks in submarines, etc. Seriously, those were the arguments.

And the same arguments apply to someone you may not “know” is gay, but someone you strongly suspect of being gay. I.e., if you’re a homophobe, worrying about gay guys copping a feel in the shower, you’re going to be just as worried about the guy who doesn’t tell you he’s gay, but about whom your gaydar goes off the scale.

That brings us to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who likes to go over to the Middle East and play soldier. Now, I don’t know if the unmarried Senator Graham is straight or gay. I do know that, as a gay man myself, Lindsey Graham makes me look straight. If someone put a gun to my head and made me guess whether Graham was straight or gay, I wouldn’t hesitate to venture that he’s a flaming homosexual because he looks and sounds like a flaming homosexual. And I’ve rarely met a straight man who flames, and then turns out to be actually straight.

But putting aside whether Graham is truly straight or gay, the problem is that he comes across as gay. A lot of my gay friends and colleagues think he looks and talks over-the-top gay. And I find it hard to believe that members of the US military, who have turned being manly-men into an art, don’t have the same suspicions about this unmarried man’s sexual orientation. That, we were told by Senator Nunn, by Senator McCain (Graham’s mentor), destroys unit morale and cohesion. So why isn’t it a problem when Lindsey Graham is involved? Or is it okay to ruin the lives and careers of regular soldiers in the military, but hands-off when the sexual orientation in question is a sitting Republican Senator?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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