Homosexuals have been excluded from our society since our
country\'s beginning, giving them no equal protection underneath the
large branch of the law. The Emancipation Proclamation gave freedom to
blacks from slavery in the 1800\'s and women were given the freedoms
reserved for males in the early 1900\'s with the women\'s suffrage
movement. But everyone still knows the underlying feeling of nation in
dealing with minorities and women, one of contempt and utter disgust.

Hate crimes are still perpetrated to this day in this country, and
most are unpublicized and "swept underneath the rug." The general
public is just now dealing with the struggle of Homosexuals to gain
rights in America, although this persecution is subtle, quiet and
rarely ever seen to the naked eye or the general public.

The big question today in Homosexuals rights struggles are
dealing with the right to be a part of our country\'s Military Forces.

At the forefront of the struggle to gain access to the military has
been Female\'s who have tried to gain access to "All Men" facilities
and have been pressured out by other cadets. This small group of women
have fought hard, and pressured the Government to change regulations
dealing with the inclusion of all people, whether female or male, and
giving them all the same opportunities they deserve. The Homosexual
struggle with our Nation\'s Armed Forces has been acquiring damage and
swift blows for over 60 years now, and now they too are beginning to
fight back.

With the public knowledge of "initiation rights" into many
elite groups of the military, the general public is beginning to
realize how exclusive the military can be. One cadet said after "hell
week" in the Marines, "It was almost like joining a fraternity, but
the punishments were 1000 times worse than ever imagined, and the

Administration did not pretend to turn there back, they were
instrumental in the brutality." The intense pressure of "hell week" in
the Marines drove a few to wounding themselves, go AWOL, and a few
even took there own life. People who are not "meant to be" in the

Military are usually weeded out during these "initiations" and forced
either to persevere or be discharged dishonorably. The military in the

United States has become an elite society, a society where only few

In a survey taken in 1990, the United States population on a
whole is believed to consist of 13-15% Homosexuals. This figure is
believed to have a margin of error on the upward swing due to the fact
that most homosexuals are still "afraid" of their sexuality and the
social taboos it carries along with it. With so many Homosexuals in
the United States, how can the military prove its exclusion policy
against Homosexuals correct and moral? Through the "long standing
tradition and policy," says one Admiral of the U.S. Navy. But is it
fair or correct? That is the question posed on Capitol Hill even
today, as politicians battle through a virtual minefield of tradition
and equal rights.

Historically, support for one\'s military was a way to show
one\'s patriotism, if not a pre-requisite for being patriotic at all.

Society has given the military a great deal of latitude in running its
own affairs, principally due to society\'s acknowledgment that the
military needs such space in order to run effectively. The military,
in turn, has adopted policies which, for the most part, have lead to
very successful military ventures, which served to continually renew
society\'s faith in the military. Recently, however, that support has
been fading. The Vietnam War represented both a cause of diminishing
support for the military by society as well a problem. The Vietnam War
occurred during a period of large-scale civil disobedience, as well as
a time where peace was more popular than war. Since the effectiveness
of the military depends a great deal upon society\'s support, when
society\'s support dropped out of the war effort, the war effort in
turn suffered. The ultimate defeat of the United States in the Vietnam

War effort only lead to less faith in the military\'s ability. This set
the stage for society becoming more involved in how the military was

The ban on homosexuals serving in the military, was originally
instituted in 1942. Though some of the reasons that were used to
justify it at the time have been debunked since-that homosexual
service members in sensitive positions could be blackmailed, for
instance ("Gays and the Military" 54)-the policy was largely an
extension of the military\'s long-standing policy against homosexual
acts. At the time, the prevailing attitude was that homosexuality was
a medical/psychiatric condition, and thus the military sought to align
itself with