An openly gay soldier?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Here’s an interesting story about Sgt. Robert Stout, a soldier wounded in Iraq who has asked to stay in the Army as an openly gay soldier. The first openly gay soldier, in fact. Some details: Stout “has not encountered trouble from his fellow soldiers,” and he notes that changing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, in which gay men and women can serve if they keep their sexuality a secret, could be the answer to the military’s recruitment woes. “I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open.” Hm, well, given the much-noted trouble the Army has had in finding new soldiers, maybe change will come sooner than we think.

Then again, for the past few years the military has had no qualms about putting its injunction against homosexuals above its own, more pressing needs. In an age where the military has been struggling mightily to train its troops and intelligence officers in foreign languages, especially in Middle Eastern languages, at least 20 Arabic speakers and six Farsi speakers were discharged between 1998 and 2004, all because they were gay. So best of luck to Sgt. Stout, but he’s swimming against a strong, strong current here.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate