OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Soldiers
Gays in the military isn’t exactly a new thing for Canada, but you might not know it from the experiences of Andrew McLean, a Warrant Officer working at Kandahar Airfield.
McLean tried his best to keep his orientation secret from colleagues, but that had to change after he received an anonymous, threatening letter back in September. Speaking to the media in an interview, McLean recalled the experience: “It said ‘You’re gay. Because of this, minus two.’ That’s metric [for] six feet; 6½ under.”
Mortified that he had been discovered, McLean brought the letter to the attention of his superiors after struggling internally for two days.
This story caught my attention mostly because of timing. Canada lifted its ban on gays serving openly in the forces in 1992, a full 20 years ago. The military, though, much like the world of sports, doesn’t make being openly gay easily, although there aren’t any obstacles on paper. That’s why it’s actually encouraging to hear of soldiers speaking out against this kind of harassment.
McLean now says he serves openly, and is actually less afraid for doing so. I’m not only happy for him, but also thrilled that he shared this experience. This not only got higher-ups to publicly affirm their commitment to welcoming gay soldiers, but also to add some much needed visibility in the macho world of national defense. And all it took was some ignorant and cowardly hate mail.
John Sheehan, a retired army general from the United States, has blamed the lifting of a ban on gay troops in the Dutch army for the 1995 Bosnian massacre.
Serbian forces overwhelmed Dutch peacekeepers stationed in Bosnia fifteen years ago, leading to one of the largest genocides in Europe since World War II. Approximately 8,000 men and children were killed by Serbian forces.
Sheehan, speaking to a senate committee currently discussing a proposal to end the country’s ridiculous policy banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military, said that the Dutch would have prevented the Bosnian catastrophe if only they hadn’t “made a conscious effort to socialize their military,” adding “that includes open homosexuality.”
Roger Van de Wetering, a spokesperson for the Dutch Defence Ministry, dismissed the comments as “total nonsense:”
The whole operating in Srebrenica and the drama that took place over there was thoroughly investigated by Dutch and international authorities and none of these investigations as ever concluded or suggested a link between homosexual military personnel and the things that happened over there.
- General blames gay Dutch troops in massacre [CBC News]
In my web travels I often collect stories that I intend to share, but then become distracted by newer, shinier stories—or feel too lazy to illustrate them. This is what becomes of those stories: A Pile o’ Sla… Hugs?
The Town of Truro, Nova Scotia—which made national news last year after some bizarre homophobic comments by its mayor—has finally reached an agreement with a local gay rights group, amending its employment equity policy to include sexual orientation. A strange outcome, considering the dispute was over a flag-flying policy.
For the first time ever, Canada’s Armed Forces marched in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, promoting equal rights and openly recruiting gay servicemen and women. This is in stark contrast to the policies of the United States. I’d ask if you’d like me to describe them, but I’m afraid I can’t tell.
A nation-wide poll shows that support for same-sex marriage in Canada has climbed to 68%. Recent converts cited a lack of family-destroying meteor showers for their change in opinion.
The top leader of Canada’s Anglican Church is standing up for gay-friendly denominations in the country, saying that ultra-conservative factions are obsessing over the wrong issues. Primate Fred Hiltz said it’s unfortunate that some Christians are “preoccupied with sexual acts between homosexuals and falsely equate homosexuality with promiscuity,” adding that they’d gain more credibility on sexual issues if they devoted the same energy to “combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation by people in positions of power, and global sex slavery.” Hmm… Combating something that everyone agrees needs combating; what a novel concept!
Same-sex marriages skyrocketed last month, as gay couples plan their weddings around Pride celebrations. Because if it weren’t for that, no one would want a June wedding.
Well, have a great weekend kiddos, and Happy Independance Day to all my Stateside visitors. May it be nothing like the movie.
It looks like two Canadian soldiers have completely forgotten what it is they’re supposed to be defending.
Eric Wright and Ryan Dowie were both due to serve in Afghanistan when they attacked and seriously injured a gay man in Amsterdam. The man said he was assaulted after the two asked him if he was gay.
While the courts said there was a lack of evidence to support the hate crime aspects of the assault, the soldiers are now serving prison terms in the Netherlands. The pair had repeatedly stomped on the victim’s face, fracturing his skull and breaking his nose while shouting anti-gay slurs. Each were each charged with attempted manslaughter, attempted criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and public violence.
- Canadian soldiers jailed for attack on gay man [National Post]
- Canadian soldiers face “gay bashing” charges [PinkNews]
- Dutch court convicts Canadian soldiers of assault, clears them of gay bashing [The Canadian Press]