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Thread: Navy participation in the June 2014 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Mont

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Navy participation in the June 2014 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Mont

    Ensign Admiraal’s recent comments in Navy Times regarding the Navy’s participation in the June 2014 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month observance are similar feelings that many Sailors on active duty are probably feeling, but may feel intimidated to speak about. I think it is wrong to expect those who do not advocate a particular lifestyle and behavior to not only accept that particular lifestyle, but to celebrate and embrace it. Many Sailors are reluctant to say anything because this lifestyle is now treated as an equal opportunity issue. I do not believe it is wrong for those who do not agree with the lifestyle to reject it and not be expected to accept it, just as I wouldn’t expect the LGBT’s to be expected to accept and embrace a heterosexual lifestyle. I think it is ironic that those who feel this particular lifestyle is wrong are marginalized and sometimes, even demonized as being prejudiced for being against this behavior. Doesn’t that go against true equal opportunity?

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Ensign Admiraal’s recent comments in Navy Times regarding the Navy’s participation in the June 2014 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month observance are similar feelings that many Sailors on active duty are probably feeling, but may feel intimidated to speak about. I think it is wrong to expect those who do not advocate a particular lifestyle and behavior to not only accept that particular lifestyle, but to celebrate and embrace it. Many Sailors are reluctant to say anything because this lifestyle is now treated as an equal opportunity issue. I do not believe it is wrong for those who do not agree with the lifestyle to reject it and not be expected to accept it, just as I wouldn’t expect the LGBT’s to be expected to accept and embrace a heterosexual lifestyle. I think it is ironic that those who feel this particular lifestyle is wrong are marginalized and sometimes, even demonized as being prejudiced for being against this behavior. Doesn’t that go against true equal opportunity?
    I have not seen the article but have read that a couple of bases / commands held some type of LGBT ceremony etc much like other events for the various celebratory months that we have (African American Awareness, Asian American Awareness etc.) I don't have firsthand knowledge if attendance at any of them were mandatory or not.

    I understand what you are saying, that if someone objects to something, they shouldn't be forced to celebrate or embrace it whether a LGBT or heterosexual lifestyle, or love of hunting, veganism etc. But I don't think anyone is being told to advocate any particular lifestyle; the consistent message I am getting via the Navy is to act professionally and treat everyone with a basic degree of personal respect ... this is far from advocating.

    My observations are that the people that are truly having the hardest time with this is people who are (roughly) our age, raised in the 60's, or 70's or 80's when homosexuality was commonly, popularly and openly ridiculed and homosexuals (LGBT etc.) were pressured or shamed into silence -- the product in my case was a young adult who was not very accepting of that type of lifestyle. As I have gotten older my thoughts on it have softened; I am not advocating (trying to say people should be gay vice straight) but I do think everyone regardless of orientation, gender, race, religion, etc. should be treated with respect. Nowadays most 18-21 year old new accessions to the military are much more accepting of LGBT lifestyles than people our age – a product of their time – much how my father would shake his head at the thought of a black president – he was a product of his time.


    At one time the military was the domain of white, Christian males and we were really good at killing the enemy … now the military is more diverse and we are still really good at killing the enemy. I make the comparison often that this is not really different than when the military was desegregated, or women allowed to join. There was push back then too, things had changed. Back then I don’t think people were being told they had to invite a black family over for dinner any more than people today would be forced to invite an LGBT couple over … you needn’t accept the lifestyle at home or in your personal life, but at work, on duty we do have to be professional regardless of the personal differences of whoever we work with. I have no doubt I work with people who are either racist (against blacks or whites), hate homosexuals, hate Christians or Atheists … you name it … but I have no idea because they are professional at work.

    Would it be acceptable if I was not accepting of African Americans for me to request to not have a black roommate or to have them in my common berthing area? Would it be acceptable for me to use derogatory language that made their work environment hostile, or to belittle a shipmate just because he was black … no … all it does is make the work place less professional. I can’t think of one job in the military that someone who is LGBT is incapable of doing based solely on their sexual orientation. I don’t think people who reject the LGBT lifestyle are or should be “demonized” for it, but how is this (big picture) different than rejecting someone based on race or gender as long as they act professionally at work … at home or in your private life I have no concern about your belief. But as soon as someone wants to be unprofessional at work they are not being discriminated against for their belief but for their action.

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Yes I understand. I made the comment because the letter writer had said that he felt that his command was encouraging, almost to the point of requiring everyone to attend a gay pride celebratory event, and that he didn't advocate the lifestyle. Just saying you don't agree with the lifestyle seems to imply that you are intolerant or prejudiced, and that was the point I was trying to make on this. I think Sailors may be hesitant to indicate their true feelings out of a fear that they will be looked upon as being prejudiced when in reality it is not the person they are rejecting but the behavior. Behavior is quite different than race or gender. The most responsible thing would be for the Navy to remain neutral on this behavior, but the impression given to those who who do not agree with the lifestyle is that the Navy not only expects everyone to accept it, but to condone, embrace and celebrate it. That to me, in my opinion is wrong and contradictory to true equal opportunity. What about those who feel the behavior is morally wrong to accept? Seems to me those people should be able to feel free to express that without fear of being stigmitized as intolerant or "racist" or acting "unprofessionally". Tolerating the behavior is different than acceptance of the behavior. I believe a person can tolerate it, but not accept or condone it. I do not feel that I am intolerant for feeling this way. This is equal opportunity in the Navy? I think not. BTW, it never really made any sense to me for the Navy to be promoting the sexual preference of one particular group, and think it is inappropriate for a pride-type event to be hosted at work. Just as I don't promote my political affiliation I don't feel it is appropriate for sexual preference to be flaunted, which is a private decision made by each individual.
    Last edited by BURAWSKI; 07-08-2014 at 05:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    I have not seen the article but have read that a couple of bases / commands held some type of LGBT ceremony etc much like other events for the various celebratory months that we have (African American Awareness, Asian American Awareness etc.) I don't have firsthand knowledge if attendance at any of them were mandatory or not.

    I understand what you are saying, that if someone objects to something, they shouldn't be forced to celebrate or embrace it whether a LGBT or heterosexual lifestyle, or love of hunting, veganism etc. But I don't think anyone is being told to advocate any particular lifestyle; the consistent message I am getting via the Navy is to act professionally and treat everyone with a basic degree of personal respect ... this is far from advocating.

    My observations are that the people that are truly having the hardest time with this is people who are (roughly) our age, raised in the 60's, or 70's or 80's when homosexuality was commonly, popularly and openly ridiculed and homosexuals (LGBT etc.) were pressured or shamed into silence -- the product in my case was a young adult who was not very accepting of that type of lifestyle. As I have gotten older my thoughts on it have softened; I am not advocating (trying to say people should be gay vice straight) but I do think everyone regardless of orientation, gender, race, religion, etc. should be treated with respect. Nowadays most 18-21 year old new accessions to the military are much more accepting of LGBT lifestyles than people our age – a product of their time – much how my father would shake his head at the thought of a black president – he was a product of his time.


    At one time the military was the domain of white, Christian males and we were really good at killing the enemy … now the military is more diverse and we are still really good at killing the enemy. I make the comparison often that this is not really different than when the military was desegregated, or women allowed to join. There was push back then too, things had changed. Back then I don’t think people were being told they had to invite a black family over for dinner any more than people today would be forced to invite an LGBT couple over … you needn’t accept the lifestyle at home or in your personal life, but at work, on duty we do have to be professional regardless of the personal differences of whoever we work with. I have no doubt I work with people who are either racist (against blacks or whites), hate homosexuals, hate Christians or Atheists … you name it … but I have no idea because they are professional at work.

    Would it be acceptable if I was not accepting of African Americans for me to request to not have a black roommate or to have them in my common berthing area? Would it be acceptable for me to use derogatory language that made their work environment hostile, or to belittle a shipmate just because he was black … no … all it does is make the work place less professional. I can’t think of one job in the military that someone who is LGBT is incapable of doing based solely on their sexual orientation. I don’t think people who reject the LGBT lifestyle are or should be “demonized” for it, but how is this (big picture) different than rejecting someone based on race or gender as long as they act professionally at work … at home or in your private life I have no concern about your belief. But as soon as someone wants to be unprofessional at work they are not being discriminated against for their belief but for their action.
    Sounds a lot like the argument I made awhile back about tolerance and acceptance being two different things and that they are both ok...boy did I get railed against for that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Just saying you don't agree with the lifestyle seems to imply that you are intolerant or prejudiced, and that was the point I was trying to make on this. I think Sailors may be hesitant to indicate their true feelings out of a fear that they will be looked upon as being prejudiced when in reality it is not the person they are rejecting but the behavior.
    Exactly. When i was AD Navy, we had people consistently marked down cause they were not 'avid' supporters of the black history month (or other ethnic group months) in 'equal opportunity'. SO its NOT a stretch to see someone fearing he will be marked down for not 'showing active support for LGBT runs and such.

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Yes I understand. I made the comment because the letter writer had said that he felt that his command was encouraging, almost to the point of requiring everyone to attend a gay pride celebratory event, and that he didn't advocate the lifestyle.
    And based on the letter (I have read it now) it does seem that is how he felt -- but that may not have been the intent or the message either. This is something that some people are extremely sensitive too ... same as those who get riled up about African American Heritage Month ("Why isn't there a middle-aged white guy month"). I will say, I think addressing the situation directly (either to the command or the IG) vice an anonymous letter to Navy Times will probably garner a better result.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Just saying you don't agree with the lifestyle seems to imply that you are intolerant or prejudiced, and that was the point I was trying to make on this. I think Sailors may be hesitant to indicate their true feelings out of a fear that they will be looked upon as being prejudiced when in reality it is not the person they are rejecting but the behavior.
    Some people may think you not agreeing with a lifestyle indicates intolerance or that saying you are accepting of it implies endorsement ... you are welcome to disapprove, but work is not the place to overtly voice your disapproval either. As you say, I don't think we should promote nor admonish what is ultimately a personal decision -- at work I don't do either. I do have a responsibility to promote / foster a work environment where everyone can be productive and get the mission done.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Behavior is quite different than race or gender.
    Yes it is but do I have a right to impose my personal beliefs on what behavior is right or wrong on those in my work place and to marginalize or promote a hostile environment against those whose behavior I personally disagree with? I personally may not drink, smoke, believe in pre-marital sex, be a Republican, be a Democrat, be a [pick a religion] etc. Does my personal distaste for those behaviors or choices by others make it okay to preclude them from a workplace free of harassment? IMO it does not.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    The most responsible thing would be for the Navy to remain neutral on this behavior
    Completely agree; not just on this issue but a few topics that I can think of.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    ... but the impression given to those who who do not agree with the lifestyle is that the Navy not only expects everyone to accept it, but to condone, embrace and celebrate it. That to me, in my opinion is wrong and contradictory to true equal opportunity.
    I have not gotten that impression nor seen anything that would make me think that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    What about those who feel the behavior is morally wrong to accept? Seems to me those people should be able to feel free to express that without fear of being stigmitized as intolerant or "racist" or acting "unprofessionally".
    ]

    Again, what if I feel premarital sex is morally wrong; should I be able to tell my Sailors that they are morally lacking if they are engaging in premarital sex or cohabitating with their boyfriend/girlfriend?


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    Tolerating the behavior is different than acceptance of the behavior. I believe a person can tolerate it, but not accept or condone it. I do not feel that I am intolerant for feeling this way. This is equal opportunity in the Navy? I think not.
    ]

    What I think people need to accept (have to) is that we have been directed to not discriminate based on orientation and that we cannot exclude or discriminate against people based on that aspect of their lives. We can personally think what we want of them, the workplace is just not the place to be vocal about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    BTW, it never really made any sense to me for the Navy to be promoting the sexual preference of one particular group, and think it is inappropriate for a pride-type event to be hosted at work. Just as I don't promote my political affiliation I don't feel it is appropriate for sexual preference to be flaunted, which is a private decision made by each individual.
    I don't think the military should promote one sexual preference over another either, but I don't think we should shun those who are homosexual either. Am I flaunting my sexual preference by having a picture of my wife or girlfriend -- just not both -- on my desk or by bringing my wife to the Navy Ball, Khaki Ball or a social function. If we really wanted to say that people should not flaunt their preference of spouse or partner then we would not allow any partners or dates to accompany the member to these events.




    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    Exactly. When i was AD Navy, we had people consistently marked down cause they were not 'avid' supporters of the black history month (or other ethnic group months) in 'equal opportunity'. SO its NOT a stretch to see someone fearing he will be marked down for not 'showing active support for LGBT runs and such.
    If someone was marked down for not attending a particular ethnic celebration then they should have submitted a statement with their eval to address the issue (I did once submit a statement about the lack of a midterm counseling for a FITREP. The squeaky wheel got the grease -- and submitting the statement did not adversely impact my next FITREP nor my selection at the promotion board.) If something is not correct, we should be professional enough -- or in some cases have enough balls to bring the issue up and if needed attach our name to it.

    Are you sure that they were marked down for not being an "avid supporter"? Had they made some kind of statements at work that prompted counseling about professional conduct. I have participated in many, MANY QRB's for various ranks and never seen someone marked down in EO unless they did/said something offensive in the workplace and it had been documented. What I have seen is that the EO block is pretty consistently marked as a 3 unless the member reported on was the EEO or in some type of leadership role (LPO, LCPO, DivO etc.) that required them to promote a good work environment; but the average PO2 in a division didn't deserve more than a 3, but not less than a 3 either.
    Last edited by Stalwart; 07-09-2014 at 12:35 AM.

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    I've read all your comments and have to conclude that I think your perspective is a good one. I see exactly where you are coming from and supervisors/leaders really have no other choice in that regard (BTW, the letter writer wasn't anonymous, because he did identify himself). This is a subject that is important and controversial, as well as a sensitive issue that still should be discussed at the appropriate time and setting because of the issues I mentioned previously. The letter writer mentioned that having a gay pride event sponsored at work seem to give the impression that everyone should not only condone, but accept and celebrate the lifestyle. I think that a command-sponsored gay pride commemorative event is profoundly different than just having someone displaying pictures of their loved ones in the workplace. That sends a different message and meaning entirely, and is the reason why I originally stated that I believe the Navy expects everyone to not only accept this behavior, but to embrace and celebrate it. However, your overall approach on the matter does make sense to me and I agree, albeit reluctantly.
    Last edited by BURAWSKI; 07-09-2014 at 06:10 PM.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    I've read all your comments and have to conclude that I think your perspective is a good one. I see exactly where you are coming from and supervisors/leaders really have no other choice in that regard (BTW, the letter writer wasn't anonymous, because he did identify himself). This is a subject that is important and controversial, as well as a sensitive issue that still should be discussed at the appropriate time and setting because of the issues I mentioned previously. The letter writer mentioned that having a gay pride event sponsored at work seem to give the impression that everyone should not only condone, but accept and celebrate the lifestyle. I think that a command-sponsored gay pride commemorative event is profoundly different than just having someone displaying pictures of their loved ones in the workplace. That sends a different message and meaning entirely. But your overall approach on the matter does make sense to me and I agree.
    I think it has to be pretty clear to anyone even half-way paying attention, that the radical leftists running the executive branch have quickly jumped the shark from not only tolerating but, celebrating and promoting this terrible illness called "gayness" that strickens 2% of the population.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...499_story.html

    Why would they celebrate dysfunction you ask? Well, what you need to understand first is that a cult has taken over our institutions of society. The only "God" they serve is themselves. This cult has been brainwashed during their formative years by their affirmative action hire professors to value "diversity" above all else.

    Diversity Trumps everything with these fanatics. rule of law, the will of the citizens, the constitution, the good of a country. None of it matters ,because they believe that mankind is evolving into a genderless, jamoca colored race of super beings, and the sooner that happens the sooner we'll have Utopia. Of course they'll be the rulers of this utopia, since they were chosen by the universal life source to be enlightened first.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 07-09-2014 at 02:42 PM.

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    If I was ever in a command position again, I for one would not encourage anyone under my command to participate in any kind of LGBT event, from a bake sale to a parade. I wouldn't discourage it, but I certainly wouldn't encourage it either. Repealing DADT was a BIG mistake, in my opinion, and it just opened a big can of worms for all kinds of LGBT issues (next of "kin", BAH "with dependents", "family" separation, burial plots, etc). I saw something from DoD regarding "Human Goals", and it was just another leftist liberal waste of paper. Today's DoD is a FAR cry from when I joined almost 30 years ago, and NOT in a good way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    And based on the letter (I have read it now) it does seem that is how he felt -- but that may not have been the intent or the message either. This is something that some people are extremely sensitive too ... same as those who get riled up about African American Heritage Month ("Why isn't there a middle-aged white guy month"). I will say, I think addressing the situation directly (either to the command or the IG) vice an anonymous letter to Navy Times will probably garner a better result.
    Based on how my command was with me, when i wrote to the Navy times back in 03 (ish) and got published, it won't be seen as favorable. I got hammered, though they at least didn't take me to mast or anything. All cause in their opinion, even using navy times, or some other news paper 'letters to the editor' capacity, SHOULD be routed through the chain of command first!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    Some people may think you not agreeing with a lifestyle indicates intolerance or that saying you are accepting of it implies endorsement
    A lot of people i know DO feel that way. If you don't support X (like i mentioned above the Heritage months) you get marked down as being intolerant and therefore NOT 'Equal opportunity'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    Yes it is but do I have a right to impose my personal beliefs on what behavior is right or wrong on those in my work place and to marginalize or promote a hostile environment against those whose behavior I personally disagree with?
    But is not having a LGBT pride RUN (which most runs of this nature DO get made mandatory) pushing their beliefs down others throats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    If someone was marked down for not attending a particular ethnic celebration then they should have submitted a statement with their eval to address the issue (I did once submit a statement about the lack of a midterm c ounseling for a FITREP. The squeaky wheel got the grease -- and submitting the statement did not adversely impact my next FITREP nor my selection at the promotion board.) If something is not correct, we should be professional enough -- or in some cases have enough balls to bring the issue up and if needed attach our name to it.

    Are you sure that they were marked down for not being an "avid supporter"? Had they made some kind of statements at work that prompted counseling about professional conduct. I have participated in many, MANY QRB's for various ranks and never seen someone marked down in EO unless they did/said something offensive in the workplace and it had been documented. What I have seen is that the EO block is pretty consistently marked as a 3 unless the member reported on was the EEO or in some type of leadership role (LPO, LCPO, DivO etc.) that required them to promote a good work environment; but the average PO2 in a division didn't deserve more than a 3, but not less than a 3 either.
    Yes they were (inc myself). Heck its almost required that to get more than a 3.0 in EO, to either help set those heritage months up. So NOT showing support often got people marked 3.0 or lower. Heck one of our guys even made it known (via those statements) that he didn't attend cause he felt doing HIS OWN work was more important. His very next eval, which i had to debrief him on was marked 2.0! Needless to say he did another statement, took it to the EO office, but didn't get it changed to my knowledge.


    PS due to Mjolnir accidentally deleting my post, i am having to redo it.

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