With all military branches now undergoing a “what life will be like after DADT is repealed” boot camp, what can servicemembers expect before they get their I’m OK With The Gay diploma? How does a two-hour training session sound? Don’t worry, there will be enthralling and suspenseful short clips covering the new Dos and Don’ts … that probably look something like this.
While the training isn’t out there to change anybody’s mind on homosexuality, relays the San Diego Union-Tribune , it is there to change behaviors. Here’s how they’re doing things in the Navy:
First, sailors will see a 24-minute narrated slide show that tells them what has and hasn’t changed. For example, people discharged for being gay can now seek re-enlistment. But military chaplains will still be able to preach about their religious beliefs, even if they oppose homosexuality. Then the training launches into what the Navy calls “vignettes,” a series of 14 real-life scenarios that try to guide sailors on how to react in the new environment. The scenarios delve into public displays of affection, gay-pride parades, locker room harassment, whether it’s acceptable to frequent gay bars and objections to rooming with straights or gays.
An example: A sailor dressed in civilian clothes is marching in a gay-rights parade. She is holding a sign that says “support gays and lesbians in the military.” Is that sailor breaking the rules? The Navy’s answer, according to a handout, is a qualified no. Just like marching in a political rally, a military person is not allowed to do so during work hours or in uniform. Dressed as a civilian and on her own time, despite the sign, a gay-rights parade would be “within the sailor’s right of expression and consistent with good order and discipline.”
Another example: In a locker room, two sailors are making loud derogatory jokes about not wanting to shower in front of a gay sailor. What does a leader do? The Navy’s answer is that a leader should inform the two sailors that discrimination and harassment aren’t appropriate. However, if someone requests the ability to avoid showering with another person, commanders will “have the discretion to grant personal requests within unit policies if the mission is not unacceptably impacted,” according to the material.
And if anybody has a follow up question about showering with homosexuals, they’ll be given the contact information of Capt. Owen Honors.