Homosexuality, morality, and military policy
Peterson, Michael A.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Gue, Kevin R.
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In December 1993, the Department of Defense issued directives that revised the military's exclusionary policy toward homosexuals. These directives marked the culmination of an intense period of public debate that placed little emphasis on the moral dimension of homosexuality. The objective of this thesis is to determine if personal religious beliefs of military members influence their responses to policies that they perceive to involve morality, specifically with regard to the 1993 proposal to integrate homosexuals into the military. The research approach involves two phases: a review of the religious heritage of the United States, the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the history of military policies toward homosexuals; and an analysis of the religious demographics of the active-duty military, the doctrines on homosexuality of the largest denominations represented in the military, and the expressed moral beliefs of active-duty members regarding homosexuality. The results indicate that the United States has a strong Christian heritage, and that the First Amendment to the Constitution was not written to exclude Christian moral influence from the public-decision making process. Demographic data shows that a majority of military personnel classify themselves as Christian. Also, various studies suggest that a majority of military personnel oppose homosexual integration into the military. The author concludes that opposition to homosexual integration from military personnel is likely influenced by Christian teaching. It is recommended that future research explore the implications of opposition based on religious belief
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