THE BLOG
05/14/2010 11:54 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

James Inhofe Thinks That American Soldiers Are a Bunch of Anti-Gay Bigots

This time it's not for calling global warming a hoax, or for denying that there was ever torture at Gitmo, or just generally for being dangerous and ignorant, but rather for saying this about gays in the military:

For those of us -- and I'm one of them -- who have gone through the military, gone through basic training, and you stop and think -- it just doesn't make any sense. Second of all, it's just not working. You have women, men, then you have a third group to deal with, and they're not equipped to do that.

And you know -- you hear the stories all the time. A military guy -- I happen to be Army, and Army and Marines always feel that when we're out there, we're not doing it for the flag or the country; we're doing it for the guy in the next foxhole. And that would dramatically change that.

Not equipped to do what? I'm sure there's extensive anti-gay bigotry in the military, as there is elsewhere in society, but, for the most part (if, unlike Inhofe, I may think well of America's military), these are courageous men and women who are risking their lives to defend their country. If they're equipped to deal with the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm sure they're equipped to deal with those of a different sexual orientation in their own ranks. (And a third group? Uh, no, men and women are still men and women regardless of sexual orientation.)

Not that Inhofe gets that, of course. He obviously doesn't understand homosexuality, or sexuality at all, as he seems to think that, under fire in a foxhole, a gay soldier would ignore matters of life and death in order to try to sodomize, or be sodomized by, his comrades. This is a common homophobic fear, and it is a reflection of a deep and abiding ignorance. It's just like the anti-gay bigot who doesn't want to be in a common shower with a gay man because that gay man must obviously want to screw him. The implication is that gay men (if not also lesbians) just can't control themselves, as well as that the bigot himself must be so fantastically desirable as to induce raging hard-ons in every gay man within a one-mile radius.

Now, I've never been in a foxhole, thankfully, but let's say I was in one with a couple of female soldiers, one who looks like Michelle Branch and one who looks like Vanessa Carlton (both of whom I find unbelievably attractive). Even if we weren't under fire, I don't think I'd let my desire get the better of me. And, under fire, I'd obviously have other things on my mind. Would I not want to fight for my comrades, male or female? Of course not. I'd fight for them, and for myself, no matter what. In other words, I'd be a professional, and, yes, I'd do what needed to be done, or so I like to think. But let me be even clear. Just because I harbour desire for a woman doesn't necessarily mean I want to do her, and certainly doesn't mean I can't control myself. Again, not that Inhofe gets any of this.

Inhofe no doubt considers himself an unconditional supporter of the military, but his comments are nothing if not deeply insulting to America's men and women in uniform. Regardless of what he thinks of gays and their apparently uncontrollable urges, his point is that straight soldiers won't fight for their gay comrades simply because of their sexual orientation. He might as well have said that male solders won't fight for their female comrades simply because of their sex or that Christian soldiers won't fight for their Jewish comrades simply because of their religion or that white soldiers won't fight for their black comrades simply because of their race. It's pretty much the same thing, with an added fear of sodomy.

Excuse me if I think a whole lot better of America's men and women in uniform.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)