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Clinton and Gays in the Military

The issue of the gay ban in the military has been compared to the integration order issued by President Harry Truman. Both are indeed moral issues. Truman was correct to sign the executive order because race is no factor in determining a person's ability or right to serve his country.

Gay rights in the military is also a moral issue because a persons sexual orientation can affect his ability to serve his country in the armed forces. The military does not allow a husband and wife to serve in the same unit.

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Decisions regarding the security of our country would be affected by the judgment of a commander in dealing with his or her personnel, and that cannot be tolerated, especially in combat situations. The patriotism of a gay person is not an issue. Those who want to serve their country can join the Peace Corps.

The decision of allowing gays in the military should be based on a thorough discussion of the effect on our nation's security and not a campaign promise. Franklin R. Fass, Beavercreek, Ohio Colonel, US Air Force (retired)

I am shocked to hear apparently intelligent individuals rationalize how women and homosexuals are unfit to serve in the military - that they would impair military preparedness. The rationales are that women and homosexuals are unable to perform adequately and that the majority of heterosexual males in the military would be offended by their presence. These arguments cannot stand. The goal is to select the best individual for the combat position based upon abilities, not a stereotype. The real issue of se x in the military is one of inappropriate sexual behavior and not of gender or orientation. I see no reason why the United States military should not be at the vanguard of this movement in our society toward universal inclusion of all qualified Americans. Dennis J. Bobilya, Portsmouth, N.H.

In the outcry to protect military morale from the perceived embarrassment of admitting gays and lesbians into the service, we should not lose sight of the disastrous consequences of heterosexual conduct by our military inflicted on people in foreign countries. As a member of the Pearl Buck Foundation, which tries to help the multitude of half-orphans in the East, I am aware of the condition of 23,000 Filipino children and their mothers, callously left behind in abject poverty, or of the thousands abandon ed in South Korea, Thailand, and Guam. So generals and admirals, where should your real concern be? Hermine Dahmen, Austin, Texas Government ethics

The editorial "Clear Ethical Standards Are a Must," Jan. 22, which comments on the necessity for ethical standards in government to be clear and concise, is well taken. But ethical misbehavior is more and more the result, not of murky standards, but rather of raw, unbridled power.

For example, Congress has seated an impeached ex-judge in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 3, paragraph 7 of the Constitution says: "Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States." You can't get much clearer than that. Impeachment carries two punishments: removal from office and disqualification from holding any other. Congress carried removal and i gnored disqualification.

How can we expect ethical behavior from others in government when Congress itself violates the very Constitution it has sworn to uphold? John R. Carter, Earlysville, Va.

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