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Gay American sailor abused by fellow servicemen because he would not use prostitutes

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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:59 PM
Original message
Gay American sailor abused by fellow servicemen because he would not use prostitutes
The Navy is reviewing how it handled the case of a gay sailor abused by fellow servicemen in Bahrain for two years until he sought a discharge by coming out to his commanding officer, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Joseph Rocha, now 23, decided to leave the Navy in 2007 by telling his commander he was gay, in violation of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder from the constant hazing while he served with military dog handlers based in Bahrain to support the Iraq war

<snip>

An internal Navy investigation into his unit found dozens of examples of hazing and sexual harassment against multiple sailors between 2005 and 2006. The result of the investigation was not clear; a copy of the report released under the Freedom of Information Act has all recommendations blacked out.

Opponents of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy say Rocha was trapped: he couldn't report the abuse because that could reveal his sexual orientation. They say the policy also played a role in the abuse: Others in the unit repeatedly asked Rocha if he was gay a violation of the "don't ask" provision because he would not avail himself of prostitutes who visited their quarters.

"What made my rite of passage different is that I refused to have sex with prostitutes," Rocha said. "In doing so, I gave them reason enough for them to think I was gay and they took it upon themselves to punish me for it for two years."

<snip>

Aaron Belkin, who studies the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as director of the Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said while Rocha's case is extreme, the harsh treatment is not an isolated incident.

"Research shows that you can't prevent anti-gay abuse as long as discrimination
remains official policy," Belkin said.

<snip>

Some Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to repeal the 1993 law. President Barack Obama pledged as a candidate to end the ban, but has not done so.

"I was faced with the idea of being in a navy that condoned this for another decade," Rocha said. "I wouldn't have allowed myself to live like that anymore."

A letter from Rocha's doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Francisco confirms that he has been diagnosed with PTSD.

Rocha, now a student at the University of San Diego, hopes he can one day return to serve openly in the military as a Marine Corps officer.

"I'm just waiting for the policy to be repealed," Rocha said.

FULL STORY

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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Recommend
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Illegal sex with prostitutes is OK in the military, being gay is not. How stupid. nt
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Sex with prostitutes is not illegal in the Navy...
Though prostitution may be illegal in the country they are in.

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Cid_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Use of prostitutes is always illegal in the military...
Maybe the Navy is a different culture than we are (Army.) I would be more likely to make fun of someone who actually made use of a prostitute.

"Whaddya mean you couldn't find your own?! You paid for it?! LOSER!" Something along those lines...
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Spent 20 years in the Navy...
There are prostitues in every port. You should proably make fun of every sailor and marine you ever meet. And while your at it, Airforce too. When the US used Clark Air Base, before Mt. Pinatubo, every fly boy had his hooker on the line. Guam was like that, after we moved most of our stuff from the PI.

And in 'Nam, I knew lots of army. Anyone who got laid in 'Nam did it with a prostitute.

Using prostitues is not against the UCMJ. In many countires, like the US, they are against local law and the laws were rarely enforced.
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Cid_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Check the regs, old timer...
Patronizing a prostitute is now a specific crime for servicemembers

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, January 7, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va. For the first time, the Department of Defense has specifically made it a crime for a servicemember to patronize a prostitute. The punishment: up to a year in prison, forfeiture of pay and dishonorable discharge.

The formal order came in a presidential executive order signed without fanfare Oct. 14, directing changes in the Manual for Courts-Martial. It is part of an assault the military has been waging against human trafficking.

A Defense Department spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, said in an e-mailed response to questions that prostitution and pandering will now be among the offenses covered by Article 134 of the courts-martial manual.

Paying for sex used to fall under the Solicitation of Another to Commit an Offense listed as part of Article 134, which executes the corresponding section in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Krenke said.

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?article=34148

__________________________________________________

As a side note, I still make fun of people who use prostitutes.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Retired in 1994, Youngin.
I am not surpirsed that under the Bush Administration's hyper religious morality pretensions they would do this.

A funny thing about the first gulf war. There was a big concern that soldiers in the region would not have feminine companionship. The military arranged for as many service women as possible to be on the hospital ships and stationed in safe zones, so soldiers would have a port in a storm.
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Cid_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Meh...
It's hard to argue with the human trafficking part of the argument. I've seen it in Europe, especially the eastern parts. I'll bet you saw even more in some of the places you were at (i.e. Guam, Philippines etc.. etc..)
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. I consider not willing to stoop to pay for sex a mark of honor.
Rock on gay fish. You're good in my book.
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. K & R
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. influence of religion in the military is profound and pervasive nt
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. knr
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. Disgusting behavior and stupid to assume only a gay man would turn down a prostitute....
I've had quite a few straight male friends with more class than that.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. yep
as if anyone who didn't want to use a prostitute had to be gay.
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's not stupid, precisely..........
but it is pervasive. Too many military personalities are dogmatic, authoritarian, and willing to use any excuse to consider themselves superior to a fellow human.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
14. If you replace the word "gay" in the article
...with the word "straight" as in "Straight American sailor abused by fellow servicemen because he would not use prostitutes", it will get more news coverage because the straight man would be perceived as gay by the sailors. Either way, no person should be forced into an illegal act to prove that he or she is straight/heterosexual.

It's an outrage of the highest order.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
16. Makes me sick.
:puke:
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Beacool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
18. Poor man!!
No one should be abused and harassed, but this kind of behavior has been allowed for far too long in the military. Even when reported the brass tends to look the other way. They don't want the bad publicity.

Women suffer too, they are constantly sexually harassed and in some instances even raped. Women who report these incidents are usually dismissed or told to act like a "big girl".

The military can be a dangerous place for anyone who is not male and heterosexual.

x(
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Duncan Grant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick (nt)
:kick:
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