Tailhook incident shows Navy's biasIf those accused of...

the Forum

July 06, 1992

Tailhook incident shows Navy's bias

If those accused of sexual harassment in the Navy's Tailhook Association incident had been gay and had targeted male officers and guests, they would have been thrown out of the Navy in an instant. This type of behavior should not be tolerated from anyone in the armed forces, including heterosexuals.

Sexual harassment is so rampant in the military because it has been tolerated as long as the offenders have been heterosexual males. The behavioral problems that the Pentagon and the Bush administration foresee if homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military have been occurring for quite some time in the form of sexual misconduct against female soldiers and officers by their male colleagues.

Not all heterosexual males in the military are responsible for this, just as not all homosexuals would be disruptive. In fact, the recently discharged gays and lesbians I have read about had very admirable service records, which is more than can be said for those responsible for the Tailhook incident.

The military must stop taking disciplinary action on the basis of sexual preference, which harms no one, and start taking action against wrongful conduct such as sexual harassment, which harms everyone. A step in the right direction would be to identify and discharge those responsible for the Tailhook incident.

Joanne Backof



As our vice president takes swipes at the "cultural elite," single parents and others, I enjoy remembering his quote before the United Negro College Fund, which went something like this:

"What a terrible thing it is to lose one's mind, or to not have a mind. . ."

That's the thought I'll carry into the voting booth this November.

David S. Roberts


Intolerant Perot

As one who attended the recent Perot rally in Annapolis solely to wave my "Bush/Quayle 1992" sign, I came away more grateful than ever that we have someone with the honesty and integrity of President Bush.

If Ross Perot is anything like some of his supporters, a Perot administration would pose a great threat to our basic civil liberties.

Not only were we cursed at during this event, we were physically threatened: Two friends who attended the rally with me were grabbed, and at one point several Perot supporters formed a circle around us and told us to leave.

What amazed me most was their total unwillingness to acknowledge our right to be there. Some of Perot's supporters have no respect for First Amendment rights.

Obviously, the Perot mentality tolerates no dissent. There is one and only one view allowed. So much for the rest of us and so much for our system of democracy.

This event gave me a preview of what a Perot administration could do to our country. In this case, I was indeed able to judge the book by its cover.

Greg McMahon

Glen Burnie

Out of touch

The same court that decided burning a flag or cross is a form of free speech now declares that saying a prayer is not. It seems the Supreme Court is out of touch with both the Constitution and the American people.

The notion that pupils would feel "psychological coercion" from having to sit through a prayer opens doors to more legal claims and appeals.

Yet many children already are subjected to such coercion by having to sit through classes in sex education, evolution as a scientific fact, induced abortion for birth control, alternative life styles, occult practices, secular humanism and blasphemous art.

Robert T. Woodworth


The writer is pastor of Christ & Country Church.

Closet maniacs

Here's an interesting footnote to the disclosure that last year President Bush authorized the CIA to root out and block the spread of nuclear weapons.

It seems that as many as 10 "developing" nations either had or were working on nuclear weapons as of 1990.

At least 22 have or are working on chemical and/or biological weapons. And 25 have or are working on ballistic missiles.

Governments the whole world over, apparently, have closet maniacs in positions of power.

Richard T. Seymour


Viva the knot-hole gang!

I am living in Puerto Rico in retirement but I was born, raised and spent most of my life in East Baltimore near Patterson Park. So I have watched with great interest (on cable TV) the Orioles in their grand new park at Camden Yard.

Viewing the park reminds me of my youth in East Baltimore during the late 1920s and early '30s and the wonderful times I used to have at the old Oriole Park at 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue.

I was a member of what was called the "knot-hole gang," a redoubtable group of mostly poverty-stricken inner city kids who were permitted to view the International League Orioles through knot holes in the boards of the fence around the outfield.

As I remember, there was little or no admission charged for the privilege of viewing the games from this vantage point.

It would be a fine move by the new Orioles management to reinstate something like the old knot-hole gang for present day inner city kids.

Al Luckton

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

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