Why should the military exclude lesbians?

Now that “discrimination” is officially a dirty word, people who support discriminatory policies aimed at those whose characteristics or behavior they disapprove of need to hide their prejudice under the cover of some non-discriminatory purpose, which the discriminatory policy in question is supposed to serve. But what happens when some aspect of that policy can’t be so justified?

Eugene Volokh provides a good example. Be sure to read the follow-up as well.

Footnote query: Now that the military is keeping servicemembers in past their expected discharge dates and calling up batches of unwilling reservists (including members of the Individual Ready Reserve who thought, reasonably, that their obligations were all behind them), and now that the stigma on homosexuality has declined substantially, one might expect some servicemembers to try to escape their obligations by falsely (or in some cases accurately) “coming out.” Is that in fact happening? And how have the services responded?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com