1993 Report on Gays in the Military [Updated]

By Paul Cameron, Ph.D. and Kirk Cameron, Ph.D.

Summary: Over at least the past 30 years, a “shadow homosexual network,” including outposts in the Pentagon, has been established within the military. Homosexuality has significantly disrupted the military mission. Sexual activities, including homosexual flirtations, favoritism, and rapes have become part of the military subculture.

This report updates our original compilation of evidence on this issue, published in 1993. That original report indexed the degree to which those who practice homosexuality have troubled the U.S. Armed Forces, utilizing several lines of evidence:

  • Heterosexual versus homosexual military violations in 1953-54;
  • Review of the 1990 pro-gay Humphrey-Studds study, featuring first-person reports of homosexuals who had served;
  • Review of contemporary media accounts of homosexuals in the service; and
  • Independent polls and surveys conducted by FRI of those who served and their experiences with those who practiced homosexuality.

Despite more recent media attempts to highlight a fundamental shift in both public and military opinion when it comes to service by open homosexuals, the evidence we compiled in 1993 is still very relevant today. It is also consistent with our latest study1, which not only reports additional, corroborative first-hand testimony, but also examines all cases of sexual assault investigated by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2007 through 2009. Our statistical analysis of these new data indicates that:

  • Gays and lesbians were at least 3 to 9 times more apt to be investigated for sexual assault on fellow service personnel than were non-homosexual service men and women.

Bottom line: Allowing homosexuals to openly serve would almost certainly exacerbate these disruptions.


Media-acclaimed gay historian Randy Shilts wrote in 1993 that:2

Over the past twenty years, as the gay community has taken form in cities across the nation, a vast gay subculture has emerged within the military, in every branch of the service, among both officers and enlisted.

Is this true? If so, is it a good thing, just ‘OK,’ or a threat to the military? There are lots of strong opinions about gays in the military, but the facts are hard to come by. This special report presents facts policy makers ought to consider as they address this issue.

Homosexual apologists argue that open homosexuality would have no real effect on the military mission. They argue in fact that it would be a good thing, letting gays ‘be themselves’ without harassment, while creating no problem for others. They suggest that blacks were unjustly discriminated against, but now, thanks to integration, black soldiers are as good in the aggregate as white ones. ‘Let us integrate,’ say homosexuals, ‘and the results will be similar. Sexual integration is a win-win situation.’

Yet some clear differences between blacks and homosexuals are evident. For instance, Shilts3 describes the following scene in the Pentagon:

In the bathroom on corridor 6, just inside the five-acre central courtyard, men literally stood in line outside the stalls during the lunch hour, waiting their turn to engage in some hanky-panky.

No one ever claimed that when blacks were excluded from the military they longed for the ‘right’ to have sex in bathrooms (in this case at the Pentagon). They just wanted to be treated the same as other soldiers. Yet Shilts bragged about the fact that homosexuals in the Pentagon had taken over at least one of its public restrooms. If homosexuals are “literally” standing in line outside the stalls during the lunch hour waiting their turn to engage in quasi-public sex, it appears that straight soldiers must have to use another restroom if they need it for the usual purposes.

‘On the job,’ most manage to focus on work. For most employees, lunchtime is for lunch — and maybe for a bit of socializing. Yet, three or four hours after getting to work, the homosexuals Shilts was describing were:

  • “standing in line” to have sex in public bathroom stalls, and
  • apparently didn’t consider what they were doing disruptive.

Is it plausible that those who spend their lunchtime doing sex might carry their sexual interests into the barracks or the field? Apparently so, as the evidence in this report will document. Of course, perhaps Randy Shilts was describing only a temporary phenomenon. Is there any evidence of problems with homosexuality in the military in the past?

Past Problems With Homosexuality

Consider sexual crimes in the military during 1953-1954. Homosexuals break military regulations if they engage in sodomy. Heterosexuals break them if they engage in adultery or rape. A comparison of the numbers of sodomy cases versus the numbers of rape and adultery cases within the Armed Forces for a given period would provide an index of how “troubling” homosexuality was as compared to heterosexuality. Such tallies appear not to exist in the public record. However, The Digest of Opinions from the Judge Advocates General of the Armed Forces lists rulings in regard to evidence for each of these three kinds of offenses. If we assume that numbers of pages and page-space devoted to rules of evidence occur as a function of the numbers of cases of sodomy, rape or adultery in various court proceedings, we can build an indirect index of difficulties with sexual offenses. That is, we assumed that the number of pages devoted to evidence regarding a problem was proportionate to the number of problems it created in the military.

Out of the 3,045 pages of opinions in Volumes 3 through 6 for the period July 1953 through June 1954,4 rules about evidence in sodomy cases are mentioned on 20 pages. Evidentiary rules about adultery are mentioned on 2 pages and rape on 39 pages. By this admittedly indirect measure, we would estimate that about 2% of the total legal case-load in the military during this period involved sexual offenses (i.e., 61/3,045= 2.0%).

Furthermore, sodomy accounted for 0.66% of the total pages v. 1.35% for illicit heterosexual activity. This must be weighed against the fraction of homosexual men in the military at the time. As of 1996 and beyond, the best estimates are that less than 2% of the male military force is gay. So even if as much as 2% of the military was homosexual in 1953-54, that 2% accounted for 33% of the sexual offenses resulting in disciplinary action. On the other hand, heterosexuals, who made up at least 97-98% of military personnel, accounted for 67% of the sexual trouble.

1990 Humphrey-Studds Study

More recent evidence is consistent with the past. Consider the Humphrey-Studds study, conducted by homosexuals about homosexuals, and published by Mary Ann Humphrey in 1990.5 Homosexual former Congressman Gerry E. Studds wrote the foreword and his office provided editorial and technical support. His aide, Kate Dyer, also helped with the project.

The study was designed to present the most favorable view possible of homosexuals in the military. It is unabashedly pro-gay:

The oral histories in this book provide more personal evidence that gays are good workers in the military. We do a good job, we are not security risks, and there is no reason to kick us out.

Of 130 volunteers obtained through notices placed in various gay papers and an appearance by Humphrey on TV, only 42 of the interviews (i.e., 32%) — 28 men and 14 women — were included in the final report. Apparently, it was difficult to find suitable interviewees, since 3 of the 42 (i.e., 7%) were editors of gay journals or full-time gay activists, and 6 (i.e., 14%) had engaged or were engaged in legal action against the military’s anti-homosexual policy. Additionally, the brother of subject #22 worked for Congressman Studds.

The 28 men ranged in age from 25 to 75 with a median age of 44.5, and the 14 women ranged in age from 24 to 67 with a median age of 42.5. The combined sample had a median age of 44 — about 10 years younger than veterans-in-general; in 1988, the average age of U.S. veterans was 54.4.6 The study consisted of excerpted interviews covering the subject’s stint in the service. A summary of the results is given in Table 1.

Table 1. Humphrey-Studds Summary Results




N = 28

N = 14

Kind of Discharge


17 (61%)

7 (50%)

Less Than Honorable

10 (36%)

4 (29%)

Still in Service

1 (4%)

3 (21%)

Lied at Induction About Homosexuality


6 (21%)

3 (21%)


3 (11%)


19 (68%)

7 (50%)

Became Lesbian While Serving

4 (29%)

Admitted to Homosexual Sex While in Service


21 (75%)

11 (79%)


2 (7%)


5 (18%)

3 (21%)

Admitted to Sex Between/With Officers & Enlisted Personnel


10 (36%)

1 (7%)


3 (11%)


15 (54%)

13 (93%)

The interviews frequently trace a similar pattern of rebellion against military rules for both gays and lesbians. The number of each subject is given first in the following examples:

(#4) Male, 65, honorable discharge, enlisted. “The smokestacks on the destroyers were hollow, and there is a platform on the top of them, perfect security [for sex]…” (p. 22) Had sex on and off duty with sailors and civilians. “One of the techniques, which I outrageously developed, was merely crawling in with somebody and engaging them in sex and leaving them as if nothing had ever happened. You don’t say anything; you pretend it never happened. As so long as you never discussed it, it never happened.” (p. 22) “The rebellion I did was to take the system and use it against them, consciously. I was what they called a sea lawyer — it’s a term they used. I knew the rules and used them against them.” (p. 26)

(#5) Male, 54, undesirable discharge, enlisted. “Ship life had its advantages, too. They had dividers between the individual showers, but there were no shower curtains or anything and the sinks were right in front, so it was rather cruisy.” (p. 29) “…in Norfolk, I met a lieutenant junior grade in the Naval Reserve who subsequently became my lover… It was a real good situation — until he was murdered [in New York City by a hitchhiker whom he had taken to his home]!” (p. 30) Claimed sex with enlisted and officers.

(#11) Male, 65, honorable discharge, enlisted. Had sex while in military. “In the Enlisted Men’s Club [at Fort Bragg], the john was very active and guys would meet in there to have sex. If not right there, out somewhere, out in the fields, in the pitch-dark. You could have a new experience every five minutes. The pace — I’d never seen anything like it before in my life.” “I’d score any number of times on these crowded [troop] trains.” (p. 57) “Some of the best soldiers I knew were gay.” (p. 58)

(#12) Male, 42, honorable discharge, enlisted [at the time, was Washington State Representative, 43rd district; later died of AIDS]. Went to Naval Justice School; “it was heaven for a gay person… while at school, I was involved with a couple of guys.” (p. 63) “We had a game where we’d have four or five gay guys go together, spot somebody in a club, and if you were interested, you would be on… who would get him first. I had the award for getting the highest-ranking officer in bed with me. He has since become a brigadier general.” (p. 64) “After [being caught in the bushes with a guy] I would use the courtroom! It was locked, but because of my position, I had a key. If I met somebody, we’d go back to the courtroom. It was air-conditioned besides, so it was nice.” (p. 68) “I think I worked harder and performed better” [than most in the service]. (p. 70)

(#17) Male, 40, dismissed under conditions less than honorable, officer. When asked if I was homosexual “there was no hesitation — I lied.” (p. 108) “I met this private, E-1, who came from Puerto Rico. This became my first sexual encounter in the military.” (p. 109) He disliked some of his superiors: “They might have been my superiors in terms of rank, but they were idiots…. I was known as a communist outspoken queer,…” (p. 110) “I had become very sexually active with a number of soldiers on the post.” (p. 111) “I was outraged that the military could spring this kind of charge on me four days from being discharged.” (p. 112) “We called every active officer in Special Forces, Airborne Europe, to testify either on my behalf or against me, and figured that we cost the government over a million dollars. On top of that I got paid for my own court martial, which permitted me to take home over ten thousand dollars.” (p. 115) “[A]fter the trial itself I slammed open the door of the adjutant’s office and said, ‘I’m not leaving until I’ve had my say. You kicked me out of the service — there’s nothing you can do to me, you f___ing a__hole!’ I was screaming at him; then I turned, went into the colonel’s office, and repeated my act. I said, ‘You’re a bunch of motherf___ers!’ I was very angry. I’d done nothing wrong.” (p. 116)

The lesbian material is similar:

(#29) Female, 48, honorable discharge, enlisted. “I actually became involved with the same sex around age thirteen or so…. During my formative years I was a rebel,…” (p. 123) “[W]e were a hot item for about two months; then she got with someone else. Since she had whet my appetite, the rest of the time seems to be a blur of women. The service became an awakening for my sexuality….” (p. 124)

(#30) Female, 43, honorable and undesirable discharges, enlisted. She was adopted, claimed her new father sexually abused her. “[M]y first affair occurred in the military, just doing what I was told. She was the leader of our troop.” p. 101 “[W]e dated with two men because of appearances.” “I had several [lesbian] sexual encounters but I wasn’t the instigator.” (p. 102) Alcohol began to become a problem: “I went into a coma.” (p. 103) “Most of that action, the attentions were coming from the sports teams that I associated with on my new base… had sex with an officer.” (p. 104)

(#31) Female, 53, honorable discharge, officer. “As the years rolled on, networking worked real well for me. That’s right. Networking. I had friends in the Pentagon. If I was going to another assignment, I’d call up one of my friends and say, ‘If I go to so-and-so city, who should I be looking for?’ And they’d say, ‘Colonel So-and-so, Major So-and-so.’ They’d give me the names. So I knew. And they would tell them if their friends were there, ‘Hey, she’s coming here.’ So you walked into a place and everybody knew each other. We protected each other. When we needed an escort someplace, gay men and women would escort each other.” (pp. 131-32) “In 1982, my career ended with an honorable discharge and full benefits. I retired as a full colonel, an O-6. I was very pleased by my achievements over those twenty years.” (p. 133)

(#32) Female, 46, undesirable discharge, enlisted. “[W]e were too paranoid to do anything on base, so we’d go off base whenever we could, which started the development of a close physical relationship…. [We went AWOL] for eight days. Although our sexual exploits for those eight days were unbelievable,…” (p. 135) “The pressures of my ouster and the bleak outlook for employment caused me to turn to the bottle…. I don’t even know how I became pregnant…. After four years Margo finally left me and got married…. knowing I was now the one responsible for a soon-to-be-born infant. If I hadn’t conceived and had my child, I probably would have killed myself in a car accident or something like that.” (p. 137)

(#33) Female, 42, undesirable discharge, enlisted. “I joined the U.S. Navy. It was there that I had my first lesbian experience. We met for the first time in boot camp.” (p. 144) After a few affairs “I got frightened and decided to cover my tracks. I ran a number on my soon-to-be husband, but he was thrilled when we tied the big knot…. It shouldn’t come as a great shock that our marriage lasted about six weeks. After that I really started my other lesbian relationships.” (p. 145)

(#34) Female, 67, honorable discharge, enlisted/officer. Was married to a man when she joined the Army, although she had sex almost exclusively with women. Served under Gen. Eisenhower and told him that she would be next to the top of the list to be discharged if he tried to get rid of lesbians in the WACs [and his secretary at the time would go to the top of the list]. (p. 40) He relented. She became hooked on drugs, tried suicide. “[Gays] are probably the best soldiers.” (p. 42) Had lesbian sex with a number of fellow soldiers.

(#40) Female, 24, honorable discharge, enlisted. Didn’t realize her feelings until she had enlisted and was propositioned. “We would go when her lover wasn’t there, but when she did find out, she came back and threatened to kill me. But I felt so strongly about the one I was seeing, that wow, this was it, this was love, it didn’t matter.” (p. 223) “I started coming on to this lieutenant.” (p. 224) “Although I didn’t like sneaking around, that was the fun of it…. I was one of the best soldiers they had.” (p. 226)

(#41) Female, 32, enlisted, currently a military recruiter. Got involved with a girlfriend in gay bars, decided she was gay. “Sidestepped that god-awful question about homosexuality. I lied.” (p. 243) She got married to cover for her homosexuality — “he was a good friend and knew I was gay. We were really best friends, and we had gotten married as a cover for me. He really didn’t need it and shortly afterward, left for a different base. Nevertheless we were still legally married.” (p. 245) Got artificially inseminated, lives with her lover and is trying to find a gay father to “cover” for her.

(#42) Female, 57, undesirable discharge, enlisted. Lied about her homosexuality. “But, by God, when I got into basic, I thought I had been transferred to hog heaven!” (p. 11)

Since presumably only the best of the Humphrey-Studds sample was described, one can only wonder about the disruptiveness of the 88 who were not included. In spite of rather obvious violations, many protested that they had “done nothing wrong” and that they were “the best soldiers.”

Bradley P. Grant, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate at Aviano Air Base, Italy, who has prosecuted dozens of homosexual and drug-abuse cases for the Air Force, noted in an April 4, 1993 interview that: “the commander is almost always surprised, even shocked. Both drug-users and gays usually got high ratings and are often considered quite competent7.” Given the foregoing testimonies and the perspective they betray, it is no wonder taking over a Pentagon restroom for public sex is ‘no big deal’ from a homosexual perspective.

Media Accounts of Homosexuals Who Served

Numerous accounts sympathetic to the homosexual cause have appeared in the mainstream press. These accounts accept the homosexual lifestyle as reason enough to violate military laws and rules.

For instance, The Wall Street Journal (April 12, 1993) devoted a page and a half to 34-year old James Edward Kennedy, a former Army lawyer who “kept a good cover” about his homosexuality8. The WSJ recounts how “his gay officer friend showed him how he could lead an active, gay life in the Army…. [and] introduced Capt. Kennedy to an underground network of gay men and women in the service, from high-ranking officers on down.”

When Capt. Kennedy learned that Army investigators were going to comb local gay bars, he “called his senior officer friend — who frequented the bars — and warned him to stay away.” At no time did the WSJ, which is often moralistic about abuses of office, suggest that this was an instance of malfeasance.

The New York Times story9 (by Eric Schmitt, December 1, 1992) “Military’s Gay Subculture: Off Limits but Flourishing” paints much the same picture as recounted by the homosexuals in the Humphrey-Studds study.

It tells of how “scores” of homosexuals flock to “Friends Lounge,” adjacent to “Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast” even though it has been declared “off limits to the installation’s 43,000 marines and sailors.” “Individual base commanders vary widely in how strictly they enforce the ban…, particularly when it involves gay bars and organizations that are situated off base.”

“The commanders of Camp Lejeune are clearly aware of the bar’s existence but have not done anything to shut it down or round up its patrons for years…. And in an effort to help them deal with the hostility they face, an underground network of gay military groups, as well as a string of bars and clubs, has sprung up to lend support and provide contacts to gay men and lesbians at bases around the country.

“The network has evolved in a variety of ways, from exchanging telephone numbers on computer bulletin boards to working together at AIDS-prevention clinics. In large metropolitan areas, like Washington or Atlanta, gay soldiers say it is easier to blend in and tap gay civilian advocacy and support groups….

“Other gay soldiers and sailors say tight-knit circles of friends reach out when a member transfers to a new base.

“‘When I went to San Diego from Norfolk, my friends here called their friends there, and I had a ready-made network when I arrived,’ said a 34-year-old Navy lieutenant commander who is now in the Washington area.

“In addition, an array of large national organizations, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, offer advice and legal counseling to gay members of the military who are threatened with being discharged for homosexuality.

“‘Don’t tattle,’ advises one pamphlet distributed by the Gay and Lesbian Military Freedom Project, an umbrella group of gay rights organizations. ‘Giving names may actually make things worse for you. Investigators may try to bluff you into thinking that giving names will help you, when in truth, they may have nothing against you unless you give names….

“Here in Jacksonville, gay men and lesbians say there are several small groups of gay enlisted personnel and officers. Military regulations prohibit fraternization between enlisted personnel and officers, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.

“One social group of about 30 gay marines and civilians, called Oasis, serves as a social anchor and a fundraising organization for some of the area’s gay men. New members are closely screened to prevent military investigators posing as gay service members from infiltrating the groups. “There’s a camaraderie here,’ said one 30-year-old sergeant who belongs to Oasis. ‘It’s like we’re all a family, and we can understand what each other is going through.’”

At the Friends Lounge, “Patrons are checked before a locked door is opened.” “At the Oar House, a gay bar two miles from the Norfolk Navy base in Virginia, the bar’s president, Frank Belcher, said surprise visits by the Naval Investigative Service ended seven years ago. ‘Usually we had a call from the base telling us they were coming,’ said Mr. Belcher. ‘Homosexuals are everywhere in the military.’”

The pro-homosexual sympathy of the press extends even to the ban on their sexual behavior. Thus the Seattle Times (March 1, 1993) lauded Steve Marose10, who was convicted on three different counts of sodomy including “conduct unbecoming an officer.” Marose complained ‘If they lift the ban, you can be gay, but you’ve got to be a monk.’ The Times commented that Marose “didn’t kill somebody. He loved somebody instead.”

Each of these major newspapers reveals attitudes that are sympathetic not only to lifting the ban against homosexuals, but to permitting homosexuals to violate military rules and regulations if it interferes with their sexual desires and activity. Lifting the ban is presented as only a first step.

Since these earlier newspaper reports, dozens of newspapers have editorialized in favor of gays in the military in 2005, 2006, and 2009. Their accounts are almost identical in tone and substance to those cited above.

FRI Surveys

Given the relative lack of hard data on this issue, FRI performed a number of surveys to answer some important questions:

  1. Some claim that there are no significant problems associated with homosexuality in the military. Nationally syndicated columnist, Ellen Goodman11 asserted that “between 5 percent and 10 percent of the military is estimated to be gay right now” so “if showers are such a charged venue, barracks such a threatening situation, how come the problem hasn’t already wrecked morale and created dissention in the ranks? How come it’s come up so rarely?”
  2. What proportion of those in the armed forces have been sexually approached by homosexuals and how many have experienced some sort of disruption because of homosexual activity?
  3. A spokesman of former President Clinton charged that conservative, Evangelical Christians were the major force driving the opposition to homosexuals in the military. Do evangelical Christians who served in the military have a different opinion of homosexuality and report different experiences with homosexuals than those who never served?
  4. Women are disproportionately prosecuted for sodomy in the armed forces as compared to men. Is this reflective of greater proportions of lesbians than gays in the military?
  5. The Los Angeles Times (February 28, 1993) poll of 2,346 currently serving members of the military12 reported that 16% of men approved and 76% of men disapproved of dropping the ban (i.e., a 1:5 ratio), 35% of women approved and 55% disapproved (not quite a 1:2 ratio). Are service women more frequently than service men in favor of dropping the ban?

Generally, past performance in school is the best predictor of success in college. Likewise, performance on past jobs is often the best predictor of success on a new job. We therefore considered it likely that past interactions with homosexuals in the military would provide useful information about how the presence of open homosexuals would affect the military.

To address these questions, we performed a systematic, national, random phone survey; two random mail surveys; and a hand-delivered, anonymous questionnaire survey of those serving at accessible military bases.


Phone survey: We generated a systematic random phone sample of 654 adults who had served in the military, conducting the survey from January 31 through February 21, 1993, using the white pages of phone books in the Washington, D.C. suburbs; central Virginia; Cape Cod, MA; the northern part of the San Fernando Valley, CA; Napa, CA; Vallejo, CA; Redding, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Boise, ID; Lancaster, PA; and Denver, CO. We supplemented the sample with another draw of 50 interviews from Washington, D.C. during early April. Because we did not use lists of those known to have served or currently serving, each completed interview took, on average, about 15 calls. About half of the potentially eligible respondents refused to be interviewed.

Female interviewers and even male interviewers were often “shielded” by male respondents from the “explicit details” of experiences with homosexuals. So although the responses from the phone survey were in line with similar surveys regarding serving with homosexuals, they were ‘light’ on detailed experiences. Because a number of those interviewed refused to elaborate further and/or alluded to tragic events, the numbers of beatings, seductions, attempted rapes, molestations and killings of homosexuals may have been underreported.

Mail surveys: 25,000 questionnaires were sent to vendor-generated “random samples” from a 530,000-member list of veterans (largely officers); in addition, 5,000 questionnaires were sent to a list of 120,000 “activist evangelicals” and the memberships of a number of conservative Southern Baptist churches. Of the approximately 4,500 questionnaires mailed to, and apparently received by, veterans (first sample), 460 were returned, 451 of which provided enough information to be useful (i.e., about a 10% return rate). Of the 16,500 questionnaires mailed to veterans in the second sample, 1,067 were returned, 1,031 of which were useful (i.e., a 7% return). Of the approximately 4,300 questionnaires mailed to the evangelical Christian sample, 221 were returned, 214 of which provided enough information to be useful (i.e., about a 5% return).

Since we expected that the evangelical Christian list might only contain about a third as many members qualified to respond as the military list, both lists generated similar levels of response from the target population. Respondents provided their own postage, and were asked their age, sex, number of years and highest rank in which service. They also were asked the following questions, after which they were asked to sign their name and provide their phone number:

“Currently, homosexuals are not allowed to serve in the military. In general, would you say that you favor or oppose allowing homosexuals in the military?”

“Did anyone ever make a homosexual pass or attempt homosexual relations with you during a tour of duty?”

“Did you ever encounter/experience a homosexual incident during a tour of duty?”

“Would you say that incident, or those incidents, was a major disruption, a minor disruption, or no disruption at all with regard to the normal operation of the command or unit?”

“Now, tell us about the first incident (and only the first). Be specific. Be sure to detail what you actually saw, heard or experienced.”

Active Duty Survey: Volunteer active-duty individuals in Michigan, Washington, Virginia, and Colorado hand-carried questionnaires onto posts in those states. Generally, all the individuals in the units in which these individuals served filled out the questionnaire. No names or identifiers were employed. A total of 79 men and 4 women were surveyed.


A summary of the results from the FRI surveys is presented in Table 2.
Phone Survey: 678 men were interviewed. Four percent strongly favored, 15% favored, 14% were uncertain, 18% opposed and 50% strongly opposed permitting homosexuals into the U.S. military.

Were they approached homosexually? 16% said that they had been approached for homosexual sexual relations. Of those who provided details, 7 were enlistees approached by another enlistee, 2 enlistees were approached by an officer. 10 (21%) of these events were considered major disruptions.

Did they experience any homosexual incidents? 19% said that they had experienced a homosexual incident. Of these, 41 (45%) were considered major disruptions. 20 were propositions or attempts at sex by enlistees upon enlistees, 7 were advances by officers against enlistees.

Outcomes: ‘Nothing’ was done to 30 (28%) of the offending homosexuals, 19 (17%) were discharged, 11 (10%) were shunned, 10 (9%) beaten or hit, 7 (6%) were transferred and 3 (3%) were killed.

Retired Military, Evangelical Christians: 214 men returned partially or completely filled-out questionnaires.

Opinions: 4 (2%) strongly favored, 1 (<1%) favored, 3 (1%) were unsure, 7 (3%) were opposed and 199 (93%) were strongly opposed to admitting homosexuals into the U.S. military.

Personally approached for homosexual relations? 27 (14%) of 199 reported having been approached for homosexual relations while on a tour of duty. Of those who provided details, 8 solicitations or molestations of enlistees were by enlistees, 6 by civilians and one by an officer on an enlistee. More of these incidents were rated as “minor” or “not at all” severe than were rated “major” disruptions.

Experienced a homosexual incident while on a tour of duty? 32 (16%) of 194 reported experiencing at least one homosexual incident. About half (16 of 34) of these incidents were judged “major” disruptions of the command or unit. 24 of the incidents involved enlistees engaging in or seeking homosexual sex with enlistees, 6 involved officers seeking or engaging in homosexual sex with enlistees.

Outcomes: 6 (19%) of the 31 approaches, rapes or molestations by homosexuals resulted in the homosexual being beaten or physically assaulted for his efforts. In a little less than half of the incidents, the individual attempting homosexual relations was discharged, but shunning and/or reduction in morale were noted as well.

Retired Military, mail responses: 451 men in the first sample and 1,031 men in the second sample returned partially or completely filled-out questionnaires.

Opinions of the combined sample: 58 (4%) strongly favored, 60 (4%) favored, 14 (1%) were unsure, 55 (4%) opposed, and 1288 (87%) strongly opposed admitting homosexuals into the U.S. military.

Personally approached for homosexual relations? 12% of the 1,353 who responded reported that they had been approached for homosexual relations while on a tour of duty. We could determine the ratings of some of these approaches because it constituted the only homosexual “incident” for the respondent. Most of these experiences were rated “not at all disruptive” of the mission or unit because it often involved a civilian or a situation that the respondent felt he could handle (sometimes violently).

Experienced a homosexual incident while on a tour of duty? 319 (24%) of the 1307 that responded reported such an incident. Most (58% of 293) of these incidents were considered “major” disruptions of the command or unit. 119 of the incidents were initiated by or involved enlistees; 55 were initiated by or involved officers and, with 7 exceptions, featured officers attempting homosexual relations with enlistees. Since the ratio of officers to enlistees is about 1:6, homosexual officers appeared to disproportionately exploit their rank for sexual purposes.

Outcomes: At least 39 (12%) of the approaches, rapes or molestations by homosexuals resulted in violence against the offending homosexual (and other violence was implied in other responses). In at least 34 “nothing” was done. In 206 (65%) of the incidents, the individual committing or seeking homosexual relations was discharged. Shunning and reduction of morale were also mentioned by respondents. Homosexuals were told that what they were doing was OK in at least 6 (2%) of the incidents (and one homosexual enlistee claimed that his officers and units knew of his homosexual activities and were totally accepting of them — he even sent us a copy of his discharge papers as proof).

Active Duty:

Opinion: 3% of the 79 males on active duty favored or strongly favored homosexuals being admitted, 3% were uncertain, 18% were opposed and 77% were strongly opposed.

Homosexual approach? 9 (12%) of 78 reported having been homosexually approached.

Experienced a homosexual incident? 28 (35%) of 79 reported having encountered a homosexual incident. 17 of these were considered major disruptions and 7 minor. 8 of these incidents involved enlistees with enlistees; officers attempting to or sodomizing an enlistee was reported twice. 7 of these events happened in the showers or while someone was sleeping or drunk.

Outcomes: 16 of the offending homosexuals were discharged, 2 were beaten, one was pushed in front of a car (but not killed).

Women: In the phone survey, women who had served made up 3.7% of the sample. Three (12%) were strongly in favor, 7 (27%) were in favor, 3 (12%) were unsure, 5 (19%) were opposed, and 8 (31%) strongly opposed to homosexuals in the military. Three (12%) of 26 reported having been homosexually approached and 10 (45%) of 22 said that they had encountered a homosexual incident while on a tour of duty (one of these incidents was considered major, 3 minor, and one “not at all” disruptive). One respondent indicated that she was a lesbian. Females compared to men in this survey were (X2= 5.36; df=2; P <0.03, one-tailed) more accepting of homosexuals in the military.

In the second mail survey, the 26 females (2.5% of the sample) were more supportive of gays in the military than the men were: 2 (8%) strongly favored, 5 (19%) favored, 1 (4%) was opposed and 18 (69%) were strongly opposed. Females were less opposed to dropping the ban than were men [X2 = 7.9, P <0.02]. 3 (12%) of 26 said that they had been approached for homosexual relations and 3 (12%) of 26 said they had experienced an incident involving homosexuality during their tour of duty. One reported an organized lesbian “nest” [where all cover for each other].

Table 2. Summary of FRI Survey Results

Phone Survey Sample, Men (N = 678)

Opinion on Homosexual Service

Strongly Favor




Strongly Oppose


24 (4%)

104 (15%)

93 (14%)

121 (18%)

336 (50%)


Experienced Homosexual Pass?


2 (8%)

11 (11%)

7 (8%)

15 (12%)

58 (17%)

93 (14%)


21 (88%)

90 (87%)

81 (87%)

105 (87%)

191 (57%)

488 (72%)

Experienced Homosexual Incident?


2 (8%)

15 (14%)

5 (5%)

14 (12%)

73 (22%)

109 (16%)


17 (71%)

83 (80%)

66 (71%)

80 (66%)

217 (65%)

463 (68%)

Evangelical Christian Mail Sample (N = 214)

Opinion on Homosexual Service

Strongly Favor




Strongly Oppose


4 (2%)

1 (0.5%)

3 (1%)

7 (3%)

199 (93%)


Experienced Homosexual Pass?


2 (50%)

1 (33%)

4 (57%)

20 (10%)

27 (13%)


2 (50%)

1 (100%)

1 (33%)

2 (29%)

166 (83%)

172 (80%)

Experienced Homosexual Incident?


1 (100%)

2 (29%)

29 (15%)

32 (15%)


1 (25%)

2 (67%)

4 (57%)

155 (78%)

162 (76%)

Combined Military Mail Samples, Men (N = 1,482)

Opinion on Homosexual Service

Strongly Favor




Strongly Oppose


58 (4%)

60 (4%)

14 (1%)

55 (4%)

1288 (87%)


Experienced Homosexual Pass?


7 (12%)

3 (5%)

1 (7%)

7 (13%)

149 (12%)

167 (11%)


41 (71%)

46 (77%)

12 (86%)

47 (85%)

1052 (82%)

1198 (81%)

Experienced Homosexual Incident?


9 (16%)

7 (12%)

2 (14%)

6 (11%)

295 (23%)

319 (22%)


45 (78%)

47 (78%)

11 (79%)

47 (85%)

838 (65%)

988 (67%)


1. Is homosexuality a problem in today’s U.S. military?

To those like Ellen Goodman, who argue that homosexuality doesn’t really affect the functioning of the military today, and most certainly won’t when accepted, it is noteworthy that between 12% and 16% of men reported homosexual approaches and 16% to 24% encountered a homosexual incident during their service. The results for women were similar. Over half of these incidents are of considerable significance for a fighting force, with many involving serious breaches of morale, military authority, and chain of command. These same data call into question the claims of homosexual spokespersons that opposition to their open inclusion is merely based upon “bigotry.” The presence, power and extent of the “homosexual network” within the U.S. military appear to be considerable.

2. Are homosexuals engaging in as much disruption and sex in the military as the Humphrey-Studds study suggests?

The Humphrey-Studds study presents a chilling view of the influence of homosexuals on the military. The same degree of rebellion and disruption depicted in the Humphrey-Studds study fills the surveys FRI received. In fact, the two sets of reports are opposite sides of the same coin: the very activities that homosexuals regarded as entertaining were experienced as distressing and disruptive by those who had served.

Here are some of the testimonies FRI received (note their similarity to reports by homosexuals in the Humphrey-Studds study) —

In 1938, I was with a S/Sgt [staff sergeant]. He said he had to pee so we stopped and I started to join him. Immediately he clamped his mouth on my penis and told me that he would bite it off unless I discharged into him. I was afraid and 18 and just avoided him from then on.

In 1940 I was a 20 year old S/Sgt with my own private room. At the time we were requested to allow new S/Sgts to share our rooms. I drew a new S/Sgt who was transferred from the field artillery. The night of the incident, he entered my room while I was asleep in my bunk and started to put his hands on my legs and lower body. I awoke with a start, immediately jumped up and ordered him to stay in his bunk. He made another attempt to grab me and I tossed him to the floor. I picked up a service shoe and told him not to dare get out of his bunk. He told me that he shaved with a straight razor and he was going to cut my throat while I slept. Since he was a much larger and older man, I never slept that night.

1944: in a latrine, “pvt tried to seduce 1st Sgt. First Sgt beat pvt nearly to death. It was reported that the pvt ‘fell down a flight of stairs.’”

1961: (near San Francisco) “a very young WAF (in her late teens) was assigned to my Squadron. She was fresh, exuberant and full of enthusiasm, so I was somewhat surprised to discover she had gone AWOL for two days. She was apprehended in the vicinity of the Base and although she offered no explanation, I merely administered a verbal reprimand and returned her to duty. A short time thereafter, she again went AWOL. After about three weeks, she was located in her parent’s home. This time on the advice of her family lawyer, she returned to the Base to tell the sordid story of having been propositioned, harassed, threatened, and in the present day vernacular: ‘hit on.’ She identified a couple of WAF NCOs from the Squadron as her lesbian tormentors. The OSI quickly moved in and a lesbian network was badly shattered as other WAFs came forward to testify to the OSI. In the future, however, emboldened by an acceptance label, the greatest punishment will more likely be meted out to the ‘straights’ who forcibly resist unwelcome advances made by those who are protected.”

1955: “a major picked up two lumberjacks — went to a motel — and they beat the hell out of him.”

1942: (Guadalcanal Invasion) “Japanese fleet was coming in and shelling us. A large number of casualties was expected. I had to call back to Div. Hdqts to get a relief for the homo that was missing, who I was informed, was with his ‘boyfriend.’ I was chief of the 1st Pioneer battalion and doing field duty and I had ‘no’ help.”

1957: “I noticed my clerk (a blue-eyed blonde) began to smell rank of sweat and seemed nervous and inattentive after 3 days on the job after transfer in…. I had another female clerk who I knew talk to her — but it took her 5 weeks on the job to [tell me] of her 1st day at Barlsdale female barracks and being raped in the shower. Yes, I helped her and worked with base authorities to trap her lesbian barracks chief and female officers to be put out of service… many others came forward after we caught them.”

1969: (Hunter’s Point) “said he was going crazy, felt like a ‘rapist in a girl’s dorm’ having to watch all the nude guys.”

1982: (Ft. Carson) “steady stream of men [to this cross-dresser’s room], no one would go within 20 ft. of him. Shunned. Busted after pass at Col.’s driver.”

1975: (Barracks, Goppingen, Germany) “Too many lesbian incidents to describe. Involved fraternization…. Good soldiers had to be disciplined because of retaliation against homosexuals. My integrity was stretched!”

1951: (Korea, front line) “oral sex between EM, jeopardized security of their unit if enemy had infiltrated their area.”

1985: “An E-7 cook was giving preferential treatment to two male subordinates in the mess hall, and then coercing them to go to hotel rooms with him.”

1956: “An E was approached by another E. It was not reported. They had a blanket party for him [threw a blanket on him and beat him] and that ended anymore incidents to my knowledge.”

1963: “An E made a pass to another E and the homo was thrown off the balcony. Homo was hospitalized for a long time. The E received punishment for actions.”

1972 (Iwakuni, Japan) “A sailor approached me as I left the mess hall and said he wanted to do some disgusting things. I hit him in the mouth. He fell down. End of incident.”

1943: “Two were approached by fellow cadet — [they] beat him to a bloody pulp.”

1964: (Homosexual Tokyo commander?) “Reports to IG were fed back to commander. The whole situation smacked of a circle of homosexuals protecting each other. The IG took no action. One captain, naval academy grad, eventually left the service in disgust. One captain threatened the commander with real harm. A major went psychotic out of pure frustration. It was a disaster. I believe the greatest danger is the tight allegiance homosexuals have to each other. It will transcend the chain-of-command, will negate promotion-on-merit, etc.”

1940: “I threw the gay over the railing and into the lake 16 feet below. I was not charged with anything.”

1954 to 1957: (Ft. Hood) “a ring of homos who assembled a service club. An officer was assigned to the 1st Armored division, reported in one day, went AWOL the next to meet his 18-yr-old lover in D.C. Both apprehended by MPs. The resulting investigation resulted in one officer committing suicide, several courts-martial.”

1949: (WAC training center, Ft Lee, VA) “three lesbians trying to recruit another WAC who rejected their advances, [she] was badly injured by the lesbians.”

Practically all our cases involved homosexuals and their passive partners. The passive partners were all in their late teens. From this experience, I learned that homosexuals are very disturbed people, often bordering on the fringe of mental instability. In each case, the active homosexual wrote detailed accounts of their involvement in homosexual conduct, and each indicated that their homosexuality was a learned social/sexual behavior taught by family members at a very early age. The passive member usually indicated they were seeking an added sexual experience.

A young sailor committed suicide, and the subsequent investigation by the NIS revealed that my medical Department was made up mostly of homosexuals. Because of a recent change in policy by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, young recruits were assigned to shore duty before going to sea. I had over 150 young sailors in their late teens. They presented a very fertile field for homosexual conduct. The NIS investigation found out that the assignment desk at Norfolk, VA was occupied by a homosexual and he was loading my command.

Throughout my career as an AF Nurse I watched young talented women leave the service because of these homosexuals who have their own society within the corps. As they get higher in rank they become more dangerous, giving good assignments and OER’s [i.e., performance report] to only their own kind. Spouses cannot write one another’s OER but these lovers do it constantly…. Much talent has been lost to the service through young potentials leaving to avoid being molested.

Homosexuality is recruited not created! I have refused assignments rather than be rated by a gay member.

1951: (AG Div, Hq TRUST, Trieste, Italy) “Some homosexuals managed to get into position in the TRUST personnel Division where assignments, promotions, exam questions, etc. were meted out to their favored few at the expense of others.”

1946: (Ft Sam Houston) “One man murdered his lover when he learned he was leaving the service. He then committed suicide.”

1953: (Ft Bliss, TX) “During the night one E slipped over to another sleeping soldier’s bunk and started massaging his privates. The sleeping soldier had been drinking pretty heavily on the weekend, awoke finally and when he realized another man was massaging his penis, he reacted violently. The homo had been approaching several other enlisted men in the company and had been warned to stay away. When the fighting awoke several sleeping soldiers and they found out what had happened, several men threw the homo enlisted man through the window and window-frame of a 2nd floor window. The H was treated at the hospital for multiple bruises and a broken nose and broken collarbone. All were punished for the incident…. homosexual behavior will take priority over a man’s required disciplined behavior… and he will split the cohesiveness and fighting camaraderie of any military unit to which he is assigned.”

1928: (7th Observation Sqd, France) “The squad threw the homosexual offender out of a window which resulted in bodily injury requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation. The squad had to pay the property damage of the window of the bldg.”

1973: “Whenever gay personnel were processed for discharge, they had to be given temporary assignments or work outside their units. As an Adjutant General Officer, I was the one who had to find the interim assignment or job. Nobody wanted them; they disrupted the whole assignment process. They ruined morale in their new, temp assignments. Knowing they were leaving the Army, they didn’t give their best efforts. They took up ‘space’ but didn’t produce.”

1955: (Tripler Army Hospital, Honolulu) “Gay hospital man, in a ring including ships cook on my ship, took a 10 year old sick male child and performed oral sex on him. This was the same ward our children would be patients in while we were at sea with no communications (I was a submariner).”

1965: (Storeroom aboard ship) “One E, was unable to extract a bottle from his rectum, which led to a medical evacuation problem.”

1943 (USS San Juan in the Pacific) “A chief gunners mate attempted to get into the bunk of a young sailor. The entire crew became so angry the chief was confined to the brig for his personal safety.”

1944: (Greenham Commons, UK) “barrack residents came in to find a cook and a supply man in bed committing sodomy. They beat them within an inch of their life.”

1965 (El Toro, CA) “My NCO counter-intelligence chief was found to be a transvestite who had falsified investigations of homosexuals within the command. He was covering the homosexual activities of a woman marine officer. He was allowed to leave the service without prejudice because of his large involvement with classified materials.”

1988: “homosexual sailor committed suicide via Russian Roulette.”

1938: (Presidio, Monterey, CA) “It was discovered that a certain troop had a homosexual in its rank. Turned out several more were discovered. Troop morale went down. The other troops looked at that troop as part of outcasts.”

1943: (Ft Huachuca, AZ) “A homosexual EM tried to get in the bunk of another. The other EM in the barracks were awakened. The homosexual was badly beaten by a number of my EM. He was hospitalized. I refused to identify or prefer assault or battery charges…. command pressure [was] applied to all officers and Non-Coms to disclose identities of those who administered the beating. [no one would]”

1952: (Dharam, Saudi Arabia) “While anal sodomy was performed the lower individual suffocated (his head being in a pillow).”

1942: “Aboard an amphibious assault ship prior to landing on Guadalcanal. Sailor and marine contact…. Disturbed combat unit just prior to combat operations.”

1951: (Kwajalein, Is) “An ONI investigator was sent to Kwajalein to conduct an exhaustive investigation. We learned that the group had expanded rather rapidly with people transferred to the island covertly and with individuals (straights) pulled into their ranks by intimidation, drunkenness, etc. We found the group had been operating secretly for several months. They had their ‘queens’ and operatives who were actively involved in recruiting new members. Some young men stated they had fallen prey to the active participants mostly while drunk.”

1961: (Sacramento) “OG shot himself after being arrested for cross-dressing. He also had children living with him.”

1993: “I am a practicing homosexual… Grow up all of you and join the real world. Fight a purposeful cause that will really help people — or are you secretly like me?”

3. Are opinions about homosexuals in the military driven by bias or experience?

The overall results from the FRI surveys suggest that those who have the best experiences with homosexuals, where the intrusion is not too sharp, offensive or serious, are the most inclined toward admitting homosexuals to the military. The more frequent sour experiences with homosexuals apparently motivates the opinion of those who strongly oppose their entry into the services. In the 1992 TROA [The Reserve Officers Association] survey, those who favored or strongly favored admission of homosexuals reported only one major incident, 24 minor incidents, and 18 other incidents that were not disruptive. By contrast, those who opposed or strongly opposed letting homosexuals serve reported 180 major incidents, 98 minor incidents, and 30 other incidents that were not disruptive (X2 = 82.7, 6 df, P <<0.0001]. Thus, as in our studies, those who opposed homosexuals in the military were more apt to report negative experiences with them.

4. Are Evangelical Christians driving opposition to homosexuals in the military?

The evidence from our research comes from two mail surveys — of retired military and Evangelical Christian retired military personnel. The opinions and experiences of Evangelicals who served versus others who served were, overall, far more similar than different. Even accounting for the fact that respondents who send in questionnaires (with their own postage) probably care more deeply about an issue than those who were contacted by phone, there was only a slight, non-significant tendency for Evangelicals to more frequently express opinions against dropping the ban against homosexual service. Otherwise, their reports were pretty much indistinguishable from non-Evangelicals who served.

5. Is lesbianism a greater problem among females in the services than homosexuality is among men?

The females in our surveys were more frequently in favor of dropping the ban [women accounted for 3.7% of the respondents of our phone survey, 2.5% of the mail samples, and 4.8% of the active-duty survey]. The reports we got from both men and women suggest that homosexuality may be more frequent among female members of the armed services.

  1. Cameron P and Cameron K (2010) Family Research Institute special report: gays in the military – the sordid facts. Colorado Springs: Family Research Institute, posted at www.familyresearchinst.org
  2. Shilts R (1993) Conduct unbecoming: gays and lesbians in the U.S. military. NY: St. Martin’s, p. 3
  3. Shilts, p. 184
  4. U.S. Department of Defense, The digest of opinions from the judge advocates general of the armed forces. (1953-54) Vols 3-6
  5. Humphrey MA (1990) My country, my right to serve: experiences of gay men and women in the military, world war II to the present. HarperCollins: NY
  6.  Statistical abstract of the United States (1990) Table 566
  7.  Grant BP (1993) Personal communication
  8.  Wall Street Journal (1993) April 12
  9.  Schmitt E (1992) Military’s gay subculture: off limits but flourishing. New York Times, December 1
  10.  The Seattle Times (1993) March 1
  11.   Goodman E (1993) Mail suggests men’s biggest concern over gays in military: being ogled. Omaha World-Herald, January 25
  12.   Los Angeles Times (1993) February 28