Its an issue that strikes home with me. Do gays belong in the military? One law school prof discusses his view, based on the harm sometimes done by the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. See discussion. Having served 28 years in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, I look at the issue through the prism of my own experience. I think the real question is why not? In every unit I was in, we never had enough good soldiers. I would hate to automatically exclude any soldier until we see how s/he performs. Soldiering is a subjective profession. The ability to get along and foster teamwork is crucial. Many soldiers, straight or gay, cannot hack it.
The most important trait of a good soldier is simple desire. They "gotta want it." I am sure many gay soldiers have done very well in the soldiering business. As a former company and battalion commander, I would be happy to have any productive soldier, regardless of background.
Of course, as with any soldier, I would expect that soldier to manage his/her personal issue or background. But, isn’t that what leadership is all about? Some soldiers, for example, suffer from weight problems. Weight control and physical conditioning are big issues in the Army. Many soldiers are discharged every year because they cannot get their weight down to the Army norm. But, if a soldier does successfully manage a weight problem, aren’t they a better soldier because of it? That is what leadership is all about.