Think about this. With the ridiculous and damaging Don't Ask, Don't Tell in place, a case like that of Cmdr. Kevin Ronan, who is accused of making gay porn videos of Naval Academy midshipman in his home, may trigger an investigation into his orientation, even if he's found not guilty of any crime.

Ronan is charged with seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer, three counts of illegal wiretapping and one count of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors say the pornography establishes a motive for the alleged surreptitious taping of the midshipmen.

Defense attorneys for Ronan, who hosted midshipmen in his home as part of a Naval Academy program, had fought to keep the evidence out of his trial, saying prosecutors couldn't prove he was the one who downloaded the material and that the suggestion he might be gay would turn the jury against him.

“The effect of this is going to be to suggest, 'This is a bad person, he's got homosexual tendencies, and we certainly don't want him in the Navy,'” William Ferris, Ronan's civilian attorney, said in the Washington Navy Yard courtroom.

…Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a legal advocacy group that assists gays and lesbians in the military, said evidence of pornography on Ronan's computer could be enough to lead to an investigation into his sexual orientation. Such inquiries often end with the service member being kicked out of the military, he said.

The judge in the case said that the evidence is relevant because it could show Ronan's “possible need on his part” to view “young, athletic males” engaged in sexual acts.

Ronan was not directly asked about his sexual orientation while on the stand, and an indicated possible defense is that a midshipman planted the video to blackmail Ronan.

Think about this — maybe he is or isn't gay and it's his porn. What's relevant is that the presence of gay porn on one's computer is enough to launch a DADT investigation, no matter how or why  it is  there. What if Ronan's just doing “research” like our friend The Peter, trying to fight pornography and deviance by collecting pictures and videos to educate “Christians” about The Homosexual Agenda? Is there any difference, or does the military also weigh the motivation for collecting the porn? The whole matter is absurd.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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