‘They’re in for it now!’ as John Nohel, the Director of the Army’s
Math Research Center, said, following my speech, to Professor James
Koutsky of the UW Department of Chemical Engineering, and our
faculty responded by, quite unexpectedly, voting against the
military, by about 350 votes to 250. Several of their officers
were sitting in full regalia in the front row. Professor David
Runyon from UW Whitewater took a film for his television channel and
lodged it in the State Archives, and several people ran up to me in
the street to thank me for my contribution, which was generally
acknowledged as completely turning the tables on the military at the
end of an otherwise insipid and quite unconvincing debate.
During my surprisingly devastating speech, I reported that
a U.S. army captain had advised me, at an otherwise convivial Second
Thursday reception, that ‘these freaks have never even opened a
bible’. I also discussed a high-flying naval student in Annapolis
who’d been stripped of his degree simply because he expressed his
fears to his chaplain that he might be gay. I more generally
objected to the intrusions perpetrated by the US military on the
innermost thoughts of American students.
General for Winconsin, Daniel O’Brien congratulated me
afterwards, and he’s visited me in Edinburgh since. The leaders of
Madison’s gay community, who were none too keen to raise their own
heads above the parapet, congratulated themselves, and gave each
other prestigious awards. So much for philanthropy.
Please also google "Gay Discrimination in the
Military, University of Wisconsin-Madison"
The item "ROTC under fire" by David M. Halperin
describes the enormous impact of the faculty vote. The reports by
Professor Joe Elder of the UW Department of Sociology are incomplete
in several respects.