The Gay Bomb
By Mark Simpson
Look out! Take cover! Backs to the walls, boys! It's the Gay Bomb!
No, not a bomb with fashionably styled fins or one that can't whistle, but rather a proposed 'non-lethal' chemical bomb containing 'strong aphrodisiacs' that would cause 'homosexual behavior' among soldiers.
Since the United States Air Force wanted $7.5 million of taxpayers' money to develop it, it probably involved more than the traditional recipe of a few six-packs of beer.
According to the Sunshine Group, an organization opposed to chemical weapons that recently obtained the original proposal under the Freedom of Information Act, a U.S.A.F. lab seriously proposed in 1994 'that a bomb be developed containing a chemical that would cause [enemy] soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another.' The U.S.A.F. obviously didn't know how picky even horny gays could be.
Despite never having been developed, the so-called Gay Bomb is a bouncing bomb or perhaps a bent stick'it keeps coming back. The media have picked up the story of the Gay Bomb more than once since 2005'after all it's a story that's too good to throw away, and, as this article proves, it's a gift for dubious jokes.
Mind you, it now seems to be the case that the Pentagon didn't throw it away either, at least not immediately. In the past the Pentagon has been keen to suggest it was just a cranky proposal they quickly rejected. The Sunshine Project now contradicts this, saying the Gay Bomb was given serious and sustained attention by the Pentagon and that in fact they 'submitted the proposal to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider.' The Gay Bomb was no joke.
So perhaps we should seriously consider probing'however gingerly'what exactly was in the minds of the boys at the Pentagon back then.
The date is key. The Gay Bomb proposal was submitted in 1994'the year after the extraordinary moral panic that very nearly derailed Clinton's first term when he tried to honor his campaign pledge to lift the ban on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military and that ultimately produced the current 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) compromise that allows them to serve so long as they remain closeted and are not reported.
The newly sworn-in commander-in-chief was successfully portrayed by the homo-baiting right wing'and by the Pentagon itself in an act of insurrection'as a dirty pinko Gay Bomb that was seriously weakening the cohesion of the unit and molesting the noble, heterosexual U.S. fighting man's ability to perform his manly mission. 'Why not drop Clinton on the enemy?' is probably what they were thinking.