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Joe Rehyansky advocates ‘corrective rape’ for US lesbian soldiers

December 1, 2010

You know I have heard some excuses out there for why DADT should not be repealed and I have seen some humdingers when it comes to what should be done if a repeal comes through – including seperate shower and sleeping facilities for straight and gay members of the military but I think yesterday I saw probably the sickest op-ed yet.

Joe Rehyansky, a retired official at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, District Attorney’s office, wrote an op-ed for The Daily Caller (right wing news blog founded by Tucker Carlson, former advisor to Dick Cheney).  In this piece Mr Rehyansky detailed his solution to dealing with any lesbian soldiers.

My solution would get the distaff part of our homosexual population off our collective “Broke Back,” thus giving straight male GIs a fair shot at converting lesbians and bringing them into the mainstream.

The Daily Caller has since removed this line from the op-ed but the rhetoric can still be seen by reading the article as it remains.

Rehyansky advocates what is known as “corrective rape”.  This “method” of “dealing” with lesbians, has been prominent in South Africa.  The phrase was first penned by human rights non-governmental organisations and gained widespread noteriety with the story of Eudy Simelane, a member of the South African women’s soccer team and an out Lesbian and advocate for GBLT rights. She was raped and murdered in 2008. ActionAid stated that this was ahate crime, and her murder was directly related to her sexual orientation.

Sadly despite the high profile case, South Africa remains largely ignorant of this practice and many lesbian women remain in fear of being out.

In an article by The Guardian concerning this case, one woman, Zakhe Sowello from Soweto, Johannesburg, said:

“Every day I am told that they are going to kill me, that they are going to rape me and after they rape me I’ll become a girl…When you are raped you have a lot of evidence on your body. But when we try and report these crimes nothing happens, and then you see the boys who raped you walking free on the street.”

ActionAid called upon the South African government to act on making this a hate crime so it would receive the due dilligence of the law. According to Triangle, a leading South African gay rights organisation, conducted a study they conducted shows that 86% of lesbian women living in South Africa live in fear of being attacked.

So for Joe Rehyansky, an American and a former army man and a part-time County Magistrate to say that lesbians should be allowed into the army only if “straight male GIs [are given] fair shot at converting lesbians”, is downright disgusting.

South Africa is a country still dealing with tribal attitudes to certain human rights orientations – that does not excuse them nor am I belittling the country as a whole, but the point being, for a man, who sits in court and rules in judgements, to think nothing of advocating rape, to correct what he sees as an abomination, along with the rest of his outdated, stereotypical and very bigoted and ignorant views of gay men and women.

Joe Rehyansky is not just crazy but damned dangerous. His misogyny in “dealing” with lesbian members of the armed forces makes me wonder how this man can even have a job where he does now. And for the Daily Caller to have that article up with that line in it – before they were forced to remove it because of the uproar calls into question their own judgment.  I am not saying the Daily Caller should be censored, by I do question how any editor in his right mind could leave that in.

To be advocating mass rape is beyond redemption.  Rehyansky may be entitled to his opinion, but when do we draw the line?  He advocates the promiscuity of straight men and suggests all women should submit:

“It fell to men to swing through the trees and scour the caves in search of as many women as possible to subdue and impregnate – a tough job but someone had to do it”.

But at the same time suggest gay men are diseased through their own promiscuity:

“Gays spread disease at a rate out of all proportion to their numbers in our population and should be excluded from the military,”

This does not compute with studies that show HIV is now a 50/50 divide for those suffering, gay and straight.

His article is jaw droppingly ignorant, in that it suggest gay men should be removed from service as they can not keep their desires to themselves and the removal of DADT will give them free reign to jump on their straight compatriots – I addressed this argument more fully in an article I wrote in september: the-rights-obssession-with-sex-especially-with-dadt/

But that is besides the point.

Rehyansky’s comments regarding “converting” lesbian soldiers can not be condoned or excused.  For a magistrate in a supposedly civilised country, the “greatest country in the world” to write and op-ed which stereotypes with bigotry and advocates an abusive criminal act because he can not understand that gay men and women are part of society whether he likes it or not – well excuse me if I want to stick two fingers up and ask why this man remains in his job.

UPDATE: Reading through on Mr Rehyansky I found an article that shows he is no longer a magistrate – guess why?

He said when a female inmate leaned over he said, “I am not giving you an OR bond because of the cleavage.”

You can find out more here:

BTW if you want to know what Joe thinks of women who complain about sexual harrassment, read the comments on his article at the Daily Caller:

That gal sounds like a real wimp. She needed to man-up or apply for a sissy discharge.


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