Grey (wing_of_grey) wrote in little_details,

Homosexuality during the Mexican-American War

Setting: 1847, a remote military outpost in the Sierra Nevadas

My character is a low-ranking soldier whose superiors suspect him of being gay because of his questionably close relationship with another (presumed dead) soldier. He actually is gay, but his superiors lack any kind of conclusive evidence. Unfortunately, they also really want to get rid of him for unrelated reasons.

What would the military of that time do to a (suspected) gay soldier? I know that the law preventing gays from openly serving in the military wasn't passed until 1916, but could his superiors have him dishonorably discharged at this point? Would there be a trial, or any attempt to gather stronger evidence than "Damn, those guys were really codependent, and also this guy we trust speculates that they are gay," before taking action? Would they have him shot? Would they just not care?

I've been Googling using the search terms "mexican-american war" "history" "homosexuality" "military" "1847" in a variety of combinations and no particular order. All I'm getting is more recent information (1990's mostly) and endless debates about whether "don't ask, don't tell" should be repealed. Oh, and ads for Midwestern gay bars. Help?
Tags: 1840-1849, mexico: history, usa: history (misc), ~homosexuality: history

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