Since 1993 the U.S. military has discharged more than 13,000 men and women from serving our country because they were gay.
Able-bodied people who voluntarily wanted to make the ultimate sacrifice and protect our freedoms were sent home because of who they are.
Under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy enacted by President Clinton, our military has turned away people that are valuable, not only in their ability to serve, but in their courage.
Debate about this topic has surfaced once again since President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he plans to repeal the law.
He has subsequently received much support from top military leaders such as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
Now the repeal lies in the hands of Congress who hold the power of repealing the ban, but with a Democratic stronghold, even if that has not meant much lately, it seems the process of repealing this law is rightfully underway.
And why shouldn’t it be overturned? During a time of U.S. engagement on many fronts and military recruiting numbers at a low, it seems only logical to let gays and lesbians serve freely and openly.
This is not some new liberal idea; many countries around the world allow gays and lesbians to serve in their military, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Israel.
The fact that the United States has discriminated against these groups for so long is shameful, and now with the top leadership in our country agreeing that the policy propels the already great inequalities gays in this country face, it is time to let people serve in our military regardless of sexual orientation.