As Americans we are told to love our country, to honor her and fight for her. Many say that it is a privilege to fight and that as Americans we should be willing to serve our country yet that right is being taken away from many young men and women everyday because of their sexuality.
The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prohibits homosexuals in the military from revealing their sexuality is currently being reviewed in the courts, but the process has gone slowly. We believe Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed immediately.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was created as a compromise after President Clinton tried to allow all Americans to serve in the military regardless of their sexual orientation. However it was overturned by Congress.
“After lengthy public debate and congressional hearings, Clinton and Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reached a compromise which they labeled Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue,” according to ucdavis.edu.
The policy was used to restrict military personnel from asking any soldier their sexual orientation, to restrict soldiers from sharing or expressing their sexuality, and to restrict the military from investigating someone’s sexuality unless there was evidence.
When someone is doing a service to this country their sexuality should not be a factor in that.
To discriminate against someone willing to give his or her life for this country based on their sexual orientation is ignorant.
“When Colin Powell sold me on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, here’s what he said it would be,” said President Bill Clinton in an interview with CBS News.
“Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren’t in uniform, getting gay materials, for any of the places they went or any of the things they did as long as they didn’t talk about it.”
Sadly the policy did not live up to its promise, instead of protecting homosexuals and bisexuals it placed a muzzle over their mouth and gave them an ultimatum, to either denounce their identities or be dishonorably discharged from the military.
Before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, gays were banned from the military, and if someone were thought to be gay they were discharged from the military automatically.
There had also been incidents of harassment and death for example Allen R. Schindler a homosexual soldier in the navy who was murdered by another soldier in his crew for being gay.
Even with the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, homosexuals in the military still face discrimination and harassment, because if they were to speak of their orientation, it would result in a violation of the policy meant to allow them to serve in the military.
In 2008, 619 soldiers were discharged because of their sexuality – 410 were men and 209 were women according to a Department of Defense report.
It is moronic that someone’s sexuality can be an issue in the military, an organization where men and women put their country and the people in it before themselves.
Being a homosexual should not define what you are able and not able to do, sexual orientation should not be the sole factor defining individuals.
President Obama has stated that he wants to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy but there has been little to no progress seen, which is troubling since 22 other countries in the world such as France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia and many more allow homosexuals to serve in their militaries openly.
To be a nation prized on equality something does not add up.