Today’s The Leaf-Chronicle has a delightful editorial in which they call for an end to the Don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy which allows gay and lesbian soldiers to serve as long as they’re closeted. Click here to read the article (This link will expire after 7 days, so hurry!)
It’s already generated quite a bit of response, and much of it is negative. The idea of opening doors to gay people is just downright offensive to people. Never mind that it makes sense.
The Don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy regarding gay and lesbian soldiers has proven to be a failure time and time again. Skilled soliders have been discharged far too often. Let’s not forget the high number of linguists that have been canned.
We all remember the tragic events surrounding the brutal murder of Pfc. Barry Winchell eight years ago. Soldiers have been otherwise harassed, beaten, or drummed out because of a deep anti-gay bias that prevails in the military.
Recent polls show that an overwhelming majority of the public supports an end to the ban on gay soldiers. Congress has even started a bill to that effect. Could this latest data of the financial impact of DADT finally be the last nail in its coffin?
US soldiers are serving with gay soldiers in Iraq since the UK ended their ban on gay soldiers a few years back. Let’s give our neighbors and fellow soldiers the dignity of serving their country with honor by letting them serve as who they are. Would it lower morale? American soldiers serve with their British counterparts with pride. So much for that idea.
Just imagine what would happen if we have our gay and lesbian soldiers serve with honor. Their fellow soldiers would be in a position to learn more about diversity, and finally put an end to ignorance and homophobia.
It would be a radical shift, yes. But as the editorial very skillfully points out, that’s how we helped put an end to racial bigotry; by forcing white soldiers to march side-by-side with black soldiers. In fact, it made us stronger. Just as an end to DADT will make us even stronger still.
Living a lie does no one any good. There’s never any good reason to tell a qualified, competent individual why they can’t serve or even die for their country.
Kudos to The Leaf-Chronicle for opening this critical discussion!