The issue: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Eighteen years of injustice has now been resolved. On Tuesday, September 18th, President Obama passed the long awaited repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. This law prevented openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military. The only way a homosexual person would be allowed to serve is if he or she kept their sexual orientation private. Should a soldier’s sexual orientation become public knowledge, he or she could be discharged. Although the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been in effect for eighteen years, this issue of allowing homosexuals in the armed forces has been a matter of debate since at least the 1940’s.

It is about time that this law has been repealed. Under no circumstances should anybody be stopped from doing something because of their sexual orientation, especially when what they are trying to do is defend our country. Furthermore, they are fighting on behalf of a nation whose citizens do not necessarily support them because of their sexual preferences. I cannot even imagine the amount of courage that it must take for a homosexual soldier to defend those who do not think they should be allowed to have any rights.

If an American wants to fight for our country by risking his or her own life, let them. It should not matter who that person gets into bed with at night, or who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. It is ignorant to suggest that this has an effect on one’s ability to serve. And there is no getting around that. A person’s physical, emotional and mental strength is not based on his or her sexual preferences.

The irony here is that at one point in time, openly gay people were allowed to serve. In fact, they had no choice but to serve. As the United States was preparing for World War II, a draft went into effect and anybody and everybody who could was asked to fight. That included homosexuals. So in a time of absolute desperation it is okay for this group of people to serve? But it is only okay because there is no body else available? That is not only incredibly insulting, but very callous. Not one of those people deserved to be used like that.

So for anyone who still believes openly gay men and women should not be allowed to serve because of their sexual orientation alone, I advise you to reconsider. You would never turn away someone trying to assist you in an emergency situation because that person is a homosexual. So why should allowing them to help our country be any different?

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