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December 6, 2004

Former Military Officials challenge "don't ask, don't tell" Policy

Non-heterosexuals have served in the U.S. armed forces as far back as the first documented case of Gen. Washington’s key strategist during the war of independence. With the first documented case of a soldier being discharged from the military for homosexual acts in 1778, I believe we’ve made sluggish, but constructive progress. The anti-gay agenda preached by the U.S.
Department of Defense has no foundational structure of evidence; however, pure speculation on the likelihood that it would cause a lack of cohesion in the military. This is analogous to many states that still continue their anti-gay agenda such as anti-sodomy laws, holding no foundational evidence.

With a comparable instance in which the Department of Defense claimed that allowing a minority group into the military would cause tension and disruption, allowing blacks into the military in the late 1940’s has provided proof that the military is able to adapt and function in a manner that would preserve cohesion and performance.

A lawsuit filed in a Boston federal court challenged the Pentagon’s 11-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The case is on the basis of 12 gays expelled from the military because of their sexual orientation. The case cites last year’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned state laws making gay sex a crime.

Two other lawsuits challenging the policy have been filed since the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Proposed during Clinton’s 1993 campaign agenda, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was objected by most military officials as well as numerous legislators. Clinton still went forward with his agenda on the basis of there being no actual evidence of harm by allowing non-heterosexuals into the military; however, this came at a price, compromise. The tactic was surrounded with the knowledge that allowing “full” homosexual rights in the military would never gain support. The approach has allowed actual homosexuals in the military to serve; however, at the expense of oppression.

Unfortunatley, equality comes with time, acceptance, familarity, education, and understanding. In order to achieve this, small steps must be taken for equality. In a similar equality-related issue, analyze the black civil-rights movements. There was a price as well, segregation laws. These of course were eventually overturned. I believe we are heading in a similar, positive fashion; however, with more obstructions.

In my opinion, this policy is a remarkable, progressive stance that with further development will eventually create equality. It’s definitely better than not having any policy. It serves as a foundation for building future non-heterosexual rights on. It has also created an eye opening experience among officials, as well as creating task forces to conduct actual evidence-based analyses versus relying on mere speculations.

Posted by ande4192 at December 6, 2004 4:38 PM

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