President Obama has made representations lately that he will inform the Department of Defense to begin dismantling the controversial and discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. The policy, which states that any homosexual service member should not be open, or tell anyone of their sexual orientation while serving in the United States Military, has caused thousands of troops to be removed from serving in the military.
The policy, following Bill Clinton’s election campaigns to let all American’s serve in the military, served on a compromise repealing the blanket ban on allowing homosexuals into the military and instead focused on making it a non-issue by ignoring sexual orientation. However, service member’s sexual orientation was often revealed in the course of duty, and would often result in a service member being discharged from the military.
Of the soldiers lost to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a large number of these have been translators fluent in Arabic, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in this past decade. The loss of these translators, coupled with the thousands of other service members, is a sad testament to the United States’ Government’s discriminatory and hypocritical stance on equality for all individuals; for the Government to insist that we are all equal, and to provide protection for all employees of the Federal government but to deny the same rights to those keeping America safe here and abroad is absolutely despicable. In total, the US Military has lost over 13,000 troops to discharge as a result of the policy since 1993, damning numbers when considering how stretched our current military forces are fighting two war’s in the Middle East, while maintaining a domestic presence.
Obama’s signaling that this policy will be coming to an end is promising for equal rights for all American’s, and a sign that the fearful specter of homosexuality and other hateful and harmful ideas are on the wane in America. We salute President Obama, and hope to see a swift repeal of this policy.