Posts tagged: Discrimination

Where The Bigotry Lies In ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

By , June 7, 2010 2:59 pm

It’s a shame we’re still having a debate over gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

This New York Times article delved into some of the issues involved in transitioning the military to allow homosexuals to openly serve. One issue is whether openly gay soldiers should be put in separate housing. Another is that families might request different housing, on religious grounds, if same-sex couples live close by. Others¬†are concerned that service members who don’t adhere to anti-discrimination policies may not be promoted. An unnamed Army National Guard member who is a lesbian had concerns, too. She said, “Getting rid of ["Don't Ask, Don't Tell"] completely without modifying it is kind of worrisome. The number of incidents against gays in the military is going to increase.”

WASHINGTON - MARCH 3: (L to R) Former service members Anthony Woods, of Viginia, Stacy Vasquez, of Texas, and Todd Belok, of Connecticut, listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill March 3, 2010 in Washington, DC. Senator Lieberman has introduced legislation to repeal the US military's don't ask don't tell policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

True. This soldier is rightfully concerned about the safety of herself and other troops. If the policy is going to be repealed soon, and that is far from certain, it doesn’t look like it will happen before a report on the repeal is due on December 1. All of this fear and worry, though, is over soldiers who may be homophobic. This hand-wringing is over the feelings of people who may be bigots and what they might do. But the bigotry I see is with the leaders, policymakers and pundits who want DADT to remain in place.

On the issue of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military,¬†we’re not the norm in the West. Every other country in NATO, except Turkey, allows gays and lesbians to openly serve. When Britain and Canada allowed homosexuals to serve openly they only lost three soldiers each (yes, just 3). And when U.S. looked into how Canada changed their policy, a report showed that “negative consequences predicted in the areas of recruitment, employment, attrition, retention, and cohesion and morale have not occurred.”
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