Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I agree with President Obama; the U.S. Congress should repeal "don’t ask, don’t tell" and eliminate any federal prohibition on gay service.

The usual argument made for excluding gays from the military is that, because of anti-gay sentiment among some non-gay soldiers, the presence of gays might undermine cohesion and discipline. No evidence, however, supports this view; gays have served with minimal problems in numerous countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom, Switzerland). The same arguments made against gays in the military were offered decades ago in the United States to oppose racial integration of the armed forces, yet these forces are now entirely integrated with minorities disproportionally represented.

Whether policy should compel the armed forces to allow gays to serve openly – or just leave the issue to the individual armed forces – is a more subtle question. A decentralized approach might lead to slower change, but it might also produce a less polarizing transition.

16 comments:

commonsenseliberty said...

Outstanding point. I blogged about this the other day (Obama Gets One Right). Having grown up in the South, I heard the same kinds of arguments against integration in the schools. Funny thing--after repeated exposure to other races in everyday settings like work and school, some folks found out (surprise!) that "they" are mostly just like "us." I hope I live to see the day when this kind of bigotry is gone forever.

Six said...

My only beef with Obama on this one is that why did it take him over a year to getting around to it? And why isn't the Federal 'Defense of Marriage Act' not a part of the discussion too? Call me a cynic, but it feels like he is doing nothing more than throwing his base a bone to reunite them after the healthcare reform failures and the disappointment he has turned out to be in being the 'anti-war' president.

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