‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy proves inherently unfair

June 8, 2009 — by Mira Chaykin

America is the land of the free, the home of the brave– that is, until people come forth and admit they’re gay. Then they often get ostracized, embarrassed and kicked out of the armed forces.

The military makes a feeble effort to be generous with its “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, which says gay people can choose to conceal their homosexuality and avoid punishment, yet this policy in itself represents the intolerance that America has tried so diligently to avoid.

With the Obama administration ushering in a more liberal platform, it is necessary they eliminate this offensive litigation in order to succeed in having their message of “change” resonate with the entire nation. When the government says change is coming, it must apply to everyone.

No one should not have to conceal his or her identity. Gay people have just as much merit and right to be in the armed forces and defend their country as straight people.

The law claims that people will be discharged from the armed forces for displaying any homosexual behavior without a logical and proved explanation or by admitting homosexuality. The “don’t ask don’t tell” policy hinders and undermines the gay community’s ability to reach their long sought after goal of equality. Claiming gays will be punished if they admit their sexuality diminishes an entire group.

The kind of naivete that is displayed by the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy is astounding. If America is really a country that is attempting to stray from oppression, it is imperative that we treat each American citizen with tolerance and acceptance, rather than making them hide their true selves because we are uncomfortable with the implications of a wider acceptance of homosexuals.

People speculate about possible negative outcomes of gays serving in the armed forces because they are uncomfortable with the idea. According to the Yale Law Journal, the law claims that gays would “create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” This is completely ludicrous. Stating that being gay is not of high morals is not only discriminatory but just plain vicious.

Gay people cannot choose to be straight, and it is wrong to make them resent how they were born by implying that it is somehow “immoral.” This is synonymous to saying that it is immoral to be one color over another, which history has proven to be completely preposterous.

The “good order and discipline, and unite cohesion” clause that was added into this law as justification is beyond ignorant. Gay people are not going to fall in love with every man or woman in the military merely because they are gay nor will they necessarily act differently from other soldiers. They are people, yet this law segregates them as if they are immeasurably different than a straight human being. Obviously displaying inappropriate behavior would result in discharge from the military, but people should not be denied military service just because they may possibly do something wrong. Women are not denied entrance to the armed forces merely because they might be attracted to the other soldiers, so the same rule should apply to gays and lesbians.

People say that there is no constitutional necessity to permit anyone to join the armed forces, and gays do not have the right to complain. It’s times like these where it is necessary to question which is more important; constitutionality or morality? When the pride and happiness of a large group of American people is at stake because of reckless decimation, it is necessary for people to realize the Constitution is a mere piece of paper that is only used as justification because people want to avoid the moral implications of denying gays their rights.

People must get rid of their preconceived notions about homosexuals in order to bolster a more cohesive and harmonious nation. The United States must eliminate the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy.

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