Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Revisiting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"...

"At odds with her party's leadership, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is urging the Pentagon to allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the military - a direct challenge to "don't ask, don't tell." Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Jim Kolbe of Arizona, both Republicans, are also supporting the proposal along with 70 Democrats. (source)

"Don't ask, don't tell" became law 12 years ago, a compromise after President Bill Clinton sought to relax military policy and allow gays to serve openly. The law, which easily passed in both the House and Senate, prohibits commanders and investigators from prying into service member's sex lives, but calls for military discharge if someone in the armed service acknowledges he or she is gay."

"We investigate people. Bring them up on charges. Basically wreck their lives, People who've signed up to serve our country. We should be thanking them." ~Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

I have to commend these three Representatives for questioning this baseless policy. If someone wants to serve their country, why should sexual orientation even factor in to that equation? Here is a statistic that shocked me: "Nearly 10,000 men and women have been discharged under "don't ask, don't tell," which has cost the U.S. government more than $200 million to enforce since passage in 1993." Just last week, a Purple Heart recipient, who wounded in Iraq, publicly disclosed his homosexuality. This Army Sergeant now risks going to jail and an early discharge. How can this be justified? Didn't he bleed the same as his straight comrades?

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which has no comparable legislation in front of the Senate, is no where near becoming a law. First, it needs to get out of committee. "The odds are very small, unless the top military brass would embrace it. When was the last time it snowed in South Florida?" ~Robert Wexler (D/FL)

These are people that are looking to serve and possibly die for their country. Why would we turn them away? Am I alone on this one?
(Read the article in its entirety)

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