Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips made history, and gained the respect of thousands, Tuesday when she ordered the ban on openly gay service members to end, immediately.  This policy, “don’t ask, don’t tell” is extremely controversial and has no validation.  The military cannot ask about a service member’s sexual orientation, but bans gays serving openly.  “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”  “Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.”  The United States has, for many shameful years, denied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our own constitution, and what people deserve as human beings.

Supporters of this policy declare that openly gay service members will decrease the troop moral.  You are in the middle of gunfire, heart pounding.  You look to your right at your fellow service member. Would you really be focusing on the sexuality of your fellow troops?  No, you would be focusing on the fact that your life may be taken and that fellow service member who is homosexual is just as capable as you are at surviving and protecting you and the United States.   Simply stated by Admiral Mullen, “We have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.  For me-personally, it comes down to integrity-theirs as individuals, and ours as institutions.”

Judge Phillips said that “don’t ask, don’t tell” violates due process and First Amendment rights, and this policy is unnecessary for military capability.  The United States is openly discriminating. Surprise-this discrimination is hurting the military.  Skilled and experience people have been removed from the military because the government assumes members of the military cannot handle their troop member being homosexual. Last year, more than 400 service members were discharged from the Armed Services for no reason other than their sexual orientation.   The policy “don’t ask, don’t tell” is insulting, and infringes on human rights, as well as rights guaranteed by the United States, home of the free.

The government is considering appealing this decision that corrects the United State’s embarrassing lack of common sense, and denial of rights. The policy “don’t ask, don’t tell” is shameful and ridiculous.  Raise your voice.  Write your Senators.

Emily Harmon

Iowa UNA

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