For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is the United States Military policy concerning homosexuals serving in the military. The policy was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who campaigned on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. The Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993, issued Defense Directive 1304.26, which directed that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation. This is the policy now known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
Over the past several weeks, I have received countless emails from conservative political websites urging me to call, write, and email my United States Senators to express my outrage, and, to persuade them not to repeal the ” don’t ask, don’t tell ” policy. These websites and organizations believe the attempt to repeal this policy is first, political payback by Barack Obama to the homosexual lobby which helped get him elected President. Second, they paint the picture of a military that would lack discipline, unity, and, the ability to defend America. ( Which is the belief of some military leaders. )
First of all, the United States Military will not, does not and should not tolerate any actions detrimental to unity, order, and combat readiness. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is supposed to insure that. If it doesn’t, it needs to be reformed. I believe that it does. I served in the U.S Air Force in 1983 so, I have first hand knowledge of what is tolerated and what is not tolerated. How? one might inquire. There was an incident involving myself and a female airman at an on-base club. To make a long story short, we were both banned from the club. The incident involved a section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that concerned public displays of affection. ( it wasn’t anything we could get in trouble for if we had been civilians; as much fun as that would have been. ) Nevertheless, we did get busted.
Second, the issue of discipline, unity, and the ability to defend this country should never arise. If it does, it means the people training our forces for combat are not doing their jobs. In the military, unity and cohesion are byproducts of discipline. Discipline is based on rules and regulations. EVERYONE in the military must conform, if they do not, they should be removed.
The most compelling argument to repeal ” don’t ask, don’t tell ” lies in the United States Constitution. As Americans, we are granted the rights to free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, etc. In essence, we are granted the right to choose, also known as freedom of choice. Some will argue that this isn’t true, to them I give the 9th amendment to the Constitution:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
What that means is this, intangible rights, such as freedom of choice, are not denied because the are not specifically stated in the Constitution. Let us also not forget that the rights stated earlier are governed by choice. Every American has the right to seek to serve in this country’s armed services regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. It is at the very core of our constitution.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is this its a constitutional issue and should be treated as such. Our military leaders are responsible for cultivating a well disciplined, well trained fighting force to protect this country. If they cannot perform this duty, they should be removed and replaced.
The last point I want to make is this, U.S. Military bases throughout this country and the world will remain cosmetically as they currently are; translation; no military base, foreign or domestic, is likely to change in appearance. I would not not expect to see our military personnel clad in rainbow colored uniforms depicting gay pride; nor do I expect to see the pentagon or any other military building for that matter, with lavender drapes on its windows.
Once again, I encourage all who have an opinion to express it as long as it stays within the realm of good taste and is not mind-numbingly stupid.