Don't Ask Don't Tell passed in Congress seventeen years ago. Last week, President Obama told Congress he wants to work this year to end that policy.In it's seventeen years, Don't Ask Don't Tell has led to the expulsion of 13,000 gay and lesbian service memebers from the armed forces.On Tuesday the nation's top uniformed officer told lawmakers that repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that bans openly gay people from serving in the military is "the right thing to do."
"No matter how I look at the issue," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that 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 an institution," Mullen said.I'm not so much concerned about them making the change, I'm just wondering how they're gonna make the change. Someone decided years ago that this was an effective way to sustain unit cohesion and morale.The policy just means that gay & lesbian service members can be dismissed if their orientation is revealed- removing that policy won't erase the homophobia in the barracks, the hate crimes on the bases, or automatically make a group of soldiers feel like brothers if one or two of them are openly gay.
I'm just afraid of the backlash. The internal punishments, violence, and discrimination towards gay & lesbian service members who aren't hiding- that's going to be the new Don't Ask Don't Tell.