Con: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ gave protection

As of Sept. 20 gays have lost their privacy in the military. The repeal of the long standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for homosexuals in our military might look positive for the gay rights movement, however this policy was a shield to protect the gays in the military.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a policy adapted in 1993. The policy prohibited the harassment and discrimination of closet homosexual and bisexual service members, while barring openly homosexual  and bisexual people from military service.

Those admitting or caught in homosexual acts while in the military received a dishonorable discharge, and were able to avoid gunshot wounds, lost limbs, and post traumatic stress.

Throughout the policy’s life, almost 14,000 service members claimed to have been discharged due to homosexuality, according to the Service Members Legal Defense Network. That’s 14,000 Americans who did not get shot at in foreign nations.

In a poll conducted by the Department of Defense in 2010, 60 percent of the Marine Corps said that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be negative. Many further stated that it created a “lack of unity” in the corps.

In 2006 Zogby International poll found that only 26 percent of serving military members were in favor of gays serving in the military.

When the policy was adapted, by President Bill Clinton, it was to allow homosexuals to serve in the military without distress. It was made under the idea that one’s sexual orientation  does not define who they are, or how they can serve our nation.

Beyond the dangers of combat are the dangers of discrimination. During the policy era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gays were protected from harassment, discrimination, and punishment for their sexuality. The policy removed sexuality from the military, a place were it should have no bearing or meaning.

In the military, most soldiers become part of the branch, they have pride in what they do, they are “brothers” with their fellow service men.

Sexuality, religion, race, political  beliefs shouldn’t matter in the military, they have to trust one another, they don’t need a million things bringing them apart when they are to be one as an unit.

While homosexuals are now able to be open about their sexual orientation in the military, this has removed an ability for them to avoid danger. This “big step” will cause many homosexual partners and family members heart ache when they come home mentally distressed, physically disabled, or in the worst case, a body bag.

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  • M

    Morgan HurleyOct 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I’m sorry but this commentary is completely off the mark.

    While I respect the writer’s efforts, he had absolutely NO understanding of DADT, what it entailed, what it did to cause ‘distress,’ what foibles are — and most importantly he knows even less about LGBT personnel serving in the military.

    I certainly hope his readers have more education and won’t take this to heart.

    Also … if you are a journalism student, please note that the AP disallows use of the term “homosexual” in this day and age.

    ***Editor’s Note***

    Associated Press Style Book prefers the use of “gay” over over “homosexual” except in clinical or references to sexual activity, though it does not disallows the use of the word “gay.”

  • A

    Anthony CunninghamOct 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    You, and other antigay “crusaders” can try to wrap your animosity up and put a pretty bow on it, but it is still discrimination. Your attitude is appaling. Are straight soldiers required to hide their orientation? Your faux concern doesn’t hide your prejudice no matter how much you say it iiooling anybody. Shame on you. This is not the promise of America. All are created equal, and being gay is biological, no matter how many dishonest, unscientific studies you and false christains trot out.

  • P

    ProphetofPaxOct 12, 2011 at 9:55 am


    This article makes no logical sense. What a wast of electrons. Sure, DADT protected gays in the military from discrimination…so long as no one found out they were Gay! If they did, the gay servicemember wasn’t discriminated against, he/she was just fired. And with the worst possible outcome, a dishonorable discharge. My “humble” opinion is that if u have an issue with any of your coworkers, not because of what they did, but simply who they are, then your ass needs to quit or be fired. I’ve been a general manager for many years now and my policy is simply, if your prejudices prevent u from doing the job u were hired to do, then get the CENSORED out of my store.

  • J

    Jorge PerezOct 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Thank goodness you are at City College, and that your ignorance is not disseminated any further.
    You try to make an (unsubstantiated) point, that tens of thousands of dishonorably charged elements did not get shot or wounded, I will give you that. However, every person who joins our armed forces, does so knowing they will be the first called in the event of a conflict/war, and therefore injuries and death come with the job. As for DADT protecting closeted gay elements from harassment, discrimination, and punishment; my response is that NO ONE should be prosecuted for their sexuality, as long as they dont hurt others. Perhaps the saddest and most ignorant part of your article, is that you fail to provide an international framework and mention so many countries where GLBT members have served openly for years, with no negative effects. Gays who choose to serve their country do not need to be further protected from harm than their straight peers; and should not be singled out due to their sexual orientation. So, thanks but no thanks. The best payback to your article is that, in this day of the internet, your ignorant article will remain, for years, attached to your name.

  • R

    RayOct 12, 2011 at 4:18 am

    I wonder if this is a satire piece. Or maybe the author genuinely does not know the difference between adapted and adopted. Either way, the notion that DADT served to “protect” gay and lesbian service members is just silly. Gay and lesbian military personnel were actively harmed by the policy, both those who were discharged for their honesty and those forced to remain silent and live a lie while defending the rights of other Americans.

  • P

    PinkOct 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    gays are not a risk to the military and there are reports dating back to 1957 that say this.

    and you say that the 14,000 discharged gays were saved from being shot?
    but you should know that a soldier up for deployment who is suspected of being gay is sent off anyway. if they make it back, THEN they get kicked out.

  • J

    James C.Oct 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Your “concern” for gay people is charming. You don’t want gays in the military, which is why you cite a five-year-old opinion survey to try to say gay people don’t belong. The pretense that the life of a gay person is just too dearly precious to risk in combat, and that you’re just looking out for gays’ well-being, is too phony to pass off. Why should a gay person who voluntarily signs up to serve be treated any differently than anyone else? Let them serve if they choose to.

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Con: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ gave protection