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.