IN OUR OPINION: Don’t ask, don’t tell

September 30, 2010

The highly controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy failed to be repealed in a Senate vote Sept. 21, but it is the opinion of The Tech Talk that while the government may not be ready for a repeal now, homosexuals will be able to serve openly in the military in the future.

The defense spending bill, which included an amendment repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was voted down by a 56-43 vote because Republican Senators believe the Pentagon’s review of how the policy will affect active duty military personnel is vital to their decision on how to proceed, according to ABC News.

Prior to midterm elections, Republicans are most likely leery of voting for the repeal, yet most know there should not be military restrictions on Americans of any sexual preference. Our military is made up of patriotic human beings whose sexuality, gender or personal lives should not be considered, rather what should be considered is their loyalty and work ethic.

However, it is also understood that the policy was created for a reason during the Clinton Administration. Our society is at a point where change is slowly happening, but the mentality of the American majority is still in the past. Emphasis on brotherhood and camaraderie has more of an influence in the mind of a soldier than whether or not their bunkmate is homosexual, and in the mind of a 1993 politician, this was not the case so a policy was introduced that would strictly enforce that.

Though the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has discharged more than 13,000, men and women from the military, according to group for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT), it is possible that the policy has saved the lives of others enlisted.

To say that all soldiers dislike homosexuals is bigoted and stereotypical, but the unfortunate truth is there are still people who would not be pleased with serving and living with an openly gay man or woman. For example, a man or woman would generally have conflicted feelings with living with a member of the opposite sex, and the same can be said for a person’s feelings towards living with a homosexual.

The military and the legislative branch of the government, though it may not seem to be so at first glance, are two completely different entities – one ruled by a strict code of honor and brotherhood and the other ruled by politicans. The review of the policy by the Pentagon is necessary to make everyone comfortable with the change that will commence with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But it is especially important to make our soldiers feel comfortable with the change only they will experience.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” reflects a value of the past, a past that has not been touched since the evolution of the media and America in general. Whereas an inference to homosexuality was taboo on television in the early 1990s, there are television shows today that focus on the normality of a gay relationship.

As the values of society are changing, the government is changing laws to fit the progressive society. The military is taking longer to change values but is slowly becoming aware of the necessity to stay pertinent and relevant while looking toward a broader horizon.