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Don't Ask Don't Tell? Good Riddance!

Updated on October 4, 2011
American Soldier
American Soldier | Source

“I’m sorry son, you’re openly homosexual so you MUST be less of a man and less capable of defending our country. {{Sigh}} If only you’d kept your mouth shut.”

Thank goodness DADT has been repealed. America, the so-called melting pot, finally caught up with the times. I love my country, I truly do. I also love my children – but that doesn’t mean they don’t do stupid things every once in a while.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was the official stance of America on homosexuals in the military from December 21, 1993 until September 20, 2011. According to the policy military personnel were prohibited from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants. Also according to the law, the military was instructed to turn away openly gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants and to discharge openly homosexual service members. Until the repeal of DADT on September 20, America was the only industrialized country with such a law. Supposedly the law was in place to keep the “gays” from dragging down the high moral standards of the military – because discrimination is so very moral, right?

Severe beatings of homosexual servicemen led to the last revisions of what once was the law. Stopping the violence was a good first step, but the method was not necessarily the best. The beatings may have lessened, but at what cost? Homosexuals had to make a choice – stay closeted or forget joining the military. Feel ashamed of who you are and hide it or choose another career path. The law may have lessened the violence but it only increased discrimination. Perhaps tolerance policies and knowledge would have been a better route.

Since we were children haven’t we been told we are all special in our own way? Haven’t we fought for equality for all races and for women? I know, I know. I have no military experience so I really shouldn’t get to have an opinion on the matter. But since this is my writing – I get to tell my opinion. Please feel free to defend arguments against my opinion in the comment section. I only ask that you please keep it clean and no personal attacks - or your comment will be deleted as soon as I see it. Remember: children have access to this web page.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you're interested in the opinion of a member of the military on this issue (of course you are!) please also read this piece by Mike Simmons.





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    • Ardie profile image
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      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello jen and aurelio, Im sorry I didnt get back sooner, I dont know how I missed these comments! I agree we just need to get our soldiers (gay, straight, broken, whole) back safely! And we have much bigger issues to deal with than someone's sexual preferences.

      Mr Watkins, your questions made me laugh. Why would anyone get to wear a dress or leather when uniforms are mandatory? That's just being silly and trying to stir the pot. But I do agree that everyone should keep their sexuality to themselves. I dont go around bragging that I love men...so I dont want to hear it from anyone else. BUT if the topic is brought up in bars or in the foxhole you speak of, a homosexual or transgender or sadomasochist should be able to speak the truth without fear of losing his or her job.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      What is the purpose of the military? Is it for social engineering?

      I do not think think the military is any place to be "openly" sexual in any way. What about the transgender folks? Should they not don a dress and join the barracks? What about sadomasochists? Should they not parade around in black leather in a foxhole so they are "open" and "out of the closet." What kind of sex somebody practices should have nothing to do with serving in the military. They should simply keep it to themselves.

    • profile image

      AurelioLeo 6 years ago

      In my opinion this is the wrong time to be dealing with this policy. We are in the middle of two conflicts in which one is Iraq and the other is Afghanistan. The polticians are using this policy to get themselves re-elected.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      That is the point levellandmike.....It should not be of racial, sexuality, or genetics when serving the country, on the other hand... is it really necessary to know what attracts a person to what when serving our country? When one joins the military regardless of the branch, they are there to train as a soldier, not engage in personal relationships, straight or gay. Why does it matter? Why put a double target on their backs when waging in a battle? The good ol' boys of the military will not be persuaded to change their views, why challenge it? I just wish we all could look at the bigger picture, but that is not the case, and may never be. I value a person's choice to put their life on the line for this sideways country in the first place, so I wish the focus would be to complete the mission at hand and get their buts home safe and sound so they can live their lives as they choose. The battle at hand is not to be at war with sexuality it is across seas and by now who knows what for.

    • Ardie profile image
      Author

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Levellandmike :) I love your two cents on the matter and I agree with it whole-heartedly. If someone saves my life I dont care if he or she is black, white, green, short, tall, male, female, gay or straight. Well said!

    • Levellandmike profile image

      Mike Simmons 6 years ago from Levelland, Texas

      Would ya mind if a USAF veteran and (oh-by-the-way) Conservative Republican weighs in?

      Here's how I see it: ANYBODY with the sense of patriotism, the courage and the drive to serve this country at the risk of his/her own life, and is otherwise qualified...dammit, let 'em serve.

      I have a son following my footsteps into the Air Force, one nephew in the Air Force and another in the Army. Do you think those three (or me for that matter) gives a happy damn whether the guy who just took out the bad guy that was trying to take us out, or stopped the bullet himself, or the medic that's treating our wounds so we can live to tell the tale is gay? Don't think so.

      Further, recent DoD-wide polling shows most personnel say it would not adversely effect morale, cohesiveness, or mission effectiveness. That's from the troops themselves...that ends the argument in my view.

      And, let's not forget the exact same arguments were used to oppose racial integration of the Armed Forces. They were Bravo Sierra then, they're Bravo Sierra now.

      If ya don't know what Bravo Sierra means, contact me directly for a full definition.

    • Ardie profile image
      Author

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks for stopping in Tex. I guess Brenda didn't want to stick around and defend her stance...typical ;)

    • profile image

      Texasbeta 6 years ago

      Funny, I would think that Brenda's hubs and opinions displaying pure bigotry and hatred would be the things we would shield children from. How ironic.

    • Ardie profile image
      Author

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Aaw, Stephanie thank you!! I wasnt too sure if I'd get any positive comments on this article but I felt strongly about it so I posted it anyways. I have several gay friends and nobody would know my friends are gay just by talking to them. There is NO difference. I havent talked to my kids yet about being gay since they arent even aware of sex :) But trust me - I WILL teach them tolerance and acceptance. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the comments - I truly appreciate it.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Ardie,

      I agree that the repeal of this policy has taken far too long. How ridiculous that the military discriminated against any person for their sexual preferences when other employers were bound by equal opportunity laws prohibiting such discrimination! I know this can be a controversial subject, and I applaud you for your hub. Contrary to other opinions voiced here, I think that we should talk to our children about being open minded, fair and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, including gays. I'm sure your children are proud of you for defending the rights of others.

    • Ardie profile image
      Author

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Dear Brenda

      I will not take your comment as a personal attack on my hub because you dont support your reasoning at all in the comment. While I do thank you for taking the time to visit I wish you to understand that homosexuality is NOT illegal therefore it is impossible for me to defend its legalization. Just saying :)

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 6 years ago

      If, as you say, children have access to this web page, then it's your article that should be hidden, because defending acts of perversion and especially the legalization of those acts isn't something children should see.