Don’t ask, just vote

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal the Clinton era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, which prevents openly gay people from serving in the military.  The House also voted to pass the same measure 234-194, leaving the full Senate to vote on the measure later this summer.  If passed, the repeal wouldn’t go into effect until a military review process, as well as approval by President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Not everyone’s happy about the repeal; Senator John McCain has been circulating a letter opposing the plan, and most “no” votes similarly fell along party lines.  Both Robert Gates and Adm. Mullen, however, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that they supported a repeal of the 1993 law, as long as they were given time to figure out how to best implement the change.  Said Mullen:

“Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do.  No matter how I look at the issue, 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.”

What the future holds for the controversial law is, for now, in the hands of the Senate.

  1. An American should be free to say what he or she he or she is. It clears the mind for weightier things, such as providing for a common defense to ourselves and our posterity.

  2. I, as well as many, many intelligent thinkers believe that we are an evolved enough civilization to drop the ridiculous requirements than anyone be required to lie in order to be accepted. In no other area are humans in this country asked about their sexual activity when being considered for a job that has nothing to do with actively or inactively sexual beings. It’s time to move on from the petty prejudices of the past, and enter into the new awakening of our own personal sense of integrity. Nowhere in our legal system should lying, or denying anyone’s feelings of love be encouraged, or in fact tolerated. It is the covering up and lying that is what lowers the self esteem and encourages the victim mentality of any group. I have lived through an enormous amount of change during the past 1/2 century, and it is with full confidence that I move forward, knowing in my heart that change for the better will continue in this great country of ours. Let us all be encouraged to have pride in our individualism. Sexuality is not a contagious decease, from any angle. One day, I believe, we will reach the true dignity and Love that is our birthright, and then there will be no more need for a military at all. In the mean time, let’s let go of the backwards bubba type of thinking that allows and encourages the separations that come from these sad and painful prejudices. Open our eyes, open our hearts and embrace our diversity. Lift the ban, as Clinton tried to do when he was president. DADT was only a compromise anyway. (and please forgive any spelling errors, as I am typing early and without my glasses.)

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