Posts Tagged ‘DADT’

dadtThe time has long since come to reverse Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the 1993 ban against allowing gay and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. Further, President Obama made a campaign promise to reverse this discriminatory policy. And to those who claim that our country’s attention is better focused on our current financial challenges, I state that there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

The arguments against allowing gay and lesbians to serve openly in the military were the very arguments made against admitting blacks and women in the U.S. military. Yet, after these bans were lifted, the armed services had no problem incorporating either group. There is no reason to believe that this would not be the case for gays and lesbians.

We are fortunate to have excellent comparative data from other countries that support the acceptance of gays and lesbians into the U.S. military. Most Western military forces have removed policies excluding open gays and lesbians. Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, more than 20 allow open lesbians and gays. A recent University of California study reports that in these 20 NATO countries, unit cohesion, performance and morale did not suffer because of the presence of open gay service members.

Of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, two (United Kingdom and France) allow gays and lesbians to serve. Countries that do not allow gays to serve openly are China, and Russia; certainly these countries would not be our model for social policy. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that allows gays and lesbians to serve openly. Again, these countries have had no difficulty incorporating gays and lesbians into their military.

Outside of outright bigotry, there is no reason to continue the ban against gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military.

For those interested in an excellent study of this important issue, Dr. Nathaniel Frank has just authored an excellent book, “Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America.”

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