Lift ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy

Our View

Since the 17-year-old “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy took effect during Bill Clinton’s presidency, gays and lesbians have essentially had to lie about their identity. The United States’ top officials and Barack Obama want to lift the ban, and we couldn’t agree more.

Although many want this policy lifted as soon as possible, it looks like it will be a while before we see it happen. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen have asked for a full year to study how this will impact the military if Congress lifted the hindering and controversial policy. Repealing this ban is no small feat either; it will take a huge push in Congress, something many will not back up.

We as a country have seen many forward advances for gay rights. Five states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing gay couples to get married — a huge advancement since the military policy started. People have to come to be much more willing to accept gays serving in the military since 1994. Fifty-nine percent of Americans favor it compared with 52 percent 17 years ago.

We would like everyone to be allowed to serve freely in the military no matter what their sexual orientation is. The Uniteds States has striven to lead others in acceptance, and to lift this policy would be just as important as when blacks and whites could serve side by side in the military.

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