The White House has backed a proposal to speed up the repeal process of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which allows gays to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexuality under wraps. The policy was enacted by President Clinton in 1993 as a compromise between Clinton’s desire to remove the ban on gays in the military and the military, who was afraid that openly gay soldiers would “threaten order,” reports the Washington Post.
But it seems that instead of moving up the date of repeal, the proposal is meant to expedite the Defense Department’s review of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the possible ramifications of its appeal. It would take quite some time for the review and repeal to happen, and current protocol wouldn’t change. Though this is a step in the right direction, it seems more like an opportunity for the proposal to get wrapped up in talk and red tape rather than a call to action. And Representative Mike Pence (R – Ind.) promised GOP opposition to the proposal.
It doesn’t seem like much will happen any time soon, which is a shame. Anyone who wants to serve and protect their country should have the right to do so, whether they be gay, straight, bi or asexual. A person’s sexual preference does not affect their ability to think, strategize and work alongside other soldiers.
Hopefully, the proposal will continue to prompt conversation in Congress, the military and among citizens about “don’t ask, don’t tell” and why it is unnecessary. A group of people should not be made to hide themselves because of others’ fear or lack of understanding. Rather than dray over the right of gays to serve, perhaps the military should focus on educating its members about tolerance. Everyone can stand to learn something – especially those with access to guns.