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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: A Useful Law, or a Hate Law?

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Before we can proceed to the political issue, the question we must first address is: Just what is “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”? Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or DADT for short, states that the men and women who enlist in the United States military must conceal their sexual identities, unless they are heterosexual. Those who are discovered openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual are kicked out of the military. The law more specifically states, the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." Basically stating that if you share your sexual orientation, be it anything but heterosexual, you put your comrades in danger. But why should it matter a person’s sexual preference if they want to defend their country like everyone else in the military? Even though the law claims they will not ask people to reveal their sexual orientation, somehow over 13,000 troops had been discharged under DADT.

The policy was introduced as a compromise in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who campaigned to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. Thankfully, even though it’s been a thirteen year wait for change, President Barack Obama said in his first State of the Union Address, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." And although he hasn’t addressed this problem yet, the repeal of the law looks promising.

Even celebrities are supporting the repeal of DADT. A Youtube video was launched by Lady Gaga on September 16th. The black and white video, over seven minutes long, advocated the end of this law. The famed pop star stated in her persuasive recording, “Not only is the law unconstitutional, but it’s not even being properly or fairly enforced by the government…Senators, when you are sending our men and women to war, our wives, husbands, sons and daughters into combat, will you honor their service…and pledge to them that no American’s life is more valuable than another?” She asks that we all call our senators and tell them our opinion on the law. She then spends approximately thee minutes on the phone on hold, trying to contact one of her senators to ask for DADT to be repealed. Her call is never received, but she assures her viewers she will not stop until her call is answered. If you would like to watch Lady Gaga’s video, her website is “http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/gaga”.

A national poll conducted in May 2005 by the Boston Globe showed 79% of participants have no issue with openly gay people from serving in the armed forces. In a military personnel poll, 73% of respondents said that they felt comfortable in the presence of gay and lesbian personnel. So then why do we allow this law to continue?
If you would like to make a difference and help this cause, call your senator at (202) 224-3121, and demand change.





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Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm
I'm guessing the law is allowed because of the 27% who don't feel comfortable in the presence of lesbians and gays. It might be a minority, but a minority in the army is still a large amount of people. 
 
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