The Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Don’t Hold Your Breath!

Posted on October 18, 2010 by

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Our country is striving for diversity and acceptance in all realms of society, but it seems that this election season has brought out many different social concerns that are on the minds of many Americans.

On October 12th, a US Federal judge ordered the US Military to stop the enforcement of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that prohibits service members from being asked of their sexual orientation, while it also prevents gay and lesbian members from serving openly.  It is a shame that the only employer in our country that does not protect its members from this type of discrimination is the same employer that’s purpose is to protect the freedom of our country.  In this day and age, we should be able to accept and fully protect all people from discrimination.

 

The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was sparked by an incident on October 27, 1992  aboard a US Naval ship where Petty Officer Schnider was brutally murdered by some of his shipmates.  He was attacked solely due to the fact that he was a gay man.  Instead of addressing  on the fact that a service member was targeted out of hate, the military focused much of their efforts on preventing such a heinous crime by eliminating potential victims.

Former President Bill Clinton signed the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ban into law in 1993.  While the actual ban states, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Harass, Don’t Pursue”, the main intent is to prevent the men and women of our armed forces from being able to live their lives freely while protecting our lives and our freedoms.

The United States military has discharged over 11,000 service members since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was finally enacted.  Many of those members had critical job skills including Arabic linguists.

 

Unfortunately after the Federal judge in California ordered the US Military to enforcement of the ban, President Obama and the Justice Department appealed the ruling, and is “asking” for more time to come up with a plan.

President Obama has made it clear that he does  intend on repealing the DADT ban on the military, but as of yet, he or his administration has done nothing.   He continues to make claims that he will repeal the ban, and that progress has been made, but gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women still may not serve openly in our military.  The fact that we are fighting in two wars in two countries makes it more of an important issue.  Why continue to put off something so instrumental in the freedom of our people.

He claims that he wants to wait until there is a plan that will last before any changes are made.  I want to know what kind of a “plan” would make a difference other than repealing the ban.  Does he plan to do it phases where only certain services members with certain jobs are allowed to come-out and serve openly.  I don’t understand why a plan is necessary in order to give people the right to live as themselves. I can’t believe that we would still subject those brave individuals who are hiding who they truly are and dying to protect a country that forces them to do so!

What is the true hold up in changing this policy? In a recent interview, Former VP Dick Cheney made an appearance stating that he believes that a change will happen, and he also believes that society has made progress where this would be a good thing.  Now, if Dick Cheney is aboard, why is it taking so long?

I think this is another issue where President Obama had a chance to make a significant change for the better of our country, and he faltered in fear of the repercussions by those who oppose. I think it’s time for him and his administration to finally make a clear stance and follow through with some type of action!

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