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Don't Ask Don't Tell Don't .... Ooops!

If you've been following the news on the war in Iraq you're probably aware of a few bits of information regarding the U.S. Military involvement - specifically as to military personnel:

Recruitment is Down. Down. Down.

Not surprising.

Is it a coincidence then that more and more military voices are speaking out against the failed "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and stating that gay and lesbian Americans can, and should be able to, serve openly in the U.S. Military?

Perhaps, or perhaps not.  Either way, the result is the same.  As more and more "brass" acknowledges that gay men lesbians can, and have, served ably in the U.S. Military it will be harder and harder for those who wish to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation to continue to successfully claim that the military cannot afford to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.

Joining the voices Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, one of the highest ranking military officials to ever call for an end to the military’s gay ban and the first and only woman to ever receive this rank in the United States Military, called for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on NPR’s All Things Considered, Wednesday, March 2.

Additional voices included other high ranking military veterans who converged on Washington that same tay to show their support of “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act” introduced in Congress March 2, and call for an end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 2nd by Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Announcement of the bill followed release of a new Government Accounting Office (GAO) report analyzing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  The GAO report conservatively estimated the gay ban has cost at least $191 million since its inception in 1993.  The report’s financial estimate, however, includes only costs associated with recruiting and training enlistees to replace those discharged under the ban.  The GAO analysis does not include costs associated with discharging officers or the nearly 800 specialists with critical skills who have been fired because of their sexual orientation.

So much money has been wasted, so many lives ruined, careers derailed, because of the ill-advised "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and its predecessors.

If nothing else good comes of it, perhaps our action in Iraq will provide the impetus for finally removing the restriction completely and allow all those who wish to serve their country to be able to do so openly.

In Pride,
Deborah

 

 


 

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright © 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson