KRISTEN EHRLICH UNIT 2 PROJECT DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL POLICY This paper is going to focus on discrimination towards homosexuals joining the military. There have been many major social changes in U. S. military history as well as hurdles it has overcome. Discrimination due to sexual orientation has been and continues to be a major issue within the criminal justice system as well as within the United States as a whole.
On July 19, 1993 then President Bill Clinton compromised and issued the “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t pursue” policy, also known as DADT. The Don’t ask, Don’t Tell policy is a law mandating the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members (About “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, 2010). After the policy was issued the “Don’t Purse” part was eventually dropped off because it appeared to prevent efforts to enforce the regulations and laws of the policy (Burelli, 1996).
Under this policy recruiters are not permitted to ask prospective enlistees about their sexual orientation, and commanders are forbidden to pursue investigation of homosexual conduct in the absence of compelling evidence and individuals are required to keep their homosexuality to themselves or consequences will be enforced and he or she will be discharged if in the service or will be denied enlistment if seeking to join the service. The main objectives for this policy are to protect the privacy of gay and lesbian soldiers as well as preserving military readiness.
It has actually done the opposite by prohibiting the homosexual individuals from pursuing relationships or sexual acts no matter how discreet they are, public or private affection is not allowed. According to an article that I was reading, “homosexuality presents an unacceptable risk to morale, cohesion and discipline (Burelli, 1996). ” A service member may also be separated or discharged if he or she states or implies in any way that he or she is homosexual or bisexual.
Making any type of statement that refers to engaging or the intent to engage in a homosexual act puts the individual in a position that could result in the involuntary separation from the armed forces. However, the member does have the opportunity to rebut the statement when by proving that the statement that was made was false and that he or she does not intend on acting or has not acted in such a way (Burelli, 1996). The numbers of homosexual troops have increased 67% since the policy has come into affect (Hughes, 2000).
More and more soldiers are being discharged; they are becoming more open about their sexual preferences by challenging the policy. Troops have also falsely declared themselves homosexual purposely so they can be forced out. This policy essentially hurt the military in the long run. Because of a person’s sexual preference he or she is being forced out of the military which results in the Armed Forces having a decrease in soldiers; the military should be recruiting soldiers not forcing them out.
The armed forces have already faced recruitment shortages and by them enforcing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy they are discharging homosexual service members in large numbers, they are losing men and women who are ready to serve our nation (Hughes, 2000). If a person, male or female, meets all requirements to serve their country, that individual should have the right to do that. Sexual preference is exactly that; everyone is different, everyone has their own preferences and that is what makes everyone unique and different.
Who or what a person likes should not be a factor in being able to fight for their country. There should be guidelines and rules as to what the limitations are for open homosexuals; for example, public display of affection (PDA) should not be allowed as it is not allowed for heterosexuals either. Personal relationships and personal likes and dislikes should not be publicized. My opinion of homosexuals in the military differs from the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” in the way that incoming soldiers and troops will not be punished for being open about who they are.
On Thursday May 27, 2010, The House voted to let the Defense Department finally repeal the ban on the gay and bisexual people from openly serving in the Military. This repeal would permit gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the Military for the first time. House speaker Nancy Pelosi urged colleagues to vote for the repeal of the discriminatory policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and make America more American (Herszenhorn & Hulse, 2010). President Barack Obama feels the same.
In his immediate presidential release, also on May 27, 2010, President Obama said, “Our military is made up of the best and bravest men and women in our nation, and my greatest honor is leading them as commander-in-chief. This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity (Secretary, 2010)”. I could not agree more. I think if anyone is willing to put their lives on the line to protect ours they should be respected and should not be judged, stereotyped or discriminated against.
Whether the service member is black, white, Hispanic, gay, lesbian, or transgender they should receive the same amount of respect. References About “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. (2010). Retrieved July 19, 2010, from Service Members Legal Defense Network: http://www. sldn. org/pages/about-dadt Burelli, D. F. (1996, 12 12). 96029: Homosexuals and U. S. Military Policy: Current Issues. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from CRS ISSUE BRIEF: http://www. fas. org/man/crs/96-029. htm Herszenhorn, D. M. , & Hulse, C. (2010, May 27). House Votes to Allow “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal.
Retrieved July 20, 2010, from The New York Times : Politics: http://www. nytimes. com/2010/05/28/us/politics/28tell. html Hughes, B. (2000, April 26). Should Homosexuals Serve Openly in the Military? Retrieved July 19, 2010, from SpeakOut. com: http://www. speakout. com/activism/issue_briefs/1222b-1. html Secretary, O. o. (2010, May 27). Statement by the President on Votes to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Retrieved July 20, 2010, from The White House: http://www. whitehouse. gov/the-press-office/statement-president-votes-repeal-don-t-ask-don-t-tell