Earlier today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stood before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said that the long-standing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy needed to be scrapped. This obvious decision has been staring the country in the face for many years.
Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, instituted in 1993, was President's Clinton rather cowardly way out of the dilemma of gays serving openly in the United States military. Essentially, it required that homosexuals not disclose their sexual orientation, and that military officials not inquire into it. There was nothing whatsoever laudable about this policy. It still meant that homosexuals could be dismissed for the service for nothing other than being the kind of person they were born to be. Such a disgraceful and undemocratic policy has no place in a Jeffersonian republic.
Admiral Mullen himself said it best when he stated, "No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
Being a homosexual in no way inhibits an individual's ability to serve in the armed forces. All the arguments used by opponents of gays serving in the military are essentially identical to those used by opponents of blacks serving in desegregated units with whites before President Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Believing, as we do, that all men are created equal, we cannot in good conscience maintain such a policy as Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell. It is a stain upon our national honor.
All citizens of the United States are entitled to equal treatment before the law. For this most basic reason, the discriminatory policy of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell must go.