The Ethics of don't ask, don't tell
Regardless of your position on gay marriage, I believe we all should be appalled at the continuation of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy because it sanctions lying and deceitful conduct while discriminating against those who march to the beat of a different drummer with respect to their sexual orientation. How can we justify having such a policy? There is no legal military rationale for such a law. I know the arguments about openly gay soldiers affecing unit cohesion. However, a Pentagon study found two-thirds of troops thought repealing the gay ban would have little effect on their unit's ability to fight. A large percentage of troops say they have already served with gays and lesbians who were effective members of their units. An overwhelming 92 percent of troops who have worked with a gay or lesbian coworker say there was no negative effect on their unit. The message here is that when our troops have actually worked with someone they believe is gay or lesbian, they learn that those troops can get the job done.
Repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policy would bring our military in line with some of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Canada. A Department of Defense review found that resistance to openly gay and lesbian service members among troops in those two countries was much higher at the time they changed their policies than it is in our military today. But they changed their policies and the actual implementation of change in those countries went much more smoothly than expected, with little or no disruption. Moreover, 24 foreign militaries – including Israel, Great Britain and Canada – have lifted their gay bans with no difficulties. American soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have served alongside foreign troops from countries without gay bans, almost certainly including some openly gay foreign troops.
Our fighting soldiers are the best and the bravest in the world. Let's give them some credit for being among the most compassionate as well and end the policy of don't ask, don't tell" so that no American willing to fight for his/her country and our freedom will ever again be considered a second class citizen.