A growing controversial topic in today’s news and something that has been a hot item in my workplace is the debate on the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy concerning homosexuals in the military. It is a policy set in place which requires Soldiers, sailors Airmen and Marines who are homosexual to not get married, make comments, perform acts of a homosexual manner or they face being released from the armed services. Many people have fought for and against this policy and it is currently in scrutiny and faces a repeal. If repealed, it would mean that homosexual service members could openly admit their sexual orientation and not face a discharge.
The review of the policy has brought many heated debates and arguments. Personally, I understand both sides. I can see why it is a Draconian rule and should be abolished in today’s world, and I also understand some people having a problem with accepting the new ways and having to admit that things are changing in the world. But, personally, I support the repeal. I know some great Soldiers who are homosexual that must hide the fact that they are. It seems unfair to me that they must live a double life. However, before the lift of the rule, I believe that there are a few issues that must be addressed.
If homosexuals are allowed to serve openly, does that also mean that the army will recognize gay marriage? If so, are they going to offer the same benefits to same sex couples that they do others? Will they provide housing to homosexual couples, commissary benefits, health insurance? I think that they would have to. For couples who are in the military today and cannot have children, the Army does provide a program for artificial fertilization – will this be extended for lesbian couples? I believe before we open the flood gates, there are many issues that must be addressed.
For single soldiers, will the barracks be co-ed, meaning gay and straight, or ill there be separate barracks – and if separate barracks are made, won’t that breed intolerance and separation between gay Soldiers and straight ones? Will there be separate “gay” units, like different brigades, companies, batteries? If two gay Soldiers decide to become a couple and they are in the same unit, are they separated? If someone straight is convicted of a crime against someone gay is it automatically considered a “hate crime”?
I believe that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is due and is a crucial step in the advancement of the U.S. military. However, before the repeal, I believe that there are many issues which MUST be addressed before it is gone. Because if not, past experience tells me that it will create many hardships for homosexual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that will then require attention taken away from their units mission so that it can be addressed. And if that happens, that service member’s entire unit was just taken out of the fight and did not accomplish its wartime mission.