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Dadt Dont Ask, Dont Tell:

Furthermore, forcing gay men and women to lie about their sexual orientation essentially forces them to engage in dishonest behavior, which is conduct far more unbecoming to an officer than being openly gay, critics allege.

Even the Pentagons own “exhaustive nine-month study” concluded that repeal would only bring about “some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, which could be mitigated by effective leadership” (Bumiller 2010). The theme of leadership is a critical one. The U.S. military and Congress must lead the nation in dispelling prejudice against gays and lesbians. By hanging back, despite the fact that the majority of servicemen and the public desire repeal, the military communicates to gay men and women that their service is not as valued as the sacrifice of straight people. It also validates prejudice and seems hypocritical: the policy suggests that being gay is something shameful, and should be kept in secret, even while the military claims to be defending freedom and choice abroad.

America is currently fighting two wars, as well as attempting to curtail the possibility of conflict in many areas of the world. To do so effectively requires the effort of every man or woman who is willing to serve. America currently has an all-volunteer fighting force and cannot afford to turn away men like Jonathan Hopkins, who have so much to give in the service of their country. Much is asked of soldiers, and acting without prejudice towards their fellow men and women in uniform who happen to be gay must become one of the expectations of the type of good and respectful conduct demanded of soldiers.

While there may be some logistical issues to determine, such as defining the rights and benefits of the long-term partners of gay men and women in the service, the question of problematic relationships between soldiers could just as easily be applied to men and women. According to Hopkins, during his time in the military when he was closeted, he was terrified to date and spent his life in a constant state of stress of being found out. These types of conditions are not conducive to good service, and only encourage fear, prejudice and abuse of the good men and women who are serving the nation and simply happen to be gay.

References

Bumiller, Elizabeth. (2010, December 1). Pentagon finds little risk in dont ask, dont tell repeal. The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/us/politics/01military.html?ref=dont_ask_dont_tell

Dont ask, dont tell. (2010, December10). The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2010

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/d/dont_ask_dont_tell/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

Mulrine, a. (2010, December 3). Dont ask, dont tell: Can military handle a repeal of gay ban?

The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 13, 2010 at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2010/1203/Don-t-ask-don-t-tell-Can-military-handle-a-repeal-of-gay-ban

Shear, Michael (2010 December). Senators to offer new repeal of dont ask following senate defeat. The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2010 at http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/senate-vote-under-way-on-dont-ask-dont-tell/.

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