Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repealed

Written by Maddie Doherty, Reporter

Tuesday, September 20th, marked a historic day for America’s armed forces, due to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Now, patriotic citizens of any sexual orientation are allowed to enlist and serve their country for the first time in our military’s history.

Congress voted to repeal DADT nine months ago. Until its repeal, DADT (passed in 1993) permitted homosexual individuals to serve in the military only if they kept their sexual orientation secret. This Clinton-era law both prohibited gays to acknowledge their sexuality and did not allow military commanders to ask.

The repeal of DADT is long overdue. Americans now have equal opportunities to serve their country, regardless of their ethnicity, creed, or sexual orientation. It is only fair that those wanting to serve and protect America can, without fearing the end of their career due to their sexual orientation.

Knowing how important this change is, President Obama said, “As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.”

Although some members of Congress still oppose the change, top Pentagon leaders have certified that it will not undermine the military’s ability to recruit or to fight wars. Already existing standards of personal conduct, including those pertaining to public displays of affection, will continue to be observed, regardless of sexual orientation.

Even after years of debate, not everyone supports the new change. Some feel that personal and work life should be kept seperate. Others may feel uncomfortable living and showering with openly gay military individuals.

Individuals already forced out of the military due to their sexual orientation will now be able to reenlist; however there is no guarantee of getting their orginal position back. Also left unresolved are the benefits of same sex partners. Partners will not receive benefits because the military will not recognize partnerships; the federal Defense of Marriage Act remains the nation’s law. Partners are not be allowed to live on base while the service member is deployed, nor will they have access to family support groups.