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May-27-2010 14:01printcomments

Time for Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

Repeal "don't ask, don't tell" now. It is the right thing to do.

Gay people in the miltiary

(SAN FRANCISCO) - It is about time for an immediate repeal of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy for homosexuals in the military. I only wish President Obama had fulfilled his campaign pledge by repealing the policy by executive order. And I don't understand why the current proposal for repeal will go into effect only after the $5 million Pentagon study is received on December 1. What if the study recommends against repeal?

What's to study anyway? Consider there are about 30 countries in the world, including nearly all of the NATO members, as well as South Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines that allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. And on May 16, 2010, representatives from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel, and the Netherlands met at the Brookings Institute to discuss how the militaries in those countries handled allowing gays and lesbians to serve in their militaries. The consensus was that, in spite of concerns before the change, when gays and lesbians were allowed to serve, it was a non-issue.

In 2000, Aaron Belkin, a political science professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Melissa Sheridan Embser-Herbert, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, and Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, co-authored an exhaustive 44-page study on Canada, which, after a series of lawsuits in 1991, changed its policies to allow gays to openly serve in the military.

Belkin's study, which at the time was regarded as the most comprehensive academic study of homosexuality in a foreign military ever completed, concluded that the change in policy had "not led to any change in military performance, unit cohesion, or discipline."

A recent poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military.

Then why a study? Probably because Congressional leaders and the White House are trying to appease homophobic Congresspersons who will ultimately oppose the repeal anyway.

Repeal "don't ask, don't tell" now. It is the right thing to do.

================================================== writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address

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Osotan; May 27, 2010 8:35 pm (Pacific time)

does this mean rush limbaugh will finally "be all he can be"? To serve his beloved homeland w/o fear of ..,detection? I bet he's on his way to the recruiter right now!

Anonymous May 27, 2010 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

"A recent poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military." Is there a source link for this poll?

Amos R. May 27, 2010 2:42 pm (Pacific time)

"A recent poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military." It would be interesting to know how the currently serving members of the armed services felt about this issue. My guess is that there'd be a LOT less support for it there, and since they are the ones who fight, that's what should matter, no? And if they don't care, then what Joe and Judy Six-Pack feel shouldn't matter at all, one way or the other....

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