An official Defense Department journal has just published an article backing the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, and therefore to end discrimination against gays, which has led to the dismissal of about 12,500 service men and women who only wanted to serve their country, but were forced out because of their sexual orientation.
Many other countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Israel, and Australia have adopted a policy of non discrimination against gays, and it has not hurt unit morale or cohesion.
The fact that Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did not oppose the publication of this article is a good sign that attitudes are changing.
It is time for President Obama to follow through on his pledge to change public attitudes and policies toward gay men and women, and this is an important step that should be taken rapidly as we near the end of the first year of the administration.
Obama cannot be concerned about opposition from Republicans and some conservatives, as that is predictable. This is a question of fairness and the application of civil rights to another oppressed minority which has suffered for much too long under unreasonable, unjust restrictions that have actually hurt the long term role of the military in fighting enemies around the globe. This is a question of human rights that must not be delayed!