Senator John McCain is wrong to oppose the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the United States Military.
The policy is on the verge of being overturned by the courts. In a blog post previously, “The Military has done well with gays and lesbians”, the history of the issue was explored. It was a policy that came out of a legislative fight 17 years ago. The policy said that if the recruit doesn’t speak of his or her sexual orientation, the military won’t ask. But, someone who spoke up and was kicked out, took the issue to court. The courts agreed that the policy violated his rights and over turned it. The only reason it hasn’t been tossed aside right now is because the Supreme Court has allowed time for the legislative process to make a change.
The military doesn’t think that it is a problem they can’t handle. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a report issued by the military on the repel of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. It reported that more than two thirds of the service members who answered surveys did not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
Senator McCain was not convinced. He said, “I remain concerned, as I have in the past, and as demonstrated in this study, that the closer we get to service members in combat, the more we encounter concerns about whether ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ should be repealed.” He has expressed in the past that he is concerned that the military forces will not be able to focus on the mission because the person next to them is gay.
Adm. Mullen said in response, “I’ve been serving with gays and lesbians my whole career,” he said. “I went to war with them aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam. I knew they were there. They knew I knew it. We never missed a mission, never failed to deliver ordnance on target.”
The military over the last 17 years has done just fine. In all that time, and longer as evidence by Adm. Mullen’s remarks, the military has done what it has been asked to do and it can’t be document that there would be any harm from the repel of the policy.
Mr. McCain, you are outdated on this issue.