Don’t repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

CW Staff

President Barack Obama’s proposal to repeal the military’s current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which keeps open homosexuals from serving in the military, has been met with both resounding applause and firm opposition.

The left-wingers, as expected, have given our president a standing ovation, while the more conservative members of our government have been considerably less enthusiastic. Though the plan has gained substantial support, such as that of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, there are still those who follow the example of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in opposing the repeal. As McCain stated, the policy is “imperfect but effective.”

Though many would chalk the opposition up to homophobia or religion, there are practical reasons why now may not be the best time to allow open homosexuality in the military. Of course, homosexuals should not be discriminated against, but we must consider all sides of the argument, not just that of right versus wrong.

We must remember to keep in mind that many of the men and women in the military are conservative and probably do not support issues such as gay marriage. Allowing soldiers to be openly gay could significantly affect the overall morale of the group and therefore endanger the lives of all the soldiers. If a soldier is not willing to fight and die to protect the man next to him because of political or sexual orientation or because he is not trusted, how can our military be effective? Let’s face it: There are those out there who feel uncomfortable around, dislike and even fear homosexuality, and if permitting it openly is going to endanger the lives of those protecting our country—even indirectly—then we must take that into consideration before we act.

Perhaps “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a perfect policy, but until homosexuality is readily accepted or a better answer presents itself, it is the most proven and effective solution for the current situation.

Ashlie Bowman is a freshman majoring in journalism.