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January 30, 2010

NYT editorial on ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In an editorial yesterday, the NYT urged Obama to move quickly to make good on his pledge of ending DADT:

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not just a technicality on the books. It is actively being used to drive gay men and lesbians out of the military — more than 13,000 since the law was adopted, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. That includes people with vital skills, like Arabic translators. The legal defense network, which helps people facing charges under “don’t ask don’t tell,” estimates that 644 people have been discharged under the law since Mr. Obama took office.

The policy of drumming gay men and lesbians out of the military is based on prejudice, not performance. Gay people serve openly and effectively in the armies of Britain, Israel, Australia and Canada.

The winner of last year’s secretary of defense essay contest was a piece by an Air Force colonel, published in Joint Force Quarterly, a military journal, that called “don’t ask, don’t tell” a “costly failure” and debunked the canard that unit cohesion would be harmed if gay service members were allowed to be open about their sexuality.

The law singles out a group of Americans for second-class treatment, forcing them to hide who they are and to live in fear of being found out and discharged. The policy hurts the military by depriving it of the service of a large number of loyal and talented Americans.

-SS

January 30, 2010 | Permalink

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