Ask and TellDemocratic Congressman Marty Meehan, of Massachusetts, says he's planning on introducing a bill to repeal the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy in the near future. That's great news, and it'll be interesting to see how the new Democratic Congress will respond to the legislation. Recent polls have shown that most of the military is ok working hand in hand with gay soldiers, so the Congressman at least appears to have some support where it counts.
You can probably guess that I'm against "Don't Ask Don't Tell." It was a way for President Clinton to lift the ban on gay military members (before the policy, the military would ask recruits if they were gay, but now they can't). Unfortunately, President Clinton didn't take the policy far enough and ended up with a botched mess that allows gays to serve as long as they don't tell anyone they are gay. Honestly, does it get any more ridiculous than that? Gays can serve as long as they don't let anyone know in anyway that they might be gay. Oh, and if they get caught, they either get kicked out or they can lie and say it was a "one time" deal and try to get some mercy from the military tribunal. Do we really want to encourage our soldiers to lie?
It's also interesting to note that the full title of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is "Don't Ask Don't Tell, Don't Pursue Don't harass." From what I hear, there's a whole lot of pursuing and harassing going on, but that's obviously not the part of the program anti-gay folk are concerned with.
The point is that nearly every other military in the developed world allows gays to serve openly and honestly, and they haven't seen any negative consequences. The typical "I don't want to shower with a gay guy" excuses quickly lose weight when you realize that most of the dismissed gay military members were not in combat positions and that when we actually go to war (the time when troops have to live in the closest quarters) the gay dismissals actually start to plummet.
Maybe I'm wrong, though, and there's something I'm missing. What do you think, should we repeal the policy? Keep it the same? Ban all gays from service like we used to?