Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Is Officially Over

In 1993, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was put into effect in order to avoid the abuse of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals in the military. They would be protected, but there was a catch... they weren't allowed to admit that they fell under the LGBT category. That was where the name came from, simple as that. If you were in the closet, you were permitted to join. If you were open about your differences, you were not. While the motion seemed to be of good nature, it did not exercise equal opportunity for all American citizens. Seventeen years later, in 2010, the notion was exercised, being sponsored by Joseph Lieberman, an Independent senator from Connecticut and sponsored against by John McCain, Arizona's Republican Senator and 2008 Republican nominee for President Of The United States. It passed in the House with a 250-175 vote and in the Senate with a 65-31 vote.

Nine months after this vote, the repeal is finally being brought into effect, and gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals can serve openly in the military. This is a landmark event for those who are open about their sexual preference, as it advances them one more step toward equality. They have a long way to go with marriage, adoption, and discrimination (which may take awhile), but this is at least one step forward. People who are LGBT should be treated like everyone else and the military should be based on how well someone is able to perform in the military, not whether or not they can perform their part in a relationship. Most people who enter the military have their priorities straight and are there to defend their country just like any other American. It's not always about being straight when it comes to entry into the military, it's just about being able to shoot straight and doing your part. If you're fighting for equality, then that's what you deserve.

It will take awhile for the military to get used to this new notion. Whether it be those who are leading the military or those who will be fighting with these people. There will always be someone who is homophobic or someone who disagrees with this notion, and that can cause some trouble. The biggest part about getting used to the repeal of "DADT" is when it comes to those who are actually fighting. Chances are that there will not be a ton of misconduct, and while there will likely be some, it will be taken care of. It's all going to come down to how well the new direction of allowing the LGBT community to serve openly in the military goes, but I feel that it will go well. Those who want to go into the military are generally serious about the tasks that lie ahead and that's going to be what resolves the issue. It wasn't long ago that blacks and females began serving in the military, and they are doing an excellent job fighting for our country.

We are about to see a new direction in military history. A new direction that will change the military forever, and likely for the good. It's the right thing to exercise the equality that our founding fathers believed we should have as they created the foundation for America. It's too soon to say what will happen under the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but it is definitely an accomplishment for the LGBT community of America, and let's hope that they are able to make more steps toward equality and acceptance in what is deemed a free society.

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