promoted by Rosi
The relentless and unprecedented obstructionism of the Senate minority claimed a new victim Tuesday, as 43 Senators denied a historic opportunity to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Tuesday’s vote to obstruct debate of the National Defense Authorization Act – which also has the effect of blocking such priorities as preventing military suicides and increasing military pay – continues to delay the inevitable day when this policy ends and gay men and women will be able to serve openly in our armed forces. It would be best for our nation that we end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell sooner, not later.
Overturning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is not simply about providing equal rights. It’s about preventing the hemorrhage of critical military talent from an already-overstretched American military engaged in two wars. When I travel to meet American servicemen and women in the war theater, no one discusses their personal lives. Nobody should because it doesn’t matter. What matters is what they are doing to complete their missions and that they come home safely.
The real question is why are we depriving our armed forces of some of their most important resources? Why are we discharging skilled Arabic linguists, fighter pilots, and weapons officers? Why have we discharged more than 13,000 service members since 1994?
Is it because it would damage morale, as some continue to argue? In fact, gays have served in our military since the American Revolution. The supposed ‘damaged morale’ didn’t lead to our losing to the Redcoats or surrendering to the Germans in two World Wars. Allowing gay Americans to serve openly won’t weaken morale in our armed forces.
There is no good reason for this policy to continue, as leaders like Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen have made clear.
Just as President Truman was right to desegregate the Armed Forces more than half a century ago, it is time we ensure that LGBT soldiers finally can serve openly.
The obstruction must end.