DADT Repeal Essential For National Cohesion
The House of Representatives approved a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal yesterday, and now the Senate will again vote on the seemingly endless debate.
Obstructionist Senators must lay down the arms and green light repeal. It’s not just about ending discrimination. It’s about keeping this nation together.
There are few things Americans can agree on in this age of increased political partisanship and acrimony. Yet, by some political miracle, the majority, 77%, of our countrymen and women concede that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which prohibits gay and lesbian soldiers from serving openly, must be overturned. Seventy-percent of soldiers, meanwhile, think a repeal would either have a positive impact or not impact at all on unit cohesion.
Despite this overwhelming amount of popular support for a repeal, a number of Republicans, like Sen. John McCain, continue to obstruct DADT’s overdue demise, and most often claim that openly gay soldiers will erode military cohesion and readiness.
In fact, a hefty 92% of servicemen told the Pentagon they have fought alongside a gay or lesbian colleague and it made no difference or actually aided their ability to work as a team.
Regardless of what holdouts like John McCain want you to believe, repeal won’t hurt the military’s cohesiveness. Failure to repeal, however, could prove disastrous for national morale.
Recent gay and civil rights battles have largely been relegated to the state arena, with various battles over marriage, adoption and job discrimination being fought across the nation. It’s been years since Lawrence v. Texas’ reversal of anti-gay sodomy laws in 2003, that the nation could collectively celebrate the obliteration of a discriminatory blight.
The addition of LGBT people in hate crimes legislation this year was monumental, of course, but that was simply the inclusion of a previously neglected population.
Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would be ending institutionalized discrimination, eradicating a law specifically meant to oppress gay and lesbian Americans. Repeal would mark a milestone in our nation’s ongoing march toward equality.
As we head into what will no doubt be an incredibly divisive new Congress, the Senate should put national morale ahead of petty politics and allow our nation to celebrate a development the majority actually support. Who knows, perhaps a collective celebration will help ease some of the animosity growing between political camps.