Operating in denial is never a great way to resolve a problem. Asking those who choose to put their lives at risk for serving their country to go one step further by asking them to also lie about who they are is simply wrong.
It was a bad idea when it was implemented as a political compromise. It is still bad policy. Our President has had the courage to call it out as such.
There is one plus to come out of this discriminatory policy--service members themselves and the general public have changed their opinions about allowing gay, lesbian, transgendered community serving. They now welcome service by a large majority. A recent CBS news poll shows that 59% of Americans now favor allowing the LGBT community to serve, up from 42% in 1992.
Gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly in the militaries of 25 countries around the world. They have discovered this group can take orders, serve capably and are willing to die for their countries, just like the other soldiers who serve.
I suspect many American soldiers befriended some of the 13,000 plus soldiers who have been kicked out of the military strictly due to their sexual orientation. These soldiers would not be in favor of allowing the gay community to serve if they were not impressed by the abilities of these soldiers to serve their country responsibly.
Let's end this policy of dishonesty. Let's start a new policy of honesty in the military. We need more transparency in this country and the world for that matter. We need to better understand our differences in this country. We can start by 'Asking' and learning about those who are different from us. After all, we are all different from each other in some manner.
And for those who are different, don't be afraid to start, 'Telling' even if you are not asked. 'Asking and Telling' will build a better understanding of all sorts of differences between groups of people within the military and within this country, for that matter. The younger generation already get this! The rest of us are way behind the curve!
Let's find ways the country can work better by working together as opposed to finding ways to keep us apart.