House of Rep Moves Towards Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

by Krista Ciminera

The 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of handling gay and bisexual members of the military is waning, as the House of Representatives voted yesterday to permit the Defense Department to repeal its ban.  Although the decision won’t be final until December 1st, when a detailed report is due from the Pentagon on the effects of allowing opening gay service members into the military, it shows promise on the overall inclusion and acceptance of the LGBT community in America.

Homosexuality was first banned from the military in 1950, as the general intolerance and secrecy of homosexual service members posed a “threat” to the security of the nation, and homosexuals played a part in the McCarthy hearings of early 1950s alongside suspected communists.  The train of thought was that homosexual service members could be blackmailed or coerced into revealing classified information to foreign nations at the sake of keeping their sexuality a secret. 

While this isn’t the explicit concern of the current United States military, intolerance still impedes the process of service as suspected homosexual members are subject to harassment from fellow members, and discharge from service.  The measure that the United States government is taking to repeal this policy of secrecy is a step in the right direction towards getting to the cause of the matter- that the intolerance of LGBT members is to blame for any disruption of military service, not the members themselves.

Image via the Common Progressive

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