Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

     One major political component is the institution of government policies. Our government imposes these policies on the entire country. However, these policies often take great debate and discussion. Debates also occur about the disagreement over current policies that were instituted many years ago. One of these policies is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". It was implemented in 1993 by President Clinton at an attempt to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. What the policy did was discharge any openly gay service members of the armed forces, however it let gay men and women to secretly serve in the armed forces without revealing their sexuality. It also limited harassment and prosecution of this violation. Since its implementation over 13000 servicemen and women have been discharged directly as a result of this policy. Today, this policy is under much scrutiny and has been subjected to multiple debates.

     Today the debate is over whether gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the military. This can be done by repealing this policy. Many politicians are in favor of this, however many others with opposing view want to keep the policy and what comes along with it. Many reasons can be sited for wanting each. A reason for repealing the policy is that people want gay men and women to openly serve in the military and not be fearful of any consequences. Reasons for keeping the policies is that some military personnel may be uncomfortable with serving with a gay member, and this as a result will impact the service of the personnel. And since this policies has been intact for some time, some people are resilient to change. A recent study done by the Pentagon cites that nearly 50% of those servicemen and women surveyed said that they believe that they have already served with someone gay; 70% have said that they are comfortable serving with gay colleagues. However, 60% of Marine troops who are engaged in direct conflict say that they would feel uncomfortable serving with someone gay. This survey has provided fuel for both sides of the argument which continues. Currently, the policy is intact but forces are trying to both repeal it and maintain it. It really addresses the question what should we do with "don't ask, don't tell"?