“Don’t ask, don’t tell” comforts only the homophobic

There’s nothing wrong with being gay in the military. As long as no one finds out about it.

From the beginning of his campaign, President Barack Obama said he wanted to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevents openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military. During his first year in office, Obama did not to try to overturn the policy, but he renewed his call to repeal it during his Jan. 27 State of the Union address.

It’s about time.

The fact that this policy was enacted makes me question the judgment of lawmakers in this country. It should never have been passed in the first place, so it follows that it should be repealed. Sexual orientation does not affect a person’s ability to serve his or her country, nor has it ever. Being gay does not affect a person’s ability to fire a weapon.

We know that there is no connection between sexual orientation and a person’s ability to fulfill obligations because there are homosexuals serving in our military now – we just don’t know exactly who they are.

I understand that challenges may arise as a result of allowing openly gay men and women to serve in our military. Many are concerned with where and how they would be housed, but those issues will not suddenly appear if those who are “in the closet” are allowed to share their sexual orientation. Those issues exist now, we’ve just shoved our heads in the sand.

If the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is repealed today, the real number of gay servicemen and women in our armed forces would be revealed. There wouldn’t be a sudden explosion of people “turning gay.”

It’s not only wrong to force people to hide their sexual orientation, it’s irrational.

Forcing people to hide their preferences does not change those preferences, and punishing a person for loving the wrong type of person does not make him or her stop loving the wrong type of person.

The fact of the matter is that the only thing that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy does is make those opposed to homosexuality more comfortable.

Thankfully, Obama has decided that these people don’t need comfort. They need people to protect their country. And the president doesn’t care if a man goes home to another man after he fights for the country he loves.

>Kayla Mezzell is a junior geography and news-editorial journalism major from Mesquite.