As a compromise between the Clinton Administration and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy became a part of the United States military. The law aimed to compromise between complete exclusion of homosexuals in the military and complete and open inclusion. The law implies that homosexuals are allowed to fight, but any openness about their sexuality will not be tolerated.
Some support the ethical reasoning behind the law while others question its necessity and moral undertones. About 75 percent of Americans disapprove of the law, and Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Canada, and Switzerland all allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. Recent statements by Colin Powell and others suggest politicians and the military are open to a new policy Here’s what Juniata College students and staff had to say about the matter.
Do you approve or disapprove of our military’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and why?
“It forces homosexual people to live a lie, it says it’s not OK to be homosexual, it’s only OK if you are dishonest about it, and that ‘s not a healthy policy with regard to anything.”
-Robert Miller, professor of religious studies
“I’m not in favor of a policy that communicates that homosexuality is in some way a deviant lifestyle. By forcing people not to disclose their sexuality, they’re asking people to deny an essential part of human nature. This may compromise their ability to perform to their fullest potential in the military.”
-Kathleen Biddle, assistant professor of education
“Sexual orientation is something very personal, but the policy is the best that they can do in that situation, but I still don’t think it’s good enough. It doesn’t lay the ground work for an honest relationship between the individual and the military.”
-Michael Byron, professor of education
“It’s absolutely stupid. It causes people to question their fellow soldiers by not having it out in the open. It also decreases our manpower by kicking out people who are willing to fight, and it’s an easy out for those who don’t want to fight in the military.”
-Seth Fox, ’11, Overland Park, Kan.
“I’m all right with it. Being raised in a military-style family, I’m accustomed to it, so I’m pretty much used to it in my house.”
-Daniel Follett, ’11 Cranberry Township, Pa.
-Ellen Santa Maria ’12, Juniata Online Journalist