The Spectacle Blog

Why DADT Has to Go

By on 12.17.10 | 7:13PM

John Guardiano writes regarding "Don't Ask Don't Tell":

No one is compelled to "lie" about anything. What gay and lesbian servicemen are forced to do is to keep their sexuality to themselves. Big deal.

If you don't think it's a big deal to hide your sexuality, give it a try for a day or two. Don't mention your significant other, or any of your past relationships, to anyone. If you're single, see how long it is before someone asks you if you're seeing anyone or have any prospects, and try to answer the question without lying or giving away whether you're gay or straight. Then explain why it's reasonable to expect gay people to either do this or lose their jobs.

It isn't, of course, and that's why the days when it was acceptable in America to fire someone because you learned he was gay are thankfully in the past. There are areas where a military can function with a different set of values than the the society it protects, but we're past the point where this is one of them. DADT was always an unstable compromise between the ban on gays in the military and the acceptance of gays in civilian life, and it's time has passed, as most servicemen understand.

One way or another, DADT is gone, whether by act of Congress, presidential stop-loss order, or judicial fiat. The third scenario would be, as Admiral Mullen has said, "hazardous to military morale, readiness and battlefield performance." That's why the Senate must -- and, I predict, will -- vote for repeal.

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