When it’s not ok to be gay, what do you do?
The American military has used the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell laws as a way to keep openly gay men and women from serving in their military.
It is now the 21st century, where, in North America, it is generally accepted that someone can practise whatever sexual orientation they so choose (though they’re not always allowed to marry, but that’s another story). That idea is not practised in the military. If someone is homosexual and is open about their orientation, they can, by all rights, be kicked out of the American military. These men and women are not allowed to protect their country – protect the freedoms offered in their country – because of something they can’t control.
This law, which has been around since 1993, is finally being brought before the senate to be reviewed. It is attached to a bill about surplus spending for the military, and it could mean that openly gay men and women could serve in the military.
If someone wants to serve in the military, they should have the right to serve, regardless of their orientation. We do not ask heterosexual men and women to behave chastely, so why should we ask homosexuals. As long as they are not hitting on their coworkers and creating an uncomfortable work environment, these men and women should be allowed to serve the country they love.
In Canada, the policy is tolerance of all cultures and orientations. I have worked with the military, and I have worked with men and women in the Canadian military who are openly gay. It did not change how the people around them treated them, and people accepted them for who they were, not who they went home to at night.
It disgusts me that a country that touts such freedoms is so closed minded about homosexuality. They need to take a page from Canada’s book on this one. Give men and women the right to serve if they are able, no matter what.