Gays in the military: Who cares? Lots of Americans, it seems.
In his state of the union address, Obama reiterated his pledge to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. This policy, established by Clinton in the early 1990s, forbids openly homosexual persons from serving in the armed forces. They face discharge if they are open about their sexual orientation.
The process of unwinding DADT is underway, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. Quoted by Reuters, he said: “The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out accordingly.”
Lots of Americans care. Only 59% favor gays serving openly in the military, according to a Pew survey last year. This has not changed much since DADT was established. Then, 52% of Americans were in favor. This increased slightly to 58% in 2005 and has hovered around this number since.
Do you care?
This week we’ll delve into the issue of gays in the military. Who supports this, who doesn’t, and—most important: Why is this an issue of national concern?
Have you served in the military? Are you currently serving? We especially need to hear from you this week.
Do you support or oppose repeal of DADT?