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Four Decades Along the Rainbow Road

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't Ask, Just Repeal

Letter Published in the
July 14, 2009 Edition of the Baltimore Sun

I applaud the Sun's editorial (July 12) urging Maryland's Congressional delegation to make a more concerted effort to repeal the utterly foolish "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which denies openly gay men and lesbians the right to serve in our Armed Forces.

The nonsense offered by the proponents of the status quo that openly gay soldiers in the ranks would have a negative effect on troop morale and unit cohesion is just that--nonsense. Two dozen nations, including Canada, Great Britain, Israel and Australia, allow openly gay and lesbian service members without suffering from a decline in morale. What does that say about the confidence Congress has in our own troops? Other Western civilized countries can handle this assimilation but the U.S.--the land of liberty, freedom and equality--cannot?

Not only have 13,000 qualified, skilled service members been discharged since this discriminatory law was put in place, but a significant number of Arabic and other linguists were let go, which impeded our fight against terrorism and, therefore, compromised our national security.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has allowed the enlistment of thieves, drug dealers and those of sub-standard intelligence to fill the ranks needed to achieve enlistment quotas. How is that going to keep morale high?

Yes, our state delegation as well as others in Congress need to repeal this law as soon as possible. Our nation is ready for it. And our nation needs it.

Steve Charing
Clarksville, MD

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