Wednesday, February 24, 2010
CT Post Editorial on Senator Lieberman and Repeal of DADT
Credit Lieberman on repeal effort
Published: 04:19 p.m., Tuesday, February 23, 2010
A ban on openly gay people serving in the armed forces is not only unfairly discriminatory -- it's bad for national security. It's long past time for it to end.
Records show nearly 13,000 people have been discharged under "don't ask, don't tell," the makeshift policy of the past 17 years that allows people to serve providing they keep their homosexuality a secret. The percentage of those 13,000 who might have made meaningful contributions to our national defense is impossible to know, but it's surely higher than zero.
That means security suffers for the sake of discrimination.
To his credit, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is pushing for a repeal that would allow people to serve without secrets or fear of reprisals. It's the right choice for our nation's future, and fellow senators should follow his lead.
Lieberman is not just any senator in this case -- with his strong pro-military reputation, his support could spur other moderates to join him. Lieberman taking the lead is an excellent indicator that a new policy may be in the offing.
Opponents of change say a new policy could have a negative impact on morale. Such concerns are not without merit, but similar worries were raised when the armed forces were racially integrated, and as the role of women in national defense increased over the years. Our military is strong, and can handle this change.
It's a time of great stress for our all-volunteer armed forces, with wars in distant nations taking a heavy toll. To unfairly limit the pool of willing and able citizens ready to fight for their nation is foolish and counterproductive.
Lieberman is taking a courageous stance, and deserves support. His colleagues are encouraged to follow his lead.