I was reading an article this week about the Senate’s failure to pass a measure which would help dissolve the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay members of the U.S. military. It feels as though this topic is just the tip of the iceberg that is the struggle for equal rights for gays and lesbians.
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” regulation has been in effect since 1993. It is a policy enforced by federal law under the implication that the presence of an openly gay person “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”
The law has undergone multiple attempts for repeal, especially since the start of the Obama administration. These attempts were underlined this fall when a federal district court judge declared the law unconstitutional.
Even the majority of military personnel, whom a change of this nature would most directly affect, said they wouldn’t mind serving alongside openly gay comrades.
It appears as though this highly-debated topic has reached a head. The fact that a dramatic change is being promoted so high in the governmental hierarchy indicates its importance. This is further compounded by current events.
The Colorado Supreme Court just swore in its first Latina, openly-gay justice. The battle for legal gay marriage is currently being fought in California after U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker held that the current law which banned such a union, Proposition 8, was unconstitutional. The United States has recently proposed a resolution to the United Nations supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Also, the battle for equality is being fought on a worldwide front from India to Africa.
The world is saying that it’s time to take a stand. People are beginning to recognize the fundamental, undisputable truth which has existed all along: Just because a person may love another of the same sex does not make him or her beneath notice, respect, or the basic human rights.