Staff Editorial: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ruled unconstitutional

Last Thursday, U.S District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gay members of the military is unconstitutional.

The policy was signed into law as a compromise measure in 1993. The rule allows gay men and lesbians to serve as long as they don’t reveal their orientation or engage in homosexual acts.

The decision by Phillips has reversed the focal point of the issue to Congress, where the House has passed its own version of a repeal measure scheduled to     go before the Senate next week.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 14,000 service members have been driven out of the military under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

This cruel policy is just as wrong today as it has been since its origin. These are patriotic citizens who have volunteered to serve our country. Shouldn’t we be thanking them?

Who has the right to tell someone he is unqualified for honorable service due to his or her sexual orientation? The military should be more focused on ensuring discipline, defense of the Constitution and unit cohesion.

There is no evidence that says gay soldiers perform poorly and undermine military discipline. Other countries have removed bans on homosexuals serving openly with no unfavorable effects on military performance.

Additionally, the military is wasting a lot of money just to make sure that gay soldiers are discharged. In a report by the Government Accountability Office, $190 million has been spent on recruiting and training replacements for gay service members who were discharged in the past 10 years.

This has gone on for too long and needs to end. Even pop singer Lady Gaga, a gay rights activist, made a statement at the VMAs when she showed up with servicemen and women who have been let go from the military because of this. Take Gaga’s task at hand and tell our senators to repeal this policy.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.