Bigoted 'Don't Ask' Has No Support, Must Go Now

Policy does more harm than good
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 6:17 PM CDT
Retired Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 23, 2008, before the House Armed Services subcommittee on Military Personnel.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – On the occasion of the first “don’t ask, don’t tell” congressional hearing in 15 years, John Cloud revisits the policy that bars gays from serving openly in the military in Time and deems it “a tissue of barely disguised bigotry.” He contends that the policy is out of touch—polls show most in the military don't care if fellow soldiers are gay—does more harm than good, and hasn't greatly changed the number of gays discharged per year.

Cloud rejects the conservative argument that straights would balk at enlisting if the policy fell: polls show we’d have 4,000 fewer straight soldiers per year—the same number of gay ones we’d gain. "It forces a question we have postponed for 15 years: Do we want a military where Americans are not forced to lie about their most important emotional bonds?"