It is now in the hands of the Senate. The House of Representatives’ vote on Wednesday to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an all-too-rare example of Congress attempting to reconcile policy and law with common sense.
While virtually all other significant military powers in the world have long ago lifted their bans on gays serving openly in the military — with no adverse effects — the U.S. has stubbornly clung to a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that accomplishes nothing other than forcing thousands of brave service members to live lies.
For months, the administration and Congress dragged their feet on a repeal of DADT. Even a recent study, to no one’s surprise, said a repeal of the policy would not harm military effectiveness or morale.
Just this week, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 77% of Americans favor repeal, including majorities of every political persuasion and demographic.
Likewise, as has been widely documented, more than twenty of our NATO allies — including those with whom our troops serve alongside in Iraq and Afghanistan — allow gay men and women to serve openly, and the sky has not fallen.
It is time for this policy to end.
I am not a fan of Congress dealing with major issues in a lame-duck session, but the sooner DADT is repealed, the better. The Senate needs to act so that we can put this issue to rest.
Gary Johnson is the honorary chairman of the OUR America Initiative (www.ouramericainitiative.com), a 501(c)(4) advocacy committee. He is also the former Republican Governor of New Mexico (1994-2002), and has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for efficient government and lowering taxes.