Is It Time to Repeal the Ban on Gays in the Military?

Advocates say more than a few good men--and women--have been tossed. Foes point to morale, and the law.

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A 1993 law barred gays from serving. President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy upheld the ban but promised to look the other way if the homosexuality were kept secret. Still, hundreds of gays have been discharged just since President Obama took office. Should the law go away as well?
Edited by Steve St. Angelo

Yes

In 2007, then-candidate Barack Obama made a proclamation: "America is ready to get rid of the

By Aubrey Sarvis
Executive director of the nonprofit Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

'don't ask, don't tell' policy. That work should have started long ago. It will start when I take office. All that is required is leadership."

Indeed, leadership is what is needed—and soon. By our count at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, more than 250 men and women have been discharged since the president took office. The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan recently...

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No

On the issue of gays in the military, President Obama should reconsider his campaign promises.

By Elaine Donnelly
President of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonprofit specializing in military personnel issues

Now that he is commander in chief, Obama needs to build a bond of trust—what military experts call "vertical cohesion"—with the troops he leads. In that capacity, the president should disregard the demands of gay activists who want him to suspend enforcement of Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. That law, often confused with...

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