Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

`Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Protects Personal Privacy in Military

The controversial “don’t ask don’t tell” policy has been under fire, fueling debate in many circles ranging from government to civil society. As a U.S. Marine who was honorably discharged after over eight years of military service, I have my own perspective on DADT, and I want you to hear the other side of the argument.

DADT is an essential part of military life and it should not be repealed but it could use some adjustment. Most citizens that wear the uniform are not gay, yet DADT has created a nationwide debate. Why? Who is leading the fight? These questions are very important because they give true insight into why DADT is even on the public’s mind.

ost people who are against DADT are not U.S. servicemen and servicewomen: The major opponents of DADT are more commonly pro-gay rights activist groups. These organizations, generally speaking, have no concern for the military’s mission. They only have a single agenda on their minds: gay rights. Their main goal is not to strengthen our military, but rather to strengthen gay rights so that one day gay marriage becomes legal in the United States.

If gay or lesbian U.S. service members were allowed to serve openly many problems would arise. Where would you house a LGBTQ military community? Would they have their own barracks? Would these be located next to “non-gay” barracks? Openly gay service members would foster segregation because they would only create a barrier between heterosexual and homosexual troops. I would not feel comfortable sharing a room with an openly gay U.S. service member, and this opinion is shared by much of the U.S. military.

There were a few gay Marines that I worked with and almost everyone knew that they were gay. It was not a topic of concern because it was prohibited from being discussed. It was “their life” and what he or she did behind closed doors was not really any of my business.

If it had become a blatant issue in the workplace, then it would immediately have been addressed by superiors so that unit cohesion would not be disturbed. This aspect is what needs to be considered in any revision of DADT: it deals with one’s preferences in a private circle as opposed to a public work place. As long as a homosexual does not bring his personal life into work, the same standard any professional is held to, then it should not be a problem. No one should be punished for what they do in their personal time.

Civilians need to understand that the U.S. military is different. When one is first enlisted or commissioned in the U.S. military, one waives his or her inalienable rights. In return, one is granted the right to lawfully take a human life upon command. This is one of the most essential characteristics of the military. Actions that are perfectly permissible under civil law can easily be restricted in the military. For example, commanding officers can pass an order that rescinds your ability to consume alcoholic beverages, even if you are of legal age.

Adultery is against the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the reasons should be obvious. If one Marine has sex with another Marine’s wife then this would have a profound effect on unit cohesion. In this instance, a private matter is forbidden because it can lead to a public matter at work.

Being an American and being compelled to serve in the U.S. military has no bearing on your race or sex. Being heterosexual or homosexual does not bar you from being patriotic; private matters like sexual orientation are not a concern for the military until they become an obstruction to its ability to operate effectively.

Alan Ardelean is a senior in the College.”

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