Beyond don’t ask, don’t tell
The end of a deceitful, discriminatory policy will strengthen the military.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” ended this week, nearly a generation after the policy was adopted. Some Americans look back on the 1993 agreement between then-President Bill Clinton and Congress as a well-meaning if misguided compromise. Others view it as a cynical and craven dodge to avoid acknowledging that the previous outright ban on gays in the military was an injustice.
But the majority of Americans today recognize the policy as absurd, self-righteous and impossible to defend. It created a hostile and dishonest environment in which unknown thousands of men and women willing to die for their country were forced to participate in their own discrimination and marginalization. Nearly 14,000 others were discharged, either because they told the truth or because they were forced out by malicious accusations.