Gay activists salute repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

Sept. 20 was a day of celebration for many homosexual soldiers whose sexual orientation has been repressed by the government’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. President Obama’s repeal of the policy officially went into effect, and finally eliminated persecution in the military based on the sexual orientation of its servicemen, as they can now be open about their sexual identity.

This repeal has been long overdue, and it’s about time the government got rid of this absurd policy.

The Washington Post-ABC news polls indicated that 78 percent of Americans were in favor of the repeal, which proves that Obama made the right decision.

Since 2001, Americans have been voting in favor of servicemen publicly disclosing their sexual orientation, so I can’t help but wonder why it has taken so long to allow this change to occur.

Everyone has the right to join the military, therefore I am very glad to see this discriminatory policy no longer in effect.

The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy has been around for 17 years, and has never served a reasonable purpose.

What the DADT policy really did was protect soldiers and military officials from their unjustified fears of being sexually harassed by a homosexual, as if a gay soldier’s sole purpose in joining the military was to ogle other men and women.

This biased notion of fear is what led to the discharge of thousands of valuable soldiers who could have been of great use to the military.

According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the discrimination of military personnel affected by DADT, over 14,000 servicemen have been discharged under the law since its establishment in 1993.

Servicemen who were formally discharged under the DADT policy are now eligible for readmission into the military, which is one of the positive effects of the repeal.

It is only fair that they be given these privileges after having been unjustly dismissed from their civic duty. Sexual orientation should never be a factor in determining who is worthy of serving their country.

Americans should really be thankful to anyone willing to protect, serve and possibly die for their country, regardless of their sexual orientation, race or gender.

Anyone who is too worried about “being fondled” in the showers shouldn’t be serving in the military in the first place.

The repeal brought much needed relief to soldiers who were greatly affected by the policy.

Now, gay people can feel more comfortable joining the military without the fear of being ridiculed or discharged. This new change will surely raise the rate of recruitment for all sectors of the military.

Lance Corporal Michelle Fuller, 22, has served in the Marine Corps for over two years, and has been hiding her sexuality from her commanding officer.

“It’s a great change because now there is no more pressure on homosexuals to hide who they are,” said Fuller.

Fuller expressed that sexual orientation really doesn’t matter because while they’re in uniform, all soldiers and officers are the same and deserve an equal amount of respect.

Though Fuller was pleased to hear about the policy repeal, she said that other than providing relief for homosexuals, it did not make much of a difference because there was never discriminatory behavior in her platoon, nor had she heard of such behavior elsewhere.

Though the policy repeal did not have a huge effect in the military, it’s a great start to the end of sexual discrimination everywhere.

The push for gay rights has become a force, and Obama’s repeal is of great importance to the ongoing movement currently circulating in the U.S.

Hopefully, the president’s actions will facilitate more affirmative public policy changes on the matter, and increase public support of gay rights.

The repeal truly is a great change, and I am proud to hear that soldiers no longer have to hide who they are in order to serve their country.

“If there is respect in your job, in the military and to other people, then you will not flaunt your sexuality, regardless of you being gay, straight or bisexual,” said Fuller.