• Do Ask, Do Tell

      Congress finally gets something right: "don't ask, don't tell" is on the way out.  Since 1993, the military has discharged 13,000 gay and lesbian service members, including invaluable Arabic translators.

      The law claims that openly homosexual military personnel might create an "unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion."  Conservative Congressman John Shimkus (R-Ill.) says the repeal would be "devastating to the war fighters and the combat infantrymen."

      Please.  There's no evidence that openly gay service members have a negative effect on cohesion or performance.  Countries like Israel, England, Canada, and Australia allow gays to openly serve -- and report that their armed forces don't suffer.  A 1993 study by the RAND Corp. found no evidence of any negative effects from openly gay service.  The American Psychological Association states that "empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention."

      It makes no sense to get rid of perfectly capable soldiers simply because of their sexual orientation -- especially during two wars.   For this, Congress deserves some applause.

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