The Senate vote yesterday (December 18, 2010) to end the 17-year ban on openly gay troops in America's armed forces, in effect, puts the "don't ask, don't tell" policy to its death. The House of Representatives has already voted to end the military ban on gays, and President Obama is against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The fact that two federal judges -- in separate cases last month -- found the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional because it discriminates against gays and lesbians, indicates that this policy never should have been put in place.
Since the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was implemented in 1993, some 14,000 American troops have had to leave the service for being gay. Many of these former troops plan to re-enlist now that they will be allowed to remain in the service, even if they admit that they are gay.
Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is a step toward equality in America. Although we do not approve of the gay and lesbian lifestyle in America, we do believe that these people are entitled to equal rights.
As the two recent court rulings indicate, denying gays the right to serve in the military is unconstitutional.
The fact is that the U.S. Constitution makes it very clear that America is a democracy in which all of its people are entitled to certain inalienable rights -- among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- and it is imperative that these rights prevail in America, regardless of a person's race, nationality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.