A coalition of human rights groups is organizing a national tour to seek the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which has resulted in the discharge of over 13,000 service men and women. A Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United will present gay, lesbian and straight speakers, all veterans whose service either was ended as a result of the armed forces on gays or who want to speak out on behalf of gay service members. It will be a national tour and more cities may be added to the list. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a two term congressman and former serviceman fighting in Iraq, told the National Press Club, ‘Our troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are stretched dangerously thin.” They need more soldiers fighting alongside them and would welcome gays, lesbians or straights as long as they can shoot straight.
How can the United States turn down the services of men and women who want to serve in active combat? The anti-gay policy is a policy that threatens the lives of those fighting and must be ended. Perhaps, gays and lesbians can be discharged but that does not make those remaining very gay about the loss of comrades who risked all to serve alongside of them.