The dishonest policy must end

The dishonest policy must end

By KEVIN TENGESDAL Bismarck Aug 9, 2010

Honesty, integrity — principles instilled in us at an early age. Virtues of which we North Dakotans should be proud. Why should people be required to lie about who they are?

In 1988, I was discharged from the U.S. Navy after being challenged “to do the right thing” and was honest about being gay. In 1993, Congress enacted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), a law requiring people to be dishonest about their personal lives or face the possibility of being fired.

Can gays and straights serve together in the military? Look to history, look to over 20 Western militaries that currently permit such open service. Support for open service has grown since DADT was introduced.

This spring, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a repeal, with Rep. Earl Pomeroy voting against, stating he wanted to await a study by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Senate is expected to vote on its Defense Authorization bill later this summer.

Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad are home for their August break. Contact them immediately to let them know you stand for honesty and integrity.

A repeal of this policy, which only serves to drain our armed forces of individuals with mission critical skills, is vital.


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