Yesterday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and again called for the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy to be reviewed. We have blogged about the wrong-headedness of this policy before, here and here. Colin Powell has been publicly against the policy – which prevents openly homosexual people from serving in the military – since at least December 2008, but has not called for it to be completely repealed. Meanwhile, the issue has been flying under the radar lately, with no leadership from President Obama. Writing for the Huffington Post, Sam Stein made a compelling case for why Powell needs to come out more strongly against the policy:
During the campaign, the president called for overturning “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” But he has been slow to act since taking office, even as 250 military servicemen have been dismissed for disclosing their sexuality. Having a prominent figure like Powell provide the cover for a sweeping policy reversal would be a gift to Obama and a boon to gay-rights groups, which have grown increasingly frustrated with the president for dragging his feet on this issue.
Sexual orientation has nothing to do with a person’s ability to serve his or her country in the military. The sooner our laws recognize this fact, the better.