Mara Boyd, CU alum and discharged ROTC service member, is using her experience at CU to make a statement.
Boyd, who was released from the Air Force ROTC program in 2002 after coming out as a lesbian, was arrested in Washington, D.C. during a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protest, according to the Daily Camera.
Boyd, as well as five other discharged service members, had chained themselves to the White House fence and were arrested for failure to obey a lawful command, according to the Daily Camera. Boyd was unable to be reached for comment.
Stephanie Wilenchek, the director of the GLBT Resource Center on campus, said she remembers Boyd as a student.
“I think she is a great educator and leader,” Wilenchek said. “I hope she gets lots of support and continues to do great work.”
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law formed under the Clinton administration, allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as the military does not know their sexual orientation, according to the New York Times. The policy was created after Clinton tried to abolish the gay service-member ban. Now, plans to eradicate the law have resurfaced. In the 2010 State of the Union address President Obama promised the U.S. that eradicating the law would be a priority.
Director of Parent Relations George Ballinger, who was the Commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 105 during Boyd’s discharge, said it is difficult to deal with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“It’s a law,” Ballinger said. “There’s no choice…it’s not an optional type of thing. [It’s difficult] especially when you have great regard of individuals like I did for Mara. The bottom line is you’ve got to do then the right thing with your official capacity.”
The CU Independent interviewed 12 students; 11 said they disagreed with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and one said he did not care. The CU Independent was unable to find a CU student who supported the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy by the time of publication.
Ariane Robertson, a 19-year-old freshman anthropology major, said she feels that while some may be in support of the policy, she disagrees with it.
“[Those in favor of the policy] feel it might be damaging to the community…but it doesn’t play fair,” Roberston said. “I think it’s outdated.”
Michaella Rogers, a 19-year-old sophomore international affairs and Italian major, said she agreed with Robertson that the policy is outdated. Rogers said she wondered about potential repercussions from a repeal.
“Well, I think it’s an outdated policy and should be changed,” Rogers said. “People should be able to disclose their sexuality if they like or keep it private if they like. But I also think it might cause problems if the policy is changed, like hazing.”
Dan Gladem, a 20-year-old sophomore film studies major, said he thinks the policy is unnecessary.
“I don’t think the military should have a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” Gladem said. “They should have a ‘Don’t Care’ policy.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.email@example.com.