CU students are voicing mixed opinions on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Last week, the Senate voted against repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which forbids openly gay people from serving in the military. Now CU students give their opinions on the decision.
Caitie Miller, a 19-year-old sophomore sociology major, and a member of CU’s Gay-Straight Alliance, said she was furious when she learned of the senate’s decision.
“I think it’s a human rights violation,” Miller said. “It’s based on discrimination and it’s completely irrelevant to the job they have to do.”
According an article in the Christian Science Monitor, the Pentagon will be “engaging the force” in order to find out how service members feel about the policy, while military officials will be conducting a survey to determine the opinions of troops and their families on repealing the bill.
Miller said she thinks this study will lead to a cancellation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“I think after that comes out, it will be evidence that openly gay service doesn’t affect military readiness,” Miller said. “I can see it being repealed next year.”
Michael Leuthaeuser, a 24-year-old junior physics major, said he understands the plight of homosexuals regarding the issue, but that he agrees with the senate’s decision.
“I think that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is an excellent compromise because it still allows homosexuals to serve, but mitigates the issues that can be caused by open service,” Leuthaeuser said.
Leuthaeuser said he served in the army National Guard for six years. He said allowing openly gay men and women to serve could lead to conflicts of interest on the battlefield.
“The soldiers have to trust each other,” Leuthaeuser said. “They don’t want to have a conflict of interest when it comes to medical triage, which is where you decide things like who most needs your services and who is most likely to survive.”
Leuthaeuser said that openly gay service people could develop strong relations in basic training, which could lead to a conflict of interest.
“In basic training they throw 60 guys in one room and all of them share just eight showers that you can just walk into,” Leuthaeuser said. “You’re in such a close environment that you can’t have homosexuals.”
Benjamin Fuoss, a 23-old junior mechanical engineering major, said he is split on the issue.
“I fully support gay rights, but, at the same time, in the military, as in the workplace, personal relationships could spiral out of control,” Fuoss said. “I think that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is good because I don’t think sexual relations should be a problem in the military.”
Fuoss said that some of the restrictions on gay service people should be lifted.
“The fact that people have been dismissed for having relations outside the base, I think that’s wrong,” Fuoss said. “As soon as they get off duty they shouldn’t be reprimanded.”
Anastasia Trus, a 22-year-old senior political science and English double major, said that she disagrees with the Senate’s decision.
“I think that everyone should be allowed to serve, if you base somebody on only their sexuality, then you are resigning them to a certain role,” Trus said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jon Tattum at Jon.firstname.lastname@example.org.