11 April 2005

Ros-Lehtinen compares gay issue to civil rights, equal rights movements

In a stunning rebuke to the GOP leadership in Washington, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has announced her support for repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which would allows gays to serve in the military. She compared this issue to when President Harry Truman integrated the armed services, allowing African Americans to serve our country, and to when women were first allowed in the military.

Ros-Lehtinen, who serves on the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, has broken with her party on this issue, because she says that the current policy has failed. "We've tried the policy. I don't think it works. And we've spent a lot of money enforcing it," declared the congresswoman. "We investigate people. Bring them up on charges. Basically wreck their lives." The United States Government Accountability Office estimates that the enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which was enacted in 1993, has cost American taxpayers approximately $200 million.

Additionally, Ros-Lehtinen points out that the policy has failed to keep U.S. servicemen and women from serving alongside homosexual soldiers. Most of the countries that are our allies overseas allow gays to serve in their armed forces. Great Britain, perhaps our greatest ally in the war on terror, is a prime example. According to Ros-Lehtinen, "England is actively recruiting gay men and women to join their armed forces."

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen sees this struggle as a moral one and compares the issue to the civil rights and equal rights movements from many years ago. She says that the purpose of the policy is "ludicrous" and says, "It's the same kind of talk we heard about women serving in the military and African Americans."

Although Ros-Lehtinen has joined the cause, the bill repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is probably headed toward failure. Congressman Duncan Hunter, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee which must approve the bill, has a very anti-gay voting record. Additionally, disgraced Majority Leader Tom DeLay also holds great animosity toward homosexuals, stating in 1998 "The other side has been systematically, over time, desensitizing the American people into thinking that this is an acceptable lifestyle. It is not acceptable. It is wrong. It is dangerous. It destroys families. It destroys people."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is nice to see a republican who puts the interests of taxpayers over the religious right and common sense over bigotry

4:09:00 PM  
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