By Richard Kavesh
Congressman John Boehner (R – Ohio) has starred in the Congressional version of ‘€œDr. No’€ for the past year in his role as the House Republican leader. However, I was amazed to pick up Monday’s New York Times and to find out that I actually agree with Boehner about President Obama’s goal of eliminating America’s notorious ‘€œdon’t ask, don’t tell’€ policy, which bans openly gay members in the military.
Here is what Mr Boehner said: ‘€œIn the middle of two wars and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?’€
Mr. Boehner is right! There should be no debate at all about allowing openly gay Americans to serve in our armed forces, and President Obama was right when he called our present policy ‘€œjust wrong.’€ All supporters of ‘€œequal protection of the laws’€ know that it is downright un-American for the government to discriminate against soldiers just because they happen to be openly gay.
The nation’s top uniformed officer agrees it’s time to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell — now. “It is my personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do,” Admiral Mike Mullen told a Senate panel on Monday. “No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” Mullen is the highest ranking military officer to endorse repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
As Shakespeare said about Brutus, Mr. Boehner “is an honorable man.” As such, I know that he and his Republican colleagues will do the patriotic thing and support the Obama Administration’s abolition of the ‘€œdon’t ask, don’t tell policy’€ ‘€“ without debate or further delay.
Richard Kavesh is mayor of Nyack, NY.