The House of Representatives and Senate Armed Services Committee approved a repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, regarding homosexuals in the military, late last month.
According to Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, the policy had particularly impacted minorities serving in the armed forces.
“We are pleased that Congress is finally moving forward in repealing a discriminatory policy that is unfair and unwise,” Narasaki said in a press release.
Narasaki said that while minorities comprise nearly one-third of all military members, nearly half of the troops, 45 percent, discharged in 2008 under the policy were minorities.
One instance in March 2009 involved Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq War veteran who is fluent in Arabic and a West Point graduate. He had discharge proceedings made against him a month after he announced that he was gay.
Narasaki urged local community members to contact their local senators and ask them to vote for the final repeal of the policy.
“The approval by the House to repeal the policy is the first step to ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but there remains work to be done,” Narasaki said. “It is not in the best interest of our country that willing men and women would be denied the opportunity to serve this nation solely because of their sexual orientation. They should be honored instead of being discriminated against.” ♦