In Military, New Debate Over Policy Toward Gays
From the New York Times:
WEST POINT, N.Y. — Here at the military academy that is nearly as old as the nation itself, two cadets recently engaged in a modern debate: whether they agreed with President Obama’s pledge to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly.
“From what I’ve heard from my classmates, people are kind of against it,” said Daniel Szatkowski, a senior from Edmond, Okla. But Adrienne Rolle, a senior from Brooklyn, said she had no problem with lifting the ban, although she said that some of her male classmates did.
“People are more comfortable with ignorance,” Cadet Rolle said of the reality that gay men and lesbians already serve in the military.
West Point is not a perfect microcosm of the armed forces, but recent conversations with the cadets who will become the Army’s next generation of leaders reflect uncertainty about what Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has characterized as a “complex and difficult problem.”
While Mr. Obama has promised to get rid of the 16-year-old policy that allows gay men and lesbians to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation secret, Mr. Gates has said that both he and the president want to push the issue “down the road a bit.”