Newly-appointed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is poised to certify on Friday that gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces would not damage unit cohesion or retention or otherwise undermine the ability of the world’s most powerful military to wage war.
This comes in the wake of Congress passing and President Obama signing last December a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the policy that made it illegal for openly gay people to fight for their country. The new law requires the president, defense secretary, and service chiefs to sign off before a 60-day wait period for equality to breach the ranks.
Of course, even Barry Goldwater, conservative icon, is known to have remarked, “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.” Too bad it took the GOP decades–and even then, only a few of their senators voted for repeal of DADT–to catch up with their 1964 presidential nominee on this issue.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo