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The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the U.S. military has ruined the lives of thousands of brave, capable service members while damaging our military readiness and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars. Among those discharged for being gay have been hundreds serving in intelligence-related occupations or as translators fluent in foreign languages critical to counter-terrorism and preventing weapons proliferation.

Our senior military leadership, from the Commander in Chief on down, support lifting the ban, as do 75 percent of the American people, including 58 percent of conservatives.  Among the age group who primarily fight our wars and would be most directly affected by ending the policy—those between 18 and 29—support for repeal stands at 91 percent. 

The militaries of all but one of our NATO allies, as well as other U.S. security services such as the FBI and CIA, allow gay members to serve openly, with no resulting damage to discipline, morale or unit cohesion. 

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), the nation’s longest-established progressive advocacy organization (of which I’m a proud member), has called for a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” All of us as individuals should do the same. 

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