When we were children, we were all taught to proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which concludes with the oft-quoted phrase "with liberty and justice for all." While our nation's flag represents these lofty ideals, the reality is that for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans, there is no "liberty and justice for all."
In 1993, the Clinton administration passed the "don't ask, don't tell" law as a compromise in dealing with the military's anti-gay regulations. This law has resulted in the unnecessary dismissal of more than 13,000 troops over the past 17 years. These military personnel had many years of honorable and exemplary service and dedication to their duties.
We are often told to "support our troops." Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals are part of our world and of our armed forces.
They are human beings deserving of all the rights and privileges that heterosexuals take for granted, including the right to marry and raise a family. They are our friends, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who have chosen to risk their lives for a nation that makes them fear discovery, and forces them to be punished for being who they are.
To support the DADT position is to support a moral wrong. Quite simply, it is discrimination, and it is a slap in the face to our values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. DADT needs to be abolished, and it is our responsibility to support these brave men and women who put themselves on the line for us.
Joseph A. Zuchowski