The infamous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was recently repealed.
As has often been argued, the policy was rather questionable. After all, it seemed to say that it was okay for homosexuals to serve provided that they did so secretly. This seems to imply that what mattered was not someone’s sexual orientation but what other people happened to know about that orientation. Of course, the “don’t ask” policy seems to have often been ignored and when confronted, military personal were supposed to tell. As such, it seemed like a rather weird sort of policy that needed to be fixed.
While some folks worked hard trying to repeal it, others worked hard to try to stall and prevent the repeal. Most famously, John McCain fought an impressively dogged defense against it (in many cases, fighting against his previous self): each time one of his conditions (such as endorsement by the Joint Chiefs) was met, he would insist on another (such as a survey). Even when all his conditions were met, he still opposed the change. However, his opposition failed and it was repealed.
As I see it, this is a good thing. The top officers and most personal seem to be fine with the situation. Also, nations that have allowed homosexuals to serve do not seem to have run into any problems specific to this factor. In fact, lifting such restrictions seems to be beneficial. See, for example, the Palm Center report on this matter. Naturally, the report can be challenged. However, doing so would seem to require presenting cases in which allowing homosexuals to serve openly was a significant causal factor in creating problems to military effectiveness. Naturally, these cases would have to be properly compared to comparable cases involving heterosexuals to determine if the cause was specific to homosexuality or due to another factor. However, the most reasonable argument against the repeal (that it would impair military effectiveness) seems to have been soundly defeated. As such, the repeal seems reasonable.
Also, if someone wishes to serve his/her country and can make such a contribution, then it would seem both wrong and wasteful to deny him/her that chance on the basis of sexual orientation. We do not, it would seem, have the luxury of prejudice, what with Iraq, Afghanistan, the endless war on terror, and with possible future conflicts with Iran and North Korea.
Naturally, if the future shows that repealing DaDT has damaged our military due to some factors that did not affect any other military, then a change should be strongly considered. After all, the military cannot (as many would argue) afford the luxury of equality at the expense of its core mission.