To the editor:
As a freedom-loving Kansan, it saddens me to know that our governor-elect, Sam Brownback, plans to oppose the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, a policy that denies soldiers equality based on their sexual orientation. In Mr. Brownback’s eyes, this policy has worked “relatively well”.
I recall reading about a black soldier who, after fighting for his nation’s freedom during World War II, was denied the right to enter a restaurant in his hometown. Through the restaurant’s windows this highly decorated young black soldier could see German prisoners of war (who were relocated to his town during the war) being served. Can you imagine how devastated that young soldier must have felt to be denied admittance to a café in his hometown where the enemy combatant was being served?
Compare that story to a gay soldier returning home from Iraq and being denied the right to settle down and marry the person of his/her choosing. This soldier can look through “the windows” of the church or the courthouse and see heterosexuals marry the person of their choosing. This soldier knows that convicted criminals including murderers, rapists and pedophiles cannot be denied their freedom to marry pursuant to any sentencing law in any U.S. court, yet she who has just been fighting for her country is denied the freedom to choose her life partner. Can you imagine how devastated that young soldier must feel?
Denying people equality — either in the military or in civilian life — is simply wrong. Discrimination is not something that can work “relatively well.”