Local Reaction to repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"
Tue, 20 Sep 2011 23:42:36 GMT —
The "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Policy is officially repealed Tuesday.
Gay and lesbian advocates are rejoicing the repeal but others aren't as delighted.
Maximo Valmares is a Vietnam Veteran and long before the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy was established he knew of closeted gay servicemen.
"We had taken training together, and I did not know he was gay" he said.
But months later he found out.
He said the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" established over 17 years ago was something he agreed with.
The policy was established to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the military without discrimination.
Velmares said in his opinion, working in the military with someone who is openly gay could be uncomfortable.
"Another guy interested in men and fighting along probably sharing the same fox hole, same room, shower...I'd feel uneasy about it," said Velmares.
But gay advocate Carlos Ibarra said servicemen and women shouldn't have to hide their sexual orientation.
"Regardless of whether you're a man, woman, gay, or straight, bisexual...you are still there to do your job," said Ibarra.
Vietnam Veteran Rey Oropez said he also supports the repeal.
"In the service, they went through the same training that I went through and everything else," he said.
"They are doing what they are supposed to do, so what the heck do we care what they are?"
Supporters said they hope all service members will be accepting of those who choose to be openly gay and lesbian in the military.