President Obama has fulfilled one of his campaign promises by overturning the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law: he has put his signature to a bill allowing gay men and women in the US army to “no longer have to live a lie; to serve the country that they love”. Gay men and women will, henceforth, be permitted to openly serve in the military. Arrangements need to be made and rules put in place to organize practical aspects of day to day living. Also training and education need to be provided for the troops. However, President Obama has declared that “there would be no foot dragging to implementing the law.” As a result, America will be able to benefit from the services of brave, patriotic troops who wish to serve their country by joining the military and who were forced, under the old law, to leave regardless of how good they were at what they were doing.
Before tackling the task, it is suggested that you seek out some related videos and texts. One suggestion is the article by Naveena Kottoor on the bbc website titled "The Gay Airman Who Took On The US Military". You will also be able to access a video by the said airman
The Task: Discuss the effects of allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the US military. Use the points below and any others you wish. Remember to support the points you make. Also remember to organize your ideas: one possibility is discussing short term effects in one paragraph of your development and long term effects in the other. Can you think of any other?
1. The financial consequences: training military personnel costs money which is effectively thrown out the window when they are discharged; they have to be paid pensions for a life time as well. This money will now be saved.
2. Open hostility, bullying, intimidation, segregation and the like
3. A negative effect on performance during missions ( combat and otherwise)
4. No obvious effect; business as usual
5. A larger fighting force (US is at war and troops are needed)