Don’t ask, Don’t tell

In elementary school, I remember seeing countless posters in classrooms and in the halls promoting diversity.

The posters said things like, “Everyone smiles in the same language.” As a young child, I knew that these posters were there to remind us that being different wasn’t a bad thing.  The lesson of these posters is that physical features such as height, weight and skin color do not make anyone more or less important than another.

Since diversity concerning physical appearance is emphasized to children early, I think that diversity in relationships should be talked about with the same importance. They are both equally significant issues. 

As children, we are taught that men and women date, they get married and they start a family. That is just how it is, there are no other alternatives. However, as children grow up they discover that not everyone fits into this category that most view as “normal.”

These groups of people who live their lives outside of the norm are known as the gay community. The gay community is made up of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT).

People belonging to the LGBT community are criticized and sometimes even harassed because of their sexual orientation. 

This issue is important to me, and I am saddened that the LGBT community is discriminated against.

Who made the decision that there is only one type of marriage? I think it is horrible of us to say that it is great to be diversified except in the case of sexual orientation.

Just because I personally do not belong to the gay community does not mean that I feel like being gay is wrong in any way.

Same-sex marriages are currently performed in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and Vermont.  In New York, Washington D.C. and California they are recognized but not performed.

I hope that in the future more states will allow same-sex marriage. I don’t see why it is considered so different from the marriage between a man and a woman.

Equality Across America is a group that works for equality for members of the LGBT community. They held a march in Washington D.C. on Oct. 11. According to the website, 200,000 people participated in the march for equal treatment of the LGBT community.

Besides same-sex marriage Equality Across America wants gay and lesbian people to be able to serve in the military openly.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is an organization working to end discrimination of gays and lesbians in the military.

In 1993, Congress passed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, requiring the discharge of any openly gay, lesbian or bisexual service member. According to the SLDN website, 13,500 members of the military have been fired because of this.

During his campaign, President Obama said he would repeal the policy. At a fund-raising dinner Oct. 10 for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBT civil rights organization, Obama said that he will end the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

Some gay rights advocates may be getting impatient with Obama’s promises, but I think patience is key in this situation. I think the policy is ridiculous; a person should not have to keep their sexual orientation a secret in fear that they will be discharged from the military.

However, everyone is not going to accept the gay community overnight. Even when the policy is repealed, there will still be people against it.

We have come a long way in accepting the LGBT community. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go before people realize that just like skin color; sexual orientation does not make a person different in a bad way.