Inside Opinion

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Tag: gays in the military


A banner year for same-sex couples and pot smokers

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

2012 was the year that Washington voters made history on the national stage.

This state became the first in the nation to allow same-sex marriages by virtue of voter approval, not through legislative or judicial action. And – for better or worse – voters made Washington one of two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (Colorado is the other).

The Nov. 6 approval of Referendum 74 was an important step forward for civil rights and has galvanized proponents of same-sex marriage in other states. Passage affirms that a majority of this state’s voters believe homosexuals should have the same right to marry the one they love as heterosexuals – with all the benefits and responsibilities that go along with that right, at least at the state level.
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A landmark day for gays in the military – and for equality

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

It’s a new world for the U.S. military today, and for the people serving in it.

It’s a world that took too long to come about, but now that it’s here, it’s worth celebrating.

Today, gays and lesbians – who have always served in the military and died alongside their heterosexual comrades – no longer need to fear that they’ll be kicked out if a supervisor learns about their sexuality. They can put a photo of their partner on their desk, go out on a date and do all the other things their straight counterparts have always taken for granted.

Even though the military says it will not tolerate anti-gay behavior, some homosexuals probably will continue to keep their sexuality private, just as many gay employees do in workplaces outside of the military. But many others will welcome the fact that they no longer have to hide their true selves or the ones they love.

In the long run, the military will be better for it. Stretched thin by two wars, it can’t afford to waste valuable human resources. Now it can focus on how to retain service members, not how to kick them out. Read more »


Pentagon study provides ammo: End ‘don’t ask’

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

At some point, gays will be able to serve openly in the U.S. military. The question is: Will this Congress act to make it happen?

If not, there’s a good chance the U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately force the issue. For the military’s sake, the legislative option is the better one. Policy made through the democratic process is almost always preferable to policy mandated by a court.

The new Pentagon study on gays in the military – which concludes that overturning the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule will not have a long-lasting, widespread impact on effectiveness – greatly increases the likelihood that the court would find no rational basis for the policy.

A survey of 115,000 service members shows that 50 percent to 55 percent said repealing the policy would have a mixed effect or no effect at all; 15 percent to 20 percent said it would have a positive impact. Only 30 percent said ending “don’t ask” would have a negative effect. Read more »