Common Insect Is All For ‘Do Ask, Do Tell’

September 12th, 2010 by Jacqueline Vergara Amézquita

By Jacqueline Vergara

“Honesty is the best policy” is a well-known Benjamin Franklin quote. According to a scientific study released earlier this year, ants could not agree more. The ubiquitous, six-legged creature upholds the value of honesty in order to ensure collaborative effort and, ultimately, ant colony success (NY knows all about this pest’s achievement). In accordance with this principle, on Thursday a federal court asserted the right of gay U.S. military personnel to be open about their sexual orientation while serving in the colony-like armed services.

On Friday, the LA Times reported that Judge Virginia A. Phillips declared the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy unconstitutional, citing First Amendment and due process rights violations. In 1993, Congress passed a law banning openly gay men and women from wearing the military uniform. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allowed homosexuals to serve, as long as this personal characteristic was not discussed or disclosed.

The Log Cabin Republicans political group challenged the policy in 2004. After 6 years, Thursday’s ruling brings momentum to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal efforts.

The Courage Campaign, a California-based online activist network, has began a grassroots campaign to pressure Senator Harry Reid to bring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” issue to the Senate floor on September 20th. Iraq war veteran Lieutenant Dan Choi expresses his support for the repeal of “don’t, don’t tell” on his website.

Whether the Obama administration and the Justice Department will uphold the ruling remains unclear. The Washington Post reports that an appeal is not discarded.

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