A.S. fully supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

Krista Daly

Professor Jay Aldrich speaks out in favor of the resolution to repeal the "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy during Tuesday's meeting. Photo Credit: Christianna Triolo / Staff Photographer

A.S. unanimously approved the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) resolution supporting the repeal of the policy Tuesday.

“The goal is to stop modern day discrimination,” said Yasmin Nadershahi, senator Science and Mathematics I. “I’m really happy this passed. The committee put a lot of work and energy into it.”

“I think it matches the cultural shift in America,” said A.S. Vice President Conor Lansdale.

A.S. President Abel Pacheco said he strongly supports the resolution.

“Anyone willing to die for their country should be able to serve regardless of their sexual orientation,” Pacheco said.

The resolution states that the current law should be replaced with a non-discriminatory policy on the basis of sexual orientation.

Graduate Senator Guyon McCormack invited Jay Aldrich, professor of recreation and tourism management, to talk during open forum about his personal experience serving as a Navy Seal under the DADT policy.

Aldrich said there was a task force that would go undercover to find gays in the military. He said he knew sexual orientation had to be kept secret because people were not allowed to say or do anything to reveal their sexual orientation or they would not be allowed to serve.

Thirty-eight people onboard one ship were discharged because the task force had discovered their sexual orientation, Aldrich said.

“They still have to be undercover,” Aldrich added.

According to the resolution, as a compromise President Bill Clinton signed DADT into law in 1993 after the military objected to his calls to open its doors to gays and lesbians.

A copy of the A.S. resolution will be sent to President Barack Obama, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the U.S. Congress.

One hundred and ninety-one U.S. Congresspersons and U.S. Representatives, including our local U.S. Representative Brad Sherman support the repeal of the DADT policy, McCormack said.

“It takes one person to stand up for everyone,” Nadershahi said. “I hope that UC schools will use this for their own resolutions.”

The L.A. City Council passed a similar resolution in 2006, McCormack said. The council’s resolution to support the repeal of DADT also passed unanimously.

The city council recognized in their resolution that support for this bill is consistent with city policy because the city acknowledges same-sex relationships and offers health benefits to partners of city employees.

McCormack said San Jose State University removed the ROTC program because the university chose to support anti-discrimination policies by not supporting the program.

The resolution also states that Israel, Australia and 25 other countries allow gays and lesbians to openly serve.

According to an article on thinkprogress.com, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticized the DADT policy currently in place in the U.S. telling Americans to follow Britain as an example.

“The prime minister basically bashed our country saying we’re behind on times,” McCormack said about the article.

Brown’s comments are backed by a recent study done on militaries with openly gay members allowed.

“The majority honestly didn’t care if they were serving with open gays or bisexuals,” McCormack said.

The study concluded that open gays do not disrupt military effectiveness over time, including Britain, whose policy of non-discrimination has been in place for 10 years now.

McCormack said Obama is working with Congress and the military to finally repeal the DADT law.

“We’re not here to judge people,” Nadershahi said. “Your personal life has nothing to do with your work life.”