this play out?
Well in the military, even though we have this new, supposedly more
humane policy of "don't ask, don't tell," the fact is that more suspected
gays and lesbians have been discharged from service under the new policy
than at any time before its implementation. I see no reason to expect
implementation of this policy to be any different in ROTC.
Some schools and school districts don't allow ROTC on their campuses
because the DOD policy contradicts the school's commitment to
nondiscrimination. These days, everybody's talking about how character
counts. Our city is paying people to promote ethics. Yet where are the
voices protecting our most vulnerable children?
The usual response is "it's too political," or "but the good outweighs
the bad." But would we have these same responses if Catholic, Jewish,
Armenian or Asian Americans were denied admission?
Then, of course, there's the response that "homosexuality is a choice,
so gays shouldn't be granted civil rights protections." Can heterosexuals
change their sexual orientation at will? And why should anyone be
expected to do so, anyway?
If the promotion of discrimination is what our city values, then by
all means let's continue inviting ROTC programs into the Glendale Unified
School District. But if we don't want to belittle a portion of our
citizenry, especially teenagers at a very vulnerable time in their lives;
if we choose not to denigrate persons just because they have the courage
to tell the truth about who they are; if we choose to teach respect and
tolerance, then we need to examine the message we are implicitly
condoning when we bring this group into our schools.