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  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repealed - Now What?

    12/22/2010 3:11:18 PM Posted by Evan Gassman

    Sad ObamaRemember when candidate Obama promised to reinstate ROTC on our nation’s campuses regardless of “differences in terms of military policy?" Well, the now President has done little to keep his “promise.” A Young America’s Foundation research survey we released earlier this month revealed that our nation’s top campuses not only ban ROTC programs, but also deny students college credit for military science courses taken elsewhere.

    Top brass schools such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford have claimed that they banned ROTC on their campuses due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy implemented by the Clinton administration. Our survey showed that ROTC has been banned on these campuses long before DADT was in existence – Vietnam was formerly used as an excuse to prevent ROTC students from being treated fairly.

    Recently, the Senate moved to repeal the DADT policy, and the President quickly signed it into law. In a Washington Times article covering the ROTC ban controversy that predated the DADT repeal, Yale administrators said that they “may” reinstate ROTC, and they will “follow any federal policy changes with interest.” Well Yale administers, here’s the “federal policy change” you’ve been waiting for.

    Will these schools follow their promise and reinstate ROTC on campus now that DADT is gone? Will they allow military recruiters on their campuses? It is unlikely that we will know the answer to those questions anytime soon. 

    While the Senate did move to repeal DADT, and President finalized it, it is now up to the military in the middle of wartime to implement it. It is unlikely that the DADT repeal will take effect for at least a year. Young America’s Foundation will continue to monitor how ROTC students are treated on our nation’s campuses, and continue to defend their rights, which are under attack on a daily basis.

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    • I would not oppose hanvig ROTC return to campus *after* DADT is repealed. Unfortunately, Kurtzman misses the point of banning ROTC for its DADT policy: Brown should not give support (implicit or explicit) for groups that violate its policies on non-discrimination. Bringing ROTC back on campus would certainly imply 's support for the ROTC program and, by extension, its exclusionary policies.Regardless of the merit of training future military leaders, Brown should not make any exceptions to its policies on non-discrimination: this leads to a slippery slope that is far too dangerous to risk. Although Brown's individual action might seem small and even insignificant on the larger scale of things, the actions of countless Universities and other groups all refusing to interact with the military based upon its discriminatory DADT policy produce a significant effect. The same logic should apply to government interactions with discriminatory organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, which actively ejects gays from its ranks. This same concept would apply equally well to religion: it would be absolutely unacceptable for the government to support anti-Christian or anti-Jewish organizations as well, whether they were getting homeless children off the streets or providing badly needed medical care. No organization should be permitted to discriminate, no matter how much good they might do.
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