Former general, joint chiefs of staff chair and secretary of state Colin Powell believes it's time to review the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy which says, if you're gay and want to join the military, it's OK so long as you stay in the closet.
Powell, speaking on CNN's State of the Union, says that when the policy was enacted it was a good first step toward making it possible for gay people to join the armed services of the United States. But, he says, it's probably time to move forward with a more open policy.
I agree with Powell that a person who would make a good member of the military should not be precluded from military service because of his, or her, sexual orientation. The recent case of Lt. Daniel Choi, a gay Arabic linguist comes to mind as an example.
He cautions that the policy and law can't just be changed overnight. The Joint Chiefs of Staff need to be consulted. Then, he says, there should be congressional hearings.
But when all is said and done, Powell is right when he suggests that Don't Ask Don't Tell has lived out its usefulness and that openly gay men and women should be welcomed into the armed forces.