by Chris Bodenner
Today, for the first time in 15 years, Congress is holding a hearing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Time revisits the debate:
Recently, conservatives have made the argument that if Americans like Stephen were allowed to serve openly, young heterosexuals from conservative families would stop enlisting. ... But the Zogby poll has an answer to this: only 2% of respondents said they would not have joined the military if gays were allowed to serve openly. That translates to a loss of about 4,000 service members per year the same number of gays and lesbians who decline to re-enlist because of "Don't ask, don't tell" or who are discharged under the policy. That calculation means keeping or repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" would be a wash in terms of numbers. It forces a question we have postponed for 15 years: Do we want a military where Americans are not forced to lie about their most important emotional bonds?