A reader writes:

I used to be of the same mind as your military reader who says we cannot repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, as it would bring homosexual men and women into danger. I had served in the Marine Corps, and still bear my marine tattoo. I believed that we had to keep homosexuals safe from the barbarous military men (the women weren't violently homophobic, in my experience) until I spoke with another former marine who told me that my good intentions were small minded.

Homosexual men and women needed to suffer publicly. They needed to be beaten and keep standing. They needed to be promoted into powerful non-commissioned officer ranks. There needed to be gay drill instructors who put recruits in awe of their abilities. There had to be openly gay marine and soldier heroes to show the homophobes that they are wrong, just as Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, and all the rest have done.

And, as I write this, I realize that's why so much of the country fears letting homosexuals serve openly in the military, because it will show America that they are not inferior. The hardscrabble Americans in the military will learn that there are gay men who are better than themselves, that there are lesbians tougher, and smarter, and more heroic than they will ever be. That's why they must keep Don't Ask Don't Tell, in order to maintain the hideous illusion of superiority for the homophobes of all stripes.

Please keep up the fight; there is much at stake here.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.