Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lady Gaga Versus “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

By Craig Altman

On September 20, 2010, Lady Gaga took the stage in Portland, Maine not to sing for her fans but to talk about how she feels about the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. military. Hearing it from such a world-renowned pop star was a big eye opener for society about something that was not a very well known topic but which was affecting gay people throughout our country.

Many people tend to get so wrapped up in the moment, so focused on certain things that are miniscule in the big picture compared to events like these. Throughout her speech at Bowdoin College, Gaga gave some very strong lines that conveyed how much it was a concern to her and why she felt it should be for the rest of society.

She opened up her speech, which can be found on YouTube, by stating, “Equality is the prime rib of America, but because I'm gay, I don’t get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat my country has to offer. There are amazing heroes here today, whose stories are more powerful that any story I could tell, any fight I’ve ever fought, and any song that I could tell,” she said of military veterans who are gay and were speaking out.

“I’m here because they inspire me, I’m here because I believe them, I’m here because ’Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is wrong…it’s unjust, and fundamentally, it is against all that we stand for as Americans,” she said. 

Gaga was clearly stating that many Americans have truly lost the meaning to life. Causes like this are what help change the world and open everyone’s eyes.

Throughout her speech, she stated that it is such a great disgrace to our country that there are people out there fighting in America’s wars overseas, willing to lose everything that they have, and that they are being discriminated against due to their sexual preference.

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was a federal policy that was aimed towards homosexuals serving in the military. The act supposedly helped stop military people from discriminating against or causing trouble with homosexuals in the military, as long as they didn’t reveal they were gay. The policy in fact stopped people who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from being allowed to serve in the armed forces. The military was worried that the word would get out that there are certain people who are gay, and would degrade their public image and the military’s morale.

A person’s sexual preference certainly does not change who they are, but is more about what they prefer. The act clearly states that service members who are homosexual should be discharged. The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy really opened up the eyes of many, and certainly changed the way each of the soldiers viewed each other. Because so many people were objecting to it, the policy was finally changed this year.

Lady Gaga is a perfect person to help bring out the true problems in today’s government and society. She is a woman with great power and morals and has an effect on many different people. Due to the great efforts by many people, the policy was changed by President Obama, and its end was celebrated by many this year.

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Craig Altman is a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas College majoring in Communication Arts. Of his future plans, he said: “I would like to run my own public relations company.”

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