In response to “Factor in health care costs,” (letter, March 22), I find it absurd that a “reason” for not allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military would be taxpayers shouldering the “premium” for “people who live a lifestyle that makes them more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease.” That “reason” isn’t sound at all.

Women and men, straight or gay, have an equal opportunity to contract and spread STDs. By implying that homosexuals do not use protection because they do not have to worry about conception is an untrue and unfair statement. Responsible adults who are properly educated about sex use protection when warranted whether conception is an issue for them or not.

What bothers me even more about the argument is there’s no mention of the risky behaviors straight servicemembers engage in that make them more likely to contract an STD and pass on higher costs to taxpayers. Risky behaviors by both gay and straight people include being promiscuous; sleeping with prostitutes; being an alcoholic or consuming a lot of alcohol, which can lead to poor sexual decisions, not to mention poor health in general; smoking and chewing tobacco; eating a lot of junk food; and drinking a lot of soda.

My point is that all servicemembers can participate in lifestyle choices that raise costs to taxpayers. To take a small demographic and not only make assumptions about their ability to protect themselves from STDs but then to use those assumptions as a reason against them is unfair and one-sided.

Rebecca SillCamp Foster, Okinawa

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