In regard to “Selfless service, not sex” (letter, Feb. 18), I disagree wholeheartedly with the writer’s implication that homosexuality should be kept completely discreet.

No one is advocating for the abolishment of “don’t ask, don’t tell” so that homosexuals can act inappropriately on their “primal sexual urges.” Gays should simply be given the same rights as everyone else serving.

It is unfair for gay soldiers to have to hide whom they are, while straight soldiers can bring their loved ones to unit functions, display pictures of their significant others in their billeting and work areas, and even kiss their loved ones prior to a long deployment.

With the integration of homosexuals into the military, all of the same rules and customs will apply in regard to social and sexual behavior, the exception being that gays will be recognized as equals instead of second-class soldiers who must hide for fear of discharge.

Tension will undoubtedly arise, just as it did with the racial and sexual integration of the military, but this will fade with time and support from the military’s leadership. While the letter writer argues that the religious beliefs of other soldiers should be taken into account, I believe that, in a military that allows all to worship as they please, the religious preferences of one or even a majority of soldiers should not be able to dictate the rights of others.

As with any civil rights struggle, there will be growing pains and, sadly, bloodshed, but when (not if, but when) “don’t ask” is repealed and the dust settles, we will be a more complete, more equal and more American military force.

I agree with the letter writer: The military is about selfless service. I just believe that all should be equally afforded the opportunity to selflessly serve.

Sgt. David RossKandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

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