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In response to the assertion made in the March 16 letter "It comes down to morals" that the decision to allow gays to openly serve in the military is a moral issue, bringing into account the religious principles of the Founding Fathers, I would have to respectfully disagree.

While some may join the military for its "set of values," anyone who has served in the military can see that "immorality" already exists within it (wholly unrelated to homosexuality), as we are, after all, only human. To deny gays the right to serve on this basis is hypocrisy, unless you expel personnel from the military for this subjective "immorality" across the board.

The military is a government organization, and the government is required, derived from the First Amendment of our Constitution and its Establishment Clause, to ensure the separation of church and state (a Constitution and Bill of Rights given to us by those aforementioned Founding Fathers). It is not the military’s role to be morality police, but rather to defend our nation. We should not exclude willing, proficient, able-bodied gay soldiers from serving openly; to do so is a detriment to our readiness and a statement of our lack of compassion for these individuals who truly wish to serve their country.

As for the questions on lodging and showers for gay soldiers, these are the same questions that were posed when the government was deciding whether to allow women to serve in the military. We overcame that hurdle, and I can confidently say we are a better military for having done so.

Despite my differing stance, I do respect the letter writer’s opinions and concerns; he speaks as part of what he feels is an unpopular minority, a place to which those supporting gay rights were once relegated.

First Lt. Aubrey McCaryForward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq

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