Ask, Tell is not the opposite of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Since the Senate vote of 65-31 to repeal, I’ve been seeing people shouting “ASK, TELL” on twitter and in blogs as if removing the “Don’t” in front of each verb means the opposite. It’s a cute, catchy little marketing thing the masses can easily shout but it is woefully misguided.

The point of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal is that your sexual orientation did not matter concerning your ability to serve in the military. What matters most are your skills, abilities and attributes regardless of your sexual orientation. Using catch phrases like “Ask, Tell” is not only an incorrect representation of what the issue is about, but it gives fuel to the homophobic crowd to think that gays are claiming special rights instead of the fair and equal rights they should have been given all along. Throwing fuel on the fire is just continuing the fight after it has been settled.

Words have consequences. Even slogans have consequences. Think before you use them. Think before you hop on a bandwagon of chanting or retweeting. Just think.

Part of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal was also about rational thought trumping fear and prejudice. Make sure the scales are even, not swung wildly to the left.