Homosexuals in the military

President-elect Clinton is expected to issue an executive order overturning the ban on gays in the military as early as his first day in office. It is the right thing to do. Keeping the ban does not keep gays out. They are already there by the tens of thousands, doing a professional job like everyone else. Eliminating the ban would let them live their lives without fear of being discharged.

A June report from the United States General Accounting Office called the ban too costly and said "experts believe the policy is unsupported, unfair, and counterproductive; it has no validity according to current scientific research and opinions; and it appears to be based on the same type of prejudice once used to discriminate against blacks and women."

Some argue that we have to keep gays out of the military, and let private employers have the right to fire gays, since some people are prejudiced against them and it could create work problems. That's unfair. Some people call gay rights "special privileges." No one is seeking special rights, only a guarantee of equal rights. Anti-gay discrimination penalizes men and women for who they are even though they do not infringe on the freedoms or liberties of others. Gay rights legislation does not exempt gays from laws and obligations that govern Americans. Alan L. Light, Iowa City, Iowa

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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