Why Can't Gays Openly Serve in the Military?

What's more socially acceptable: Gay marriage or gays in the military?

That was the question posed this morning after nearly 20 college students, mostly from Harvard Divinity School and all part of the Right To Serve Tour, marched to the Times Square military recruitment office to protest "Don't Ask Don't Tell," a policy signed into law by President Clinton in 1993.

Ex-Soulforce leader and Equality Ride co-founder Jake Reitan led the demonstration. He attempted to enlist, but once he announced to the recruiters that he was gay, recruiters ordered him to leave the office or (incredibly) be arrested for trespassing. Reitan refused and was quickly led away in handcuffs in front of picketing Right To Serve students and hordes of Times Square gawkers. An hour later, he was released from police custody with a summons to appear in court by the end of July.


This was the last stop of a four-city tour for the Right To Serve protesters. Similar to the Equality Ride, Reitan and company hopped on a bus and traveled to Boston, Portland, Hartford and NYC to protest what they see as "government-sanctioned discrimination." They also want to raise awareness and win support for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill introduced last year in the House of Representatives that would effectively lift the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban.

This isn't the first time Reitan has challenged this country's policy on gays in the military. In 2006, he and about 50 Soulforce activists also attempted to enlist at the famous Times Square recruitment center. The only problem was the recruiters got wind of it and didn't show up for work.

So what do you think? With recruitment numbers reaching a new low, is it finally time to allow gays in the military? Is it THAT big of a deal? And what do you think will happen first -- admitting gays into the military, or allowing gays to marry in most states?