Wernick wants “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” overturned

Rabbi Steven Wernick, the recently installed head of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, argues that Jewish and American values dictate that gays should be allowed to serve in the military. 

Part of that, of course, was because the nascent state didn’t have the luxury of turning too many people away from its military, but part of it comes from the Jewish ideal of k’vod habriyot, human dignity. The U.S. military’s "Don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, simply put, is an affront to k’vod habriyot, and it should be overturned.

The United States was founded on the principles that all people were created equal. We know that sexual orientation is innate, and it cannot be God’s will to give gay men and lesbians less dignity than God has given the rest of us. We believe strongly, therefore, that every American citizen, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, should have the right to serve our country. And no American citizen should have to lie about the person he or she most loves. The "don’t ask" part of the "don’t ask, don’t tell" equation is on target – it is no one’s business, ever. But the "don’t tell" part is a violation of every person’s right to seek love, and the right that Thomas Jefferson affirmed for us, the right to the pursuit of happiness.

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