The United States has made a grave mistake with the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This is not only a serious impediment to the efficacy of the military but also goes against everything the nation stands for.
Much has already been made of the issue of unit cohesion and the very real possibility of front-line marines being distracted at critical moments and having their legs removed. I mean, how effective can a fighting force be without legs? Sure the Army will still be able to advance, since it marches on its stomach, but the enemy will be able to stop the most powerful military force in history just by building some stairs.
But more importantly, the repeal of this policy will lead to a lower quality of soldier. Currently gay soldiers are serving, but are doing so while obeying the order to conceal their sexuality. Being able to repress your personal private identity and follow orders are very important skills for servicemen to have, and now they won't be required of the homosexual members of the military.
Note that repression of one's sexual identity which, as James Amos points out, can not possibly distract anyone. In fact, that repression and frustration can only lead to greater aggression from the men and women in the armed services. Additionally, the constant fear of being outed by others is also not distracting, but rather increases perception and awareness of potential dangers.
An all-closeted squad may be the most effective fighting squad ever.
But more than just a means of projecting violence, the military also represents the nation. And while the potential de-legging of the troops is the paramount issue, thought nust be paid to exactly what this decision says about the United States of America.
The US was founded upon the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, not Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of a PENIS. [note to self: line for a rainy day - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Your Mom] There was a Declaration of Independence not a Declaration of Fabulousness. Tri-corner hats? Not fashionable.
As everyone knows, there are no atheists in foxholes. This carries over back at home - it is the Church that is most supportive of the troops. It is the religious that have the highest regard for military men. But many religions also view homosexuality as an abomination. Thus, allowing gays to openly serve is religious persecution.
President Obama needs to veto the repeal of DADT. It is the wrong decision, not only for the present but for the future as well. If we start letting proud homosexuals serve in the military, who will be next? Dolphins? Cats?