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Protest discrimination against gays in armed forces

As the events in the Persian Gulf come to a conclusion, there are many in our society who look with pride at the men and women in the military who have volunteered to serve their country.

To many, service in the military is a duty, an honor. Unfortunately, this honor is unfairly forbidden to approximately 10 percent of our country's population. Gays and lesbians are forbidden to serve in our country's military because their sexual orientation is "incompatible with military service."

There are thousands of gays and lesbians currently serving in the military. Why do so many of us serve a country whose military institution so obviously do not want our service?

A military that would immediately discharge us or court-martial us or jail us? There are as many reasons as there are gays in the service: duty, patriotism, pride. I am proud of my service to the military, as are my parents. (Yes, they know that I'm gay.)

The military's policy against gays is unfair and unneeded. Not only do gays already serve in large numbers, the military's own studies have concluded that gays, on average, have better service records than their heterosexual counterparts.

On April 10, there will be a day of protest across campuses nationwide against the military's policy of discrimination. These protests will highlight universities (such as MIT) who do not discriminate against gays, but allow their campus Reserve Officers' Training Corps units to do so.

I was a member of ROTC for four years and I feel the program is a valuable one. However, it is hypocritical for MIT to foster a program that violates its stated discrimination policy.

I encourage the MIT community to participate in the April 10 protest. All we ask for is the right to serve our country with honor.

(Editor's note: Due to the military's current policy for discharging homosexuals, The Tech has agreed to run this letter unsigned.)