Why Congressman Mike Coffman Wants to Preserve "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

July 30 2009, 9:53 AM

Jared Polis, who was recently appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the board that supervises the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, debated fellow Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman yesterday on the issue of whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve in the military. Of course, gays and lesbians are allowed in the military now---so long as nobody knows, which is the essence of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. But for Polis, an openly gay Democrat representing Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, the policy "makes no sense" and "weakens our military," he told KOA radio. The policy is responsible for an estimated 12,000 people being kicked out of the military in the 16 years since its creation, the Denver Daily News points out. Coffman, a Republican who served in the military and represents Colorado's 6th District, argues that gays and lesbians can disrupt the bond between soldiers: "You have to have total trust because if I'm a squad leader…I've got to decide maybe who's got to take point on a patrol. And if I have a relationship with somebody on the squad, then everybody else in the squad is going to question my decision." The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to hold a hearing over a possible repeal of the policy this fall, according to CNN.