The National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers, an organization composed of clergy who served in Viet Nam, meeting in Washington, DC on November 8 through 12, 1993, issued the following statement concerning the issue of human sexuality and the military.
Our various religious traditions continue to struggle with issues of human sexuality, most recently with the question of how members of the gay and lesbian community are to participate within the traditions. A great variety of views exist and our witness remains confused and unclear. However, the dialogue continues, as it rightly should.
We are concerned and disturbed that the United States government would consider adopting the official position which is based upon the premise of silence. The "don't ask; don't tell" proposal is an affront to both the Constitution of the United States and to human dignity.
To impose on any segment of society a mandatory silence is an unconscionable act. From our experience of the silence imposed upon us as Viet Nam veterans by society and as Viet Nam veteran clergy by our religious traditions, we have learned the pain and cost of rejection.
We urge the leaders of the United States government in both the executive and legislative branches not to further retreat from dialogue but to, at the very least, encourage and allow an open exchange of views with the many patriotic members of the gay and lesbian community who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces.
Return to Peace and Justice Statements.