Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

The U.S. military is a fine example of a meritocracy.

Today it's even more so, thanks to Congress' vote to overturn the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy.

That misguided law, which dates to President Clinton's first term, prevented openly gay people from serving in the armed forces.

Since the law's inception in 1993, more than 13,000 members of the military have been discharged as a result.

Not because they couldn't shoot straight.

Or because they refused an order or failed to stand beside a comrade during combat.

They were denied the privilege of serving their country because their sexual orientation was "wrong."

The policy not only insulted those thousands who were turned away, but

it weakened the very foundation of the military, which is the idea that

what matters is not what you look like or what your beliefs are, but

simply whether you can do your job.

That's the true measure of a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. Finally, it's the only measure that truly matters.