Sikhs Still Seeking Tolerance, Acceptance by US Military
Despite claims by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that tolerance is “a practical necessity” in the US military — and that nothing unrelated to someone’s qualifications should prevent them from serving — people who are prevented from serving for reasons other than sexuality aren’t reaping the fruits of that newfound practical “tolerance.”
Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi was recently in the news — and at the Democratic National Convention — highlighting the continued fight for Sikhs to gain mainstream acceptance in the military. For now, only a few Sikhs have obtained the exception to policy allowing them to wear the articles of their faith while in uniform.
The Sikh Coalition recently announced another Sikh had been granted an accommodation:
Specialist Gurpreet Singh Cheema…now joins Captain Simratpal Singh, Specialist Harpal Singh, Specialist Kanwar Bir Singh, Private Arjan Singh Ghotra, and Cadet Jaspreet Singh Gill, as the sixth Sikh soldier in 2016 to be granted a religious accommodation to serve in the U.S. Army.
While a victory of sorts and certainly a positive trend, each individual Sikh still requires explicit permission, and permission can theoretically be revoked at any time.
For now, you can join the military if you’re a man who wants to wear your hair like a woman, but you can’t join the military if you wear your hair in a religious turban.
Perhaps some day the “tolerance” shown to sexual behavior will extend to religion, as a “practical necessity.” Seems like there’s something about that in the US Constitution.
Also at the AppealDemocrat.