Time To Repeal DADT? – Guest Article
Editor’s Notes: We also have a video about the DADT
policy (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell).
The author of our article has some hard numbers about the numbers of gay men and women currently
serving in the U.S. military and those who have been discharged during the time that this prejudicial policy has
been in effect. It’s important to remember, though, that before the current rules were in place, gays
were forbidden from serving at all. Many of us had to lie in order to be able to serve our country. In
a way those two eras were not so different from each other.
Time To Repeal DADT?
By Clay Cahoon
The policy known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) was passed by then President
Clinton in 1993 as a compromise in dealing with service members who are either gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Military
policy is currently to discharge from the service those members who serve openly as homosexual or bisexual.
Approximately 14,000 service men and woman have been discharged from active service under this policy since that
time. However, the policy also states that the military cannot ask the service members about their sexual
There is a growing movement in the Country to end this ban, and President Obama himself has pledged that he will
end this policy. Also, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the US Military along with the Secretary of
Defense have both called the ending of this practice. The House of Representatives has even adopted a measure that
could, in time, lead to the repeal of DADT as early as 2011. Under this measure, repeal will have to wait on a
report of a Working Group who reports to the Defense Department. This group is essentially studying how to best
implement the repeal of DADT. The repeal of DADT will become effective 60 days after the President, whoever he or
she is, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Military all acknowledge that these
new regulation have been properly prepared and that they are consistent with the military readiness standards,
military effectiveness, unit cohesion, as well as recruiting and retention policies of the military.
There is growing support both within the military and the country as a whole to repeal this law. Polls and
surveys consistently show a strong support all around to allow gays and bi-sexuals to openly serve within the
military. This support is particularly strong among the younger generations.
There are even those who even make the claim that DADT actually is injurious to military readiness. The claim is
that the military needs all of the recruits that it can possibly get, with over 70% of all of the young people in
the US estimated to be ineligible to serve in the US due to weight problems, poor education, or having criminal
records. More and more “waivers” have been issued in the past few years, which essentially allow previously
ineligible recruits into the service with special permission. Would it not be better to have a talented but openly
gay recruit openly serve, rather than take recruits that are heterosexual, but that need waivers to overcome a
It should also be pointed out that there are an estimated 66,000 gay or bisexual military men and women serving
at this moment, with another estimated 1,000,000 veterans. Admiral Mullen himself has stated that he has served
with gay service men and women since 1968.
Admin of the Officially unofficial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Blog
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