Open main menu

Don't ask, don't tell

former policy on gay people serving in the United States military
There is no evidence that wounded troops care about the sexual orientation of the flight nurse or medical technician tending to their wounds. ~ Ronald B. Leighton
It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do. … I cannot escape being troubled in the fact that we have in place a policy that forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity. Theirs as individuals and ours as an institution. ~ Michael Mullen

Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) was the common term for the policy restricting the United States military from efforts to discover or reveal closeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual servicemembers or applicants, while barring those who are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual from military service, issued on December 21, 1993 and lasting until September 20, 2011. The restrictions are mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Unless one of the exceptions from 10 U.S.C. § 654(b) applies, the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." The act prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces.

QuotesEdit

  • Mr. President, this November marks 10 years since our Nation imposed the discriminatory law known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on the lesbian, gay, and bisexual patriots of our Nation. During the past decade, almost 10,000 men and women have been fired from our Armed Forces simply because of their sexual orientation.
  • Reignited by the brutal slaying of a gay soldier at Ft. Campbell, Ky., the controversy over gays in the military threatens to become as combative an issue at the end of the Clinton administration as it was at the beginning. In recent weeks, the president, vice president and first lady have separately criticized the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and Defense Secretary William S. Cohen has authorized an investigation of its enforcement.
  • It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do. … I cannot escape being troubled in the fact that we have in place a policy that forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity. Theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.

External linksEdit