Don't ask, don't tell

Don't ask, don't tell

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Don't ask, don't tell'
Start a new discussion about 'Don't ask, don't tell'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
"Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) was the official United States policy on homosexuals serving in the military
Sexual orientation and military service
The military forces of the world have differing approaches to the enlistment of homosexual and bisexual individuals. The armed forces of most developed countries have now removed policies excluding non-heterosexual individuals...

 from December 21, 1993 to September 20, 2011. The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted
Closeted
Closeted and in the closet are metaphors used to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex people who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity and aspects thereof, including sexual identity and sexual behavior.-Background:In late 20th...

 homosexual
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 or bisexual
Bisexuality
Bisexuality is sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females, especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation, all a part of the...

 service members or applicants, while barring openly gay, lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

, or bisexual persons from military service. The restrictions were mandated by United States federal law . The policy prohibited people who "demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because their presence "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion
Unit cohesion
Unit cohesion is a military concept, defined by one former United States Chief of staff in the early 1980s as "the bonding together of soldiers in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the unit, and mission accomplishment, despite combat or mission stress"...

 that are the essence of military capability." The act prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. The act specified that service members who disclose that they are homosexual or engage in homosexual conduct should be separated (discharged) except when a service member's conduct was "for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service" or when it "would not be in the best interest of the armed forces".

The "don't ask" part of the DADT policy specified that superiors should not initiate investigation of a servicemember's orientation without witnessing disallowed behaviors, though credible evidence of homosexual behavior could be used to initiate an investigation. Unauthorized investigations and harassment of suspected servicemen and women led to an expansion of the policy to "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue, don't harass."

A congressional bill to repeal DADT
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy , which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.The Act did not immediately repeal the...

 was enacted in December 2010, specifying that the policy would remain in place until the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, the Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 certified that repeal would not harm military readiness, followed by a 60-day waiting period. A July 6, 2011 ruling from a federal appeals court barred further enforcement of the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 Admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...

 Mike Mullen
Michael Mullen
Michael Glenn "Mike" Mullen is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, who served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2011. Mullen previously served as the Navy's 28th Chief of Naval Operations from July 22, 2005 to September 29, 2007...

, sent that certification to Congress on July 22, 2011, which set the end of DADT for September 20, 2011.

Background


Sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

 has been grounds for discharge from the American military since the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, but the LGBT-related policies changed over the course of the 20th century. Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin
Frederick Gotthold Enslin
Frederick Gotthold Enslin was the focus of one of three possible cases of sodomy documented in the Continental Army under General George Washington. The case began with a charge against an ensign for slander against another soldier...

 was the first soldier discharged from the U.S. military (at that time, the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

) for sodomy, in 1778.

As the United States prepared to enter World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the military added psychiatric screening to its induction process. At the time, psychiatry
Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

 labeled homosexuality as an indicator of psychopathology
Psychopathology
Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, mental distress, and abnormal/maladaptive behavior. The term is most commonly used within psychiatry where pathology refers to disease processes...

, and this notion was added to military practices. The first time "homosexual" people were distinguished from "normal" people in the military literature was in revised army mobilization regulations in 1942. Whereas before the buildup to the war gay servicemembers were court-martialed, imprisoned and dishonorably discharged, in wartime commanding officers found it difficult to convene court-martial boards of commissioned officers and the administrative blue discharge
Blue discharge
A blue discharge was a form of administrative military discharge formerly issued by the United States beginning in 1916. It was neither honorable nor dishonorable. The blue ticket became the discharge of choice for commanders seeking to remove homosexual service members from the ranks...

 became the discharge of choice for gay and lesbian personnel. In 1944, a new policy directive decreed that homosexuals were to be committed to military hospitals, examined by psychiatrists and discharged under Regulation 615-360, section 8
Section 8 (military)
The term Section 8 refers to a category of discharge from the United States military for reason of being mentally unfit for service. It also came to mean any serviceperson given such a discharge or behaving as if deserving such a discharge...

.

In 1947, blue discharges were discontinued and two new classifications were created: "general" and "undesirable". Under such a system, a servicemember found to be gay but who had not committed any sexual acts while in service would tend to receive an undesirable discharge. Those found guilty of engaging in sexual conduct were usually dishonorably discharged. A 1957 U.S. Navy study known as the Crittenden Report
Crittenden Report
The Crittenden Report was the outcome of a 1957 investigation on the part of a United States Navy Board of Inquiry, officially known as the Board Appointed to Prepare and Submit Recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy for the Revision of Policies, Procedures and Directives Dealing With...

 dismissed the charge that homosexuals constitute a security risk, but advocated stringent anti-homosexual policies because "Homosexuality is wrong, it is evil, and it is to be branded as such." It remained secret until 1976. Fannie Mae Clackum
Fannie Mae Clackum
Fannie Mae Clackum was the first person to successfully challenge her discharge on the grounds of homosexuality from the U.S military.Fannie Mae Clackum served as an US Air Force Reservist in the late 1940s and early 1950s. When the Air Force suspected her and Grace Garner of being lesbians, it...

 was the first service member to successfully appeal such a discharge, winning eight years of back pay from the US Court of Claims
United States Court of Federal Claims
The United States Court of Federal Claims is a United States federal court that hears monetary claims against the U.S. government. The court is established pursuant to Congress's authority under Article One of the United States Constitution...

 in 1960.

From the 1940s through the Vietnam War, some notable gay servicemembers avoided discharges despite pre-screening efforts, and when personnel shortages occurred, homosexuals were allowed to serve.

The gay and lesbian rights movement
LGBT social movements
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements share inter-related goals of social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies have a long history of campaigning for what is generally called LGBT rights, also called gay...

 in the 1970s and 1980s raised the issue by publicizing several noteworthy dismissals of gay servicemembers, with Sgt. Leonard Matlovich
Leonard Matlovich
Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star....

 appearing on the cover of Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

in 1975. The Department of Defense issued a 1982 policy (DOD Directive 1332.14) stating that homosexuality was clearly incompatible with military service. The policy garnered public scrutiny through the 1980s and 1990s, and it became a political issue in the 1992 U.S. presidential election with Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and others citing the brutal murder of gay Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 petty officer Allen R. Schindler, Jr.
Allen R. Schindler, Jr.
Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was an Americ Radioman Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy who was murdered for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan by shipmate Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called...



After Bill Clinton won the presidency, Congress rushed to enact the existing gay ban policy into federal law, outflanking Clinton's planned repeal effort. Clinton called for legislation to overturn the ban, but it encountered intense scrutiny by the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

, members of Congress, and portions of the public. DADT emerged as a compromise policy.

Origin


The policy was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who campaigned on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. At the time, per the December 21, 1993 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, it was legal policy (10 U.S.C. § 654) that homosexuality is incompatible with military service and that persons who engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were to be discharged. The Uniform Code of Military Justice
Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....

, passed by Congress in 1950 and signed by President Harry S Truman, established the policies and procedures for discharging service members.

Congress overrode Clinton by including text in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (passed in 1993) requiring the military to abide by regulations essentially identical to the 1982 absolute ban policy. The Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993, issued Defense Directive 1304.26, which directed that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation. This is the policy now known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The phrase was coined by Charles Moskos
Charles Moskos
Charles C. Moskos was a sociologist of the United States Military and a professor at Northwestern University...

, a military sociologist.

The full name of the policy at the time was "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue." The "Don’t Ask" provision mandated that military or appointed officials will not ask about or require members to reveal their sexual orientation. The "Don’t Tell" stated that a member may be discharged for claiming to be a homosexual or bisexual or making a statement indicating a tendency towards or intent to engage in homosexual activities. The "Don’t Pursue" established what was minimally required for an investigation to be initiated. A "Don’t Harass" provision was added to the policy later. It ensured that the military would not allow harassment or violence against service members for any reason.

At times beatings of gay personnel were severe and occasionally even fatal, as in the case of Allen R. Schindler, Jr.
Allen R. Schindler, Jr.
Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was an Americ Radioman Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy who was murdered for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan by shipmate Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called...

. In defense of his DADT policy, President Clinton cited U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 Radioman
Radioman
Radioman was a rating for United States Navy and United States Coast Guard enlisted personnel, specializing in communications technology.-History of the rating:...

 Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
U.S. NavyGood conductvariationU.S. NavyPetty officerthird classinsigniaPetty officer third class is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman and below petty officer second class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a corporal in...

 Schindler, brutally murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey (with the aid of an accomplice), leaving a "nearly-unrecognizable corpse".
DADT has officially prohibited such behavior, but harassment continues.

In the midst of the 1993 controversy, the National Defense Research Institute prepared a study for the Office of the Secretary of Defense published as Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment. It concluded, in measured language, that "circumstances could exist under which the ban on homosexuals could be lifted with little or no adverse consequences for recruitment and retention" if the policy were implemented with care, principally because many factors contribute to individual enlistment and re-enlistment decisions.

In Congress, Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Senator Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn
Samuel Augustus Nunn, Jr. is an American lawyer and politician. Currently the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative , a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Nunn served for 24 years as a...

 of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 led the contingent that favored maintaining the absolute ban on gays. Reformers were led by Democratic Congressman Barney Frank
Barney Frank
Barney Frank is the U.S. Representative for . A member of the Democratic Party, he is the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.Born and raised in New Jersey, Frank graduated from Harvard College and...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, who favored modification (but ultimately voted for the defense authorization bill with the gay ban language), and retired Republican Senator Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

, who argued on behalf of full repeal. After Congressional phone lines were flooded by organized anti-gay opposition, President Clinton backed off on his campaign promise to repeal the ban in favor of DADT.

Reservist exception



In September 2005, the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military – a think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 affiliated with the University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara, commonly known as UCSB or UC Santa Barbara, is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a site in Goleta, California, from Santa Barbara and northwest of Los...

, and renamed the Michael D. Palm Center in October 2006 – issued a news release revealing they had found a 1999 FORSCOM Regulation (500-3-3 RC Unit Commander's Handbook) that allowed the active duty deployment of Army Reservists and National Guard troops who say that they are gay or who are accused of being gay. U.S. Army Forces Command spokesperson Kim Waldron later confirmed the regulation and indicated that it was intended to prevent Reservists and National Guard members from pretending to be gay to escape combat.

Court challenges



DADT has been upheld by four of the federal Courts of Appeal, and in a Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 case, Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. 47 , is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the federal government, under the Solomon Amendment, could constitutionally withhold funding from universities if they refuse to give military recruiters...

 (2006), the Supreme Court unanimously held that the federal government could constitutionally withhold funding from universities if they refuse to give military recruiters access to school resources, in spite of any university nondiscrimination policies.

In 2004 a federal lawsuit challenging DADT was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans
Log Cabin Republicans
The Log Cabin Republicans is an organization that works within the Republican Party to advocate equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians in the United States with state chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C...

, the nation's largest Republican gay organization. The case went to trial in 2010, before Judge Virginia A. Phillips
Virginia A. Phillips
Virginia A. Phillips is a judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.-Early life and education:...

. Plaintiffs stated that the policy violates the rights of gay military members to free speech, due process and open association. The government argued that DADT was necessary to advance a legitimate governmental interest. Plaintiffs introduced admissions by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, from prepared remarks, that DADT "doesn’t contribute to our national security", "weakens our national security", and that reversal is "essential for our national security". According to plaintiffs, these statements alone satisfy their burden of proof and compel judgment in favor of Log Cabin Republicans on the due process claims.

On September 9, 2010, Judge Phillips ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, as a violation of the First
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 and Fifth Amendment
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

s.

On October 12, 2010, Judge Phillips granted a worldwide, immediate injunction prohibiting the Department of Defense from enforcing or complying with the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy, and ordered the military to suspend and discontinue any investigation or discharge, separation, or other proceeding that have been commenced under the policy. The Department of Justice responded with an appeal and a request for a stay of the ruling, a request which was denied by Phillips but granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 20.

On October 19, 2010, military recruiters were told they could accept openly gay applicants. On October 20, 2010, Lt. Daniel Choi, an openly gay man who had previously been honorably discharged under DADT, re-enlisted in the US Army. On October 20, 2010, a federal appeals court in California granted a temporary stay reversing a worldwide injunction against enforcement of the US military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy maintaining the DADT policy.

On November 1, 2010, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Judge Phillips' injunction pending appeal. The plaintiffs applied to the US Supreme Court to overrule the stay, but the Supreme Court did not intervene.

Following passage of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy , which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.The Act did not immediately repeal the...

, the Justice Department asked the Ninth Circuit to suspend LCR's suit in light of the legislative repeal. LCR opposed the request, noting that gay personnel were still subject to discharge. On January 28, 2011, the Court denied the Justice Department's request. The Obama administration responded by requesting that the policy be allowed to stay in place while they completed the process of assuring that its end would not impact combat readiness. On March 28, the LCR filed a brief asking that the court deny the administration's request.

While waiting for certification, several service members were discharged under DADT at their own insistence, until July 6 when a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals re-instated Judge Phillips' injunction barring further enforcement of the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members. Oral arguments for appealing Judge Phillips' ruling that DADT is unconstitutional are to be scheduled for the week of
August 29, 2011. On July 11, the appeals court asked the DOJ to inform the court if it intends to proceed with its appeal. On July 14, the Justice Department filed a motion "to avoid short-circuiting the repeal process established by Congress during the final stages of the implementation of the repeal." attorneys warned of "significant immediate harms on the government." On July 15, the Ninth Circuit restored most of the DADT policy. However, the new order continued to explicitly prohibit the government from discharging or investigating openly gay personnel.

The Phillips ruling barring DADT enforcement was vacated
Vacated judgment
A vacated judgment makes a previous legal judgment legally void. A vacated judgment is usually the result of the judgment of an appellate court which overturns, reverses, or sets aside the judgment of a lower court....

 following repeal of the policy by a panel of three judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a U.S. federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* District of Alaska* District of Arizona...

.

Military Readiness Enhancement Act



The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was a bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

 introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in 2005 by Rep. Martin T. Meehan
Marty Meehan
Martin Thomas "Marty" Meehan is an American attorney and politician from the state of Massachusetts. He is the current Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a position he assumed on July 1, 2007...

 with the stated purpose "to amend title 10, United States Code
Title 10 of the United States Code
Title 10 of the United States Code outlines the role of armed forces in the United States Code.It provides the legal basis for the roles, missions and organization of each of the services as well as the United States Department of Defense...

, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as 'Don't ask, don't tell,' with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." The bill was introduced again in 2007 and 2009.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010


In his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama advocated a full repeal of the laws barring homosexuals from serving in the military. On October 10, 2009, Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 that he will end the ban, but offered no timetable. As president, Obama said in his first State of the Union Address in 2010, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." This statement was quickly followed up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 and Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen
Michael Mullen
Michael Glenn "Mike" Mullen is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, who served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2011. Mullen previously served as the Navy's 28th Chief of Naval Operations from July 22, 2005 to September 29, 2007...

 voicing their support for a repeal of DADT.

On March 25, 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 announced new rules mandating that only flag officer
Flag Officer
A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark where the officer exercises command. The term usually refers to the senior officers in an English-speaking nation's navy, specifically those who hold any of the admiral ranks; in...

s may initiate discharge proceedings and imposing more stringent rules of evidence be used during discharge proceedings.

On May 27, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy
Patrick Murphy (politician)
Patrick Joseph Murphy is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act
National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act is the name of a United States federal law that has been enacted for each of the past 48 fiscal years to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.-See also:...

 for Fiscal Year 2011 on a 234–194 vote that would repeal the relevant sections of the law 60 days after a study by the U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 is completed and the U.S. Defense Secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. President certify that repeal would not harm military effectiveness. On the same day the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy , benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and...

 advanced the identical measure in a 16–12 vote to be included in the Defense Authorization Act. The amended defense bill passed the U.S. House on May 28, 2010. On September 21, 2010, John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 led a successful (Yea 56, Nay 43) filibuster
Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal...

 against the debate on the Defense Authorization Act. The bill languished in the Senate until December.
In late November, the Pentagon published a comprehensive report on the issues associated with a repeal of DADT. The report indicated that there was low risk of service disruptions because of repeal of the ban. Gates, fearing that Courts would force a sudden change, encouraged Congress to act quickly to repeal the law so that the military could carefully adjust. Democrats in Congress quickly scheduled hearings to consider repeal of the law. On December 3, the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy , benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and...

 to testify about repeal. While the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the second highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces ranking just below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

, Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

, and Commandant of the Coast Guard
Commandant of the Coast Guard
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard is the highest ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The Commandant is normally the only four-star Admiral in the Coast Guard and is appointed for a four-year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation by the United...

 said repeal would cause minimal disruption, heads of the Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

, Air Force
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Air Force, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Air Force, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the...

, and Marines
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is normally the highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

 opposed repeal because it would cause additional stress on combat focused forces during war.

On December 9, 2010, another filibuster prevented debate on the Defense Authorization Act during the lame duck session of Congress. Susan Collins of Maine voted in favor of cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 on the bill and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

. Manchin stated that he did not support cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 because he had not yet consulted constituents on the issue, but said that the policy "probably should be repealed in the near future".

U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.Born in Stamford, Connecticut,...

 and Susan Collins
Susan Collins
Susan Margaret Collins is the junior United States Senator from Maine and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the Senate in 1996, she is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs...

 introduced bill S.4022 on December 9, 2010, in reaction to the failure to open discussion on the Defense Authorization Act. It includes the policy-related portions of the Defense Authorization Act which are considered by Lieberman and Collins as more likely to pass as a stand-alone bill. The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

compared it to a Hail Mary pass
Hail Mary pass
A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary route in American football refers to any very long forward pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half....

. The stand-alone bill H.R. 6520 was sponsored by Patrick Murphy
Patrick Murphy (politician)
Patrick Joseph Murphy is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 and passed the House of Representatives via H.R. 2965 in a vote of 250 to 175 on December 15, 2010.

On December 18, 2010, the Senate voted to end debate on S.4023, the Senate's bill identical to H.R.2965, via a cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 vote of 63–33. Prior to the vote, Sen. Lieberman gave the final argument in favor of repealing DADT and Sen. McCain argued against repeal. The final Senate vote was held later that same day, with the measure passing by a vote of 65–31.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 released a statement following the vote indicating that the planning for implementation of a policy repeal would begin right away, led by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
The Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness, or USD is a high-ranking civilian position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense within the United States Department of Defense responsible for advising the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and...

 Clifford L. Stanley
Clifford L. Stanley
Clifford Lee Stanley is the United States Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, having assumed that office in 2010.-Biography:Clifford L...

, and would continue until Gates certified that conditions were met for orderly repeal of the policy.

President Obama signed the repeal into law on December 22, 2010.

Implementation


The repeal act established a process for winding down the DADT policy. The President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were required to certify in writing that they had reviewed the Pentagon's report on the effects of DADT repeal, that the appropriate regulations had been reviewed and drafted and that implementation of repeal regulations "is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces". Once certification was given, a 60-day waiting period would begin before DADT was formally repealed.

Representative Duncan D. Hunter
Duncan D. Hunter
Duncan Duane Hunter is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is the son of his predecessor Duncan Hunter...

 announced plans in January 2011 to introduce a bill designed to delay DADT repeal. Had his bill been adopted, all of the chiefs of the armed services would have needed to submit the certification at the time required only of the President, Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman.

In January 2011, Pentagon officials stated that the training process to prepare troops for the repeal would begin in February and would proceed quickly, though they suggested that it might not be completed in 2011. In May 2011, the US Army reprimanded three colonels for performing a skit in March 2011 at a function at Yongsan Garrison
Yongsan Garrison
United States Army Garrison Yongsan is located in Seoul, South Korea and is home to the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in Korea, known as United States Forces Korea , as well as the headquarters for the Eighth United States Army and Installation Management Command Korea Region...

, South Korea that mocked the repeal.

While waiting for certification, several service members were discharged at their own insistence until a July 6 ruling from a federal appeals court barred further enforcement of the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members, which the military promptly did.

President Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

, and Admiral Mike Mullen
Michael Mullen
Michael Glenn "Mike" Mullen is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, who served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2011. Mullen previously served as the Navy's 28th Chief of Naval Operations from July 22, 2005 to September 29, 2007...

, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent the certification required by the Repeal Act to Congress on July 22, 2011, setting the end of DADT for September 20, 2011. The moment the repeal took effect, US Navy LT Gary Ross married his 11 1/2 year same-sex partner Dan Swezy, becoming the first same-sex military couple to legally marry in the United States. A Pentagon spokesman said that servicemembers discharged under DADT will be able to re-apply to rejoin the military then. On September 30, 2011, the Department of Defense issued Change 3 to DoD Instruction 1332.14, deleting "homosexual conduct" as a ground for administrative separation and thus making the repeal of DADT more fully meaningful.

Public opinion


According to a December 2010 Washington Post-ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 poll 77 percent of Americans say gays and lesbians who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be able to serve in the military. That number showed little change from polls over the two years, but represents the highest level of support in a Post-ABC poll. The support also cuts across partisan and ideological lines, with majorities of Democrats (86%), Republicans (74%), independents (74%), liberals (92%), conservatives (67%), white evangelical Protestants (70%) and non-religious (84%) in favor of homosexuals' serving openly.

A November 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 58 percent of the American public favors permitting homosexuals to serve openly in the military, while less than half that number (27 percent) are opposed. According to a November 2010 CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

/Opinion Research Corporation
Opinion Research Corporation
Opinion Research Corporation, based in Princeton, New Jersey, is a demographic, health, and market research company. It was founded in 1938 by Claude Robinson and George Gallup, although Gallup quickly left the firm in 1939....

 poll 72% of adult Americans favor permitting people who are openly gay or lesbian to serve in the military, while 23 % oppose it. "The main difference between the CNN poll and the Pew poll is in the number of respondents who told pollsters that they didn't have an opinion on this topic – 16 percent in the Pew poll compared to only five percent in the CNN survey," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The two polls report virtually the same number who say they oppose gays serving openly in the military, which suggests that there are some people who favor that change in policy but for some reason were reluctant to admit that to the Pew interviewers. That happens occasionally on topics where moral issues and equal-treatment issues intersect."

A February 2010 Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational university located in Hamden, Connecticut, United States at the foot of Sleeping Giant State Park...

 national poll shows 57% of American voters favor gays serving openly, compared to 36% opposed, and 66% say the current policy of not allowing openly gay personnel to serve is discrimination, opposed to 31% who see no discrimination. A CBS News
CBS News
CBS News is the news division of American television and radio network CBS. The current chairman is Jeff Fager who is also the executive producer of 60 Minutes, while the current president of CBS News is David Rhodes. CBS News' flagship program is the CBS Evening News, hosted by the network's main...

/New York Times national poll done at the same time shows 58% of Americans favor gays serving openly, compared to 28% opposed.

Military personnel opinion


In 1993, Comdr. Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley was a career officer in the US Navy, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, who retired with the rank of Rear Admiral and became vice president, communications and public affairs, for Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems.He graduated from the US Naval...

, then a Navy spokesman, said, "Homosexuals are notoriously promiscuous. If homosexuals are allowed to declare their sexual orientation openly heterosexuals who showered with gay men would have an 'uncomfortable feeling of someone watching.'"

A 2006 Zogby International
Zogby International
IBOPE Zogby International is an international market research, opinion polling firm founded in 1984 by John Zogby. The company polls and consults for a wide spectrum of business media, government, and political groups, and conducts public opinion research in more than 70 countries...

 poll of military members found that 26% were in favor of gays serving in the military, 37% were opposed, while 37% expressed no preference or were unsure. Of the respondents who had experience with gay people in their unit, 6% said their presence had a positive impact on their personal morale, 66% said no impact, and 28% said negative impact. Likewise, regarding overall unit morale, 3% said positive impact, 64% no impact, and 27% negative impact. As for respondents uncertain whether they had served with gay personnel, 2% thought gays would have a positive effect on personal morale, while 29% thought that they would have no impact and 48% thought that they would have a negative effect. Likewise, regarding overall unit morale, 2% thought that gays would have a positive effect on overall unit morale, 26% thought they would have no effect, and 58% thought they would have a negative effect. More generally, 73% of respondents said that they felt comfortable in the presence of gay and lesbian personnel.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 Gen. John Shalikashvili (Ret.) and former Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 and Secretary of Defense William Cohen
William Cohen
William Sebastian Cohen is an author and American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. A Republican, Cohen served as Secretary of Defense under Democratic President Bill Clinton.-Early life and education:...

 spoke against the policy publicly in January 2007: "I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces," General Shalikashvili wrote. "Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

In December 2007, 28 retired generals and admirals urged Congress to repeal the policy, citing evidence that 65,000 gay men and women are currently serving in the armed forces and that there are over 1,000,000 gay veterans. On November 17, 2008, 104 retired generals and admirals signed a similar statement.

On May 4, 2008, while Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen addressed the graduating cadets at West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

, a cadet asked what would happen if the next administration were supportive of legislation allowing gays to serve openly. Mullen responded, "Congress, and not the military, is responsible for [DADT]." Previously, during his Senate confirmation hearing in 2007, Mullen told lawmakers, "I really think it is for the American people to come forward, really through this body, to both debate that policy and make changes, if that's appropriate." He went on to say, "I'd love to have Congress make its own decisions" with respect to considering repeal.

In an interview on CNN's State of the Union broadcast on July 5, 2009, Colin Powell said he thought that the policy was "correct for the time" but that "sixteen years have now gone by, and I think a lot has changed with respect to attitudes within our country, and therefore I think this is a policy and a law that should be reviewed." In the same program, Admiral Mullen said the policy would continue to be implemented until the law was repealed, and that his advice was to "move in a measured way... At a time when we're fighting two conflicts there is a great deal of pressure on our forces and their families."

Several gay servicemembers have written novels and nonfiction works about life in the military under DADT. In 2005, Rich Merritt
Rich Merritt
Richard Wayne Merritt is an author, blogger and attorney. Merritt is a speaker at universities, law schools and other civic organizations about topics ranging from issues on gay and lesbian equality to fundamentalism...

 released his memoir Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star, and in 2008 Brett Edward Stout released his first novel, Sugar-Baby Bridge. Openly gay servicemember Dan Choi
Dan Choi
Daniel "Dan" Choi is a former American infantry officer in the United States Army who served in combat in the Iraq war during 2006-2007...

, a founder of West Point's LBGT group Knights Out
Knights Out
Knights Out is an organization of West Point alumni, staff and faculty who support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military and who wish to educate young officers about the issues and contributions of LGBT troops...

, made an appearance on the web-based documentary series In Their Boots
In Their Boots
In Their Boots is a web based documentary series about the impact the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan are having on people at home in the United States. Every episode features a documentary about how the servicemen and women of the American armed forces, their families, and American...

, criticizing the U.S. military's neglect of servicemembers' families. As a linguist, Choi was among 59 gay Arabic speakers discharged by the military, along with 9 gay Farsi speakers discharged by the military up to June 2009, despite a shortage of translators for these languages.

In September 2009, Air Force Colonel Om Prakash sharply criticized the policy in an article published in Joint Force Quarterly. He argued that it is unsound for several reasons, including the complete lack of any scientific basis for the proposition that unit cohesion is compromised by the presence of openly gay personnel. The article won the Secretary of Defense National Security Essay competition for 2009. Speaking in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 2, 2010, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 Adm. Mike Mullen denounced the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

In November 2010, the Defense Department published a comprehensive report on the effects of repeal. The report included the results of a survey of military personnel on bases throughout the United States and overseas, including 400,000 servicemembers and 150,000 military spouses. Overall, 70 percent of military personnel thought that integrating gays into the military would be positive, mixed, or of no consequence. However, 60 percent of personnel in the Marine Corps and combat specialties said that repealing the ban would be negative.

Scholars


In 1993, Gregory M. Herek
Gregory M. Herek
Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. is a researcher, author, and professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis . He has conducted extensive research on prejudice against sexual minorities, and coined the term sexual prejudice as a replacement for homophobia to describe this phenomenon...

, associate research psychologist at the University of California at Davis and an authority on public attitudes toward lesbians and gay men, testified before the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Representative Ron Dellums
Ron Dellums
Ronald Vernie "Ron" Dellums served as Oakland's forty-fifth mayor. From 1971 to 1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S...

. Testifying on behalf of the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 and five other national professional organizations (the American Psychiatric Association
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the most influential worldwide. Its some 38,000 members are mainly American but some are international...

, the National Association of Social Workers
National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers is a professional organization of social workers in the United States. It had over 150,000 members as of January 2008 and provides guidance, research, up to date information, advocacy, and other resources for its members and for social workers in general...

, the American Counseling Association
American Counseling Association
The American Counseling Association is a professional organization of counselors in the United States. It is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors....

, the American Nursing Association, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States is a lobbying organization and advocacy group dedicated to sex and sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights...

), Herek stated "My written testimony to the Committee summarizes the results of an extensive review of the relevant published research from the social and behavioral sciences. That review is lengthy. However, I can summarize its conclusions in a few words: The research data show that there is nothing about lesbians and gay men that makes them inherently unfit for military service, and there is nothing about heterosexuals that makes them inherently unable to work and live with gay people in close quarters." In his testimony, Herek reviewed existing scientific research concerning issues of unit cohesion and effectiveness and the fitness of lesbians and gay men for military service. He concluded that straight personnel could overcome their prejudices and adapt to living and working in close quarters with gays. Furthermore, he said gays are as capable of military service as straight men and women are. "The assumption that heterosexuals cannot overcome their prejudices toward gay people is a mistaken one," said Herek. Herek stated in 2008: "Today, as then (1993), the real question is not whether sexual minorities can be successfully integrated into the military. The social science data answered this question in the affirmative then, and do so even more clearly now. Rather, the issue is whether the United States is willing to repudiate its current practice of anti-gay discrimination and address the challenges associated with a new policy."

The American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 has stated:
On November 30, 2010 the Palm Center issued a joint statement from 30 professors and scholars (current and former academics at the Army War College, Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

, Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

, Naval Post Graduate School, Naval War College
Naval War College
The Naval War College is an education and research institution of the United States Navy that specializes in developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy. The college is located on the grounds of Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island...

, Air Command and Staff College
Air Command and Staff College
The Air Command and Staff College is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and is the United States Air Force's intermediate professional military education school. It prepares field grade and equivalent officers of all U.S...

 and National Defense University
National Defense University
The National Defense University is an institution of higher education funded by the United States Department of Defense, intended to facilitate high-level training, education, and the development of national security strategy. It is chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Navy Vice Admiral...

 as well as civilian universities including Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Yale and Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

) in response to the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group Report on gays in the military. The statement read in part:

Barack Obama


During his presidential campaign, Senator Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 stated in an open letter that he "called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell". During 2009, President Barack Obama advocated a policy change to allow gay personnel to serve openly in the armed forces, agreeing with General Shalikashvili and stating that the U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops expelled from the military, including language experts fluent in Arabic, because of DADT.

Nineteen days after his election, Obama's advisers announced that plans to repeal the policy might be delayed until 2010, because Obama "first wants to confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon to reach a consensus, and then present legislation to Congress."

In May 2009, a committee of military law experts at the University of California at Santa Barbara concluded that the President could issue an Executive Order to suspend homosexual conduct discharges. Obama's position was that he wanted Congress to change the law and not have the change come from executive action.

In July 2009, the White House and other Democrats reportedly pressured Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings
Alcee Hastings
Alcee Lamar Hastings is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

 to withdraw an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act
National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act is the name of a United States federal law that has been enacted for each of the past 48 fiscal years to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.-See also:...

  that would have prevented the military from using federal funds to expel gay servicemembers.

Obama's Justice Department continued to defend the gay ban in court, citing a "traditional" duty to enforce and defend all laws. In court documents, government lawyers agreed with the ruling of the Federal Appeals Court in Boston that DADT is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion." An appeal of this case brought by Captain James E. Pietrangelo II, Pietrangelo v. Gates 08-824, was subsequently rejected in June 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration asked that the Supreme Court turn down the challenge to the policy.

On the eve of the National Equality March
National Equality March
The National Equality March was a national political rally that occurred October 11, 2009 in Washington, D.C.. It called for equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia...

 in Washington, D.C., October 10, 2009, Barack Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 that he would end the ban, but he offered no timetable.

In January 2010, the White House and congressional officials started work on repealing the ban by inserting language into the 2011 defense authorization bill.

During President Obama's State of the Union Address
2010 State of the Union Address
The 2010 State of the Union Address was given by United States President Barack Obama on January 27, 2010, to a joint session of Congress. It was aired on all the major networks starting at 9 p.m. ET...

 on January 27, 2010, he claimed that he would work with Congress and the military to enact a repeal of the gay ban law. He had made similar statements during other speeches; however, his State of the Union speech was the first in which he definitively committed to repealing the law on a set timetable.

On November 30, 2010, the Department of Defense's Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) on DADT repeal issued its formal report outlining a path to implementation of repeal in the Armed Forces. The United States Senate took up two days of hearings on December 2 and 3, 2010 to discuss the CRWG report and interview Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen, and each of the Service Chiefs. During these hearings, President Obama undertook a surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit deployed servicemembers and was, therefore, unable to provide any direct statement of support for the Senate hearings while they were in the media spotlight.

Letter of support for maintaining DADT


Citing a letter signed by "over one thousand former general and flag officers who have weighed in on this issue," Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 of Arizona claimed that "we should pay attention and benefit from the experience and knowledge" of these officers. At the February 2, 2010 congressional hearing of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

, McCain read directly from the letter, saying "We firmly believe that this law, which Congress passed to protect good order, discipline and morale in the unique environment of the armed forces, deserves continued support." Servicemembers United
Servicemembers United
Servicemembers United is an LGBT-interest organization dedicated to the repeal of the United States armed forces' gay-exclusionary policy, commonly known as "don't ask, don't tell". The organization, formerly known as "Call to Duty", formed in 2005 by veterans....

, a veterans' group opposed to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", issued a subsequent report on the letter’s legitimacy. They found that the claimed signees of the letter included officers who had no knowledge of their inclusion, who had refused to be included, and even one instance of a widow signing the letter in the guise of her husband, a former general who had died before the survey was published. The average age of the officers listed in the letter was 74, the oldest was 98, and Servicemembers United noted that "only a small fraction of these officers have even served in the military during the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' period, much less in the 21st century military."

Activist groups


Several LGBT rights groups have lobbied, started campaigns and issued reports in an effort to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In February 2010, the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 launched its 'Repeal DADT Now Campaign' to mobilize grassroots support and target swing states. The Center for American Progress
Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. Its website states that the organization is "dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action." It has its headquarters in Washington D.C.Its President and Chief...

 issued a report in March 2010 which claimed that eight specified changes must be made to the military's internal regulations to ensure that a repeal is implemented smoothly. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a non-profit legal services, watchdog, and policy organization founded in the United States in 1993. It is dedicated to ending discrimination and harassment of gay and lesbian U.S. military personnel negatively affected by the "Don't ask, don't tell"...

 is dedicated to ending discrimination against military personnel affected by Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Gay rights groups were divided in 2010 on whether a defense bill should pass if it did not include a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The Center for Military Readiness
Center for Military Readiness
The Center for Military Readiness is 501 non-profit educational organization about policies of the United States military.-Overview:It was established in 1993, in the aftermath of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy enabled under former President Bill Clinton. It is headquartered in Livonia,...

 and its founder Elaine Donnelly led opposition to repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Donnelly has argued that allowing gays to serve would degrade the quality of service.

Number of discharges


Since the policy was introduced in 1993, the military has discharged over 13,000 troops from the military under DADT. The number of discharges per fiscal year under DADT dropped sharply after the September 11 attacks and has remained comparatively low since. Discharges exceeded 600 every year until 2009. Unofficial statistics on the number of persons discharged per year follow:
Year Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

Marines
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

Total
1994 0 36 258 136 187 617
1995 15 69 269 184 235 772
1996 12 60 315 199 284 870
1997 10 78 413 197 309 1,007
1998 14 77 345 312 415 1,163
1999 12 97 314 271 352 1,046
2000 19 114 358 573 177 1,241
2001 14 115 314 638 217 1,273
2002 29 109 218 429 121 906
2003* 787
2004 15 59 177 325 92 668
2005 16 75 177 386 88 742
2006* 623
2007* 627
2008* 619
2009* 428
2010* 11 261
Total ≥156 ≥889 ≥3,158 ≥3,650 ≥2,477 13,650

*Breakdown of discharges by service branch not available

Financial impact of policy


In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

 released estimates on the cost of the policy. The GAO reported at least $95.4 million in recruiting costs and at least $95.1 million for training replacements for the 9,488 troops discharged from 1994 through 2003, while noting that the true figures might be higher.

In February 2006, a University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 Blue Ribbon Commission including Lawrence Korb
Lawrence Korb
Lawrence J. Korb , is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Adviser to the Center for Defense Information...

, a former assistant defense secretary during the Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 administration, former Defense Secretary William Perry
William Perry
William James Perry is an American businessman and engineer who was the United States Secretary of Defense from February 3, 1994, to January 23, 1997, under President Bill Clinton...

, a member of the Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 administration, and professors from the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point concluded that figure should be closer to $363 million, including $14.3 million for "separation travel" once a servicemember is discharged, $17.8 million for training officers, $252.4 million for training enlistees and $79.3 million in recruiting costs. The commission report stated that the GAO did not take into account the value the military lost from the departures.

Chaplains and religious groups


Chaplain groups and religious organizations are taking various positions concerning the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Some view that the policy must be withdrawn to make the military more inclusive. The Southern Baptist Convention is battling the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, warning that their endorsements for chaplains may be withdrawn if the repeal takes place. They take the position that allowing gay men and women to serve in the military without restriction will have a negative impact on the ability of chaplains who think homosexuality is a sin to speak freely regarding their religious beliefs. The Roman Catholic Church has called for the retention of the policy, but has no plans to withdraw its priests from serving as military chaplains. Sixty-five retired chaplains signed a letter opposing repeal, stating that repeal would make it impossible for chaplains whose faith teaches that same-sex behavior is immoral to minister to military servicemembers. Other religious organizations and agencies call the repeal of the policy a "non-event" or "non-issue" for chaplains, claiming that chaplains have always supported military service personnel, whether or not they agree with all their actions or beliefs.

See also


  • Sexual orientation and military service
    Sexual orientation and military service
    The military forces of the world have differing approaches to the enlistment of homosexual and bisexual individuals. The armed forces of most developed countries have now removed policies excluding non-heterosexual individuals...

     – for information on policies in military services internationally
  • Margarethe Cammermeyer
    Margarethe Cammermeyer
    Margarethe "Grethe" Cammermeyer is a former colonel in the Washington National Guard and a gay rights activist. Born in Oslo, Norway, she became a United States citizen in 1960. In 1961 she joined the Army Student Nurse Program. She received a B.S. in Nursing in 1963 from the University of...

     – a retired colonel in the Washington National Guard
    Washington National Guard
    The Washington National Guard is headquartered at Camp Murray, Washington and is defined by its state and federal mission. At the call of the Governor, the Washington National Guard will mobilize and deploy during times of state emergency to augment local jurisdictions and responders in their...

     and a gay rights activist
  • Holmes v. California National Guard
    Holmes v. California National Guard
    Andrew Holmes v. California National Guard, 124 F.3d 1126 was a federal court case heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that discussed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gay and lesbian members of the California National Guard of the United States.The court supported the "don't ask,...

  • Daniel Choi – a former American Army Linguistic and gay rights activist against DADT
  • Darren Manzella
    Darren Manzella
    Darren Manzella was an American Army Sergeant, Army medic and gay activist from Portland, New York, who has served in Iraq and Kuwait. He was stationed out of Fort Hood, Texas.-Overview:...

     – an Army medic and gay activist
  • Timothy R. McVeigh
    Timothy R. McVeigh
    Timothy R. McVeigh is a former United States Navy sailor, best known as the first person to win a court case under the U.S. Military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.-Early life:McVeigh spent 17 years in the Navy before retiring in 1998...

     – the first person to favorably settle a case against DADT
  • Right to Serve Campaign
    Right to Serve Campaign
    The Right to Serve Campaign was a project of Soulforce, a national organization which counters religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people...

     – an organized effort to bring attention to DADT
  • Barry Winchell
    Barry Winchell
    Barry Winchell was an infantry soldier in the United States Army, whose murder by a fellow soldier, Calvin Glover, became a point of reference in the ongoing debate about the law known as "Don't ask, don't tell", which required the US military to discharge service members based on sexual...

     – an American soldier who was murdered by other soldiers while serving because he was thought to be gay
  • Witt v. Department of the Air Force
    Witt v. Department of the Air Force
    Witt v. Department of the Air Force, 527 F.3d 806 is a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of , the now repealed law which excluded openly homosexual people from serving in the United States military, commonly known as Don't ask, don't tell . The United States Court of Appeals for...

  • Invocation at DADT repeal Presidential Signing Ceremony

Further reading


External links


– National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994