Essay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Submitted By jbreau13
Words: 1696
Pages: 7

American Govt. & Politics

February 18, 2014

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) law regulating that the military personnel who are of homosexual orientation “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue, and don’t harass” their fellow military colleagues, has caused an uproar in government. Many government officials ideas and opinions on homosexuality in the military forces differ immensely causing very controversial decisions on the acceptable and suitable outcome for our armed forces.

The issue dates back all the way to World War II when a statutory ban was put homosexual services in the military. After Clinton was inaugurated in 1993, he was quick to inform that he was going to terminate the ban that was put on those military officials that were homosexual. This had much support by the Americans and activists. There was a lot of debate that went on about this issue, but a compromise was found which was that “homosexual servicemen and servicewomen could remain in the military if they did not openly declare their sexual orientation, a policy that quickly became known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Military officers were not for that idea for the fact that they believed that the existence of homosexuals in the military would weaken the discipline of the military. The law entailed that no member of the military that was a homosexual was allowed to disclose any information about the sexual orientation they decide and other members in the military were not to question the sexual orientation of another member. Although this law gave homosexuals the equal opportunity to be able to serve in the armed forces, activists argued that it was not right or fair to have to keep their sexual orientation a secret for reasons such as “ the policy did little to change the behaviour of commanders; gay and lesbian soldiers continued to be discharged from service. During the Iraq War, which began in 2003, the policy came under further scrutiny, as many Arab linguists who were gay were discharged by the military.” On October 1, 1993 the official U.S. policy of DADT removed the ban against homosexuals serving in the military.

In 2008 on the fifteen year anniversary, Barack Obama campaigned that he would overturn the DADT law and to allow homosexual men and women to be open about their sexual orientation in the military, which was well supported. Obama introduced new measures that relaxed the application of the DADT law and made it harder for military service members to be expelled. The new measures foresaw that only high- ranking officers could oversee discharge proceedings and higher standards for evidence were required. When the pentagon reviewed the DADT law, the policy was subject to a lawsuit claiming that it violated the first and fifth amendment of the military service members. A judge agreed that the law was unconstitutional, but that did not end the law right away. A survey of the service members was taken and the results came back that seventy percent of service members believed that ending the policy would have mixed, positive, or no impact. “President Obama praised the vote, releasing a statement that said, “It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.” On July 22, 2011 Obama confirmed that the military was to end the DADT. After an obligatory 60- day time period went by, the appeal was in effect on September 20, 2011.

Republicans have a very strong stance on the matter of DADT. A congressman in a Republican debate on this law says that “having openly gay homosexuals serving in the ranks would be bad for unit cohesion.” His reasoning for that statement is that most Americans are conservatives that have conservative and christian values. He believes that to force those people to work in a small tight unit with someone who is openly homosexual is against what they believe and their principles. A