Law and Public Policy Paper
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) policy, which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.
President Harry S. Truman signed the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which set up discharge rules for homosexual service in 1933. President Ronald Reagan states that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and people who engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they were homosexual or bisexual were discharged. In 1992 the Presidential candidate at the time Bill Clinton promises to lift the ban. In 1993” Don’t ask ,don’t tell” is introduced as a compromise. Congress later inserted text in a bill that requires the military to abide by regulations set up in President Ronald Reagan’s defense directive. But in December 1993, President Bill Clinton issued a defense directive that military applicants should not to be asked about their sexual orientation. It later becomes known as “don’t ask, don’t tell”. In 1994 a Federal court reinstated Col. Grethe Cammermeyer to the Washington State National Guard, allowing her to serve openly until her retirement in 1997. In 2000 Former President Bill Clinton called for an end to don’t ask, don’t tell. In 2006 the Supreme Court rules unanimously that the federal government could withhold funding to force universities to accept military recruiters in violations of university nondiscrimination policies, essentially upholding “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The law was also upheld in federal courts five times. In 2008 one of the things President Obama campaigned on was full repeal of the law. In May of 2010, the House and a Senate committee approved an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would end the ban but added a provision that no change would take place until the Pentagon conducted a study to reveal how the repeal would affect armed forces’ military readiness. The House passed the amended legislation, but the senate later rejected it. On November 30, 2010 the report was released and concluded that the military service members regarded homosexuals in the military as low risk to armed forces’ abilities and effectiveness. Advocates for ending the ban are pushing Congress to act during the lame duck session. Shortly after on December 9, 2010 Senate Repulicans filibustered the vote on repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as part of the defense reauthorization bill. Democrats in the House moved ahead with their own repeal and Sen. Joe Liberman was very optimistic that the House vote would give the repeal new momentum in the Senate. Just a few days later on December 15, 2010, House lawmakers again approved a bill to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, delivering renewed momentum to the years-long campaign to end the ban on homosexuals in the military ahead of the possible Senate vote. On December 18,2010, the Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, sending to President Obama a bill ending the 17 year ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military. For the purpose of this paper I interviewed two soldiers in the military. One is of higher rank while the other is of lower rank. Due to the nature of the questions and given that their responses might go against what the commander in chief feels I was asked to not use their real names, or the units there in. For the sake of confidentiality I will refer to the higher rank soldier as Jim Bob and the lower rank soldier as Ted.
I asked them both a series of questions and this is their responses:
What is your opinion on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
Jim Bob: “I think that homosexuals should be banned from the service. What difference does it make if you shower with straight or gay guys or if men and women shower together. The military…