Topic #5: Homosexuality in the Military, the History of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
So this week’s topic is a little different. It isn’t kinky or very sexual in nature, but it deals with people sexual orientation, so I think it fits this blog. This week’s topic is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and its history and presence in the military. So first, a history lesson!
In 1950 the Uniform Code of Military Justice was signed by President Truman which set up discharge from the military for any homosexual service member.
Then in 1982 Ronald Reagan stated that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” In addition he said if any service member engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they were homosexual or bisexual they would be discharged.
1992 Bill Clinton started to campaign and promised to lift the ban. However he couldn’t quite eliminate it so they implemented Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a compromise. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell sets it up so that military members will not be asked about their sexual orientation.
2008 Obama starts to campaign and promises a full repeal of the law.
December 5, 2010 House passes repeal.
December 18, 2010 Senate passes repeal, sending it to Obama and ending the 17 year ban on gays serving openly in the military.
So as you can see there have been a lot of views on homosexuality in the military. Now let’s move into the impact of the repeal on the military.
“The Center for Military Readiness warned of “harmful consequences” in the week after top Pentagon officials certified that the military was ready for repeal, as required by Congress.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, in contrast, said repeal was “a significant step toward equality for all who want to serve their country in uniform,” one that would no longer force gay, lesbian and bisexual service members to “hide a part of themselves.”
The impact among heterosexual service members is also less significant than expected.
In the 2011 Military Times Poll, 59 percent of active-duty respondents said they did not believe they would be affected by the repeal. When service members were asked this year how they were affected after the repeal, 69 percent said they had felt no impact.
Although units where someone disclosed they are gay, lesbian or bisexual after repeal felt more of a change, 59 percent still said the repeal had no noticeable effect.”
So, for Him and Her, what do you think of the repeal and the initial implementation? Do you think gay/lesbian/bisexual service members will feel safe enough to serve openly, or do you think there will always be some caution due to the past? Also, branching off from sexual orientation, do you think that the same rights of serving will ever be given to transgender individuals?
“Transgender individuals are prohibited from entering military service by medical regulations. To join the military, potential service members are required to undergo a physical examination as part of the entry process. During this examination, the military may reject the potential service member if he or she has had any type of genital surgery. Furthermore, even if the potential service member has not had surgery but identifies as transgender, the military considers this to be a mental health condition which disqualifies them from entering military service. Transgender individuals may request a waiver to enter the military, although waivers are difficult to obtain.”