DADT: What Is The Big Deal About " Don't ask, don't tell " ?
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DADT: What Is The Big Deal About " Don't ask, don't tell " ?

Murphy : TX : USA | Sep 21, 2010 at 3:00 AM PDT
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Chris Murphy Appears On Face The State — Part 2

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 relatively low since. Discharges exceeded 600 every year until 2009.

Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) is the term used for the policy restricting the United States military from efforts to discover or reveal closeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members or applicants, while barring those who are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual from military service. The restrictions are mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Unless one of the exceptions from 10 U.S.C. § 654(b) applies, the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." The act prohibits any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. As it exists, DADT specifies that the "don't ask" part of the policy indicates that superiors should not initiate investigation of a service member's orientation in the absence of disallowed behaviors, though credible and articulable evidence of homosexual behavior may cause an investigation. Violations of this aspect through persecutions and harassment of suspected servicemen and women resulted in the policy's current formulation as don't ask, don't tell, don't harass, don't pursue.

On May 27, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act 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 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 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, and the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on its version in the summer.The Washington Post has stated that if the bill is approved by Congress and signed by the President, any change to don't ask, don't tell would likely not happen before 2011.

The study described above is intended to indicate how repeal would be implemented along with associated costs. Concerns include impact on recruiting and morale. A controversial survey of 400,000 military personnel is under way to help guide this effort. Questions include anticipated problems sharing common areas, living areas, and bathrooms with people identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Post-repeal rules for sexual conduct are not described in the survey.

On September 9, 2010, the policy was found unconstitutional in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America; an injunction will be issued to bar its enforcement nation.

ryangeneral is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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