Is the Military ready for “Do Ask, Do Tell”?
March 13, 2009 1 Comment
Earlier this week a bill, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 was introduced in the House and seeks to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. Similar bills have been introduced in prior Congresses but none of them ever made it out of committee. Many hope this will change with the current administration and believe that the time has come for this legislation.
Barack Obama has supported ending the DADT policy and two months ago White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs confirmed this by the answer he gave to a question posed by a man via YouTube. The question was “‘Is the new administration going to get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy?‘” And Mr. Gibb’s response was “Thadeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it’s, ‘Yes.'”
The DADT policy was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. At the time, this law was considered progressive since it relaxed the longstanding ban barring gays from serving in the military.
It became known as the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy since it mandated that the government would no longer “ask” recruits if they were gay, and so long as military personnel didn’t “tell” anyone of their sexual preference — and didn’t engage in homosexual acts — they were free to serve. Today many are calling to dump this policy for a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to service in the armed forces.