[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc3cEQCK-nw?wmode=transparent] After almost 2 decades, the 1993 law commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has officially come to an end. The end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) signifies that sexual orientation can no longer prevent individuals from serving in the US military or be dismissed on this basis.Yesterday, September 20th, will be known to many as an important day in the struggle for equal rights in this country.
Originally signed into law by President Clinton, it was seen as controversial step toward equality in the military. While not simply an issue of self disclosure, gay/lesbian/bisexual service individuals lived in fear of not only being "outed" but from being dismissed from their positions. These fears were not unfounded and "The Servicemembers Legal Defence Network estimates that since the law's introduction, 13,000 gay men and lesbians have been discharged after their sexual orientation was revealed." Not only were these dismissals an affront to equality, they also impacted the strength and quality of the US military, as many highly skilled, educated and specialized service individuals were dismissed. Supporters of DADT believed an open conversation about sexual orientation and the inclusion of a spectrum of sexual orientations would be detrimental to the effectiveness of the military, yet recent polls show "two-thirds of all military personnel supported the repeal" and "roughly two-thirds of Americans believe gay men and lesbians should be able to disclose their sexual orientation and serve openly." The repeal was signed Dec 2010 by President Obama and officially came into effect on September 20, 2011.
To read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/20/dont-ask-dont-tell-ends