Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

Length: 3 Pages 842 Words

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the armed forces should be enforced as to prevent personnel from not accomplishing a mission due to an interruption of morale. This policy is actually a compromise concerning the service of gays and lesbians in the United States military. In 1993, President Bill Clinton attempted to overturn the then-existing policy which mandated the immediate discharge of any military personnel found to be homosexual (Don’t 2001). Although Clinton had significant support by gay rights advocates, the move was strongly opposed by the majority of military, political and religious leaders (Don’t 2001). Thus, the compromise policy was agreed upon which allows homosexuals to serve as long as their sexual preferences are not openly declared and they do not engage in any homosexual activities (Don’t 2001). Furthermore, military authorities must not actively seek out gay and lesbian service members (Don’t 2001). The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” policy ignited heated debates concerning gays and lesbians in the military. Before 1993, one of the questions on the military’s enlistment contract was “Are you a homosexual,” and if anyone answered ‘yes,’ they were immed Continue...


Says Moskos, "We don't have mixed-gender showers and toilets on a forced basis, and neither should we have mixed people of sexual orientations on a forced basis, either (Brand 2004). The military community exists as a specialized society with "its own laws, rules, customs, and traditions, including numerous restrictions on personal behavior, that would not be acceptable in civilian society (Policy 2006). Basically, the new policy states that the military will no longer ask service members about their sexual preferences, and gays and lesbians will be allowed to serve as long as they keep their sex lives private (Conan 2003). Steinman points out that even the Israeli armed forces have removed such bans, as has the United Kingdom (Conan 2003). However, there are many in the military who argue that allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces would threaten unit cohesion and discipline, which are critical to effectiveness and national security (Conan 2003). 654, unit cohesion is one of the most critical elements in combat capability. To gay advocates that complain of sexual harassment in the military, Moskos responds, "When I was a soldier in the Elvis Presley era, I bought a girl's bicycle in Germany, and my comrades teased me. Moreover, to allow open homosexuality in the military would lead to allowing transvestites and gay pride week, in other words, the line must be drawn (Conan 2003). Moreover, should military personnel discovered to be homosexual are in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Conan 2003). Today those same comrades would be punished by the military. Just as it would be unacceptable for a heterosexual man to walk through a female locker-shower room, so too would it be an uncomfortable situation for heterosexual males to have an openly homosexual male to share shower and locker rooms, and vice versa for lesbians (Conan 2003). Gay advocates, such as retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman note that except for Greece and Turkey, military allies of the United States have removed bans on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military (Conan 2003).