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Throughout the years of the United States military, gays and lesbians has been banned from serving openly. In 1993 Congress passed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law which mandated the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members. (https://www.sldn.org). They were not allowed to participate in any type of homosexual activities or speak of their sexuality. This is a direct violation of these individuals’ first amendment constitutional rights of freedom of speech and the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination. (US Constitution art 1 &5) Under said law more than 14,500 service members had been fired since 1993”. (https://www.sldn.org) Homosexuals have been around and in the military for as long as the military exists. They have served in some of the biggest wars. However, they were at war within themselves.
Young men and women were living a lie. They cannot openly be who they really were and if they were even suspected of having homosexual activities they would have been penalized whether it was by their peers or by the chain of command and later separated from the military. “According to the GAO in 2003 the military separated 750 mission critical members and 320 with skills in important languages.” Homosexuals did exist but it was so unheard of it was almost like they weren’t there. They lived amongst their fellow comrades ‘in silence feeling trapped not being able to be free to express themselves. Which leads to the question does the DADT policy affect the readiness of the military? Surveys conducted by Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) reported that 92 percent of service members believe the unit’s “ability to work together” was “very good,” “good,” or “neither good nor poor.”
Feeling discriminated against feeling like they are less of a sailor or soldier. Under the don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy the military was not allowed to ask a recruit about their sexuality. However if there was suspicion of homosexuality they were allowed to investigate. This too was a form of discrimination against these soon to be service members. In 2011, President Obama, that the U.S. military is ready for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal, which will go into effect 60 days after the date of certification on September 20, 2011. The ban was lifted and it is now legal for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. This means that they can openly disclose their sexual orientation with no fear of repercussion and they can now engage in homosexual acts.
The CRWG conducted another survey to compare with previous report in 1993 which concluded that openly gay people in the U.S. military do not negatively impact unit cohesion, morale, good order or military readiness. (https://www.sldn.org). They are now allowed to get legally married in specific states like California but will not be able to reap the benefits of such (i.e. medical or any monetary benefits) for their spouses like other heterosexual service members. The Repeal was widely supported by President Obama stated, “This legislation will help make our armed forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity.” ( https://www.nytimes.com)
Mount, Steve. “Constitutional Topic: Martial Law.” USConstitution.net. 30 Nov 2001. Retrieved https://www.usconstitution.net (3 Dec 2001) By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and CARL HULSE
Published: May 27, 2010 retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com (May 28,2010)