Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is advising gay and lesbian service members not to participate in a Pentagon survey released this week that focuses on the impact to the military if the policy is repealed.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of SLDN and an Army veteran, issued this statement:
A number of service members have contacted SLDN to seek guidance on surveys concerning the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the discriminatory law barring gay and lesbian service members from serving with integrity.
At this time SLDN cannot recommend that lesbian, gay, or bisexual service members participate in any survey being administered by the Department of Defense, the Pentagon Working Group, or any third-party contractors.
While the surveys are apparently designed to protect the individual’s privacy, there is no guarantee of privacy and DOD has not agreed to provide immunity to service members whose privacy may be inadvertently violated or who inadvertently outs himself or herself. If a service member still wishes to participate, he or she should only do so in a manner that does not reveal sexual orientation.
The Pentagon on Wednesday began sending 400,000 surveys to U.S. service members asking their opinion about what impact the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” might have on morale and readiness, and their willingness to share quarters with gay or lesbian service members.
The survey contains a link specifically for gay or lesbian service members who wish to provide additional comment.