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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was the official U.S. policy on gays serving in the military from December 21, 1993, to September 20, 2011. The policy barred openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service, and prohibited people who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because their presence “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

A congressional bill to repeal DADT was enacted in December 2010, specifying that the policy would remain in place until 60 days after the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that repeal would not harm military readiness. Less than 8 months later, on July 22, 2011, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed on September 20, 2011.

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Soldier of Change: From the closet to the forefront of the gay rights movement

| Saturday, September 27, 2014
Stephen Snyder-Hill
I really hated my life. I hated living like I was in prison. It was hurting my relationship. And it was all so fucking stupid. Was this a “special privilege”? Was this about sex? I was not asking to have sex in the military. If given the chance of a rebuttal after Mr. Santorum answered my question with his “sex has no place in the military” and “gay people want special privileges” rhetoric, I would have told him that story.

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Attorney who fought ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ dies after bicycle collides with truck

| Monday, September 1, 2014
Sher Kung
SEATTLE -- The bicyclist who died in a collision with a truck in downtown Seattle on Friday has been identified as a well-respected attorney who was part of the American Civil Liberties Union legal team that successfully challenged the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gay service members.

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For gay soldiers, marriage and benefits open doors to living life more freely

| Sunday, July 27, 2014
Nicholas Harriel and Cristian Saldana
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- While the military policy of "don't ask, don't tell" and the overturning of part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act opened doors more widely to gay people serving openly in the military, it didn't mark radical changes to the way the fighting force looked or behaved. Instead, it brought the possibility of marriage and spousal benefits to ...

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Holder: Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adults ‘perpetuates worst kind of stereotypes’

| Tuesday, June 10, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday took aim at the Boy Scouts of America, saying it's refusal to allow gay and lesbian adults to serve as scout leaders "perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes." In remarks at an event hosted by Lambda Legal, Holder called the ban "a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding."

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Bill would give ‘honorable’ discharges to service members kicked out under DADT

| Friday, January 31, 2014
military
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Thursday introduced legislation to correct the records of service members discharged from the U.S. military solely due to their sexual orientation prior to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to reflect honorable service and reinstate benefits they would have earned.

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Key official in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal confirmed as Homeland Security secretary

| Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Jeh Johnson
WASHINGTON — Democrats used their newly initiated lower threshold for defeating filibusters Monday to win Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama's nomination of former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh C. Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security.

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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ activist dies in traffic accident in N.Y.

| Friday, August 30, 2013
Darren Manzella
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Darren Manzella, a gay combat medic discharged from the U.S. Army after criticizing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a 2007 television interview, has died in a traffic accident in western New York. He was 36.

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Lawmakers announce bill to repeal dishonorable discharges given to gay veterans

| Friday, June 21, 2013
U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), left, and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Friday proposed legislation that would ensure gay and lesbian service members who were discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation would have their military records upgraded to reflect honorable service.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to attend Pentagon LGBT Pride event

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Chuck Hagel
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will speak at the Pentagon's Pride event next Tuesday, June 25, honoring gay and lesbian service members.

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Congressman proposes to repeal dishonorable discharges given to gay veterans

| Saturday, June 8, 2013
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- An estimated 100,000 gay and lesbian service members were issued dishonorable or "undesirable" discharges between World War II and 1993 due to their sexual orientation, losing their military benefits as a result.

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