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Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed on September 20, 2011.

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military

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

Friday, January 31, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Jeh Johnson

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
Darren Manzella

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

Friday, August 30, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), left, and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)

Lawmakers announce bill to repeal dishonorable discharges given to gay veterans

Friday, June 21, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to attend Pentagon LGBT Pride event

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

Congressman proposes to repeal dishonorable discharges given to gay veterans

Saturday, June 8, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
gay-military

Conn. lawmakers seek to restore state benefits to discharged gay veterans

Thursday, April 25, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut lawmakers are seeking to restore state benefits to gay and lesbian veterans discharged under the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 34-0 in favor of legislation making veterans eligible for state benefits if they've been... [ Read more → ]
Michael Almy

Former USAF major reaches settlement in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharge

Friday, March 15, 2013
A former airman who was discharged from the U.S. Air Force under the now repealed "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy that barred openly gay service members, has settled his lawsuit against the Department of Defense. [ Read more → ]
Leon Panetta

Panetta poised to extend benefits to same-sex military families

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials said Tuesday that outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is poised to extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of military members. [ Read more → ]
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel faced his confirmation hearing before the Senate on Thursday.Photo: Michael Key, Washington Blade

Hagel pledges to move ‘expeditiously’ on benefits for gay troops

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel has pledged to “move forward expeditiously” on the issue of extending partner benefits to gay service members if confirmed for the role as defense secretary. [ Read more → ]
David Hall

Air Force sergeant discharged under DADT to participate in inauguration

Thursday, January 17, 2013
A former U.S. Air Force sergeant, who was kicked out of the military in 2002 and eventually went to work for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will be one of eight featured "citizen co-chairs" of President Barack Obama's inauguration on Monday. The "citizen... [ Read more → ]
Chuck Hagel

Hagel commits to extending partner benefits to gay troops

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has committed to extending partners benefits “permissible under current law” to gay service members as part of attempts to allay concerns among Democratic senators about his potential performance as Pentagon chief. In a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hagel... [ Read more → ]
wells-morgan

The Year in Review: Gay, lesbian service members no longer in the closet

Saturday, December 29, 2012
On Sept. 21, 2012, the U.S. military marked the first anniversary of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and 2012 saw lesbian, gay and bisexual service members openly participating in proud military traditions, national events and LGBT pride celebrations. [ Read more → ]
Obama-TIME-cover

Obama reflects on LGBT progress in ‘Time’ magazine interview

Friday, December 21, 2012
In an interview with Time magazine, which named him “Person of the Year,” President Obama said an “incredibly rapid transformation” has taken place during the course of his administration on LGBT issues — claiming his leadership played a role in moving them forward. [ Read more → ]
Mitt Romney (left) and Barack Obama. File photos, by Michael Key, Washington Blade

Obama vs. Romney: Where the candidates stand on LGBT issues

Monday, November 5, 2012
The Washington Blade breaks down some of the most frequently cited LGBT issues and where each Presidential candidate stands on Marriage Equality, the Uniting American Families Act, ENDA, DADT and DOMA. [ Read more → ]
bryan-fischer-0926

Fischer: Thanks to DADT repeal, we can ‘expect more instances of pedophilia’ in the military

Thursday, September 27, 2012
On Wednesday’s edition of “Focal Point,” Bryan Fischer cited the arrest of a protocol officer at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida for allegedly trying to entice a 17-year-old boy into sexual activity to declare that, thanks to to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, we can “expect to see more instances of pedophilia now in the United States military.” [ Read more → ]
dadt

A year after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ there is still much work to be done

Friday, September 21, 2012
A year after full DADT repeal, the government still fails to provide equal benefits to lesbian, gay, and bisexual military families, in part due to the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. And transgender women and men are still barred from serving openly. It’s time for Congress and the Defense Department to take steps to right these wrongs... [ Read more → ]
Barack_Obama_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key

Obama: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal upheld ‘fundamental American values’

Thursday, September 20, 2012
President Obama issued a statement commemorating the anniversary of the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Thursday, saying the end to the military’s gay ban “upheld the fundamental American values of fairness and equality.” [ Read more → ]
dadt

Smooth transition, unfinished business mark first anniversary of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

Thursday, September 20, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, on Thursday applauded and celebrated the one-year anniversary of repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," praising the smooth transition the military has made in allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans to serve openly in the military and calling on the White House, Pentagon, and Congress to embrace and advance the final work necessary to achieve full LGBT equality in the Armed Forces. [ Read more → ]
gay-military

Study: Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has had zero negative impact on military

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- The first academic study of the effects of repealing “Don't Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) has found that the new policy allowing openly gay service members has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale. [ Read more → ]
Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters to emcee event marking anniversary of repeal of DADT

Sunday, September 2, 2012
NEW YORK – Veteran journalist Barbara Walters will emcee a celebration of American troops to mark the one year anniversary of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the former ban on openly gay service members. [ Read more → ]
James Amos

Top U.S. Marine: Openly gay service members not an issue

Saturday, September 1, 2012
WASHINGTON -- The head of the U.S. Marine Corps this week stressed that the integration of openly gay and lesbians into the military has gone smoothly. [ Read more → ]
military-rainbow

Advocacy groups for gay, lesbian service members to join forces

Monday, July 2, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Two gay rights advocacy groups that fought to bring about an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the U.S. military's former ban on openly gay service members, announced Monday plans to merge into a single organization. [ Read more → ]
Adm. Mike Mullen

Mullen to headline event celebrating anniversary of DADT repeal

Friday, June 22, 2012
WASHINGTON -- The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who played a key role in the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is set to appear at an event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the end to the military’s gay ban. [ Read more → ]
Elaine Donnelly

Elaine Donnelly: Gays ‘make other people feel like they are not welcome’ in the military

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who supports the ban on gays in the military, accused the LGBT community of trying to “make other people feel like they are not welcome” in an interview Tuesday with Janet Parshall. [ Read more → ]
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