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Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed on September 20, 2011.