Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is the name used to describe the policy restricting United States military from methods previously used to expose closeted homosexual applicants or personal. In addition, the policy bans openly gay individuals from military service. Put simply, the policy continued previous bans on homosexuals from the armed forces but provided measures for closeted gays to enlist and remain in the military. The bill was signed after an initiative by then president Bill Clinton to change the military’s policies on homosexuals serving in the armed forces. Initially, Clinton wished to allow all citizens to serve regardless of sexual preference; a complete turn from the policy of the time. The policy of the time strictly stated that no homosexuals can be in the armed forces at any capacity and discovery of such actions are means for discharge. However, Clinton’s initiative was met with much opposition and he eventually settled for a compromise, creating the bill that stands today. With support and opposition, the bill has continued for some time. Cases questioning the constitutionality of discriminatory laws against homosexuals have increased since the policy was enacted. In the more recent past, the bill itself has been challenged in District and Supreme Court cases. The debate reached its boiling point when President Barack Obama promised to repeal the act during his campaign. The Obama administration has yet to act; however, a push by interest groups has influenced public opinion and brought the issue to the forefront of American political and legal debate.
This paper reviews the cases most important to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), starting with anti-discriminatory law then moving closer to the current policy debate. Subsequently, the major interest group players are examined and their arguments are showcased. The following is meant to be a summary of the cases and parties most imperative to the debate as well as the issue in... [continues]
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