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Feminist News


February-27-96

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" Policy Does Not Stop Military from Searching Out Homosexuals

According to documents and interviews with military service members and their families, there is widespread confusion over how to implement the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy; some service members are still being subjected to sweeping investigations of their sex lives on the basis of second-hand reports.

The Defense Network was to make a public report Tuesday to say that its monitoring of hundreds of cases showed that the policy was "as bad, if not worse, than its predecessors," with witch hunts of homosexuals prevalent in all branches of the military.

The Defense Network said that women account for a fifth of discharges for homosexuality even though they make up 13 percent of the active duty force, statistics which show that women are being singled out for harassment.

Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of Defense for manpower in the Reagan administration and current senior fellow at the Brookings Institution said that the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy was being violated "all the time" and that women are often accused of being lesbians after they file complaints of sexual harassment or assault against co-workers. "With women in the military," Korb said, "you’re either accused of being promiscuous or of being a lesbian."

Media Resources: Nando Times and The New York Times - February 26, 1996