The first academic study since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” found that troops have suffered no negative side effects.
The study included interviews with anti-repeal advocates, 13 generals and admirals who were against the repeal, and 60 active duty soldiers from every branch of the military of all sexual orientations. The study was conducted by the Palm Center, a research division of the Williams Institute at University of California Los Angeles Law School.
The Palm Center found that in many situations the repeal of DADT helped foster an atmosphere of trust and helped troops in terms of cohesion. One soldier confided to the Palm Center “frank discussions, which are now far less risky because of repeal, helped disabuse them of preconceived notions about gay people and that ultimately, problems were ‘completely resolved’ through discussion of the fact that he was respected before he was out, and that nothing had changed by his acknowledgement of his sexual orientation.”
For nearly two decades, the policy forced lesbian, gay, and bisexual service people to keep their sexual orientation a secret or face possible expulsion from the military. DADT was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prohibited the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, and also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being lesbian or gay. DADT was repealed on September 20th, 2011.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 9/10/12, Palm Center 9/10/12; Feminist Newswire 9/20/11