Since the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy was instituted in 1993, more than 13,000 American servicemembers have been discharged for being openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual. From 2004 to 2009, the policy cost taxpayers nearly $200 million dollars to enforce, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
On December 22, 2010 the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Act of 2010 was signed into law. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and after being ruled unconstitutional in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. However, the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy is still in effect.
Under the repeal law, the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy does not end until 60 days after the President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the necessary policies and procedures are in place to carry out the repeal in a manner consistent with the standards for military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.
Until certification, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains in force, and servicemembers will continue to labor under threat of investigation and discharge. Also, the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Act of 2010 specifically does not require that the military provide servicemembers' same-sex partners/spouses with the same benefits provided to heterosexual spouses to avoid conflicting with the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The Pentagon's ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy damages our nation's military readiness and weakens national defense. America needs the most qualified and competent men and women defending our nation, regardless of their sexual orientation.
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