In 1993, President Clinton signed into law the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, which was supposed to be a compromise that allowed gays to serve in the military…as long as no one knew they were gay. This compromise was supposed to appease not only the strong conservative opposition of gay marriage, but it protected potential gay enlisters from discrimination and secured their safety on the base.
This almost seems like a good plan, a true compromise that doesn’t leave anyone happy but also leaves no one disappointed. The only problem is that gay soldiers must constantly hide their identities, covering it up and hoping that the people who they must trust with their lives don’t ever learn what lives they might one day save. If a gay soldier ever does reveal his secret, the army can issue an investigation and eventually discharge him. The secret is the second biggest danger to a soldier’s career. (The biggest danger to any soldier’s career is an enemy ninja).
With the DADT policy, I would think that it at least does what it says it does, which is protect gays in the military. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way people expect them to.
Instead of protecting gays from military discrimination, DADT has caused over 11,000 gay soldiers to lose their jobs. Not only that, but in a survey of 71, 570 active-duty soldiers by the Department of Defense found that 80% of respondents admit to hearing gay slurs, and 85% believe such comments are tolerated by the higher officers, and 37% believe that they witnessed or experienced a form of anti-gay harassment.
But because of the DADT policy, a policy that was supposed to protect gay soldiers, they can’t go to the authorities with their harassment complaints for fear of dismissal from the military.
The amazing thing is, nationwide polls taken by CBS News show that 64% of Americans are in favor of lifting the DADT policy, so it seems that the only thing keeping gay soldiers from fully becoming a part of the military is the politicians that they fight to protect.