The U.S. military said it has completed the process to repeal the 1993 law that prohibits openly gay or bisexual people from serving in the military, and the don't ask, don't tell policy is done starting Tuesday.
This is something that has been known for a long time. ... We've gone through a process to certify repeal, Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Monday, according to Reuters.
Under DADT, servicemen who were gay or bisexual could not reveal their orientation. Since the policy took effect in 1993, more than 13,000 gay and lesbian servicemen have been thrown out of the military.
Though President Barack Obama signed a law to repeal the policy in December, it could come into effect only after the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that the repeal will not affect military readiness.
The policy was supposed to protect protect homosexual servicemen from being pursued, but stated the presence of homosexuals in the military would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
Now this perception will change legally. I don't have to worry about someone trying to 'out' me out of spite ... I'm just glad that that burden is gone, a gay intelligence officer stationed in Germany said, according to Bloomberg.
The right of homosexuals to serve in the military became a political issue in the early 90s and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton advocated the repeal of the anti-gay military policy.
The 1993 act was the result of efforts to find a middle ground between repealing the anti-gay policy and continuing the status-quo. Originally, the full name of the policy was Don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue. Later on Don't harass provision was added to the policy.
For gay rights activists, the final repeal is the culmination of efforts to end discrimination.
The guiding principles of the Don't ask, don't tell policy could be traced back to the days of the Revolutionary War. In those days, sodomy was a legitimate ground for the expulsion of soldier.
In the initial decades of the last century, people found to be homosexuals were court-martialed and dishonorably discharged. During the Second World War, it was deemed that homosexual inclination was a sign of possible psychopathology. It was only towards the end of the '50s that homosexuality was seen less of a security risk for members of the military. But even then the general principle was that strict guidelines were to be followed to avoid recruiting people with homosexual leanings.
Despite the emergence of the gay movement of the 1970s, in 1982, the Department of Defense announced a policy which categorically stated that homosexuality was incompatible with military service.