Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Law or DoD Policy Deciphering the Differences
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
Congress governs the United States Armed Forces by writing laws for the Department of Defense DoD to implement. In 1993, Congress passed a federal law banning homosexuality in the armed forces. The DoD created a policy to implement the law, but the language of this policy allows homosexuality in the armed forces provided it be kept silent and a person does not act out on hisher homosexual preferences. For the past sixteen years, some aspects of the law and the DoD policy have been in conflict yet many persons inside and outside the military do not realize this. The term Dont ask, dont tell emerged during the development of the DoD policy designed to implement the federal statute. Many persons mistakenly combine both the law and DoD policy under this header. The two documents are similar in some respects, but quite different in others. The law does not restrict a person from being questioned about hisher homosexuality therefore, it does not actually have a dont ask portion. The law, like the DoD policy, does have a dont tell portion but only the DoD policy contains a dont ask portion. Since it appears likely that the Obama Administration will face the contentious issue of homosexuality and the military, it behooves all who have an interest in the debate to realize the differences in the language and the policies in order to speak intelligently about the issues and propose solutions that are logical and in consonance with their true beliefs and opinions on this very contentious issue.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations