The end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the US army (2010)

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Friday, 22 December 2017

2010 -

On the 22th of December in 2010, history was made when Barack Obama signed the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the US military. With his signature, the longstanding ban on service by gays and lesbians came to an end.

The original policy
The original “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was created by Bill Clinton as a compromise to allow everyone to serve in the US army, regardless of their sexual orientation. With this law, gays and lesbians who wanted to join the army were forced to stay in their proverbial ‘closet’. Obama wanted to end this policy because he believed that “people in the army already sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to lie about their sexuality.”

However, the real ending of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was in 2011, when Obama’s law came finally into force. It took 60 days to change the law, because Obama had to certify that changing the law to allow military gays and lesbians to be honest about their sexuality, didn’t affect the readiness of the army.

360 trivial fact
The Netherlands was the first country that allowed gays and lesbians in the army. They made an end to this discrimination in 1974 when the Association of Dutch Homosexuals convinced the Minister of Defense that gays and lesbians were no threat to the army and national security.


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