Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities in the Military

  1. Letter Summarizing the Current Situation

  2. Senator Kerry’s Confrontation of the Current Military Policy

  3. A Way to Make Your Feelings Known

  4. The long-suppressed and ignored 1993 RAND study commissioned by the Pentagon itself – on the feasibility of including gays and lesbians in the military

For more up-to-date information about gays and lesbians in military service, link to the Service Members Defense Network:
www.sldn.org


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A HELPFUL LETTER THAT SUMMARIZES THE PROBLEM OF "GAYS IN THE MILITARY"
Written by our Soulforce friend, Alan Light

Newark Star-Ledger, April 11, 1998
Star Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ, 07101
E-MAIL: eletters@starledger.com
Fax: 201-643-7248

"According to a Defense Department study released this week, the number of loyal and skilled soldiers and sailors who have been run out of the military simply because they were gay has grown 67% since 1994, to 997 last year.

It is clear that "don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue" is not working. Despite the regulations, many generals and admirals remain all too willing to ruin the lives, reputations and careers of many other fine military men and women who happen to be homosexual.

The problem goes all the way to the top. Defense Secretary William Cohen, in a recent letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, strongly supported the Navy’s decision to discharge a sailor who a judge ruled was a victim of the military’s abuse of "don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue." It seems that even when the Navy is proven guilty of violating its own policy, the victim of the witch hunt must still pay the price. Disgusting.

These remarks made by Barry Goldwater in 1993 remain insightful (Washington Post National Weekly Edition, June 21, 1993):

He wrote "It’s no great secret that military studies have proven again and again that there’s no valid reason for keeping the ban on gays. The country and the military know that eventually the ban will be lifted. The only remaining question is how much muck we will all be dragged through, and how many brave Americans will have their lives and careers destroyed in a senseless attempt to stall the inevitable."


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SENATOR KERRY’S CONFRONTATION OF THE CURRENT POLICY
WASHINGTON NOTEBOOK (EXCERPT)
By Chris Black

KERRY AND OTHERS ASK, BUT COHEN DOESN’T TELL

Senator John F. Kerry has called the Pentagon brass on the carpet to explain the cavalier way the Defense Department treated his request for a review of the "don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue" policy on gays in the military.

Last year, Kerry and a dozen other senators asked Cohen to review the policy after receiving reports that commanders were asking service members about sexual orientation and using questionable means to ferret out gays in the services. Months ago, the Pentagon finished its review but kept stalling the lawmakers until this week, when the conclusions were leaked to The New York Times and Washington Post before being released to Capitol Hill or the public.

The review found that the number of discharges of homosexuals had increased since adoption of the policy at the start of the Clinton administration. Most troubling to Kerry was the "spin" that accompanied the leak, which suggested that gays were revealing their sexual orientation in order to get out of the military, a conclusion not supported by the formal report.

Defense Department officials will give Kerry a briefing Thursday. Make your feelings known.


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A WAY TO MAKE YOUR FEELINGS KNOWN

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, comment via DoD web page:
http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/comment.html
Voice: (703) 697-5737
Fax: (703) 695-1219
Snail: 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1000

Vice-President Richard B. Cheney
vicepresident@whitehouse.gov
Voice: (202) 456-1111
Snail: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500

President George W. Bush
president@whitehouse.gov
Voice: (202) 456-1111
Snail: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500