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Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” a Gain for LGBT Rights

LGBT people should not have to keep their sexual orientation to themselves and live a lie for another person’s intolerance. Thankfully, September 20th marked the end to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy of the armed forces and a gain for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The policy of DADT was adopted on December 21, 1993 and didn’t allow a member of the armed forces to be asked about their sexual orientation, nor be openly homosexual or bi-sexual. If a service member was openly homosexual or outted as a homosexual, they would be kicked out of the armed forces.
According to the DADT Digital Archive Project, from 1994 to 2009, at least 14,055 service members were dismissed because of DADT.
A 2010 Quinnipiac University Nation poll showed that 57 percent of Americans think homosexuals should be able to openly serve in the military while only 36 percent oppose it. When the pentagon did a study of military personal in 2010, it was found that 70 percent of servicemen and women thought that repealing DADT would be positive, mixed, or would have no consequence. These, and many other findings, re-affirm the fact that DADT wasn’t based off the views of the armed forces or the general population but was in place because of homophobic lawmakers that did not represent our population.
Those calling to uphold the ban of openly homosexual or bi-sexual service members support their views with false concerns and bigoted lies. The military has been preparing for the repeal of DADT and stating that they are ready for the change of policy. There is also still strict discipline when it comes to things such as public display of affection in the military.
The end of DADT is an end to official institutionalized bigotry against the LGBT community in the military. Even though this battle has been won, the LGBT community is still struggling for equality. Dealing with daily harassment, violent attacks, hate speech, discrimination, marriage inequality, and more, some Americans still stand the way of freedom and equality for LGBT people.



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