Press Room

January 07, 2005

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HRC Renews Call for Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ as Pentagon Ponders Troop Shortage

'Any policy that keeps patriotic Americans from serving during wartime is bad for the nation,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today renewed its call to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, in light of a report in today's Washington Post stating that Army officials are considering changing Pentagon policy to allow for longer and more frequent call-ups of some reservists to meet the demands of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Any policy that keeps patriotic Americans from serving during wartime is bad for the nation," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

"'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is deeply hurtful to gay and lesbian service members and their families, and is costing the nation valuable service members."

According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, more than 9,000 service members have been discharged since 1993 under the

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy at a cost of more than a quarter billion dollars to U.S. taxpayers.

According to the Washington Post story, a temporary increase of 30,000 troops in active-duty ranks that was authorized last year will probably need to be made permanent.

"In addition to the men and women who have already been discharged, this policy is a deterrent to countless other gay and lesbian Americans who cannot join the military for fear of discrimination," said Stachelberg. "Allowing all Americans to serve openly and honestly is good for the country. It's common sense."

View the full text of the Washington Post story on the possible policy change.

Find out more on the history of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

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