Discharges Under DADT On Steady Decline, For Now

Soldiersvintage Despite intensified political debate over Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the number of discharges for openly gay and lesbian military personnel has been free falling since 2002, say Pentagon and independent analysts. And this year's tally may be the lowest since the DADT went into law in 1993.

"Overall, the number of discharges for 2010 is likely to be considerably lower than last year, when an estimated 428 military personnel were kicked out under the law," the LA Times reports. "As a result, some believe that even if Congress does not rescind the statute this year, the law's impact will continue to shrink."

The Pentagon also pointed out that no one has been fired since Obama in October declared senior Defense Department officials must sign off on DADT proceedings.

Even still, as long as Don't Ask, Don't Tell exists, gay and lesbian soldiers will be forced to fight under threat of removal. And who knows how a future president would implement the law?


  1. says

    Clearly a sign that even the people that are supposed to be kicking people out don’t really take the policy seriously anymore. Time for it to go!

  2. Anastasia Beaverhausen says

    Discharges fall during wartime because they know the whole unit cohesion/foxhole/shower thing is just hate rhetoric and the military’s need for bodies and brains to fight the war is temporarily more important.

  3. says

    While, overall, Towleroad’s posts about the ban have been excellent, there has been a recent alarming trend in misleading headlines and content. With respect, your increasing lack of critical thinking when reviewing articles is rapidly eroding your credibility, and poorly serving the Community that has come to rely on the Road for a source of both fresh and accurate reporting.

    The poorly written, poorly researched source article for this headline and thread is the perfect example.

    Re “DECLINE IN DISCHARGES.” The logical extension of THIS interpretation of the decline in discharges since 2002 is that BUSH LUVED THE GAYS because he was President then through 2008 by which time discharges had gone down more than 50% since his first full year in office. Raise your hand if you believe he did.

    But the reason for that decline is exactly the same as the decline in Obama’s first year…and the periods of huge decline throughout the nearly 70-year history of the ban: they need CANNON FODDER and gays die just as well as straights do.

    The ALLEGED decline this year [we still have not seen numbers for the majority of the year] is both a result of that continuing need for bodies and the changes in implementation in March and October. But BOTH changes continue to be greatly misunderstood and reported on, confusing result with intent. Those in March did NOT ban “third-party outings.”

    “If there is compelling evidence that a person has engaged in homosexual conduct, I would not expect that these new regs would make a difference.” – Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson, March 25, 2010.

    As for the changes in October that were an attempt to end confusion in the field caused by the LCR ruling NOT an end to discharges even in the shortterm:

    “Asked whether the new procedure would slow most cases down, the senior official also would not speculate. ‘You all want to find something between the lines here that really isn’t there…. I’m not in a position to say one way or another’, the senior defense official said. ‘It’s not designed to have that effect’, another official added about the prospects for additional delays. ‘This is in no way a moratorium or suspension in separations’, said [another senior defense] official, who asked not to be named.” – Politico, October 22, 2010.

    “Servicemembers Legal Defense Network [SLDN]continues to hear daily from military personnel who are under investigation for being gay and face the possibility of being fired. ‘We have clients who are still under investigation, who are still having to respond, and in fact we have a client under investigation right now under suicide watch’, [SLDN Executive Director Aubrey] Sarvis said. ‘So ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has not gone away’. – AP, November 22, 2010.

    “A general just approved the separation of an SLDN client serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force. This service member now faces an administrative separation board.” – SLDN, November 28, 2010.

    Finally, one need look no farther than the Obama DOJ’s fighting in court to be allowed to continue discharges despite the anti ban rulings in the the LCR and Witt cases to realize that articles such as this are just so much clicking together of some peoples’ ruby slippers.


  4. JusticeontheRocks says

    We’ll all be a thousand times better off if this gets resolved with a Supreme Court finding that the policy is unconstitutional.

    The more we learn about the current “repeal” “plan” the more it becomes obvious that it’s a hollow victory.

  5. says

    Interesting to note that it is declining. Plus I was reading an article on what hiding your sexual orientation can do to your psychological self. And it is not good. Being forced out can be detrimental. And not acting like who you are for fear that someone will try and out you is faking who you are as a person. And that is the problem with don’t ask don’t tell. It forces people to not be open. And by open I mean able to say I am gay. And that that is going to have no affect on how I operate in the military. It is just nice to be honest to people. Lying when you don’t want to is tough on the psyche.

  6. sandman says

    I’m sure the anti-repeal forces thank you for posting that great picture. Is this site on auto-pilot now?

  7. The Ghost of Harry Hay says

    Since the day he took office, Barack Obama has had the power under the Constitution to stop ALL discharges and investigations under DADT. That he has not indicates not that he gives two shits about the dignity or rights of lgbt people, but that his priority is that the military remains the most deadly, undemocratic weapon to expand and defend the American empire in the interests of corporate America. We don’t help gay Afghanis by dropping bombs on them. If I’m defending my freedom, then it would better for me to fight the terrorists in DC rather than the innocent people of Afghanistan. After all, no Afghani has ever called me a faggot, but some Democrats and most Republicans do.

    The empty “debate” in DC simply allows us all to see just exactly what McCain can pull out of his ass in his attempts to build support for a 2012 run at the presidency and provides cover for the real debate taking place behind the scenes: how do we integrate fags into our killing machine without raising their expectations that we will give them anything more.