Study: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Caused No Harm, Made it Easier for Pentagon to Pursue its Mission

A new study out today (read it HERE – PDF) from the Williams Institute concludes that not only did repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy cause no harm to the military, it facilitated the ability of the Pentagon to fulfill the mission of the Armed Forces.

The HuffPost reports:

The authors of the study, who included professors at U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Marine Corps War College, arrived at this conclusion after conducting interviews with 553 generals and admirals who predicted that repeal would undermine the military, as well as with expert opponents of DADT repeal, a number of watchdog organizations and more than 60 active-duty heterosexual, lesbian, gay and bisexual troops from every service branch.

They also observed several military units and administered several surveys, analyzed relevant media articles published during the research period and conducted secondary source analysis of surveys independently administered by outside groups.

"For almost twenty years, experts predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would harm the military," said Aaron Belkin, the founding director of the Palm Center and lead author of the study. "Now the evidence is in, and the conclusion is clear: repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' did not harm the military, and if anything made it easier for the Pentagon to pursue its mission."


  1. Mike says

    Sounds like some of those anti-gay Christians in those hate groups could be behind the study, in other words, put the gays back in the closet. Sorry honey we are out and proud and fighting for your freedoms, until the death. Now you can thank us by letting us get married to the ones we love, now that we have saved your freedoms it is time to give us ours.

  2. Blake says

    @Mitch I think “gay marriage” will probably outshine “straight marriage”, because we will not enter into them so lightly and there is no social obligation to get married.
    So only the truly committed would bother.

  3. Gigi says

    The winguts are crying that it’s only been a year. Not enough time to gauge harm or effect they say. Fine. Look to Canada. Open service has been allowed since 1992 and it’s had no negative impact on morale or military readiness.

  4. says

    I’ve always been tickled by the “gay men in showers” fear.

    Um, if you’re scared of showering, sleeping or peeing next to a person that you know is gay you might not be cut out for the military.

    cuz, um, you know, you might be in a warzone. with, like, bombs n’stuff going off. and gunfire. and death.

    if you’re scared of being naked next to a gay dude you’re pretty much a complete and utter wuss.

  5. Michael Bedwell says

    NB: HuffPo has since corrected their error: 553 brass were sent letters but ONLY 13 responded. And only 37 LGB troops were interviewed out of tens of thousands.

    ENOUGH playing defense of the obvious that the military wouldn’t be worse off—what is happening to make day-to-day life for gay troops BETTER off? There was a “Don’t Harass” policy for over a decade pre-repeal, and, yet, it repeatedly failed as evidenced most recently in the revelation in June that the senior enlisted officer on a nuclear submarine, the USS Florida, was fired for failure to end and inform his commanding officer of a series of homophobic verbal and physical harassing incidents last year that led the [apparently straight] victim to consider suicide, and five of his harassers to face disciplinary action, including loss of rank and pay. According to the “Navy Times,” the investigation: “revealed that over the eight months of harassment, which includes the four-month deployment when Florida fired cruise missiles into Libya, this behavior flourished and went unreported among the crew.”

    Even without the recent violent assault on a gay man in Long Beach by four Marines, it’s long past time that we stop pretending that over 200 year of institutionalized homophobia by the military would be wiped away by a few pretty words and PowerPoint slides—and for everyone with influence to stop worrying about rocking the boat in the battle that has already been won, and to SERIOUSLY go on the offense. Enough with the polite letters to the Secretary of Defense and Commander-in-Chief. It is time to demand that they order the Pentagon to do what, in its own words, it consciously refused to do with repeal: place sexual orientation “alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, as a class eligible for various diversity programs, tracking initiatives, and complaint resolution processes under the Military Equal Opportunity Program [MEO].”

    As Anu Bhagwati, Marine veteran and Executive Director of Service Women’s Action Network, has written: “The military’s simplistic rhetoric that ‘leadership’ will resolve cases of homophobic harassment and discrimination assumes that all commanders are good leaders and that no commanders are homophobic, which is a naïve notion at best. …. MEO policy exists precisely because the military acknowledges that leadership is imperfect, training is inadequate, and that the military itself is not free of bigotry. MEO policy exists so that victims of harassment or discrimination have a means of formally filing a grievance. … repealing DADT is only half the battle.”

  6. "The Gay" says

    With 553 brass sent letters but ONLY 13 responding and only 37 LGB troops were interviewed, I must say, this article is a pretty pathetic deception.

    More than a little disappointed in the reporting on this one.

  7. andrew says

    As a gay man who served as a radar operator on a Navy Destroyer (USS William R Rush DDR 714)and slept next to and showered in the same head with straight guys, I always knew that DADT was bulls*it.

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