Sexual Orientation and The United States Military

Sexual Orientation And The United States Military

The United States military excluded gay men and lesbians from service from its origins until 2011. The military consistently held the official view that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are unfit for military service. Policy against LGBT service personnel evolved independently in the various branches of the military before being unified and codified in military policy. In 1993, the United States Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed a law instituting the policy commonly referred to as "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) which allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation. Although there were isolated instances in which service personnel met with limited success through lawsuits, efforts to end the ban either legislatively or through the courts proved unsuccessful.

In 2010, two federal courts ruled the ban on openly gay service personnel unconstitutional and on July 6, 2011, a federal appeals court suspended the DADT policy. In December 2010, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and under its provisions restrictions on service by gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel ended as of September 20, 2011.

While restrictions on sexual orientation have been lifted, restrictions on gender identity remain in place due to Department of Defense regulations; transgender Americans thus continue to be barred from military service.

Read more about Sexual Orientation And The United States Military:  Early Years, 1940s, Standard Policy, 1949-1993, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 1993-2011, After DADT, See Also

Famous quotes containing the words orientation, united, states and/or military:

    Institutions of higher education in the United States are products of Western society in which masculine values like an orientation toward achievement and objectivity are valued over cooperation, connectedness and subjectivity.
    Yolanda Moses (b. 1946)

    The United States is the only great nation whose government is operated without a budget. The fact is to be the more striking when it is considered that budgets and budget procedures are the outgrowth of democratic doctrines and have an important part in developing the modern constitutional rights.... The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts.
    William Howard Taft (1857–1930)

    It may be said that the elegant Swann’s simplicity was but another, more refined form of vanity and that, like other Israelites, my parents’ old friend could present, one by one, the succession of states through which had passed his race, from the most naive snobbishness to the worst coarseness to the finest politeness.
    Marcel Proust (1871–1922)

    My faith is the grand drama of my life. I’m a believer, so I sing words of God to those who have no faith. I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colours for those who see none.
    Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992)