DON’T ASK DON’T TELL
By Nohemi Ayala and Harry
It was the first week of Bill Clintons Presidency that the phrase “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was started to be used. It was mostly triggered by those in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill opposed to his campaign pledge to reverse an executive order banning gays & lesbians from serving America. But the phrase was never stated in his January 29, 1993 conference, people soon after started talking, he stated “ The issue is whether men and women who can and have served with real distinction should be excluded from military service solely on the basis of their status," Clinton said at the time. "And I believe they should not. It boiled down to this: the government would no longer "ask" recruits if they were gay, and so long as military personnel didn't "tell" anyone of their sexual preference — and didn't engage in homosexual acts — they were free to serve. But, by the end of 1993, opponents of the change, led by Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee, succeeded in writing into law the ban on openly gay men and lesbians in uniform. The only thing Congress let Clinton get away with was saving the pre-enlistment question about homosexuality “ The Law respects the power of sexuality and the normal human desire for modesty in sexual matters” says Elaine Donnelly, president of the non-profit Center for Military Readiness which supports continuing the ban.
About 12,000 service members have been booted from the military since the law took effect, including dozens of Arabic speakers whose skills are particularly prized by the military since the advent of the war on terror. While the number discharged for their sexuality has fallen from 1,273 in 2001...