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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was the official U.S. policy that prohibited active-duty homosexual service members from disclosing their sexual orientation. It was instituted by the Clinton administration in 1994 in response to the long-standing military tradition of discharging service members due to sexual orientation. This policy remained in place until 2011. This entry reviews the history of inequality in the U.S. armed forces, discusses the debates surrounding DADT, and examines the effects of DADT on the military.

Inequality in the Military

The history of the U.S. military is riddled with policies that institutionalized the inequality experienced by its members and the perceptions of inequality among the general public. Women were banned from serving in combat until 2013, when the ban was lifted under Secretary of Defense ...

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