Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Public Opinion

The policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was instituted by the U.S. military in 1993 and removed in 2011. To understand the policy, it is necessary to understand the history of bans on homosexuality in the military and the specific policy known as DADT. Further, an examination of DADT must also address the impact of public opinion as it shifted over the years, what affected this public opinion, and how public opinion affected public policies.


Homosexuals were implicitly banned from serving in the U.S. military since its inception during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). However, not until a policy went into effect in 1921 was sodomy explicitly added as a crime in the Articles of War. Twenty years later, homosexuality itself was added as a disqualifying ...

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