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Gay Exclusion in the U.S. Military: Evolution and Demise of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Title 10 of the U.S. Code, Section 654, entitled “Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces,” was passed into law in 1993 and became commonly known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). DADT expressly forbade open homosexuality in the U.S. military. It required that a member of the U.S. armed forces be separated from military service if she or he had (1) engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act; (2) had stated that she or he was homosexual or bisexual; or (3) had married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

During the 17 years in which DADT was in force, more than 13,000 gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members were ...

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