Plainville, Il, Jan. 30, 2008
Fourteen years ago this week, on January 29th, 1994, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was enacted into effect, having been signed into law the previous year on Nov. 30th 1993. In a twisted logic, that only a politician could be proud of, the so-called Congressional compromise allowed gay Americans to serve in our armed forces provided that they never ever told anyone that they were gay nor engaged in homosexuality; marrying a same sex partner was also forbidden, even though that was not legally possible anywhere at the time. Violating the rules requires immediate discharge from the armed forces.
More than twelve thousand patriotic American volunteers have been discharged under the policy since that time. Additionally, some three thousand five hundred gay and lesbian American service members simply did not reenlist each year because they could not in good conscience continue to lie about who they were nor suffer the sacrifice of serving in silence.
One million living LGBT American veterans have had the honor of serving our nation from WWII to the present; and an estimated sixty five thousand are on active duty now, defending freedom. American Veterans For Equal Rights urges congressional representatives of good conscience to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy so that patriotic Americans may choose to volunteer to serve our nation in pride, without discrimination, regardless of whom or how they happen to love.
Chief Hospital Corpsman James Donovan
United States Navy, Retired
President, American Veterans For Equal Rights
AVER Public Affairs: 718 849-5665
(b) Regulations. – Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act (Nov. 30, 1993), the Secretary of Defense shall revise Department of Defense regulations, and issue such new regulations as may be necessary, to implement section 654 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).
ref: according to 02 Mar 1994 article – Defense Policy On Gays Takes Effect, the Pentagon’s revised regulations (Dec 1993) were initially rejected by some members of Congress as they were not in full compliance with the new statute. The final regulation revision was not issued by the Pentagon to commanders in the field until 28 Feb 1994.