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Increase in Women and Minorities Discharged Due to "Don't Ask Don't Tell"
Feminist Majority Foundation: According to a new study released by the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy (UCLA School of Law) the number of women and minorities discharged from the U.S. military as a result of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been increasing since 1997. [Full study available online]
"According to a new study released by the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law Friday, the proportion of women and minorities discharged from the United States military as a result of its so-called "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy has increased since 1997. The study (see PDF) examines the demographics of the 13,500 troops who have been discharged under DADT through 2009.
Findings include that the percentage of women discharged increased from 22 percent in 1997 to 39 percent in 2009. Women constituted a stable 14 to 15 percent of the military throughout this time period. Racial and ethnic minorities were approximately one third of DADT discharges in 2009, compared to about a quarter of similar discharges in the late 1990s.
In September, US District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that DADT is unconstitutional on the basis that it violates both the first and fifth amendment rights of lesbian and gay service members. The Pentagon is currently undertaking a survey of service members to examine the potential impact of the repeal In May, the House of Representatives voted to add an amendment to a defense spending bill that would repeal the policy after the survey is completed. A vote on this bill is anticipated as early as this week.