At 12:01 am this morning, the horrible policy that was Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ended. The U.S. Department of Defense will formally repeal the inequitable policy that has been law since 1993. The repeal which was voted on by Congress during the lame duck session will now officially take effect.
Approximately 14,000 gay service members have been discharged under the policy including those who never “told” any colleagues about their sexual orientation. Our brave men and women would live in fear of being outed under the policy with email hacking being a common occurrence to find out information about a soldier’s personal life.
The repeal isn’t a one size fits all solution. As we’ve discussed previously on Feministing, the issue of discrimination against trans service members is still very much a problem. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has no effect on the prohibition against trans individuals signing up for military service to fight and die for their country.
So while this is a huge historic victory for gay rights advocates, the work continues. In civil rights, one victory is never the end.
That said, today we say goodbye to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a horrible, ineffective, homophobic, unjust, ridiculously inane policy. Good riddance!