The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (H.R. 2965, S. 4023) is a landmark federal statute that established a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) policy (10 U.S.C. § 654), thus allowing gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. It ended the policy in place since 1993 that allowed them to serve only if they kept their sexual orientation secret and the military did not learn of their sexual orientation.

The Act established a process for ending the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Act:[1]

Provided for repeal of the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, to be effective 60 days after the Secretary of Defense has received DOD's comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action, that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention.

The Act did not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the military, as provided for in the proposed Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen provided the certification required by the Act to Congress on July 22, 2011. Implementation of repeal was completed 60 days later, so that DADT was no longer policy as of September 20, 2011.

Background Edit

Main article: Policy debate

DADT was controversial from the time it was implemented, but it became increasingly a matter of public debate after 2004. In July 2004 the American Psychological Association issued a statement that "Empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention."[2] In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office reported that DADT cost at least $95.4 million for recruiting and at least $95.1 million for training replacements for the 9,488 troops discharged from 1994 through 2003.[3] In December 2006, Zogby International reported that a poll of military personnel conducted in October 2006 found that 26% favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, 37% were opposed, while 37% expressed no preference or were unsure.[4] At a February 2, 2010 congressional hearing, Senator John McCain read from a letter signed by "over one thousand former general and flag officers". It said: "We firmly believe that this law, which Congress passed to protect good order, discipline and morale in the unique environment of the armed forces, deserves continued support."[5]

Legislative history Edit

The Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate tried to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy with an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. On May 27, 2010, on a 234–194 vote,[6] the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment[7] to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. It provided for repeal of the DADT policy and created a process for lifting the policy, including a U.S. Department of Defense study and certification by key officials that the change in policy would not harm military effectiveness, followed by a waiting period of 60 days.[8][9] On the same day the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on a 16–12 vote advanced an identical measure to be included in the Defense Authorization Act.[8] The amended defense bill passed the House on May 28, 2010.[10] On September 21, 2010, John McCain led a successful (56 in favor, 43 opposed) filibuster against the debate on the Defense Authorization Act.[11]

On November 30, 2010, the Department of Defense's Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) on DADT repeal issued its formal report outlining a path to the implementation of repeal of DADT.[12] The report indicated that there was low risk of service disruptions because of repeal of the ban.[13] Gates encouraged Congress to act quickly to repeal the law so that the military could carefully adjust rather than face a court decision requiring it to lift the policy immediately.[13] The United States Senate held two days of hearings on December 2 and 3, 2010, to consider the CRWG report. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen urged immediate repeal. The heads of the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy all advised against immediate repeal and expressed varied views on its eventual repeal.[14]

Democrats in Congress quickly scheduled hearings to consider repeal of the law.[15] On December 3, the Joint Chiefs of Staff appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about repeal.[16] While the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Coast Guard said repeal would cause minimal disruption, heads of the Army, Air Force, and Marines opposed repeal because it would cause additional stress on combat focused forces during war.[16]

On December 9, 2010, another filibuster prevented debate on the Defense Authorization Act during the lame duck session of Congress.[17]

On December 9, 2010, in reaction to the failure to open discussion on the Defense Authorization Act, Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins introduced a bill that included the policy-related portions of the Defense Authorization Act that they considered more likely to pass as a stand-alone bill. The Washington Post compared it to a "Hail Mary pass".[18][19] The stand-alone bill was sponsored by Patrick Murphy and passed the House on a vote of 250 to 175 on December 15, 2010.[20][21]

On December 18, 2010, the Senate voted to end debate on its version of the bill by a cloture vote of 63–33.[22] Prior to the vote, Sen. Lieberman gave the final argument in favor of repealing DADT and Sen. McCain argued against repeal. The final Senate vote was held later that same day, with the measure passing by a vote of 65–31.[23]

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates released a statement following the vote indicating that the planning for implementation of a policy repeal would begin right away, led by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley, and would continue until Gates certified that conditions were met for orderly repeal of the policy.[24] President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on December 22, 2010.[25][26]

Senate roll call Edit

File:111th Congress House roll call 638.svg
File:DADT Repeal Senate.svg
State Senator Party Vote on
Vote on
Hawaii Daniel Akaka Democratic Aye Aye
Tennessee Lamar Alexander Republican No No
Wyoming John Barrasso Republican No No
Montana Max Baucus Democratic Aye Aye
Indiana Evan Bayh Democratic Aye Aye
Alaska Mark Begich Democratic Aye Aye
Colorado Michael Bennet Democratic Aye Aye
Utah Robert Bennett Republican No No
New Mexico Jeff Bingaman Democratic Aye Aye
Missouri Kit Bond Republican No No
California Barbara Boxer Democratic Aye Aye
Ohio Sherrod Brown Democratic Aye Aye
Massachusetts Scott Brown Republican Aye Aye
Kansas Sam Brownback Republican No No
Kentucky Jim Bunning Republican Did not vote Did not vote
North Carolina Richard Burr Republican No Aye
Washington Maria Cantwell Democratic Aye Aye
Maryland Ben Cardin Democratic Aye Aye
Delaware Tom Carper Democratic Aye Aye
Pennsylvania Bob Casey, Jr. Democratic Aye Aye
Georgia Saxby Chambliss Republican No No
Oklahoma Tom Coburn Republican No No
Mississippi Thad Cochran Republican No No
Maine Susan Collins Republican Aye Aye
North Dakota Kent Conrad Democratic Aye Aye
Delaware Chris Coons Democratic Aye Aye
Tennessee Bob Corker Republican No No
Texas John Cornyn Republican No No
Idaho Mike Crapo Republican No No
South Carolina Jim DeMint Republican No No
Connecticut Christopher Dodd Democratic Aye Aye
North Dakota Byron Dorgan Democratic Aye Aye
Illinois Dick Durbin Democratic Aye Aye
Nevada John Ensign Republican No Aye
Wyoming Mike Enzi Republican No No
Wisconsin Russ Feingold Democratic Aye Aye
California Dianne Feinstein Democratic Aye Aye
Minnesota Al Franken Democratic Aye Aye
New York Kirsten Gillibrand Democratic Aye Aye
South Carolina Lindsey Graham Republican No No
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican No No
New Hampshire Judd Gregg Republican Did not vote Did not vote
North Carolina Kay Hagan Democratic Aye Aye
Iowa Tom Harkin Democratic Aye Aye
Utah Orrin Hatch Republican Did not vote Did not vote
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison Republican No No
Oklahoma Jim Inhofe Republican No No
Hawaii Daniel Inouye Democratic Aye Aye
Georgia Johnny Isakson Republican No No
Nebraska Mike Johanns Republican No No
South Dakota Tim Johnson Democratic Aye Aye
Massachusetts John Kerry Democratic Aye Aye
Illinois Mark Kirk Republican Aye Aye
Minnesota Amy Klobuchar Democratic Aye Aye
Wisconsin Herb Kohl Democratic Aye Aye
Arizona Jon Kyl Republican No No
Louisiana Mary Landrieu Democratic Aye Aye
New Jersey Frank Lautenberg Democratic Aye Aye
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic Aye Aye
Florida George LeMieux Republican No No
Michigan Carl Levin Democratic Aye Aye
Connecticut Joe Lieberman Independent Aye Aye
Arkansas Blanche Lincoln Democratic Aye Aye
Indiana Richard Lugar Republican No No
West Virginia Joe Manchin Democratic Did not vote Did not vote
Arizona John McCain Republican No No
Missouri Claire McCaskill Democratic Aye Aye
Kentucky Mitch McConnell Republican No No
New Jersey Bob Menendez Democratic Aye Aye
Oregon Jeff Merkley Democratic Aye Aye
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic Aye Aye
Alaska Lisa Murkowski Republican Aye Aye
Washington Patty Murray Democratic Aye Aye
Nebraska Ben Nelson Democratic Aye Aye
Florida Bill Nelson Democratic Aye Aye
Arkansas Mark Pryor Democratic Aye Aye
Rhode Island Jack Reed Democratic Aye Aye
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic Aye Aye
Idaho Jim Risch Republican No No
Kansas Pat Roberts Republican No No
West Virginia Jay Rockefeller Democratic Aye Aye
Vermont Bernie Sanders Independent Aye Aye
New York Chuck Schumer Democratic Aye Aye
Alabama Jeff Sessions Republican No No
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Democratic Aye Aye
Alabama Richard Shelby Republican No No
Maine Olympia Snowe Republican Aye Aye
Pennsylvania Arlen Specter Democratic Aye Aye
Michigan Debbie Stabenow Democratic Aye Aye
Montana Jon Tester Democratic Aye Aye
South Dakota John Thune Republican No No
Colorado Mark Udall Democratic Aye Aye
New Mexico Tom Udall Democratic Aye Aye
Louisiana David Vitter Republican No No
Ohio George Voinovich Republican Aye Aye
Virginia Mark Warner Democratic Aye Aye
Virginia Jim Webb Democratic Aye Aye
Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse Democratic Aye Aye
Mississippi Roger Wicker Republican No No
Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic Aye Aye

Implementation Edit

Following enactment, the Department of Defense charged a committee led by Clifford Stanley to oversee its implementation. Stanley's committee commissioned a comprehensive review of current policies, the repeal, and whether the new status quo would be consistent with the goals of, in the words of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, "military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces."[29] On January 29, 2011, the Pentagon released its plan for implementing the end of DADT. It called for a three-month period of training for all personnel, beginning in the third quarter of 2011. President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen sent Congress the required certification that implementation of repeal would not have negative effect on military readiness and performance on July 22, 2011. Full implementation of the repeal occurred 60 days later on September 20, 2011.

The repeal of DADT did not alter the language of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which bans sodomy by service members. A Senate-approved amendment that would have done so was not included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.[30][31]

References Edit

  1. H.R.2965 - Dont Ask, Dont Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
  2. American Psychological Association: Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the legislative year 2004. Minutes of the meeting of the Council of Representatives July 28 & 30, 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii, accessed March 5, 2012
  3. "Report: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' costs $363M", USA Today, February 14, 2006. Retrieved on March 14, 2012. 
  4. Opinions of Military Personnel on Sexual Minorities in the Military (PDF) (2006). Retrieved on October 13, 2010.
  5. Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Testimony Regarding DoD 'Dont Ask, Dont Tell' Policy," February 22, 2010, accessed February 19, 2012
  6. Final vote results for roll call 317. (May 27, 2010). Retrieved on December 19, 2010.
  7. "GOP to defend 'Don't ask, Don't Tell'", The Hill, May 25, 2010. Retrieved on May 30, 2010. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fritze, John. "Congress advances repeal of 'don’t ask, don’t tell'", USA Today, May 27, 2010. Retrieved on May 27, 2010. 
  9. "House Votes to Allow Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Law", The New York Times, May 27, 2010. Retrieved on May 28, 2010. 
  10. "House Passes 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Bill", CBS, May 28, 2010. Retrieved on May 28, 2010. 
  11. "Senate halts 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal", CNN, September 22, 2010. 
  12. Department of Defense: "Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'," November 30, 2010, accessed January 30, 2012; comprehensive report
  13. 13.0 13.1 Bumiller, Elisabeth. "Little Impact Seen if Military Gay Ban Is Repealed", November 30, 2010. Retrieved on December 1, 2010. 
  14. New York Times: Elisabeth Bumiller, "Service Chiefs Tell Panel of Risks to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal," December 3, 2010, accessed January 30, 2011
  15. O'Keefe, Ed. "'Don't ask, don't tell' report: Little risk to allowing gays to serve openly", November 30, 2010. Retrieved on December 1, 2010. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Top generals buck White House on military gay ban", MSNBC, December 3, 2010. Retrieved on December 6, 2010. 
  17. "'Don't ask, don't tell' procedural vote fails", The Washington Post, December 9, 2010. Retrieved on December 10, 2010.  Crossing party lines, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted in favor of cloture on the bill and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against cloture. Manchin stated that he did not support cloture because he had not yet consulted constituents on the issue, but said that the policy "probably should be repealed in the near future". D'Aprile, Shane (December 9, 2010). Manchin votes against 'Don't ask' repeal, then apologizes. The Hill. Retrieved on December 10, 2010.
  18. "New bill introduced to end 'don't ask, don't tell'", December 11, 2010. Retrieved on December 13, 2010. 
  19. S. 4022. (December 9, 2010). Retrieved on December 19, 2010.
  20. Final vote results for roll call 638. (December 15, 2010). Retrieved on December 19, 2010.
  21. Bill Summary & Status – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – H.R.6520. (June 19, 2009). Retrieved on December 19, 2010.
  22. "U.S. Senate Roll Call", U.S. Senate, December 18, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
  23. Hulse, Carl. "Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'", December 18, 2010. Retrieved on December 18, 2010. 
  24. Template:Cite press release
  25. "Obama to sign DADT repeal before big, emotional crowd", Washington Post, 2010-12-22. Retrieved on 2010-12-22. 
  26. "Obama signs bill repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' policy", Los Angeles Times, 2010-12-22. Retrieved on 2010-12-22. 
  27. Template:USSRollCall
  28. Template:USSRollCall
  29. News Relauthorauthored=Robert Gates. United States Department of Defense (December 18, 2010).
  30. MetroWeekly: Chris Geidner, "Defense Bill Conference Report Strips Anti-Gay House Language, Keeps Military Sodomy Ban," December 12, 2011, accessed February 20, 2012
  31. Article 125's prohibition against bestiality was included in its definition of sodomy. House Republicans, the Family Research Council, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals objected to the removal of "unnatural carnal copulation ... with an animal" from Article 125, not "unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex". See: The Hill: Jeremy Herb, "Repeal of sodomy, bestiality ban sparks fight on Defense bill," December 9, 2011, accessed February 20, 2012: "The Pentagon, however, says that even if the article in the military code was repealed, having sex with animals would still be covered under different statutes. 'It is difficult to envision a situation where a service member engages in sexual conduct with an animal that would not be conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or service-discrediting,' said Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale."

External links Edit

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