Episode Information

WWL: The End of Don't Ask Don't Tell?
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
11/20/2009
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In this episode:

An exploration of the law and related policies commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

 

Episode Audio

49:02 minutes (23.54 MB)
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It's been over 16 years since US lawmakers made it illegal for openly gay Americans to serve their country in the Armed Forces. Since then, more than 13,500 service members have been discharged from duty under the polices commonly referred to as “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

Now, two protracted military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan have some people wondering if it's time to re-examine the laws governing military personnel practices. The President has said he's committed to ending the de-facto ban on gays in the military. But so far, both legislative and executive action has been slow.

Meanwhile, there are those who support the ban, who argue that homosexuality upends unit cohesion and makes our country less safe.

Coming up, a discussion with scholars, service members, and lawmakers. You can join the conversation: Is it time to end Don't Ask Don't Tell? Or do the benefits of excluding gays from the military outweigh the costs?

Leave your questions and comments below.


 
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Misguided Policy

 I was on queue to comment when time ran out, but I have two comments:
1. Mr Bowman's arguments FOR don't ask don't tell are based on a complete misunderstanding of the natue of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Both are crimes of power, not lust or sexual attraction, and have NOTHING to do with a person's sexual orientation.
2. Don't ask don't tell disproportionately affects female service members due to "lesbian baiting." Female service members are often harassed and made the target of sexual advances that they may be fearful of reporting because they may be labeled a lesbian, and dismissed under Don't ask Don't tell, for rejecting these advances.

Thank you.
Stefanie Lopez-Boy
Wallingford, CT