Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

"We're Asking and Telling"

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

"We're Asking and Telling"

Article excerpt

Two Senators put the Pentagon on notice over the treatment of gay service members

These are difficult days for those of us in the Congress committed to protecting the privacy rights of American service members, including those who are gay or lesbian. We believe the "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy was flawed from the beginning. We didn't vote for it. But given recent court cases and congressional politics, we seem to be stuck with the policy for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, it is up to us to force the Pentagon at a minimum to implement the policy as Congress intended and seek answers for the disturbing 67% increase in gay-related discharges since 1994.

Last year we organized a group of 13 senators and together urged Secretary of Defense William Cohen to review the policy. The Pentagon responded to our concerns by releasing a report that contained a number of recommendations for improving the implementation of this policy. In many ways, if correctly administered, they will make life better for gay people serving in the military.

However, the contents of that report summon more questions than the report answered. …

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