Magazine article New Internationalist

Walk Gay-Talk Right out That Door

Magazine article New Internationalist

Walk Gay-Talk Right out That Door

Article excerpt

Thousands of women and men have been dismissed from the US armed forces for being gay or lesbian since Bill Clinton's infamous 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy was announced in 1993. This allows lesbian women and gay men to serve in the forces provided they do not disclose their sexuality. But it has not worked. In 2001, 1,256 soldiers were discharged due to their sexual orientation - a record high.

But in 2002, with the prospect of war with Iraq looming, the situation changed. Dismissals plummeted and some gay servicepeople who did 'come out' to their commanding officers were told their confessions were 'not credible'.

Except - it seems - when gay servicewomen and men were capable of communicating with people living within 'the axis of evil'. The prospect of war was not enough to save 24 gay linguists - most trained in Arabic or Korean - from dismissal on the grounds of their sexual orientation. …

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