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Don't Ask. Don't Tell. Don't Pursue.

This guide contains primary materials on the U.S. military’s policy on sexual orientation, from World War I to 2013.

What is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"

In 1993, in response great debate and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed new legislation holding that “[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability.” The new policy, colloquially known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," established that service members not be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation.

What Does this Guide Contain?

This guide contains primary materials on the U.S. military’s policy on sexual orientation, from World War I to 2013, with Professor Janet E. Halley’s book, Don’t: A Reader’s Guide to the Military’s Anti-Gay Policy (Duke University Press, 1999) as the site’s foundation.

The site includes legislation; regulations; internal directives of military service branches; materials on particular service members’ proceedings (from hearing board transcripts to litigation filings/papers and court decisions); policy documents generated by the military, Congress, the Department of Defense and other offices of the Executive branch of the U.S. Government; and advocacy documents submitted to government entities.

NOTE: This guide is no longer being updated! 

What Is the Current Status of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"

President Barack Obama signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2010. The repeal became official on September 20, 2011.