Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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Don't ask, don't tell
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Don't ask, don't tell is the common term for the current law (Public Law 103-160) prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the United States armed forces.

It was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, who while campaigning for the Presidency had promised to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military, while conservatives wanted a complete ban. The actual policy was crafted by Colin Powell, and has been maintained by Clinton's successor, George W. Bush. The policy requires that as long as homosexual men and women in the military don't volunteer their sexual orientation, commanders won't try to find them out. Many see the policy as a failure and it is opposed by a percentage of pro- and anti-gay advocates alike.

"Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender."
—quoted in "The Pentagon's New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military", The New York Times (July 20, 1993), p.A14.