Implementation-Policy Transition

The Military Wants Diversity: Will Congress Stand in its Way?


As a Pentagon working group studies how to end discrimination against gay troops, one of its focuses is the military's broader experience with diversity: how has it met the challenge of transcending old barriers and replacing them with a commitment to putting the best and brightest in key positions of leadership?  read more »

Obama Defers Repeal to 2013


Secretary of Defense Gates's letter to Congressman Skelton urging Congress not to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" was a de facto White House decision to delay action on the issue for a very long time.  read more »

Memo for the Pentagon Working Group

Encouraging Candid Communications From Service Members While Mitigating Risk of Separation Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
April 1, 2010
By Diane H. Mazur, Legal Co-Director, Palm Center, and Professor of Law, University of Florida, Levin College of Law
The Pentagon Working Group (PWG) has recognized the dilemma of obtaining candid information from military members about “don’t ask, don’t tell” when communication of that information could lead to investigation and separation under the policy. If service members reveal they are gay during the review process, they have made a statement concerning their sexual orientation that is prohibited by 10 U.S.C. § 654 (b)(2).

New York Times Op-ed on Gay Troops Distorts Evidence


Former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak published an op-ed in the New York Times today in which he claimed that during the 1993 debate over gays in the military, "A lot more heat than light was produced." McPeak says that as Washington reconsiders the question this year, "I doubt that we'll have a more enlightened public discussion in 2010."

But the way to have an enlightened public conversation is to offer reasoned claims based on evidence and research, and to characterize and evaluate opposing arguments honestly. McPeak does no such thing.  read more »

While the Pentagon Studies, More Gays Fall


And yet the approach of the Pentagon's new Working Group is basically a reset. While its leaders insist it is about how, not whether, to lift the ban, everyone knows that any concerns it raises will be used by political opponents to say it can't be done. That tactic has already started, with Rep. Buck McKeon leading the charge.  read more »

What Does the Empirical Research Say about the Impact of Openly Gay Service on the Military?

A Research Memo
March 3, 2010
Dr. Nathaniel Frank
Research on openly gay service is extensive, and includes over half a century of evidence gathered by independent researchers and the U.S. military itself, as well as the study of the experience of foreign militaries. The U.S. military’s own researchers have consistently found that openly gay service does not undermine cohesion, and the military has repeatedly sought to condemn or suppress these conclusions when they emerged. Yet no research has ever shown that open homosexuality impairs military readiness.

Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010

A Global Primer
February 23, 2010
Dr. Nathaniel Frank with Dr. Victoria Basham, Geo!rey Bateman, Dr. Aaron Belkin, Dr. Margot Canaday, Dr. Alan Okros, and Denise Scott

Twenty-five nations now allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. In many of those countries, debate before the policy changes was highly pitched and many people both inside and outside the military predicted major disruptions, but when inclusive policies were implemented, no more than three people in each country actually resigned.  read more »

Recommendations to Pentagon Working Group on Gays in the Military

February 17, 2010
Palm Center
Palm Center White Paper

Dowload a pdf of the full report here.
The Palm Center has released eight key recommendations to the Pentagon Working Group on gays in the military. These recommendations are intended as a first step in providing full support to the Working Group and acknowledging the importance of a thorough and timely process.
OVERVIEW:The Palm Center would like to offer its full support to the new Pentagon working group on gays and lesbians in the U.S. military and address the next steps for the “don‟t ask, don‟t tell” law and policy. We offer ten years of experience researching in this area, with a focus on gays in the military at home and abroad as well as on the “don‟t ask, don‟t tell” policy specifically. The Palm Center is housed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has published over thirty books, book chapters, and journal articles on gays in the military. Nine of our studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals including International Security, Armed Forces and Society, and Military Psychology; others appeared in respected publications such as Parameters, the official journal of the U.S. Army War College.Although our independent findings—as well as the vast majority of other government, military, and academic research—have concluded that ending the gay ban will not harm military effectiveness, our offer of support and recommendations below do not assume any outcome. We hope to be one of many resources that the working group considers. The recommendations below reflect our “lessons learned” from extensive work within this field.

The Palm Center has released eight key recommendations to the Pentagon Working Group on gays in the military. These recommendations are intended as a first step in providing full support to the Working Group and acknowledging the importance of a thorough and timely process.  read more »

A New Pentagon Strategy on Gays

After Senator Carl Levin announced yesterday that he would hold hearings on "don't ask, don't tell," anti-gay forces in the Pentagon responded immediately. Levin was sending a strong signal that both the White House and Congress are ready to move forward with plans to repeal the gay ban, so the Pentagon needed to move quickly.

Maybe the Delay in Addressing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Wasn’t Such a Bad Idea After All

(This post submitted by Diane Mazur) Like many others, I was frustrated to see President Obama stand by and do nothing to stop the steady stream of discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
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