Five Months Later, Repeal Of DADT Has Had LIttle Impact On The Military
Yesterday, a Military Times poll was released showing that there has been little impact on military morale in the five months since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed:
Prior to the repeal of DADT, advocates on both sides of the debate about open service by gays put high stakes on the outcome.
The Center for Military Readiness warned of “harmful consequences” in the week after top Pentagon officials certified that the military was ready for repeal, as required by Congress.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, in contrast, said repeal was “a significant step toward equality for all who want to serve their country in uniform,” one that would no longer force gay, lesbian and bisexual service members to “hide a part of themselves.”
But neither prediction is being realized, based on responses to the 2012 Military Times Poll from the 25 active-duty service members who indicated that they are gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Only one had come out of the closet at work since repeal; the rest either said their unit members knew about their orientation before repeal, or they continue to keep their orientation private.
The impact among heterosexual service members is also less significant than expected.
In the 2011 Military Times Poll, 59 percent of active-duty respondents said they did not believe they would be affected by the repeal. When service members were asked this year how they were affected after the repeal, 69 percent said they had felt no impact.
Although units where someone disclosed they are gay, lesbian or bisexual after repeal felt more of a change, 59 percent still said the repeal had no noticeable effect.
In addition, although 10 percent of 2011 respondents said they would be less likely to remain in military housing after DADT repeal, just 2 percent said this year that they moved.
Respondents were more likely to say someone’s disclosure of gay or lesbian orientation had a negative effect on their unit than a positive effect, but more than three times as many respondents said it simply didn’t matter.
In other words, all the panic being spread by the opponents of repeal was much ado about nothing.