DADT One Year After: New Study Proclaims ZERO Impact On Military
study of the effects of repealing “don't ask, don’t tell” (DADT) has found that the new policy of open service has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale, according to a new study issued Monday by the University Of California Los Angeles Palm Center.
Co-authors of the study, whose publication coincides with the anniversary of DADT repeal, include professors at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Marine Corps War College.
The results of the study are in direct contrast to the stark warnings issued by the critics and opponents of the repeal.
"For almost twenty years, experts predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would harm the military," said Aaron Belkin, the founding director of the Palm Center- a research branch of the Williams Institute at UCLA's Law School- and lead author of the study. "Now the evidence is in, and the conclusion is clear: repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' did not harm the military, and if anything made it easier for the Pentagon to pursue its mission."
These sentiments were echoed by U. S. Marine Commandant General James Amos during a National Press Club luncheon in Washington last month who stressed that the integration of openly gay and lesbians into the military has gone smoothly.
“I don’t think there is a problem,” said General Amos. “I don’t see it. I don’t hear about it.”
Amos’ comments came nearly a year after the repeal of the Pentagon’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers officially took effect. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his 2010 confirmation hearing that he opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” LGBT equality rights groups later blasted Amos for suggesting that openly gay and lesbian servicemembers would prove a distraction that would lead to further losses on the battlefield.
One of the authors, Tammy Schultz, an openly lesbian professor and director of national security and joint warfare at the U.S. Marine Corps War College, said she was relieved by the findings.
"I just have so much respect for members of the armed services and would never have wanted to hurt someone," Schultz said. "The fact that we didn't find that, personally I felt relief that I was right, honestly."
Schultz noted that the study showed that the repeal actually improved trust and cohesion among the troops.
The study's authors wrote in their Executive Summary:
We sought to maximize the likelihood of identifying evidence of damage caused by repeal by pursuing ten separate research strategies, each of which was designed to uncover data indicating that repeal has undermined the military.
Our research strategies included outreach to 553 generals and admirals who predicted that repeal would undermine the military, to all major activists and expert opponents of DADT repeal and to 18 watchdog organizations, including opponents and advocates of repeal, who are known for their ability to monitor Pentagon operations.
In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with 18 scholars and practitioners and 62 active-duty heterosexual, lesbian, gay and bisexual troops from every service branch, as well as on-site field observations of four military units. We analyzed relevant media articles published during the research period, administered two surveys and conducted secondary source analysis of surveys independently administered by outside organizations.
Our vigorous effort to collect data from opponents of DADT repeal, including anti-repeal generals and admirals, activists, academic experts, service members and watchdog organizations, should sustain confidence in the validity and impartiality of our findings.One of the repeal's most vocal opponents was suburban Detroit housewife and self-styled military affairs expert Elaine Donnelly who runs the Center for Military Readiness warned;
“The flag and general officers for the military, 1,167 to date, 51 of them former four-stars, said that this law, if repealed, could indeed break the All-Volunteer Force. They chose that word very carefully. They have a lot of military experience… and they know what they’re talking about.”
Critics had also warned about the dire affects repealing the law would have on the Chaplain Corps and their mission to provide faithful support and instruction. The study's authors noted:
Even among chaplains, the evidence suggests that DADT repeal has had no measurable impact on retention. Chaplains were thought to be among those most likely to leave the military after DADT repeal, in part because contracts allow them to resign more quickly than other military members, and many threatened to resign if LGB troops were allowed to serve openly. Such concerns, however, have proven to be unwarranted.
Pentagon officials told the study's authors that out of the thousands of chaplains that serve, only a total of three had left citing repeal of DADT.
This past June, the U. S. Department of Defence celebrated its first ever "Pride" event. Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokesperson, had told LGBTQNation that Defence Secretary Leon Panetta issued instructions to Pentagon officials to mark the celebration of Pride Month. Adding that Panetta felt it’s important to recognize the service of gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces.
Maryland Lawmaker/Pastor Walks Backs Hardliner Stance Over Gay Marriage Support By Baltimore Ravens Player
|Chris Kluwe,(Left) Brendon Ayanbadejo, (Centre)|
Maryland Delegate E. Burns, (Right)
BALTIMORE, MD -- The Maryland lawmaker who wrote to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens professional football team last month, asking that the team silence Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo over his support of same-sex marriage, has walked back his opposition after a national outcry of outrage once the letter was made public last week.
Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr., (D-Baltimore County) in a telephone interview with The Baltimore Sun newspaper Sunday night, told the paper “Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights,” And I have my First Amendment rights.…Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.”
Burns, who is the pastor of Rising Sun First Baptist Church in Woodlawn near Baltimore, wrote a letter August 29 asking Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”
Support for Ayanbadejo's stance on the issue of same-sex marriage equality came from all segments of society, including the Baltimore Sun, whose editors, in an op-ed piece reflecting on Burns' apparent change of heart and applauding the Ravens organisation, wrote:
In politics, this is known as "walking back" a political position, but in football, it's closer to a player walking off the field in submission after realizing just how hard he was about to get hit. That Mr. Burns had to reacquaint himself with the First Amendment in the days after writing to Steve Bisciotti and asking him to "take the necessary action" required to cause his player to "cease and desist" the player's advocacy of same-sex marriage suggests he has neither the temperament nor the basic understanding of government and law to continue in office. The fact that the use of his office letterhead for the purpose may have violated General Assembly ethics rules only underscores the point.
Kudos to Mr. Bisciotti, who backed his player and has acted honorably from the moment he received what could easily have been taken as an effort to intimidate. Ravens management could have asked their players to avoid politics, period. They might have worried that a state legislator had the power to affect their dealings with the Maryland Stadium Authority, from which they lease M&T Bank Stadium. But they did none of the above.
Mr. Ayanbadejo's support for same-sex marriage is notable not simply because Maryland voters will soon have a chance to weigh in on the issue but because the insular and macho world of professional sports is one of the last places in America where openly discussing sexual orientation is taboo.
During the initial publicity over Burns' letter, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe hammered the lawmaker in an open letter that soon went viral.
“As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom,” Kluwe wrote.
Many of Ayanbadejo’s Ravens teammates are defending him as well along with thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook.
Celebrity support has also come from talk show hosts Ellen DeGeneres and Keith Olbermann. In a telephone conversation Monday afternoon with an Ellen Show spokesperson, LGBTQNation was told that DeGeneres had reached out to the Ravens linebacker and asked him to appear on her show.
On Saturday, Ayanbadejo posted this status update on his Facebook page: “They expected me to get a timeout but all they did was unleash a world wide cry for equality!!!”