James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Real Cost of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

Lt. Daniel Choi was discharged as an Arabic translator in the New York National Guard, after he came out as gay on the Rachel Maddow Show. In that interview Mr. Choi said, "By saying three words to you today, I am gay, I am in violation of title 10 of the U.S. code." Sandy Tsao, a lesbian, was also discharged that week for uttering the very same three words.

In his book, Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, Nathaniel Frank provides a historical overview of the relationship LGBT folks have had to the U.S. Armed Forces since World War II. He debunks the notion that the inclusion of gay troops would interfere with necessary bonding. Frank categorically states, "There has never been any empirical evidence that openly gay service undermines unit cohesion." His work is a meticulously researched and compelling analysis of both the human and strategic costs of this piece of legislation.

1 comment:

SFPatentLibrarian said...

Nathaniel Frank gave a great interview with Terry Gross on her public radio program "Fresh Air" back in June. It's still up on the site and worth a listen: