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American Bar Association Comes Out Against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

3 years ago
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The nation's largest lawyers group has has officially come out against "Don't ask, don't tell," the 1993 law that forbids openly gay people from serving in the military.

In three separate letters Monday to both chambers of Congress and the Department of Defense, the American Bar Association called for an end to DADT and offered legal assistance in drafting a new policy.

"We opposed enactment of this policy in 1993 as establishing a form of discrimination that was not based on the character of the servicemember's contribution to the national defense," ABA President Carolyn Lamm wrote. "The harm we foresaw has since come to pass. More than 13,000 men and women have been dismissed from service under the law, among them highly trained specialists like pilots, sharpshooters and translators."

Lamm notes that Americans don't have a fundamental right to serve in the military, but writes that "there is no sufficient reason in our view to continue to deprive these men and women of the opportunity to serve their country and to deprive the nation of their talent and skill."

Read the Senate letter, the House letter and the letter to the Department of Defense.
Filed Under: Gay Rights, Military

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