Panetta: DADT Repeal No Big Deal


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that military leaders have concluded last year’s repeal of DADT has not had any effect on readiness or morale.

Reports the Washington Post:

“My view is that the military has kind of moved beyond it. It’s become part and parcel of what they’ve accepted within the military,” Panetta told reporters during a Pentagon press conference.


Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said he had seen no negative effects on military order or discipline.

“What were we afraid of is we didn’t know,” Dempsey said when asked why military officials were so worried about the repeal before it took effect. “I think that the way we were given a year to make this assessment to educate ourselves to collaborate, to build the sense of trust on this issue, and given that time to do it, I think it worked out well.”

There has been only one serious incident involving anti-gay sentiment to have occurred in the military since the repeal, and that is currently under investigation.

Despite religious conservatives saying that the lifting of DADT would lead to religious beliefs being stifled, no such complaints have surfaced. This religious conservatives have brushed this off as being a result of President Obama’s administration somehow censoring reports.

Despite a lack of evidence that any such religious discrimination is occurring in the military, the US House this week advanced legislation to make explicit a religious right to condemn gay soldiers and another amendment to prevent chaplains from being able to officiate same-sex weddings on base or through using military facilities.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” was enacted by the Clinton administration in 1993 as a compromise to try and repeal the complete ban on gay servicemembers. DADT was supposed to mean that so long as soldiers didn’t disclose their sexuality they would be allowed to serve. However, there is evidence the military frequently flouted the “do not pursue” portion of that law, which led to increased discharges and abuses in the miltiary.

Obama, together with bipartisan support in Congress, has made ending DADT a hallmark of his first term as President.


Related Reading:

Rep King, Keep Your Straightness Out of Our Faces

Six Months After DADT Repeal, Sky Still Not Falling

Oklahoma Legislator Wants to Nullify Gay Rights Ordinances

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to U.S. Army Photostream.


Carlos B.
Carlos Bagram4 years ago

@Lauren B-. Well said for a person who just dictates to someone who is already sacrificing for our country and doing the job you yourself are not willing to do. A true dictator’s mentality, if the shoe were on the other foot you all here call it LBGT hate. How very open minded, loving and kind of you. Is it ok if our service members give their first born on an alter to appease someone else’s beliefs since they are soldiers and they have to deal with it?

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

Well said, Lauren.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

thank you

Lauren B.

This is all so stupid. Scandinavian countries (the ones that have a military) had integrated gay soldiers years ago without any problem. How is our military so surprised that it's gone well? The gay folks were always there, now they don't have to hide. The whole kerfuffle about the horror of gay soldiers possibly having sex in front of poor straight soldiers, forcing this on them somehow, is the same issue anyone who has ever had a roommate, gay or straight or other, had to deal with. Rude, drunk, or acting out roommates are part of life. Deal with it as you would any roommate who was doing anything that offended you!

Carlos B.
Carlos Bagram4 years ago

religious beliefs, well then what is fair about it? If you are going to say, “well he can move out”, then you have never served and don’t know what you are talking about. Other issues other than homosexual intercourse in the same room with a heterosexual soldier (Before you go off and say that some discipline will happen, the reality is that nothing is being done about it since even in the military it is easier to punish the victim) is that soldier marriage is going up between lower enlisted soldiers as their only true defense. This not just complicates the soldier’s life but also raises the cost to the military. The fastest and most effective way to get out of the barracks is to get married, not only do you get a free pass not to live in their anymore but you also get extra money from it. The problem is that many of these soldiers get married with the first girl that they come across because the military will not listen to them, taking in all the complexities that will come with the ‘bride order marriage’ along with the divorce later. Military leaders should be there to support their soldiers, but when a higher up says they simply don’t care and so everything looks good with the press they order each voice silent, that just shows how false of an image this is.

Carlos B.
Carlos Bagram4 years ago

Can I ask a key question here? Why is it in 99.9% of these articles all the positives of DADT repeal are answered by high ranking individuals who don’t have to deal with the complexities of it are the ones allowed to voice up about it? Has anyone ever seen the movie Jarhead? Remember that scene where the SSG tells his troops they cannot say anything to the press, no matter how they felt about the situation there would be consequences? If any of you actually think, “oh that was just a movie because the real military is not like that.”, then let me tell you that you are dead wrong. I still work with the military and soldiers who do have a problem with this are told to be quit and have absolutely no rights to complain or seek rooming re-assignments. All of you who say, ”If the military has no problem with it why can’t the rest of the world be like that?” You all forget the military is not a democracy with free speech like all of you enjoy, it is a dictatorship with limited rights. You will not hear about it since soldiers are ordered to stay silent, the ones who have the biggest issue with this are the lower enlisted, so being at the bottom of the totem pole you have no muscle or room to move and are forced against your will to accept something. I served my country for several years and serve today as a contractor. In all fairness if a soldier is ordered to room with someone who practices sexual encounters in front of him regardless of his religious

J.L. A.
JL A4 years ago

You've go the right idea Wendi==giving other people the rights no one shopld ever have denied them doesn't diminish anyone else's rights whatsoever--something the referenced members of Congress somehow have failed to grasp,,,

Barbara DeFratis
Barbara DeFratis4 years ago

Surprise--Surprise-NOT!!! After all, I severed in the Army Reserve before DADT, the company clerk, the go-to NCO of the Company, happened to have been Gay. We had to keep it a secret, because we needed to keep him, because he did the job most effectively and efficiently.

Carole L.
Carole L4 years ago

Bill E
“How about that they repealed "don't ask don't tell" and the world did not come to an end”

Well that’s suppose to happen 12/21/12 :D

Barbara A.
"And since when do the various versions of Christianity make being nasty to people their idea of practicing religion. "Being a Christian" used to mean a love for humanity - now it seems to mean being a stinker."

the fright Reich love to hate.

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders4 years ago

I was in the Army from '81 through '92, and there was at least one gay person in every company I was ever assigned or went TDY to. Never saw any of them get in trouble.